Leaders in aesthetic treatments, Laser Clinic United Kingdom has a franchise model offering a new and interesting way into the buoyant beauty treatment business. We spoke to franchisee Hannah Parry-Evans about her experience opening the first such clinic in Wales…
No longer is laser technology the preserve of scientists with bad intentions, it now represents one of the biggest opportunities in the booming beauty industry.
And Laser Clinics’ franchise model is tempting budding entrepreneurs to take up the chance to run their own business in a vibrant sector.
Hannah Parry-Evans has been running one such franchise in Cardiff for just under a year and is already thinking about opening a second outlet.
Parry-Evans returned from a stint in Australia, looking for a new opportunity and having been impressed with the Australian version of the business, decided to set up the first Laser Clinic in Wales.
She explains: “Having had a lengthy career as an Executive Assistant supporting Chief Executive Officers and Business Owners, I felt that I had fostered the knowledge and skill set to run my own business, but I was always unsure what that business might look like.
“While living in Australia, I become familiarised with Laser Clinics Australia and visited various branches during my eight-year stint living in Sydney. I was fascinated by the chain; curious about how these plush clinics were able to offer top-tier treatments at such competitive prices. The clinics themselves were all beautiful, the standard of service was impeccable, and their popularity unrivalled.
“So, upon my return to my home-country of Wales in 2021, I spotted a gap in the market. Laser Clinics United Kingdom had been growing from strength to strength across Britain, however, was yet to be established in Wales; so, I decided to take the plunge. After all, buying a franchise is always a little less scary than setting up a company independently, as you’re purchasing an established brand name that customers already know and trust; and it was a brand I was excited and proud to be affiliated with.”
Finance comes first of course, and Parry-Evans found that Laser Clinics relationship with HSBC helped secure what she needed to get going.
“Opening any business does not come cheap, but you need to speculate to accumulate. Fortunately, Laser Clinics United Kingdom has a well-established relationship with the business banking team at HSBC. The Franchise Relationship Managers work with the Laser Clinics United Kingdom network to help them expand by lending to viable franchise partners. As the relationship between the franchise team at HSBC and Laser Clinics United Kingdom is long-standing; HSBC have a model in place for this type of lending, so financing the move was relatively hassle-free.”
Running a business and, indeed, a beauty business was a complete departure for Parry-Evans, but she found that walking into an established business model meant that she was able to get to grips with the nature of the operation and the necessary to do list fairly quickly.
“Learning about a new business wasn’t as challenging as I had initially thought as I personally have a passion for learning and self-development. Also, Laser Clinics has a proven business model already in place and they make it simple to understand. The network offers a great deal of support in those key initial days; they really do help prepare new franchise partners for what is to come. I had induction training, buddy days with other franchise partners and a fantastic Clinic Opening Manager who held my hand through the process.
“Despite any amount of preparation though, you won’t gauge what actually goes into the running of a business until you are physically doing it for yourself. It’s a bit like learning to drive I suppose, you feel secure when you have the instructor beside you, but eventually, you’re on your own.
“I had a weeklong induction training at Laser Clinic’s United Kingdom Office in London. The induction was thorough, covering everything from finance to HR management to operations as well as touching upon the day-to-day management of the business. We were even given homework to do most evenings!”
Like many people that take up the franchise challenge, there is a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm in being able to be the captain of the ship for first time, and it was the same for Parry-Evans.
“Returning from overseas, I had reached a point in my life where I generally felt a little unfulfilled and unsure about what my next chapter would have in store for me. I felt I needed a purpose. The clinic has become just that for me. It’s like my baby, every day I see it grow, get bigger and better, becoming more efficient and more resilient when things go awry. I’m really proud of what the clinic and my team have achieved.
“Being the only one of its kind in Wales, and located in the country’s biggest shopping centre, the clinic was busy from the outset, hosting clients from all over the nation. While being busy is definitely a positive, it proved to be slightly overwhelming at the start. Everything was new; and being a ‘new’ boss, with a ‘new’ clinic, and a ‘new’ team of therapists was hard; but it was sink or swim. I had made the commitment and I was determined to make it work.”
“Thankfully, our teething problems subsided relatively quickly, and we were able to get a handle on things. I now have double the number of staff I started out with and a team I am truly proud of. They are on the front line of the organisation, and I owe a lot to them for making the business such a success.”
Support from Laser Clinics continues, with weekly check-ins with an area manager and continued national training. “They are always on hand to offer advice, give guidance and help support me in the day-to-day running of the clinic,” says Parry-Evans.
Nine months in and the clinic is fully-booked and adding new services as well. As previously mentioned, a second opening is already being considered.
Parry-Evans is unabashed with positivity about the business and is evangelical in her advice to anyone thinking of making a similar move.
“I would say, ‘go for it’ – it’s like I always say, “fortune favours the bold”.