Today’s topic is building business revenue with retail as a cosmetic facial acupuncturist for over 30 years.
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Hi everyone. My name is Dr. Shellie Goldstein. It’s always a pleasure to be here with the American Acupuncture Council. Thank you so much for having me. Today’s topic is building business revenue with retail as a cosmetic facial acupuncturist for over 30 years. . But I realized in my practice that it was one thing to work and to see people with hands on, but also building a revenue through retail actually was a very, not only lucrative part of my practice, but it was also beneficial for the patients as well.
So here’s what I’ve learned over my past 30 years, and this is for people who both have a retail. Or would like to start one. So to begin with, think about this. Do you offer retail products in your practice? Yes or no? Are you already offering products? Would you like to, it’s a yes or no question, but it applies to everyone.
And then what percentage of your income is generated from these retail sales? Is it five to 10%, 15 to 30%, 35 to 50, or more than 50%? If you can up your retail sales to hit, say, the 50% mark, what does that mean? It means that you have to work half the amount of time to earn the same amount of money. . So working efficiently is always a great thing to do, particularly when it’s a win-win situation for everybody, both for you but also for your patients as well.
And when we talk about your patients, this is really important or has been important for me is really understanding who my patients were as a practitioner. For me personally, I tend to my primary. Patients were baby boomers in Generation X, but thinking about our practices today, whether it’s facial acupuncture, whether it’s any type of acupuncture, you tend to pull in or target a certain generation of people primarily.
So what and depending upon who you bring in, it’s gonna adjust or have to, it’s gonna affect what retail items you offer and a number of other things too. So do you treat mainly, Baby boomers. So as of now, these baby boomers are in the late, early sixties and seventies, generation X in the forties and the 50 year old range millennials now in their late twenties to early forties.
Huge generation of people that have a major influence in the retail world nation and international. Generation Z, they’re a little bit younger, they’re coming up. But again, all of these generations think differently. And when we think differently, what we’re talking about in terms of retail is what they look for and how they choose to spend their money.
So according to HubSpot when you look at the most important factors in terms of consumers and their purchasing decisions, it’s different. It’s different across the board. So looking at these, we have quality of the product, the price of the product, the features or the functionality, whether the brand has an active community around.
What type of reviews these products get, whether a percentage of the products that are the proceeds from the products will be donated to charity. A brand social media presence, Caesar across the board, the most common factors. But if you look within those parameters, then each of these generations thinks differently.
For example, that most people across the board are gonna look at the quality of the product relative to the price. If the price, if the quality of product is a very high quality, they may be willing to pay. But then there are the other things that are, that people think about. So for example look at the brand social media, present.
Social media. Guess what? The baby boomers really do not consider that as a primary. Topic or primary influencer in terms of whether they’re gonna purchase a pro product or not. They don’t really care about whether somewhat, but not as much as say, a ge, generation Z, whether it’s there’s a proceeds or donated to charity.
But what they are more interested is both in terms of baby boom. is the features of the product, the functionality of the product, how easy it is to use, what it does, and that type of thing. Whereas Generation X, they’re gonna look at what they’re, what’s the community around it? Are they donating to different charities?
So again, taking a look at each of the generations, what’s important to them, what’s going to make them stop and say, Hey, I want this product. So when you think about them also people in general, a lot of people say 68% say they prefer finding new products in the store as opposed to finding in the online.
So that’s good for us. 83% of the millennials say it’s important for the companies to buy it from, that they buy from, to align with their own beliefs and values. I think that’s pretty much across the board, both in terms of millennials and other generations as well. and 82% of millennials will purchase an item if they first see it, and they like it enough the first time.
But across the board, everyone wants that optimal gratification. Getting a lot of use out of the purchase makes me feel like I made a good decision. If you buy it and it sits on the shelf, they likely will not buy it again. But if they buy it, they like it, then they’re gonna come back for. . And what’s particularly interesting about this is the benefits for the patient.
When you think about a product, what you need to remember. And for those of you who have a strong retail product, I’m sure you see this as being true too. It has to be convenient for them. They have to be able to use it. And be able to use it easily. So if it’s a product, say a skincare product, then you have to refrigerate it each time.
I know me, I’m gonna forget. I’m gonna be putting on my things at night, putting on my creams or whatever. And then there’s this one that’s in the refrigerator. The chances of me remembering are not very the same with other things as well. If you’re using, say, a tool or a derma roller or something like that and you have to go find it, Chances are using it are not as high as, say, if it’s conveniently located.
Also, pricing. I know that, and I know for my patients that if it’s a higher price item, it has to come with a higher quality. It has to be relative. The price has to be relative to the quality of the product. And the re, the quality of the product is designated by the results. If it’s a topical ointment for say, pain, it has to work.
