How to start an aesthetics business in London

how to start an aesthetics business in london
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    Are you a skilled aesthetics practitioner looking to start a business of your own in London? Then read on for AudTax’s helpful guide.

    For many aesthetic practitioners, starting their own business is an aspirational prospect. As well as providing professional freedom, research shows that there is vast potential in the non-surgical cosmetic procedures market, even in the competitive London landscape.

    However, embarking on this journey requires careful consideration, planning and financial support to ensure success. So where do you start?

    Steps to starting an aesthetic business in London:

    1. Decide on starting a new venture or buying an existing practice
    2. Market research and business planning
    3. Choose the right business structure
    4. VAT registration
    5. Get appropriate insurance
    6. Marketing and pricing strategy
    7. Get advice from a specialist aesthetics accountant

    In this article, we’ll expand on this list and provide advice to aesthetic practitioners and medical professionals looking to start their own practice in London.

    When it comes to seeking the right financial advice, look no further than AudTax. As specialist accountants in the field of aesthetic medicine, we understand the industry and the specific needs of practice owners. Why not contact us today for some free friendly advice and information about our bespoke accounting packages?

    Thinking of starting your own aesthetics practice?

    It’s thought that the global aesthetics market is predicted to grow by more than 10% from 2022 to 2027 and that 43% of UK adults now consider non-invasive aesthetic procedures as a normal part of their beauty regimen. *(Credited – Technavio Global Cosmetic Surgery 2023-2027 & Mintel, Attitudes towards Cosmetic Procedures-UK, January 2021).

    This growing demand has been driven by several factors, including an increase in disposable income, growing awareness of the benefits of non-surgical procedures and the development and improvement of treatments.

    So if you are looking to start your own aesthetics practice in London, a world of opportunity awaits you. Let’s take a look at the important things you need to consider in a bit more detail.

    What should you consider when starting an aesthetic practice in London?

    When starting an aesthetics business, you’ll want to understand the business environment in London and how your business will function.

    1. Decide on starting a new venture or buying an existing practice

    Your first choice is whether to buy an existing aesthetics practice or start from scratch. Buying an established business may provide you with an existing loyal client base and infrastructure, but starting a new one allows you to build your brand and shape your practice according to your vision.

    If you choose to buy an existing practice, it’s essential to conduct thorough due diligence to ensure you’re making a sound investment. If you decide to take the plunge and build your brand from the ground up, then it’s time to undertake careful planning and research.

    1. Market research and business planning

    As with any new venture, thorough research and a solid business plan is essential. Market research will help you understand the London aesthetics industry, gauge the needs of your target market and provide insight into your competitors. This will enable you to position your business effectively in terms of location, pricing and treatment offering.

    With the professional guidance of a specialist aesthetics industry accountant, you can shape your vision into a solid business plan, outlining your mission, vision, the aesthetic services you plan to offer, your marketing strategy, pricing, and financial projections.

    This careful planning will help secure the funding you need to get your venture off of the ground and allow you to embark on your business journey with confidence.

    1. Choose the right business structure

    There is a choice to be made about how you will trade – as a sole trader, limited company or limited liability partnership (LLP). Each type of business structure has its own legal and financial implications, so it’s vital to understand the pros and cons of each and choose the one that aligns best with your business goals.

    Your accountant will walk you through the pros and cons of each, depending on your short and long-term goals, to help you make an informed decision

    Further reading – What Company Structure is Best for an Aesthetics Business?

    1. VAT registration

    As an aesthetics practitioner, it’s crucial to understand the VAT regulations that apply to your services. Depending on the treatments you offer and your annual turnover, you might need to register for VAT.

    This is an essential step to ensure compliance with tax laws and to avoid any potential penalties in the future. An experienced accountant can provide valuable advice to ensure you stay compliant.

    Further reading – Is There VAT on Aesthetics?

    1. Get appropriate insurance for your aesthetic services

    Running an aesthetics business comes with certain risks, no matter how skilled you are. Accidents can happen, and it’s essential to protect yourself, your clients, and your business with the right insurance coverage. Make sure to explore liability insurance and malpractice insurance options tailored to the aesthetics industry.

    1. Marketing and pricing strategy

    Setting the right prices for your aesthetic treatments is crucial to attract clients and remain competitive. Although, if the price is your main selling point, be careful that you are not perceived as ‘cheap’, as it may not inspire confidence in your potential customers.

    Research the market to understand the average pricing for similar services in your area, taking into account factors such as your expertise, the quality of aesthetic products used, and the overall experience you provide to your clients.

    While you may already have a loyal customer base, word of mouth alone may not achieve the growth you desire. You should give careful thought to your marketing strategy.

    Social media and online reviews are considered modern-day word of mouth, so it’s essential to establish a good online presence. Explore your options and look at what your competitors are doing.

    1. Get advice from a specialist aesthetics accountant

    A specialist medical accountant like Audtax can help your aesthetics business get off to a flying start and thrive in the London market.

    Your accountant can provide crucial support throughout the entire process of establishing a new practice, such as help selecting the most appropriate business structure, handling business registration, and making sure you understand your tax and legal responsibilities as a small business owner.

    They can also help to develop your business plan and secure vital funding by compiling financial projections based on realistic goals and budgets.

    Once established, your accountant partner can provide ongoing financial guidance and support, along with valuable professional services like bookkeeping, payroll and business advisory. With a professional overseeing your finances, you can focus on delivering excellent service to your growing client base.

    Get in touch with a specialist medical aesthetics accountant today

    Navigating the financial aspects of an aesthetics business can be complex, especially when it comes to taxes, bookkeeping, and compliance with industry-specific regulations. Seeking the expertise of a specialist medical accountant can prove invaluable in helping you set up your business correctly, manage your finances efficiently, and make informed decisions to foster growth and success.

    Get in touch today to arrange a consultation, and let us walk you through the process.

    In Summary

    Starting an aesthetics business in London requires a combination of passion, skill, thorough planning and sound business acumen. By carefully considering the crucial steps, such as choosing the right business structure, getting VAT registered, obtaining insurance and setting competitive pricing, you can lay a strong foundation for your venture.

    Remember, success in the aesthetics industry is not only about delivering exceptional treatments but also about running a well-organised and financially stable business.

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    Picture of Shahood Ahmed BSc, FMAAT, AFA MIPA

    Shahood Ahmed BSc, FMAAT, AFA MIPA

    Shahood is a fully qualified accountant, and holds UK memberships in numerous accounting bodies. Having worked in many accounting roles, he decided to set up his own practice to provide clients with the best accounting services, offering sound business advice.

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