by Miranda Pearce, Customer Experience Director
It might feel like you can’t move these days for your nursing colleagues getting into the exciting world of aesthetics. You might have your eye on aesthetics too, but it can often feel overwhelming.
What steps do you need to take to set up a business offering Botox and fillers? Miranda Pearce, Director of one of the biggest aesthetics clinics and training providers in the north west, SkinViva, went through this herself 11 years ago, and passes on her words of wisdom for nurses considering claiming a piece of the aesthetics pie.
The 4-Step Start
Hard to believe I know, but technically there are only four actions nurses need to undertake to start offering BOTOX® and filler treatments:
- Book and undertake a 1-day foundation training course for about £1000. You will need an active NMC pin to register
- Get insurance
- Register with an aesthetics pharmacy to get your BOTOX® and dermal fillers, and sundries. If you are a non-prescriber, you will need to get a prescriber beforehand
- Get an emergency kit
As setting up businesses go, pretty simple!
You might be thinking it seems a bit too good to be true. So, let’s dig into those steps in a bit more detail, and then we will explore a few additional steps that it is advisable to undertake.
How To Choose A Good Aesthetics Training Provider
Many aesthetic training companies have popped up in recent years, ranging from companies undertaking dozens of courses per month, to single-handed aesthetic practitioners doing training alongside their clinic work.
When doing your research, make sure you check the following:
- That the course provider uses trainers who are medically trained.
- I cannot over-state this: you must check that your training provides meaningful post-course support, for example a well-used, preferably large closed Facebook group with a supportive culture. Most nurses are used to working in a team in the NHS, so it can feel isolating when you first join the world of aesthetics alone. You are going to need a family around you of like-minded nurses going through the same as you.
- The clinical workbooks provided are very comprehensive. These are going to be your ‘bible’ to refer back to for years to come, so you need them to be extensive. A few PowerPoint slides ain’t going to cut it. For comparison, the SkinViva Training foundation BOTOX® and dermal filler course manuals are 88 pages long.
- Delegate-to-trainer ratio. No more than 4 delegates per trainer should be allowed on a 1 day BOTOX® and filler foundation course. Any more, and you are unlikely to get enough injection experience.
- Make sure there are not too many treatments loaded into your course date. A true ‘foundation’ BOTOX® and filler training should be just that – the basic 3 areas of BOTOX® (frown, crows’ feet and forehead), and the basic nasolabial folds and marionette lines. This might sound strange because more treatments feels like better value, but there are only so many hours in a day, and I regularly hear of delegates having to completely re-do courses because they did not even get a chance to treat a model for each of the multiple treatments that were rammed into the day. Unfortunately, the old adage is true with aesthetic courses: buy cheap, buy twice.
- The training company will provide you with complications protocols and guidance, for example around emergency reversal of filler for vascular occlusion.
- They will give business advice (a more in-depth version of this blog).
- The aesthetics training company is well established. The last thing you want is to be trained by a novice, and because this industry is largely unregulated, there are unfortunately many cases of the blind leading the blind.
Getting Aesthetic Insurance
If you have a medical defence union in your NHS job, you might be able to add your aesthetics work to that coverage, but most nurses just purchase a separate aesthetics insurance product for about £500-600 per year. This can be paid monthly.
The insurance you must have is professional indemnity, but some of the insurance products on the market also include public liability which would cover you against clients tripping or slipping.
Your insurance provider will ask for a copy of your training certificate.
Registering With An Aesthetics Pharmacy
You will not be able to get most of the clinical supplies you need from your local pharmacy, which is why you will need to register with one or more of the nationwide specialist aesthetics pharmacies such as Healthxchange, Wigmore Medical, Church, Millennium, MedFX. They will require certain documentation from you to get registered, for example your NMC pin and proof of address.
You can find a list of the sundry supplies you will need, such as gauze and sharps boxes in our practitioner starter kit list.
