Starting a beauty business is far more complex than it appears. Owners usually fall into one of three categories:
- Former technicians who are starting their own business.
- Investors who will have nothing to do with the business.
- Business owners with no technical experience who will manage the business, hire the staff, work in the clinic etc.
Regardless of where you fit, there is a huge list of things to consider and organise before you get started. Let’s discuss a few things you should have on your list and how to effectively manage them.
A good clinic location will generate more foot traffic and most likely lead to more clients, quicker. But those locations will also cost more. When you’re looking at a potential spot for your clinic, make sure you have a mathematical formula to work off. Consider how many clients, based on the rooms available, you can effectively service each week (be realistic). Then add your additional costs such as salaries, costs associated with devices, consumables etc and then add the potential rent to that list. Are you cashflow positive in a realistic scenario? If the numbers work out, you can decide whether the location fits your brand.
Building a client base takes time and it’s important to be patient. But you can give yourself the best chance of success by having the right marketing tools in place. Importantly, marketing is about more than social media, advertising and branding. Think about how your clients can purchase from you. Do you have a website that links to your booking system? Can they contact you via messenger? What if they have a question about a treatment – will you be available on your phone? When considering all this, think about the experience before the treatment is purchased from the client’s perspective and make it as simple and painless as possible for them to engage with you or purchase from you.
The Treatment Menu
Having a huge, overwhelming treatment menu that appeals to ‘everyone’ is just as bad as offering one treatment.
When creating your own treatment menu, consider:
- Local demographics. Who are you going to target? Is there demand for that treatment in your area? Also remember to look at what other clinics in your area are offering and how much they’re charging.
- Complimentary treatments. If you have a core treatment to get people in the door (such as laser hair removal) then look at treatments that are a logical extension – and therefore a logical upsell – of that offering. For example, LED is a logical extension of skin rejuvenation treatments such as microdermabrasion.
- Cost vs time. Work out if the treatment is going to give you the financial outcome you desire. Long facial treatments need to be priced in line with what the market wants, but you should also consider the time it takes you or your team to complete.
There are two major reasons that beauty businesses fail.
- They grow too fast (lack of sustainable capital)
- They don’t grow fast enough (failure to capitalise on market opportunities.
The second reason is the most heartbreaking. Here’s the scenario: a clinic opens in an area that is underserviced, offering laser hair removal and luxury facial treatments. It quickly grows a following in the local community and very quickly the clinic is profitable with a full client book.
Now the business owner has a decision to make. They have a good business, but should they expand, and how? If they don’t grow fast enough, the door is open for another clinic to enter the market and steal market share as clients become frustrated at not being able to get the appointments they want. The new clinic can swoop in, undercut pricing slightly and take a massive chunk of the market. The growth window has closed. The worst part is that the first clinic had done all the hard work – educating the local market and building a need – all the second clinic had to do was open the doors.
Growth triggers are expansion plans that happen when a certain criteria is reached. For example, once revenue hits X, a new clinic will open. Or, when there are X clients, a new room and treatment is launched. Having growth triggers makes the business a mathematical equation and eliminates the ‘I’m too busy for growth’ syndrome.
Starting a business is easier when you have a plan at the start. Take your time and make sure you understand your growth trajectory. If you’d like to speak with a Laseraid consultant about how to plan your clinic effectively, please click here or phone 02 9011 5509