Although 2020 has been a whirlwind of emotions, there’s no doubt the aesthetic sector has adapted to a world thwarted by the virus over the past few months. Our regular surveys have revealed aesthetic practitioners honourably returning to the NHS to help fill resourcing gaps and deploy their extensive skills and expertise where most needed. To highlight and commend their wonderful work you can read the stories of six aesthetic practitioners who share their positive, motivational and inspirational accounts of returning to the NHS frontline.
Like all industries, aesthetic practitioners have faced many challenges and had to deal with major changes throughout the various stages of the pandemic, but they have experienced notable successes too. We at Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance wanted to wrap up 2020 on a positive note by offering some helpful tips from our industry leaders.
2020 has been a year like no other, presenting us all with more challenges than we could ever have imagined. However, I’ve been amazed and encouraged by the resilience and strength of everyone involved in the aesthetics sector. A big thank you to all our clients and partners for all your support. Everyone at Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance looks forward to being here for you in 2021 and beyond.
Resilience – this is what I have seen from the aesthetic community this year. Although 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, aesthetic practitioners and companies alike have risen to the challenge and supported one another as well as their community. Returning to the NHS, educating patients and donating products, equipment and PPE are just some of the crucial actions those in aesthetics have undertaken!
It’s also been a year of developments and opportunity. Just think … without 2020, would clinics be so well-equipped at conducting video consultations? We also saw a huge rise in the use of social media platforms such as Instagram to engage with and educate patients, as well as each other. Would Instagram Live have been utilised to help aesthetic businesses and educate without COVID-19? Similarly, there are reports that skincare sales have skyrocketed, opening up new revenue not tapped by many clinics. Enquiries for wellness, selfcare and aesthetic treatments (notably around the eye) are also growing due to the ‘Zoom Boom’ and use of masks, which will help drive the industry forward to a positive outlook for 2021! Finally, 2020 has also seen positive developments in regulation – the UK Government recently voted in favour of the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill 2019-21, which will see the ban of toxin and filler treatments to those under 18 – a positive step for the aesthetic specialty!
Through the Aesthetics journal, as well as our new patient educational magazine Beyond Beauty, we will strive to support the aesthetic specialty and continue to bring education to both practitioners and patients and help build a better industry in 2021 and beyond!
As we all know, 2020 has been a challenging and unprecedented year, but it has also been eye-opening to experience the importance of adaptation as a business. It has been an unexpected chance to get creative with what we offer, from introducing virtual consultations to selling skincare online, to changing up our social media campaigns to align with a shifting climate. In many ways this has helped us to grow as a brand and evolve. There are certain things we have introduced which have become an important part of our patient journey, so by encouraging us to think outside the box, this experience has enabled us to make positive changes to our client experience which we plan to expand upon over time.
Adaptability and creativity! So much has happened in 2020, not only the whole global COVID-19 scenario, but also the progressive Brexit challenges on top of our planned business developments. Working with and watching the team here at AestheticSource pivot in response has been a pleasure. Our new webinar series was put together to support our customers to reach their patients in their homes with absolute confidence in both new virtual demonstration and selling techniques, and products and associated technologies. Our hugely successful drop-shipping service has made sure skincare arrives directly from us once clinics have completed the consult and taken the sale, reducing handling and therefore increasing safety. We also offered broader business and emotional support, with many wonderful messages of both support and gratitude coming in response to all we have done. In short, our business is fundamentally different now, but our adaptability and creativeness has kept us at the forefront of professional skincare.
‘There is no doubt that 2020 has been one of the toughest years most people have ever witnessed, but however bad the situation, we must always live in hope that one day things will be better ….’
This year has heralded exceptional challenges for the aesthetic industry and more personally for our practitioners. All facets of the ‘service industry’ and public life in general have undoubtedly changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a professional community, we have developed and processed a ‘new normal’ in order to better safeguard ourselves and the public whom we serve. Accordingly, we have become even more versatile and innovative: without ever veering from best practice principles and patient safety imperatives.
The JCCP recognises the uncertainty that currently exists at this challenging time and reaches out to you to encourage you to work as safely and responsibly as possible, continuing to minimise the risk of harm to yourselves, your patients and to members of the public.
Hamilton Fraser and the JCCP have been working together throughout the year to produce and disseminate safe practice guidelines. These are designed to provide you with a range of basic principles to achieve a standard of safety, within the limits of the rapidly changing context of your practice. We encouraged practitioners and staff to continue to explore and adopt government advice on how to practise lawfully, safely and responsibly. Both Hamilton Fraser and The JCCP felt the sincere anguish of aesthetic practitioners this year when handling the extraordinary number of enquiries and appeals for advice. Further to the practical support and guidance issued, we would like to say on a personal note: remain hopeful, use these quieter times to enrich yourselves with education and information where possible, have faith in yourselves and, in troubling moments, reach out to your colleagues, family and friends; we will pass through this difficult time if we pull together.
The JCCP and the Cosmetic Practice Standards Authority (CPSA) will continue to work with UK Government agencies and with the scientific community to review, consider and share advice to the aesthetic practitioner community in order to provide further appropriate and proportionate guidance on practising lawfully and safely.
Companies do two things during times of crisis – either their people come together, they overcome their challenges and they prevail – or they don’t. Whether you’re a solo practitioner, a clinic or a bigger team, it’s more important now than ever to show leadership, work on your culture, decision-making processes and values. Despite the challenges we have faced and will continue to face over the coming months, the aesthetics industry has shown itself to be resilient and still shows a great deal of innovation and growth.
Practitioners have shown an incredible level of adaptability this year. You should all be proud of your efforts, from returning to the NHS to fight the pandemic, to pivoting business to a solely digital offering. Embracing online technology for everything from consultations to ecommerce, along with purely online education, has kept our great industry going. Offering a digital clinic has likely become permanent, alongside face to face, and I believe patients are better off for it.
This year has been unexpectedly busy for us. We have been inundated with calls from practitioners that are taking time out, due to COVID-19, to focus on their business processes – something that busy practitioners rarely find the time to do.
We know that patients are always the number one priority for practitioners. So, whilst 2020 has not been easy, it has given them an opportunity to put their business first. This has given practitioners the time to implement processes that streamline and improve growth potential, allowing them to offer an even better patient experience with increased confidence in the strength of their business going forward.
Don’t look back – look forward – you’re going that direction anyway.
Always say yes to the party.