How to create an aesthetics business plan - Hamilton Fraser


“Financial crisis”, “cost of living crisis”, recession”. You only need to turn on the news to be plunged into a feeling of doom and gloom around the current state of the UK economy. And, as a business owner, this can be disheartening. Although the Bank of England has said Britain is showing signs of recovery in 2024, it's natural to want to batten down the hatches and ride it out when things get economically tough. But did you know that now may actually be the perfect time to think about business planning for the future?

Some experts say that economic downturns can present the best opportunities for growing a business (source: Forbes). In fact, many of the world’s greatest companies were built during recessionary times.

Being proactive and planning for the future of your business can help shift you into an increasingly positive state of mind. And this can help boost your decision-making processes and motivate those around you.

At Hamilton Fraser, we carry out an annual survey to keep up to date about the business practices, thoughts, challenges and fears of our customers and the wider industry.

Despite the current economic climate, many of the survey respondents said they had plans to expand their businesses, and the majority said they felt “fairly optimistic” (51.6%) or “optimistic” (36.3%) about their business prospects in 2024, with 80.1% saying they were on track to meet their objectives.

Of the 52% of people who had a business plan, 70.4% said it had changed from the previous year due to business growth, expansion, moving premises and increased economic benefits.

Interestingly, others said they had changed their business plans due to moving direction, with a move towards wellness being cited as one new avenue for business.

In this guide, we take an in-depth look at how to create an aesthetic business plan.

We’ll explore some of the key considerations you need to be aware of when thinking about your business planning.

And in our linked video, Eddie Hooker, Founder and CEO of Hamilton Fraser and Owen Woods, Head of Marketing at Hamilton Fraser, offer their tips and advice, ranging from where to start with your business planning to why you might need it for funding and what to do if your goals change.

Why do I need a business plan?

Whether you are just starting out or have been running your aesthetics practice for a while, business planning is key to establishing a sustainable, profitable and successful business.

A business plan is a bit like a compass or sat nav for your business. It helps you identify and formulate your goals, navigate through them and adjust course if necessary.

It provides a flexible structure and a framework to refer back to, helping you track your progress as your business grows. It also helps you spot potential problems before they arise – forewarned is forearmed.

A business plan is essential when it comes to securing investment or a loan from the bank, but you can also use it to let potential stakeholders know about your plans and encourage customers, suppliers and potential employees to support your ideas.

What’s more, investing time in creating a strong business plan can make you feel more accountable and committed to achieving your goals. You can even include your team in the process if you are making plans to grow the business so they can get behind you and share in your success.


Every new start-up business has a business plan, whether it’s in their head or whether it’s written down”, says Hamilton Fraser CEO Eddie Hooker. “If you write down a business plan, it gives you the ability to keep looking back to see how the progress of your business is actually going.

“It's good practice to start taking the information that you’ve got in your mind and put it down on paper. The reason I write everything down, and I have done since day one almost 30 years ago, is that I can refer back to it. This plan isn’t going to be where you are now and where you’re going to be forever. The whole point of the business plan is that you’re reviewing it. It’s a living document and it should be changing every 12-24 months. In certain businesses, it can change every quarter. I would always suggest reviewing it annually.

Written business plans also come into their own when you’re looking for funding, so if you have to borrow money, then of course, a bank manager will want to see something in writing that demonstrates you’ve thought about all of the issues that will make a successful business.”


How to start writing your business plan

Writing a business plan from scratch may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Following a clear structure will help you to visualise your goals and objectives.

A standard business plan usually includes the following elements:

  • Executive summary
  • Mission statement
  • Background
  • Competitor analysis
  • Marketing strategy
  • Operations
  • Financials

The content of each section should be concise and specific, providing a short overview of the main points you want to get across in a clear and professional tone. You can save the details for the operational and marketing plans.

We also advise reviewing your plan regularly to make sure you stay on track. You may find that your initial plans and provisions need to shift as your business grows. But the great thing about a business plan is it can be flexible, and you can adapt and update it to flow with the times.

Remember, a business plan is a continuously evolving document that is tailored to your business, so keep it in a format that is easy to locate and simple to amend.

Key things to consider when writing your aesthetics business plan


1.  Executive summary

In simple terms, an executive summary is a short section at the beginning of your business plan that gives an overview of the main points contained within it. It introduces your plan to the reader, so it's important it is concise, clear and well-constructed.

Start by writing a statement explaining the rationale for your business idea. Consider touching on any market trends, such as menopause or regenerative treatments or the growing demand and acceptance of non-surgical aesthetic treatments, but don’t go into too much detail here. You can do this in step 3, the background section. Or you can look at demand or demographics in your geographical area.

Business is about identifying a ‘problem’ people have and providing the solution, so outline the opportunity you have identified, what you can do about it and what your competitive advantage is. This section should be no more than two pages long. You may find it easier to write it at the end once you have drafted the more detailed sections of your business plan.

