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The beautiful world of Aesthetic SMEs


The beautiful world of Aesthetic SMEs

The NHS a one of the world’s largest employers but size isn’t everything – as many NHS workers will testify.  The medical and aesthetics business within the private sector is growing rapidly and the rewards are beginning to have quite an impact on the whole industry.  According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), there were a record number of private organisations at the start of 2016.  An increase of 97,000 since 2015 and 2 million more since 2000.  This means small enterprises, like aesthetic clinics, account for 99.3% of all private sector businesses.

When you think about how long and hard nurses train to become qualified, and then how long they put up with stagnating salaries, you can understand why many are considering leaving the public sector to start up a private practice in aesthetic treatments.  In most cases, they are already fully qualified and just need to train up that bit further to conduct the procedures that are showing such lucrative returns.  For many, the choice to go from earning £23k to c£50 per annum in a short amount of time, is a no-brainer.

It is not just the financial rewards luring nurses away from the public sector, doctors too are making the move because the brave new world of private practice offers flexible working conditions and a greater sense of achievement.

Training required

To start your own business offering non surgical aesthetic treatments such as injectibles you must have a medical background and be qualified to a minimum of Level 6 (Bachelor Degree).

You must then complete a specific training course on each discipline. So for example if you wish to concentrate your business on providing BOTOX® you will need to complete this training.  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

Once you have your qualification you are permitted to conduct BOTOX® on paying patients. It is this certificate of qualification that you will need to be legally compliant.

Business Model Options

These are the common business approaches once someone has decided to train up and create a start up:

  • A new, independent aesthetics clinic on your own
  • Partner with another qualified practitioner to start a new clinic.
  • Hire space in another clinic, hospital or spa-type establishment.
  • Freelance services to a mix of independent clinics, spas or hospitals.
  • Mobile practice – offering injectibles such as BOTOX® in patients’ own homes.

Franchise opportunities seem to be rare in this field but it might be one to watch as the industry develops.

Before setting up your own business it is a wise approach to spend some time working in an established clinic or hospital to gain supervised practice.  This way you can also learn more about patient care, product developments and general business methods.

Legal requirements

Like any good, ethical business you will be fully compliant with British business law.  This falls into two significant categories – 1. Training and qualifications and 2. Commercial Insurance.

  1. Training & Qualifications: Having completed your Level 6 Education (Bachelor Degree equivalent) you are permitted to take on the training that results in a recognised qualification by an Ofqual examining body. You should be looking at courses that provide units towards Level 7 (Master’s Degree equivalent).
  2. Indemnity insurance: Insurance companies will require proof of your qualficiations and other details of your intended business practice.  This could mean practice address, information on up-to-date equipment, lists of medical suppliers, examples of how you will follow the data protection laws and expected volume of procedures.


For nurses, doctors and other similarly qualified health care workers, the transition from public sector to running your own business is a smooth or as complex as you wish – depending upon your idea of a successful business start up.  The point is, these medical professionals are already well –equipped to make that change by being experienced and qualified.

I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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