A Tale of Two Electrolygists

Posted by: Janedel62

A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 12/30/17 07:47 PM

I have had a total of four treatments.

At place A: she has a really old machine, each "zap" really hurts but the hair easily "lifts," and I had red puff marks for 48 hours

At place B: the machine is brand new, each zap is pretty mild, she "tugs" the hair out, and my skin doesn't look bad afterwards.

Which place sounds more "legit" ????

Thank you for reading!
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 12/30/17 09:15 PM

A for the win. That easy release of the hair is the best measure we have of efficiency of the treatment. All other items are inconsequential .
Posted by: dfahey

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 12/30/17 11:49 PM

Place A is getting the slide out.

Place B needs to adjust the energy level so the hair slides out.

Old epilator verses new epilator of no consequence. Hair sliding out with no traction is an important indicator and can be accomplished with either epilator as long as the human being is doing her or his job correctly (inserting perfectly and adjusting the energy level correctly for the hair size).
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 12/31/17 12:10 PM

that's what she said!
Posted by: Janedel62

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/16/18 09:13 PM

I wish I lived near you!!!
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/17/18 10:38 AM

Not sure if you meant me or Dee, but me too! I need every client through my door I can if my business is to survive this year.
Posted by: Ton

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/19/18 01:28 AM

Originally Posted By Iluv2zap
I need every client through my door I can if my business is to survive this year.

What? I thought you had so many customers that you needed to hire a 2nd electrologist (Nancy). This is shocking to me. You post so many messages on this messageboard that I would think you would be the most popular electrologist in all of Ottawa, as you certainly must be the most knowledgeable. I recently had an electrologist in Vancouver tell me that she makes about $50 profit per hour when she charges about $70 or so. She says it's about $1 for each autoclave bag and $1 per needle (I can't remember what she said for the alcohol and cotton swabs, but I would imagine it would be about the same). She was encouraging me to become an electrologist; she kept saying that it feels good to make others feel good about themselves, etc. Personally I think it is risky; I'm always seeing people on eBay selling their old epilators saying that they've decided to change careers. Don't electrologists make between $32-$51k in the USA?
Posted by: Scurvy

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/19/18 07:36 AM

The American Electrology Association estimated that "the full-time, established electrologist averages between $25,000 and $50,000 per year."

Unless this equation has already deducted tax and includes all business and operating expenses, it suggests to me that the AEA has some special and individual definition for "full-time" work or a majority of electrologists are simply not charging appropriately for their time and value.

$50,000 is a fair salary considering hours worked if we assume that the electrologist isn't offering their services at dirt cheap prices. At some point, the issue becomes one of business savvy and marketing in order to get feet through the door. If there simply aren't enough potential clients, then diversifying services offered is the next step.

My electrologist seems to routinely perform between 10 and 20 hours of electrolysis a week at the equivalent of US$80. Some here charge up to US$115 for an hour, probably to cover the costs of the shiny, new Apilus they bought. Either way, factoring in business costs, this is still a very fair income considering the amount of hours worked and the potential to work a second job or provide other services to bring yourself up to working full-time.
Posted by: Michael Bono

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/19/18 10:16 AM

I'm pretty sure the AEA got their data from the US department of commerce or another Federal agency, i.e., IRS. I remember searching these data myself and came across these "official figures" ... perhaps from the IRS (Federal Income Tax). Indeed, IRS would have the unvarnished numbers.
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/19/18 10:34 AM

Ton and Scurvy,

Actually all electrolysis consumers:

Yes after being in business for 10 or so years many electrologists make about 50k, maybe, depending. Some will make more, or less.but none of them start there.

My total sales for 2016 wont have topped 32000. Before expenses. Of that, here's an approximate breakdown of costs:
Office rent---1200
insurance 83
electricity 75
probe costs $250
auto clave spore testing ( about 40 a month 400/year)
annual membership fees/FCEA $150 so, $10 a month?
Scheduling system : $30/month
employee wages ( was approximately $300/month, now zero as Nancy has left to work in the governemnt. She might be back)

Advertisng- this is a big one, at one point yelp was billing me $750 a month, for an ad with no res$ults at all!Groupon means a very small amount for your treatment ( $12 /30 min?) and a high probability you will never see that client past their groupon package.

When I opened my office, my offices were not ideal. As a result, I've spent approximately $20000 on making my offices presentable installing flooring, walls and doors, painting, installing security access systems etc... And yes we are talking canadian dollars, not american dollars.None of this amount has been attributed to income this year as an expense.

If an electrologist is working from home, they are able to enjoy much lower costs as a result. I however live in a slum, not suitable for doing electrolysis with 2 kids and 2 dogs, and cannot do so ( and moving would cost more than my home and office rents combined) .While a $70 per hour profit might be doable for a work from home electrologist ( actually I dont know any that charge more than $60 locally), vancouver is an expensive market), I dont make any of it. And all of this is before you think about that I give away, roughly 25 percent of my work to low income transpeople . Yes, you heard that correctly. Sometimes, those clients are my best advertising, and bring me more clients so it works out.