It has to slow down the pain or minimize the pain. If it’s for hydrating skin, it has to work. Your skin has to look better. So again, price. Convenience and the results. And when you have all three of these together and the patient actually uses the product and they get the results from the product, there’s a certain underlying sense of empowerment.
They feel like they are contributing to the healthcare of themselves. And we know from the perspective of a practitioner that when we can empower our patients and when our patients feel like they are contributing, it levels the playing field. It’s a win-win for every. , your treatments are better, the results are better.
They, and they are participating in their treatment plan. And so they feel at like they’re a part of it as opposed to you doing it for them. And we know that psychologically that’s always beneficial and it actually leads to better results and. For the practitioner what we know is that when patients are participating in their healthcare, when they are using their home care regime appropriately, your treatment results are better.
So when they, you can encourage them to participate. When they actually participate, your treatment plan, your treatment results are better. They like you, they trust you more. They will talk about you more. They will refer people to you, and at the end of the day, it enhances your income potential. So not only are you are retailing products, but the products are working for themselves and actually bringing in more patients for you.
When we are starting our retail practice or if we are enhancing our retail practice, there’s always business logistics. There are always things that you need to look out for. First one isn’t your inventory. How much does your product cost? Can you afford it? How much inventory can you afford to maintain if a product costs $10?
That amount of inventory is much different than a product that costs say, a hundred or even a thousand dollars. So that’s one of the logistics that you have to figure out. And then based on that, what is your return on investment? If you have a product that costs $10, And you charge 20, you’re gonna need to make, in order to make a hundred dollars, you have to sell 10 of them.
If you have a product that costs you a hundred dollars and you sell it for $200 it’s a larger investment, but the in the return on your investment is a lot higher too. So there’s a balance and every balance, every person. Balance is a little bit different and it’s based on your your product sales, what you think you can sell, and it’s also based on realistically what you can afford to invest in and have sitting on your shelves.
But then there are other things too. For example, what are your state regulations? Can you carry as an acupuncturist or whatever your license is? Can you, are you legally allowed to carry that? I know in the state of New York there are certain regulations about skincare products and the therapeutics of it, and then what’s appropriate and what’s legal within our scope of practice?
CBD is a big issue right now. A lot of states allow you as a licensed practitioner to carry products with cbd. Some do not. You need to know that because a lot of products right now have C B D oil in them. And then for those of us who in most states, you have to collect sales and local tax, who’s gonna do that?
And how are you gonna do that? So you need to get a business license, right? And then who’s gonna file the paperwork for it? It takes time, honestly. It takes some, if it’s, if you’re selling items that are only getting, making a couple of dollars a profit and you aren’t making that much, is it worth your time to actually do it?
I don’t know. It’s up to you. It’s a judgment call. And then also, if you are not a solo practitioner and you have staff, what did they think about it? Are they interested in it? Or because they’re gonna need to learn about the product. So are they interested in taking that extra step for you and for the business?
And again, so you’ve done your work. It’s okay. Ready to go. You’re gonna, who are you gonna target? Your brand. Your brand actually needs to, the products actually need to reflect your brand. So who are you? Who are you both in terms of the clientele that you bring in. Who are you in terms of the cost? What, how much do you think that you can charge for, and that your patients will be willing to pay for based on the effectiveness of the product?
Based on how easy it is to use. If you see a older generation of people and your product is a high tech product, they’re not gonna be able to use it that easily. That’s, and a consumer friendliness too. Do you have to keep the product in the refrigerator? Is it easy to reach? . And then what are the quality of ingredients?
Some, a lot of people these days want more natural ingredients that are organically sourced, that are chemical free or perfume free. That’s important. And then for some people too, what is the efficacy of that product? Based on scientific research, so that some of your products may need to have some scientific research behind it, if that’s important to you, if that’s important to your client, and then also your personal relationship to your product.
So I know that for me, in order to sell something, I need to have tried it. I need to know that I like it. I know that I need. to have it work for me, and then if it’s a product that I as a practitioner stand behind. And maybe work with a company at the manufacturers. I’m gonna need to disclose that.
I’m gonna need to disclose my relationship to that product from both the fiduciary responsibility, but also as a personal one as well. And then for me too, and for retail in general you need to really know if you can sell it and while your patients buy it, because there’s nothing more frustrat. Then investing in retail and just having it sit on your shelf.
If it has an expiration date, you have to throw it out. Or if it’s just sitting your shelf, you’re losing money because you’re not able to turn that. And part of this in terms of maximizing that return on investment is how you display it, how you store it, how you display it. Do you keep it behind your desk or in the closet, in which case you, as the practitioner or the staff are responsible for bringing that product out and saying here’s to your patient, here’s a product I recommend this, or is it in the waiting area?