2. Mission statement

Your mission statement defines and communicates the purpose of your business. It’s like your ‘elevator pitch’ and should illustrate what success means to you in three to four sentences. It can be helpful to do some research. Why not read the mission statements of other aesthetic professionals or businesses you admire for inspiration? But don’t be tempted to just copy someone else’s work. Your mission statement is about you. It should come from the heart and focus on what success looks like for your own business. Are you, for example, offering state-of-the-art treatments in a luxurious environment or catering to the needs of busy professionals who require flexible appointments?

“The important thing to think about with business plans is, first of all, what you are trying to achieve”, says Eddie. “What market are you going to be going into? Are you looking at the filler or botulinum toxin market? Are you setting up a clinic or looking at a mobile practice? Are you looking for female customers or do you want to target men? Do you want to be a local business or are you looking to have a much wider stretch?

“For me with Hamilton Fraser, we first thought about the type of business that we wanted to be. For example, we wanted to be a professional business that was very customer-centred. This vision or ‘mission statement’ becomes your USP.

“It is important to articulate that because the market is very tough out there, and there are a lot of practitioners all vying for the same business.”


3. Background

This section is your chance to go into a bit more detail and background about the aesthetics sector, highlighting any relevant industry trends and providing a short summary of how your business fits within the industry in your geographical area.

Our annual survey showed that regenerative procedures and 'prerejuvenation' (treating younger patients with preventative treatments) were the most popular trends, indicating a demand for treatments using the body’s own healing capabilities and a new generation of patients finding their way to the aesthetics market.

You can also include information here about your own background and training in aesthetics. As a business owner, it is important to convey that you have expertise in your field and demonstrate your commitment to continuous professional development as your business grows.

It is also vital to make sure that you are up to speed with developments in the rapidly evolving aesthetics sector. This can be achieved by carrying out research online and via social media, as well as by attending conferences[ve3]  and exhibitions as well as virtual events, which have become the norm since the pandemic and enable you to learn, ask questions and network with like-minded professionals.

Whether you plan to trade as a company or a sole trader, building a network of peer support around you is invaluable as it will provide you with a source of guidance to help with both the running of your business and any complication management issues that may arise.

Many aesthetic practitioners work alone. Our recent survey revealed that 55% worked solo, so connecting with other practitioners who may be experiencing similar business challenges can help you feel more connected as a business owner.

4. Competitor analysis

While the growing demand for aesthetic treatments is a positive thing for the whole sector, it does mean that aesthetic businesses operate in a fairly saturated and competitive market. For this reason, identifying your unique selling points and how you can stand out from competitors is crucial. A key part of this is carrying out a thorough competitor analysis.

You also need to consider the patient demographic that you will be targeting so that you can tailor your offering when it comes to your marketing strategy.

“One of the most important things is your marketplace and your competition”, says Eddie. “Who are your competitors? What are they doing? What is their pricing structure? What are the qualifications of those individuals?
Business colleagues having a conversation. They are discussing finance charts and graphs on a laptop computer. They are both young business people in an office. Could be an interview or consultant working with a client.

5. Marketing strategy

In a competitive marketplace, successful marketing is key to connecting with existing and potential customers and building your business’s reputation. Your business plan should provide a high-level overview of your marketing strategy, but you will also need to create a separate, more detailed marketing plan. This section should also include information about the products and services you will offer, your plans for pricing and promotion activities and the premises that you will operate out of.

  • Define your target market and identify how your sales and marketing strategy will cater to their needs: Refer back to your unique selling points and lay out how you intend to take them to market, retain and attract patients to grow your market share. This will involve defining your target market and summarising how your sales and marketing strategy will cater to their needs
  • Identify the products and services that your business will be offering: Next, you need to identify the products and services that your business will be offering, along with their benefits. Explain why you have chosen the treatments you have included on the menu. Is this based on research into what your key demographic is looking for? In addition to including the benefits, it is also advisable to acknowledge any potential disadvantages or risks. Identifying these early on can help to produce a well-rounded plan that can be adapted to adjust to challenges along the way
  • Pricing: How you price your treatments will vary depending on where your business is located in the country. For example, if you are based in London or another major city, it is likely that the local price of treatments will be higher than in a smaller suburban town. Do some research into what other similar clinics or businesses are offering in order to make sure you are competitive
  • Offers and promotions: Another thing to include in this section is your plans for any promotions. Will you offer discounts or packages to entice new customers? There is nothing wrong with this approach, but when advertising a promotion, it is important to be aware of the parameters that exist and make sure that you comply with them by referring to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA).
  • Social media: The aesthetics industry is particularly active on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, so don’t forget to include a social media plan in your digital marketing strategy and marketing plan and reference it in this section of your business plan. Owen Woods, Head of Marketing at Hamilton Fraser, says, “A lot of these tools work very well for education, so if you are specialising in a particular treatment, you can explain the benefits of it, why this is better than the alternative and why a patient should come to you as a practitioner”
  • Premises: If you are planning on opening your own premises, then an effective way to raise awareness of your business in the local community can be to hold an open day or evening. This gives you a chance to invite potential clients and local media to see the clinic and the range of treatments you will be offering. If you are renting a room within a clinic, salon or leisure centre, then you should focus on identifying ways in which you can tap into their existing client base (being mindful, of course, of any GDPR implications)
  • Location: There are a number of options available to you when it comes to choosing the physical location of your business – you may intend to work from your own home, as a mobile practitioner visiting patients’ homes, renting rooms within existing clinics or setting up your own clinic. Your physical location may evolve as your business grows; for example, you may begin by renting a room in a salon/clinic to keep costs to a minimum while you build up your own reputation. You may then plan to expand into your own premises once you are more established. Although your strategy may change as your business grows, it is important to mention your intentions in your business plan so that stakeholders have a clear idea of your aspirations and you can make sure that you are working towards your ultimate goal
  • Process: The marketing component of your business plan can also touch on your processes; for example, you may decide that your processes should be customer-focused. In this case, you might prioritise building rapport with potential clients during the consulting process or focusing on incorporating patient wellness services in your practice in order to establish a reputation for good customer service and to benefit patients' overall well-being