Sourcing Your Emergency Kit
You will need an emergency kit in case your patient has, for example, a severe allergic reaction or a vascular occlusion. The kit will need to include items like adrenaline ampoules and hyaluronidase.
This article from Emma Davies RGN provides helpful guidance for nurses about aesthetics emergency kits.
Now that you have completed the basic steps, you’re ready to rock.
But there are another five steps that I advise you tick off your list, so all your ducks are in a row.
Tell Your NHS Employer About Your Aesthetics
In the vast majority of cases there will be no problem with you undertaking aesthetics along side your NHS nursing, but it is sensible to let your employer know, nevertheless. It is just a simple case of telling your line manager, and then emailing them confirmation.
Partner With A Salon To Work From
There are no guidelines about where you should operate your aesthetics business meaning that you can work from patients’ houses, local beauty salons, your home, or any clinical setting e.g. local dentist. By far the most common choice for aesthetic nurses is to work with a local salon because everything is already set up for you, plus they should refer patients, so it’s win win.
I recommend following the exact steps I detail in this very popular blog about how to procure a salon partner.
I cannot overstate the importance of marketing in your business. Put simply, you won’t have a business unless you learn how to, and then implement a LOT of marketing on an ongoing basis.
You can find more details about how to market your business on my Facebook Page, but sometimes the most simple of steps can be the most effective. So if I could leave you with one piece of wisdom about where to start with your marketing, it would be to tell anyone and everyone who will listen within your friends and family circle that you are starting an aesthetics business! Sounds obvious but so many new aesthetic nurses hide their light under a bushel.
If you tell your friends, will then tell their friends, and soon you will have a clutch of ‘models’ booked for discounted treatments to build your before and after picture portfolio, which is a great foundation on which to build your Facebook and Instagram pages – your next vital marketing step.
Register With The Information Commission’s Office
You will be gathering patients’ data, for example clinical notes and before and after photos, and as such you will need to register with the ICO at a cost of £40 per year.
Keep Records Of Your Aesthetics Income And Receipts Of Your Expenditure
When you have earned £1000 through your aesthetics, you will need to let HMRC (AKA the tax wo/man) know that you are now self-employed. In your NHS employment, your trust arranges for your tax to be taken off your salary before it hits you, whereas with your aesthetics income you will need to fill out a self-assessment once per year yourself.
There two ways to register with HMRC. The majority of nurses starting in aesthetics will be ‘sole traders’ as opposed to a ‘limited company’. It is usually only advantageous to become a limited company once you are earning a lot more. If in doubt, you can ask an accountant. When you get to that point, I can recommend CDC Accounting who look after aesthetic nurses all over the country.
It is my sincerest hope that you decide to jump into the incredibly fulfilling world of aesthetics. It has been truly life-changing for me, and thousands of the nurses and other healthcare professionals we have trained over the years.
If you’d like any further advice or to book on our 5*rated Foundation BOTOX® and Dermal Filler course at SkinViva Training Academy, please do call Georgie or Jay on 0161 8502491 or email email@example.com and we would be very happy to help.
Customer Experience Director
Miranda has been with SkinViva Ltd since it was founded in early 2008 and played a key role in the setup and launch of SkinViva Training. In her current role, she is now focusing on marketing and supporting delegates to build their own aesthetics businesses.
SkinViva Training Academy Manchester
SkinViva Training Ltd offer a range of professional training courses for cosmetic and medical skin treatments. Their courses in cosmetic treatments directed at suitably qualified medical professionals* who wish to learn and build on their skills in delivering these procedures (*subject to meeting SkinViva Training’s entry criteria).
See our full list of forthcoming training course dates.
SkinViva Training Academy was established in 2013 by Dr Tim Pearce MBChB BSc (Hons) MRCGP. The SkinViva Training Academy team upholds high standards of clinical training providing a combination of fully-supervised practical experience together with essential theory.
For further information, to discuss which course is right for you, to enquire about availability or to book a training course please call 0161 850 2491, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.