Pricing strategy: How to price aesthetic procedures for profit - Hamilton Fraser


In a competitive marketplace, how you price your services is a key part of running a successful business. Set them too low, and you could end up cheapening your services; too high, and you could drive patients away.

Prices for aesthetic treatments can vary greatly depending on the experience and reputation of the practitioner as well as the location of the clinic, so striking the right balance between competitive pricing and maintaining a profitable edge is essential.

But how do you place a monetary value on what you do that works for both you and your patients? And how do you create a pricing strategy that make sure you are competitive and ethical at the same time as making a profit?

In this blog, we will explore the key strategies to help you set prices for aesthetic procedures that not only cover costs but also maximise your profits.

1. Research your competitors

The number one thing you should do when thinking about pricing is check out what your competitors are doing. This doesn’t mean you need to charge the same as them, but investigating what services other practitioners in your area are offering, the range of prices they are charging, and how their qualifications and treatment menus compare to yours can help give you insight and perspective. Many practitioners struggle with how to price their services, so you may find you are underselling yourself when you see what your competitors are doing.

Rather than matching them on price – you are not Asda or Aldi – aim to compete on skill or reputation instead. If you have a USP or a local competitive advantage, shout about it. If you have specific expertise, experience or glowing testimonials that others in your area do not have, you can justify charging more.

2. Analyse your costs

Understanding your total costs is crucial for establishing a baseline price that makes sure you generate profit.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula here, but ultimately, however much you love your job, you will need to make a profit if your business is to be sustainable. Making money means generating enough revenue to not only cover your costs but make a profit and expand your business.

In order to cover your costs and make a return on your investment, you need to know how much your service costs. To work this out, you need to look at your overhead costs, which include fixed costs like rent and variable costs like the products you use. You must include all these costs in your estimate of the real costs of your services and price them accordingly.

Factoring in overheads can also help you determine what procedures you want to offer. For example, if a procedure requires expensive equipment and a lot of your time, you may decide that you are not likely to meet your desired return on investment.

Happy woman receiving a beauty treatment

3. Add value

The cheapest prices in town may initially get people talking, but while we all love a discount or bargain, what people really want is to feel valued.

While pricing competitively is essential, you need to make sure that your rates reflect the value you bring to your clients. When done safely and correctly, these treatments carry a higher price tag for a good reason. You might be competing with a local salon charging cheap filler by the ml, but don’t be tempted to lower your prices to match them. People who want fillers on the cheap are not your customers. If you are running a medical clinic, be proud to share your expertise in your marketing.

Using quality products, offering a thorough face-to-face consultation and assessment, having a deep understanding of facial anatomy, and the ability to deal with and manage complications are all skills that go beyond simply putting a needle in someone’s face, and you can set your prices accordingly.

You can also add value by offering high levels of customer service, rewarding loyalty and building trust. It can be as simple as remembering someone’s name or what they told you last time they visited (use your notes for this) or offering refreshments in your waiting area.  

Implementing loyalty programmes or “first looks” at new treatments for loyal patients can also foster customer loyalty and increase retention rates. However, be cautious not to devalue your services by offering excessive discounts and be cautious of doing promotions around treatments like injectables.

4. Always be transparent

Clear and transparent communication about your pricing is vital for building trust with patients. However you choose to price your services, it is important that you are clear about what is included to avoid any misunderstandings.

You can do this by providing detailed information on the costs associated with each procedure, potential additional fees, and any post-treatment expenses.

For example, if you choose to advertise prices that are for one treatment only but then add on costs for a consultation and tell the patient they actually need a course of six treatments to see the results they want, it may come as a nasty surprise to them when they get the final bill. Be upfront and clear that there will be additional fees for your time or for aftercare etc, and make sure your patient knows what these are going to be.

Alternatively, you could consider offering packages or a fixed price all-inclusive quote that covers everything the patient will need with no ‘hidden fees’. Be sure to think about the costs involved. If you are performing surgery, for example, costs could include anaesthetic, an overnight stay, medication and aftercare etc.

It is fairly common and considered good practice to offer a free initial consultation. This gives you an opportunity to meet the patient and assess their suitability for the treatment before any money exchanges hands, which makes it easier to say ‘no’ if you decide they are not suitable.

Read our guide, ‘how to say no to patients’, for further guidance on this. With the variability associated with some treatments, a free consultation also provides the chance for patients and practitioners to discuss the exact costs of a tailor-made package based on a thorough assessment of specific requirements.

5. Investigate finance options

Finance availability is often a barrier to patients who are considering undergoing a cosmetic treatment or committing to a course of treatment. As your practice grows, you could consider forming a partnership with a finance company to offer short-term loans to fund cosmetic surgery.

If you choose to go down this route, make sure you do your research to find a reputable company to supply the loans and make sure that the interest charges and terms are reasonable. Of course, as a responsible practitioner, if in doubt that the patient can afford to take out a loan to fund treatment, you have no obligation to take them on.

6. Regularly review and adjust prices

The aesthetics industry is rapidly evolving, with new technologies and techniques constantly emerging. This means you should regularly review your pricing strategy to make sure it remains competitive and reflective of the current market trends. Be prepared to adjust prices as needed to stay ahead of the competition and maintain profitability.

Female cosmetologist in sterile gloves cleaning woman face with facial cosmetology machine or peeling hydro device

7. Follow professional standards and guidelines

At Hamilton Fraser, we work closely with the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) and recommend that medical professionals working in aesthetics follow their guidance as well as the guidance of their Professional Statutory Body, such as the General Medical Council (GMC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or General Dental Council (GDC), around providing and marketing their services ethically.

When it comes to pricing, this includes avoiding two-for-one offers and allowing a minimum two-week cooling-off period before carrying out surgery. Irresponsible advertising and aggressive inducements must also be avoided, including offering treatments as prizes. Practitioners must be personally responsible for managing the consent process and making sure that patients know who to contact in the event of complications.

It is important to remember that some patients who seek cosmetic interventions are extremely vulnerable and that if you are in any doubt about treating a patient, whether because you suspect body dysmorphia or because the patient has unrealistic expectations, you can say no.

In summary

To sum up, effectively pricing your aesthetic procedures requires a strategic approach that balances costs, market dynamics, and patient perception of the value you are supplying. By conducting a thorough cost analysis, staying informed about the market, and implementing value-based pricing strategies, you can position your aesthetic practice for success.

Regularly reviewing and adjusting prices, offering bundled packages, and transparent communication are additional tools to optimise profitability while maintaining patient satisfaction. For more content to help you run a successful aesthetics business, read our guide, ‘How to create an aesthetics business plan’.

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