Expert questions: How to get started in medical aesthetics
Getting started in aesthetics can be a big step change in the career of a healthcare professional, managing your finances and budgeting for your new role is important as you build your business.
In this blog, Dr Tim Pearce answers common questions from those starting out in the aesthetic sector. He looks at the costs of getting started, choosing a business name, the competition, advertising, and turning a profit.
Do you feel anxious about causing complications? Many clinicians feel so overwhelmed with the thought of causing a vascular occlusion that it stops them growing their aesthetics business. Dr Tim is currently hosting a webinar series to help you overcome your fear of complications so that you can uplevel your knowledge and increase your CPD-certified learning to build a successful aesthetics business. Sign up here >>
How much money does it cost to get started in medical aesthetics?
Dr Tim explains that in an unregulated market, the start-up costs can be very low. However, this is somewhat misleading, because the cost to become proficient is much higher than most people think. It is very easy to attend a day course and watch over someone’s shoulder whilst other practitioners inject a model, perhaps even getting to carry out one or two injections yourself. At the end of the day, you will get your certificate, but you will not feel confident to go away and carry out the procedures. This is where the real costs start to emerge, because this is only the start of your journey. Dr Tim believes that by the time the average practitioner is proficient, they have probably spent between £5,000-£12,000 on medical aesthetic treatment training.
After the cost of training, the next expense to consider is the venue where you will practice medical aesthetics. There are several different business models for finding somewhere to operate your clinic, but a popular and common one when starting out is finding a room is another practice, clinic, or salon which you can rent by the hour when required, typically paying between £40-£50/hour.
The more expensive option, and the riskier option, is to book a room on a full-time basis, or to rent an entire building. The cost will vary depending on your location but could be anything from £800-£1,200/month for a single room up to tens of thousands of pounds. However, unless you have the patients ready to fill it, this is a high-risk option that Dr Tim does not recommend. You should get a solid marketing strategy to secure patients and become known in the area before you commit to large overheads to avoid the risk of a high rent and an empty diary.
What should you name your aesthetic business?
When Dr Tim started his career in medical aesthetics, his criteria for choosing a business name was firstly to be unique. This is one of the most important considerations for naming – you do not have to be unique in the world, but you absolutely must be unique in the area where you are offering treatments. If there are two businesses with the same name, it will cause you a headache for many years and might even instigate a cease-and-desist legal letter from the other business.
It is important to take the pressure off yourself from trying to come up with some genius or quirky name – think more about what the name will come to mean to your patients over time. Consider other businesses with famous brands, e.g., Nike or Apple; these words mean little on their own aside from the meaning given to them by the years of trust building that the businesses have put into their audience.
Many practitioners use their own name, which is perfect; it is unique, and the public will obviously associate you with the business. However, if you plan on expanding your clinic, with multiple clinicians, it may not be suitable, but you can still choose a word that you give meaning to over time. Another top tip from Dr Tim is not to add your services into the business name – you do not need to call it “Sarah’s Injectable Aesthetics” or similar – this can seem without meaning and a cookie-cutter business name. Choose a name that is unique and infuse it with meaning over time to build a good brand.
Who are your competitors in the aesthetics industry?
Competition comes from people offering the same services, in the same way. Therefore, the major goal for any business is to differentiate yourself so you have fewer competitors. However, anyone who offers solutions to the problems that your patients face is a competitor; the goal for you is to solve those problems more efficiently, in a more pleasant way, in a more accessible or convenient way, and maybe to a higher standard. That way, you out-compete your competitors.
When will you start to turn a profit?
The point where you turn a profit will depend a lot on your pricing strategy. If you decide to go cheap to gain experience and attract more patients – a strategy that does not always pan out as you might expect – you may never be profitable. You must charge enough to make a profit to start with – consider how much you are charging and take away your costs (including your training costs). You should be making gross profit from the start – this is simply covering your costs and having some left over. This does not mean that at the end of the year you are going to have lots of money building up in the bank account because you will still need to reinvest a lot of that into other goods and services that you need to grow your practice.
Learn more about why you do NOT have to compete on price in aesthetics.
When you first start your aesthetic practice, Dr Tim advises that you make sure that when you do a treatment for someone there is some money left over because that is your gross profit. Your gross profit can be used to build your business. If you do not set your prices so that you make a gross profit, all the funds required to build your business will have to come from other income, this is not a good way to start and grow your business to the next level.
How to advertise your aesthetics business?
The first thing to realise when considering how to go about advertising your services is that patients are looking for someone that they can trust, it is not just about knowing that you exist and offer a service that they may be interested in; make sure your advert builds that in that you are trustworthy.
Once you have your message, you can disseminate it in various forms, posting organically on your Facebook or Instagram feed, putting up a poster in a local salon, or paying for targeted adverts on Instagram and Facebook to ensure your message reaches the audience that you choose. Do not forget the people element – your audience are people with a problem, looking for someone they trust to solve it, and that is the message you need to deliver.
Read more from Dr Tim on
- How to start an aesthetic business and be successful,
- Top tips for achieving your aesthetic goals in 2023
- 5 steps to create a successful aesthetics business.
You can find Dr Tim Pearce on Instagram if you have any further questions about starting an aesthetic business, or wish to comment on any top tips you are going to implement; he loves to hear from you all.
Is your worst nightmare causing a VO?
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Free aesthetics marketing webinar
Why not join Miranda’s Miranda’s latest webinar, available at: https://www.mirandapearcemarketing.com/marketing-webinar-registration to receive some free marketing tips.
The introductory webinar by the creator of the Dream Customer Attraction Method (DCAM) eLearning course will include free tips on how to get a steady stream of aesthetic clients from social media in as little as 2 weeks, EVEN IF you’re scared to put yourself out there, how to make social media posts that actually get likes, follows & clients, even if you’ve tried and failed before, how introverted injectors can get clients from social media, even if you hate being in front of the camera, and how to use this little-known cheat code to make 1 months’ worth of content in 1 hour, even if you’re a ‘tech dinosaur’!
Please sign up for the marketing webinar below:
Dr Tim Pearce eLearning
Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP founded his eLearning concept in 2016 in order to provide readily accessible BOTOX® and dermal filler online courses for fellow Medical Aesthetics practitioners. His objective was to raise standards within the industry – a principle which remains just as relevant today.
Thousands of delegates have benefited from the courses and we’re highly rated on Trustpilot. For more information or to discuss which course is right for you, please get in touch with our friendly team.