It’s the dream of many cosmetic practitioners. Hanging up the turquoise scrubs; and replacing injecting and lasering with endless days of relaxation and self-indulgence.
But despite the large profits that many aesthetic clinics make, without a strong business plan and a solid exit strategy, it’s unlikely that early retirement will be happening any time soon.
Suzie Hoitnik, Founder and General Manager of multi-million dollar non-invasive medical aesthetics clinics, Clear Complexions, explains that many clinics are unattractive to prospective buyers, despite their healthy profit margins.
Suzie, who is speaking at the National Cosmetic Medicine Summit in Melbourne in August, says, “It’s a very fragmented industry. Many small companies lack structure and discipline. They consist of either sole traders or small, organically-grown models with virtually no back-of-house support”.
While this can work well in the short-term and deliver significant revenue, it’s not a long term plan. The reliance on the owner’s medical expertise and reputation makes for an unsellable or unscalable business.
Suzie lists a number of points that aesthetic businesses often lack, including systems and processes, embedded operating rhythms, clear accountabilities, staff education programs, and a structured focus on staff recruitment, engagement and reward.
Suzie and her husband, Alex, founded Clear Complexions thirteen years ago and have since built the brand to six successful clinics across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. In November last year, they sold the clinics to publicly-listed Vita Group – to make the most out of the corporate rigour and discipline that had made Vita successful in other industries, and to ultimately grow the business.
A living case study of how focusing on your clinical skills as well as upskilling your business acumen can have a profound affect, Suzie has learned first-hand the importance of building commercial capabilities.
“The right structure allows the business to function to a higher standard, with or without the proprietor’s involvement”, she argues.
She also stresses the importance of good general business acumen. “Principals of cosmetic clinics are undoubtedly medically savvy, but being commercially savvy is equally important if you want to build your business or sell it in the future”.
“In smaller businesses – and there are many of them – the Principal is often so engrossed in the day-to-day running of the business and in the medical side of things that they don’t have time to focus on the commercial aspects of the business”, she says. “The reality is that you need both medical and commercial expertise to be truly successful.”
Suzie will present her own case study and offer advice on how to increase the growth and salability of any cosmetic business at the National Cosmetic Medicine Summit – 3-4 August 2018 in Melbourne.