Where the patients themselves actually are their own salespeople. They can look at it, they can play with it while they’re waiting for their appointment, and then if it’s an awaiting area, you probably need to make it look presentable, clean space, needs space, and really making the appearance of it appealing.
this is common sense, but sometimes we forget . In addition to the appearance of the product, and the display is really knowing everything about your product from the story of the product and a unique story. So for example a chemist, a mother is a chemist and she has a daughter, and the daughter is hyperallergic to so many different things.
And so in her quest, in her whatever topical things the mother puts on, so in her quest for fighting. The perfect product for her daughter. That’s hypoallergenic. She created this product line. Now that’s a good story. That’s a really good story because the personal experience with it is, I can use this too because I have sensitive skin and I use this product and it works for me.
That’s the benefit for the consumer because then the consumer goes, oh, I like this product. I can benefit for this. So there mean most products have a story behind it. What’s the story? How do you respond to that story? What’s your personal experience with that story and what’s the benefit to the consumer about it?
And then how does that compare to other products? So if it is a skincare product, then the, you would want to say the product is all natural, unique ingredient. I know that it works. I tried it and the story, so that would be one way of doing it. If it’s a say, a tool, then we’re gonna talk about guha tools later.
What’s the story behind it? Naturally? Stores, no, no heavy metals in it. So there are many different stories, and the stories count, believe it or not, the stories count a lot. And then how are you gonna promote this? You have your inventory, you have your story, you know the line, your staff knows the line.
You believe in the product, you know that it’s gonna help the patient. You know that it’s gonna be a win-win for all. So how are you gonna promote that product? Because again, you don’t, just on the shelf, sitting on the shelf is losing money. So do you just, do you have enough turnover? In your patient load to just keep it in the office.
Do you want to move it out of the office and say events? Do you have a website or a social media blog, an Instagram account where you can talk about your products, Facebook whatever you have. How are you gonna market it? Are you going to market it through them? And if you are marketing through a blog site, through a website, through social media, There’s that 80 20 rule, 80% educational, 20% promotional, which means that if you have a blog site, so every fourth or fifth blog post, you can talk about your retail product.
Otherwise, what happens, people get bored and they feel like you’re pushing a product on them. So mean, my kind of rule of thumb is let the product sell itself and you help.
and then you can sell. What I love about this part is you can sell a product individually, but you can also gift box ’em, and this is the perfect time. We’re coming into the holidays. The holidays is a really good time to come up with gift box bundles. But again, when you bundle these products, you have to know your patient.
You have to know your patient, and you also have to put it together, put the box together so that it makes sense. With skincare there’s so many different types of skincare products out there, wide range based on the practitioner preferences and consumer desires. So let’s, in this limited time, let’s hold onto that one.
We’ll come back in another presentation. But now let’s think about this. Let’s think about a bundle. Let’s think about our patients. What do our patients want? Do they wanna be educated? Do they wanna read about it first? In that case, you might add a BU book or something into our pamphlet or a booklet into your bundle.
There are some really good, very simple, no brainer products that you can retail that are low cost to you. Low cost to your patients and extraordinarily effective. And for the, these right now are guha, face cupping, derma rolling, and instrument assisted acupuncture tools. So look at this bundle. First of all, when you think about Guha tools, we know that guha tools are palace gemstones.
They’re organic materials, they have unique qualities. Each one of them have different vibrations, different colors, different meanings. So for example In facial acupuncture the gush eye tools of the gemstones that we use Amethyst. What I like about amethyst is it’s very calming, so it’s used, it opens up the crown and the third eye chakra, so it calms the mind.
When you calm the mine, you can calm the skin. So it’s really good for minimizing skin inflammation from a calming perspective, whereas something like. Is more opening of the heart chakra. So cooling versus calming. This is gonna be more cooling. Jade has a cooling reflection to it, so it’s gonna reduce inflammation and tissue irritation by cooling it as opposed to say, calming it.
So when you’re choosing between these different stones, you have to consider is my patient irritated because it’s. Or is my patient stressed, in which case you might choose, say an amethyst or a rose quartz. Rose quartz also is very calming. And so this product is going to calm tissue swelling, relieve stress, enhance circulation, and calm from an emotional perspective.
Whereas something like Jade or citrine is interesting because it’s more related to the solar praxis, your digestion. For the face, a lot of irritation on the face comes from, say the stomach meridian. The stomach meridian runs from the center of the eye, stomach one and two all the way down, straight down to the jawline, across the jawline and up.
