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Challenges facing the SMP industry in 2016

bad treatment

I really wish the scalp micropigmentation industry would get a grip. I was honestly starting to believe that the sector as a whole was starting to behave more professionally, but from what I’ve seen recently, that doesn’t appear to be the case.

Don’t get me wrong – there are some very professional organizations out there doing superb work and treating customers like royalty. However depressing this may sound, I believe right now that clinics like these are actually in the minority.

I’m not going to name and shame here, because I don’t want to get wrapped up in the tit-for-tat arguments that would inevitably follow. However, these are some of the issues I’m referring to:

  • Clinics that use tattoo ink to do procedures, then act dumb when the inevitable happens and the clients head turns blue.
  • How every technician who has been trading for 5 minutes or more thinks they’re fit to train other technicians, despite the obvious technical and moral arguments to the contrary.
  • People who post fake reviews online to damage their competitors.
  • Permanent makeup artists who think a 2 day course, or an online course, is enough training to deliver a quality scalp micropigmentation service.
  • People who believe money and personal status are more important than the welfare of their customers.
  • Companies that set up websites trying to sell training when they don’t even have enough photos of their own clients, so they have to raid stock photo libraries just to make their site look passable.
  • Providers that rely on scare stories and slander to sell their service.
  • People who claim they invented SMP after having some kind of spiritual epiphany.

I’m really not a fan of negativity. It drains energy and benefits no-one in the long run. Besides, it’s depressing. For this reason, I’m going to balance out the above with some positivity.

Here are some of the things I like 🙂

  • Technicians who care about their craft and want to be as good as they can be.
  • Clinics that strive to be the best, but also acknowledge that their competitors do some great work too.
  • Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food with strawberries.
  • Those in the industry who do not fear collaboraton, but embrace it.
  • People who are true to their word.
  • Technicians who still remember the mission – to do a job they love and improve peoples lives.

This is the way I see it

All scalp micropigmentation clinics are fighting for the biggest share of the pie, with the pie representing all those around the world right now who are considering scalp micropigmentation. Unfortunately, there are only so many customers to go round. One provider’s gain is anothers loss, so to speak. Furthermore as more new clinics enter the industry, it will get harder for existing clinics to maintain their share of the pie.

But what if we could make the pie bigger?

The only way the industry will move forward is to attract more new customers. A rising tide lifts all boats. More customers means more revenue. Of course the market share battle will always continue, but with more revenue to go around, the industry can support bigger profits and provide a greater opportunity for expansion.

Furthermore, (and here is the best part), I believe the industry is capable of achieving critical mass, at which point it can continue to grow exponentially without a great deal of encouragement.

Think about the hair transplant industry. No-one needs to explain what a hair transplant is and everyone knows the procedure is available, therefore new clients enter the industry naturally and in large numbers. All providers have to do is win market share. The customers are already there for the taking. If the scalp micropigmentation industry could attract enough customers to get to this point, we’d all be a lot richer. Have you seen how much your typical hair transplant doctor earns?

How do we bake a bigger pie?

Remember how emotive hair loss can be. Going bald is a big deal for a lot of people, and finding a remedy for the problem can be equally as nerve-wracking for the uninitiated. If the prospective customer’s first impression of scalp micropigmentation is a bunch of scare stories and slander from one provider to the next, the likelihood of that person buying a treatment is drastically reduced.

We all need to think beyond our own bank accounts and be positive ambassadors for the industry as a whole. We need to show people that scalp micropigmentation is a great choice, and that through research and education, every client can discover the right technician who can deliver the kind of results they’re hoping for.

We need to focus less on the weaknesses of competitors and the things they’re doing wrong, and more on what makes our own clinics great. We need standards in place, not only for technicians, but for training providers too. The tricopigmentation industry could teach us a thing or two about that.

Ever wonder why slander and in-fighting is so rare in the hair transplant industry? Because despite being ultra-competitive and fighting tooth and nail to win customers from each other, at least once a year almost all surgeons get together at one of the big conferences, greet each other like old friends and behave like gentlemen. Why can’t the scalp micropigmentation industry be more like that?

There will always be disagreements, and the fight for market share will, of course, go on. But that doesn’t mean we can’t show a little courtesy towards one another.

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