Right at this very moment, I've just experiences about 4-6 weeks with virtually NO BUSINESS. Literally the majority of those days, one 15 or 30 minute appointment per day. This was expected. A few weeks before chrstmas, until at least mid-late january, people just generally stop doing electrolysis. Partially this is due to the hecticness of christmas season, personal finances, but also extreme weather conditions that keep clients, at home! My total sales for december? under $1000. the first 2 weeks of January exactly the same maybe less . It's only this week starting to recover a tiny bit.

An electrologists popularity, has zero to do with how much business will come though the door. That is dictated by the market, which follows its normal trends. In the first year of operation ( I worked for someone else a year ago) almost no businesses make money. Its very hard on entrepreneurs.I also havent deducted a single penny in depreciation on my $13000 apilus epilator, nor the $1500 autoclave I replaced this year.First year you do not benefit from things like search engine ranking. Customers only come, when they know you are in business.

Will it get better? Gosh I sure hope so.All told, I started 2017 with $65000 in the bank, and ended with next to zero jan 1. These are real costs, and they add up quickly.

All told, my monthly costs, just to be in business, top about $2400 a month. This is the amount of business I must bring through the door, BEFORE I bring cent one home ( which hasnt happened this year) . In other words my income this year, will be less than zero.This month, I 'm borrowing just to make expenses ( literally almost all of it) , in the hopes I can make that money back later in the season.

Ton, your electrologist is right, there is great personal reward to doing electrolysis. Personal reward however doesnt buy you groceries or pay for your expenses.

Many clients assume, that also means that your electrologist is doing well financially. It however isnt the case.Skurvy is correct, the ability to market oneself is a crucial skill.I'm not sure I have that ability in great amounts.Unlike Skurvy's market, my price I can charge caps out about $85-$90 canadian ( about $65 american) before clients will no longer book with you and go to the cheaper option . This is particular to my market which is largely composed of government employees, many of whom havent been paid properly in 2 years or more due to issues with the Phoenix pay system. The first thing to go when this type of thing happens, are luxuries like electrolysis.

Now I had some advantage this year, I brought some initial clients with me when I opened my clinic. I am not sure that more than 5 of them are still with me. Many have finished . Some have moved away ( I swear, if one more client moves to austrailia I'm going too!) . I've brought on new clients, but not at the rate at which I have finished others. This is the typical first year blues in business, you have to learn how to bring on a steady stream of new customers,it does not come naturally ( at least for me) .I've heard estimates that the average small business does not make money for 8 or more years.I hope not that long.It takes that long to learn to minimize expenses, bring on new customers, and dont forget, that every hour worked paying expense, is an hour that electrologist has worked for free.

There's a million expenses I'm not including in this simplistic listing. Things like an AC unit to keep the customers comfortable in the summer time.Smalls like towel, tweezers, sterilization pouches, garbage bags, toilet paper,hand soap, treatment bed sheets, witch hazel, cotton cosmetic pads , carpet runners for the hallway, office furniture, etc etc etc . Credit card processing fees. And dont forget that none of my personal living expenses are included . If I am making 32000 a year, rent alone for a 3 bedroom townhouse for my family is going to $1500 a month, which alone is more than half of that amount ( that I didnt make).

My second electrologist was brought on not because of excess business, but as an attempt to get some value out of the other 50% of my office space, which currently and for the last year has sat empty.She has gone to work for the government, because she wasnt able to bring enough business in to make it worthwhile. She might be back , and has already offered to come back part time,but without the business to support it. it's not worthwhile at the moment.

So there you have it. While certainly some of this cost structure is particuar to my situation and market, all electrologists have similar costs. You dont earn to bring custmers in the door consistently for several years after the launch of a business. Anyone who thinks the electrologist is making a ton of money, unfortunately is incorrect. While it could happen eventually if they are persistent and good at what they do, in the majority of cases they will lose money for the first several years. I consider myself lucky that I ALMOST met the majority of my expenses this year.

Posted by: Scurvy

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/21/18 12:05 PM

Australia is desperate for competent and committed electrologists, so I feel your business here would not be unwelcome. It's not possible to officially study electrolysis here to the extent it is in North America, and of the few electrologists that practice here, only a minority offer treatments longer than 30 minutes. One in my city even refuses to serve men or trans clients which is appalling for several reasons. Unfortunately, the skilled electrologists don't capitalise on their value and spread the good word about permanent hair removal -- so everyone just goes to laser clinics.

I've really been flirting with the idea of learning how to do it and offering services part-time. I've found someone willing to train me, and I'm on the look out for an affordable pre-owned epilator.
Posted by: Iluv2zap

Re: A Tale of Two Electrolygists - 01/21/18 01:03 PM

Unfortunately I wasnt serious about heading down under. I'm aware of the issue with getting electrologists in australia, having contacted Christine O'Connell a few times on clients behalf in an attempt to find someone to serve my abroad clients, and she has filled me in pretty much on the availability aspects.

If you do decide to do this, I wish you the best of luck.Despite the first year financial blues, I'm continuing for the moment to make a go of it here.If you do decide to start electrology in austrailia, then I recommend a lot of research into cost/availability of supplies like probes/epilators/sterilizers etc. If electrology is that hard to access there, it's unlikely there will be an easily accessible supply.