So it’s the entire cheek area and lower face area. Breakouts, acne, rosacea, that type of thing are often related to heat in the stomach. So something like a siting would improve applied topically, would minimize facial redness and irritation by improving digestions through the stomach. And so each of the different gemstone personalities are slightly different.
and as well as their shapes. So when you are looking at a guas eye tool, if you wanna do some type of a sweeping motion, you’re going to use something like the teardrop or the dolphin, where it has a really long edge. The left hand side is a long edge or the rectangular square, whereas something like a pointed edge say the top of the waves are the fish.
Those are the wand, those are gonna have pointed edges, and those are really good for pressing into acupressure points as say, an assisted acupressure tool. Whereas something like the rounded paddle, the wand or the spoon, they’re really good for under eye area for very gentle lymphatic drainage and generally different puffiness and limb training.
So the shape of the tool is gonna make a difference as. And then in general, what are we using the for improving circulation, stimulating lymph drainage, harmonizing facial imbalances, improving wrinkles, softening or improving skin thickness. So again, this is the story, right? . This is why it’s different.
This is what’s good about this tool, this shape, this different gemstone. These are all important when you’re selling this particular item. And then when you bundle it, you wanna bundle it with something that makes sense. So maybe a face cut. Whereas the difference between, say, a Guha tool is more improving circulation, stimulating limb drainage, harmonizing and balancing.
And I think of face cups also as. Stronger and more in terms of strong lymph drain and strong, my fascial moving blood in cheek. The risk is that you need to be a little bit careful because if you’re, when you’re teaching your patients what to do you don’t wanna get a bruise on your face, so you need to explain it a little bit better.
In some ways, squash eye tools are a little bit easier to use, but fish cups are effective too. And then also using the appropriate oil to go with it. . And then the third type of product that you might bundle into a roll would be, say a derma roller. In this bundle you’re going, you might have the guha tool, the cup, and then say a derma roller.
So the, whereas the cups and the guha tools are more lymph drainage, myofascial drainage, moving blood and chewing where it’s an application and you can teach them how to do that. This is more for. Skin would be more like building collagen, that type of thing. And so you would educate your patient.
Here’s a derma roller. You write, roll this every other day and you can do your wash off daily. So the story, you need to have the story, the directions, and why you would be using each of these. And I say on this, be careful about serums at, with essential oil, CBD bonds, hydrosols for the same. Essential oils, they may be allergic to the perfume.
C, b, D are you, can you use that? Bombs and hydrosols bombs are too olian. So you don’t get that great slip and hydrosols aren’t enough, so you need a serum. That’s a good thing. So look at this. That’s swine bundle and I’ll, we’ll price these out for you. Another one might be, do they want education?
A book? Give them a book. True confession. This is a, this is, where I need to say, this is my book. I wrote this book, this is my tool. I made this tool. Disclaimer, there are many out there. This is just one, it’s a book and a tool. You read the book, you use the tool, you apply it, and you get the results.
So that, that’s another type of bundle. You can bundle these and make a lot of money. So a beauty box under a hundred dollars. It’s a tool, a tool, a derma roller, some serum, and it’s costs you, and these are, I’m just sourcing lasa, oms. There are many other places, but you would pay between 30 and 30, 37 and $39.
Package it nicely. You can sell it for a hundred eighty two ninety $5. Where is a beauty box? That’s say a. and the tool it would cost you $88. Package it, you can sell it for almost 200. Very simple, very clean, easy to do, easy to instruct, and you have the opportunity to make money. So whether you are doing single products are a bundle.
Again, it’s the holiday season. It’s a really good time to offer beauty boxes, holiday bundles have fun with. Get really creative. The more creative you are, the more excited your patients get. Make it easy, and it’s a wonderful way to earn income. And your patients will appreciate it. They’re gonna buy things anyway.
They’re gonna buy things for themselves. They’re gonna buy gifts for. If they trust you and they know that you have their best intention and they know you and what’s good for you and you, they can explain to you about the people they’re buying from. They know that they’re fulfilling all of those priorities.
They’re getting a good quality. It comes from a reliable source, there’ll be results. The price will be compatible with the results of the product. And so it really becomes a win-win for everybody. So it’s not a selfish thing about making money, it’s about empowering your patients. It’s about helping your patients.
They’re going to buy things anyway, and it helps you too. So why not? And that’s all I have to say for today. So thank you so much for listening to this lecture. If you have additional questions, you can reach out to me on my website, learn more about what I do. In terms of facial acupuncture and teaching facial acupuncture, or reach out with your questions to info hamptons acupuncture.com, or you can follow me at Instagram Goldstein.
So have a great day. Have a wonderful holiday, everybody. We’ll see you next year.