6. Operations

The operations section of your business plan is where you cover details concerning your day-to-day operations, such as hours of business, the equipment you will require and how you will keep track of inventory. If you’re planning on employing staff, you should include a summary of how you plan to recruit and manage your team here.

Also, highlight any internal procedures that you anticipate you’ll need to implement when the business is up and running. These are not set in stone and will most likely evolve, but it is a good idea to note them in your business plan in order to maximise transparency and make sure that you have everything covered. Such procedures include your consulting and consenting process, your approach to patient selection, how you will deal with complaints, your appointment booking, payment and record-keeping systems, and stock and waste management. It is also important to consider your obligations in relation to GDPR compliance, as you will be holding confidential client information.

Don’t forget to display your Terms & Conditions clearly – it’s important to be transparent with your clients at all times. This is also crucial if there are any subsequent issues relating to payments for treatments/services.

Building a support network, both online through social media and offline at industry events, can give you a source of ongoing guidance and an outlet to exchange experiences when it comes to best operational practices.

7. Financials

Last but certainly not least, you must include a financial section in your business plan. This should provide facts and figures showing how fast you expect your business to grow and how you plan to fund that growth. You will also need to demonstrate how you will monitor and report on the finances.

If you are starting out, you should include an assumption of start-up costs, taking into account the purchase cost of any equipment or fixtures, wages, benefits, lease and utility costs, insurance and other expenses such as membership of a professional body. In addition, you should include an estimate of earnings based on your market research and likely market share for the first three to five years.

The financial section of a standard business plan includes four key financial statements:

  • Cash flow statement

The cash flow statement shows how much cash you will need to meet your obligations, when that cash is going to be required, and where it will come from. It shows a schedule of the money coming into the business and expenses that need to be paid. These figures go into a profit and loss (P&L) statement, which is generated on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis.

  • Break-even analysis

A break-even analysis is a composition of costs and sales revenue. Costs are broken down into variable costs and fixed costs. Variable costs fluctuate from month to month and include the products you will need to perform treatments, utility costs, operating expenses, equipment and employee wages. Variable costs can be direct or indirect. Direct costs are those that are directly attributed to production, such as wages and products like botulinum toxin. Indirect costs are not directly attributable to production, such as the maintenance of any equipment.

  • Balance sheet

The balance sheet outlines a business’s assets, liabilities and equity. Assets include cash, inventory, accounts receivable, and equipment and fixtures owned by the business. Liabilities include any loans or outstanding bills. Equity is the amount of worth a business obtains by amortising loans and the worth of company-issued shares or stock. Assets must be equal or balanced to the company’s liability and owner’s equity.

  • Income statement

An income statement is a scorecard based on the financial performance of your business that reflects a balance between sales and expenses. It is calculated by combining earnings, business expenses, capital, and inventory and raw material costs. Using these financial categories, an income statement will show a net profit or net loss, usually over a company’s fiscal year.


The key points to remember when putting together your business plan are:

  • Be concise – potential investors should be able to understand what your business is about from your plan
  • Be specific – explain how you are going to deliver your plan
  • Know your market – show that you understand your target audience and competitors
  • Be clear about how you are going to make a profit

Your plan will be essential when it comes to securing loans or investments, but it also provides a useful framework to help you understand your objectives and how you are going to deliver them.

Most importantly, have fun creating this blueprint for your business. It’s all about planning for a successful future and seeing it in black and white can invigorate your passion for your aesthetics business. No matter what is going on around you, things are always changing, so there really is no time like the present to plan for the future success of your aesthetics business.

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