According to the British Association for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) there was a significant decline (c40%) in the number of major procedures carried out for cosmetic purposes in 2016. There are no official figures as to why there has been such a drop after this sector reached record-breaking heights in 2015. Anecdotally, it’s a mix of personal financial constraints and improving self-confidence – possibly influenced by social media messaging. However, there is one area within the aesthetics world that is seeing a steady increase and that is the non-surgical treatments such as facial injectibles – and in particular the anti-ageing treatments like BOTOX®. It seems no matter what – the desire to stay youthful is still very much a priority for men and women around the world.
The potential benefits of running an aesthetics business
It is entirely possible that the drop in more invasive treatments such as breast enlargement or liposuction could return. But technology is moving on just as rapidly as consumer attitudes and if beautifying treatments can be made easier, quicker and safer then it is just as likely that patients will reconsider what they want to change about themselves.
If you are a practising healthcare professional employed by a clinic or hospital, and with lots of knowledge and experience under your belt, you might well be considering setting up your own practice. Naturally there is quite a lot to consider. Firstly, what discipline do you see yourself specialising in? Are you keen to go it alone, or would you consider partnering with another medical professional? It’s time to work out what would work best for you in the short term and the long term – and start planning accordingly.
There are many benefits to running your own practice and the key factors that many public health workers are looking to see are:
- Increase in salary
- Flexible working hours
- Improved working conditions
- Adaptable/incremental portfolio of services
- Satisfied patients → happy customers → happy practitioners → More satisfied patients etc.
There are FIVE significant exercises you need to go through to get yourself set up for a successful aesthetics business:
- Choose your general portfolio of treatments. Procedures that are seeing the fastest ROI and most lucrative returns are injectibles because they require little specialised equipment. They are also quick and safe to administer giving you the chance of high daily turnover and easy scheduling.
- Location, Location, Location! Finding the right clinic will secure you a strong and replenishing client base. You may choose to be a more “mobile” practitioner. Check your indemnity insurance as some companies will insist on an established property for certain procedures.
- Train up! You will need specialised training and sometimes an Ofqual recognised qualifications too. As a medical professional you will find these training courses easy to complete.
- Develop your marketing strategy. This, along with your Business Plan, is something that investors such as banks and insurers might wish to see. The better the plan the better proposition you are for them as a supplier or sponsor of the business. You will need to do this for the first year and the following 5 years. As part of your Marketing Strategy you should create a Unique Selling Point (USP). Remember you are now a “brand” and every good brand has simple mission that serves as a permanent promise to its customer. It should clearly state what your business stands for. It could be that your focus is on safety or maybe high success rates. But be careful, today’s customer is smart and discerning. They don’t want to use someone who uses “speedy” or “cheaper than” messages. A good training course will help you with this kind of business support.
- Get insured! You will require adequate insurance cover you to practice on paying patients. You will need your qualifications as proof of education along with professional registration numbers.
If for example you are considering the highly lucrative and quick ROI option of an aesthetics business concentrating on injectible procedures like BOTOX you will need to be educated to a Level 6 (Bachelor Degree or equivalent). You will also need to undergo the right training which culminates in one unit of a Level 7 (Master’s Degree). Typically, courses for injectible procedures will consist of a large theory section and then some tutorial sessions with hands on practice. There should be a final assessment, and once passed, a certificate is awarded.
On a good BOTOX® Course at foundation level you will take around 100 hours and cover:
- Facial Anatomy
- Different types/brands of Botulinum Toxin
- Medical history, consent forms and note taking
- Patient assessment
- Possible complications and how to avoid/deal with them
- Pre-treatment and post-treatment care
Who can move into this area
If you are not a medical professional at Level 6 qualification (min) you could start from scratch, but the investment in time and money will make those long-awaited ROIs will feel like a very long way off.
Those that stand to benefit from starting up this kind of business are those aleady well qualified and confident too. So, we are talking about doctors, surgeons, nurses, nurse prescribers, dentists, hygienists and consultants.
Faz Zavahir, surgeon and owner of the Medical and Aesthetics Training Academy (MATA) and Juvea Aesthetics in London’s Harley Street, said “In today’s competitive world and choosy consumer – you need business integrity and to get that right there are two critical things you must do to ensure a successful aesthetics practice:
- get yourself trained to the very best standard available to you
- get your business plan and marketing strategy polished to perfection
Both of these will keep you trained to the latest medical, technological, and industry standards. And make a promise to yourself that you will continue with that practice.”
So there is definitely value in moving into the aesthetics business. Today it’s about choosing carefully the kinds of procedures that will be right for your business and ones that are likely to still be around in the years to come.