by Amy Thorlin
Many educational opportunities can be found this time of year. Classroom certifications, distributor symposiums and manufacturer trainings are held this time of year to help salon owners and operators get ready for the busy season.
Salon operators make the first and most important impression on potential clients. They are walking billboards for the business and reflect the professionalism of the enterprise. If a client isn’t greeted by a knowledgeable and professional operator, even the cleanest facility, greatest equipment and most amazing line of lotions isn’t going to change that first impression. The operator is the gateway to the entire tanning experience.
Formed in 1992, The National Tanning Training Institute has trained more than 18,500 indoor tanning professionals. Today’s salon professionals realize the importance of certification and can use it to their advantage. In addition to running a more successful business, training and certification provides them with the tools to educate customers and potential customers about the benefits of achieving a tan in a sensible, moderate and responsible manner.
NTTI’s mission is to provide the indoor tanning industry with valuable, affordable and convenient training for tanning salon owners and operators. The mission of education is simple—to improve the professionalism and reputation of the indoor tanning industry. The solution is also simple—for tanning salon operators to promote educational training in all aspects of their businesses. Formal training teaches salon personnel how to recommend proper exposure times for each tanner and it also helps them to understand the technical aspects of indoor tanning.
In June 2001, NTTI became the first indoor tanning training program to offer an online option for industry certification and training. For the first time, salon owners and staff had the ability to become certified online, on their own time schedule. Professional expertise gained through NTTI’s online programs has helped to increase tanning consumer confidence with the most up-to-date information available in the industry.
The NTTI Online Learning Center makes learning more accessible because it removes the physical boundaries of the classroom, reduces class scheduling restraints and offers easy access to industry training via any online computer. It is especially appealing to those salon operators that are not able to attend regional distributor trainings or trade expos.
This year’s Top 250 Salons surveys reveals that 97 percent of salons have participated in some type of salon certification program. This number is encouraging since only 82 percent of salons participated in certification five years ago. Additionally, 99 percent of salons participated in ongoing education and 96 percent provided customers with educational materials to better understand the tanning process.
This year’s statistics also show that 96 percent of tanning salons are computerized and 93 percent have Internet access. Salon owners and managers have the ability to implement in-salon employee certification trainings at their convenience. The result is a more informed salon professional and a more informed consumer. The following highlights NTTI’s lineup of online courses.
Basic Tanning Certification
This course provides salon owners and operators with an effective and inexpensive way to earn the crucial certification needed to successfully operate a tanning facility while staying competitive in an evolving industry.
The course covers the most current information regarding UV, skin anatomy and physiology, exposure schedules, photosensitivity, and state and federal regulations, along with numerous other topics related to the technical aspect of indoor tanning. The material is presented in a manner that is practical and comprehensible to salon owners and operators.
NTTI’s online Basic Certification is recognized in all states except New Hampshire, Oregon, Louisiana, North Carolina and South Carolina that require in-classroom training.
In addition to in-depth coverage of the topics above, the program also includes a training manual, discussion on handling daily operational standards and a final exam. Successful participants in the course are issued a certificate of completion from NTTI.
Salon Operation And Procedures
Managing and operating an indoor tanning salon is not a simple task. Although the daily procedures may seem like second nature to the experienced professional, the novice salon operator may find them overwhelming. This program addresses the daily operational procedures salon owners must use and understand. Although some details may vary slightly depending upon location and business goals, the program offers solid, effective guidelines.
Lotions And Skincare Course
For more than a decade, the lotion and skincare sector has been one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry. This stands to reason since proper skincare is essential to the overall tanning process because moist skin tans better.
Statistics gathered from the Top 250 surveys reveal that 45 percent of salons derive 30 percent of their monthly revenues from lotions sales. This is outstanding since last year only 12 percent of salons reported lotion sales in the 30- percent sector.
However, statistics also revealed that 35 percent of salons derive less than 10 percent of monthly revenues from lotions. These salons are losing revenue, but with creative marketing and a full understanding of their benefits, they can recapture profits with lotions and skincare products if they implement solid marketing methods. Salons should recognize that time is a precious commodity and consumers are looking for a one-stop shop for all their skincare needs.
The NTTI Lotions And Skincare course highlights the importance of quality skincare and clears up misconceptions about the most common ingredients found in indoor tanning lotions. The course includes merchandising and display tips, as well as a section on necessities needed to keep a tanning salon one step ahead of the competition.
One of a salon’s best resources for specific product training is from the distributor or manufacturer of the products the salon carries, so take advantage of their programs. This course provides salon operators with an online option to reinforce product knowledge.
Introduction To Sunless Tanning
This introductory course covers the basics of sunless tanning. It is designed to help salon employees address customer needs and promote this increasingly popular service. With approximately 40 percent of salons offering at least one sunless standup booth and 18 percent offering sunless airbrush or HPLV turbine services, sunless services have found their niche in this industry.
Sunless has become an important player because it offers indoor tanning salons a new way to build their businesses and increase profits. Sunless tanning has opened up a limitless market, satisfying not only the tanning enthusiast but individuals who otherwise choose not to tan—indoors or outdoors—or who cannot achieve a tan.
This course provides sunless tanning basics, an understanding of how they work, clears up any misconceptions of this application and provides tips on using this service to increase profits.
Sunless Airbrush/HVLP Technician
This updated course is designed specifically for the airbrush or HVLP technician. Based on research and tests conducted by leading manufacturers of sunless-spray systems, this course takes the technician from setup to application while discussing technique, safety, pricing and more.
Top 250 statistics reveal that 18 percent of tanning salons offer this service. This course is a perfect complement.
For more information, visit the NTTI Online Learning Center at www.tanningtraining.com or call (800) 529-1101.