Smart50 Awards 2015

29 Laser Clinics Australia

Revenue

$77.2 million

Growth

176.73%

Founder

Alistair Champion, 38

Head office

NSW

Year founded

2008

Employees

494

Industry

Retail and consumer products

Website

www.laserclinics.com.au

This is Laser Clinics Australia’s first time in the Smart50.

Based in NSW but now with about 50 cosmetic clinics around Australia, Laser Clinics Australia was founded in 2008 by Alistair Champion and Babak Moini.

The founders saw a gap in the market for accessible, results-driven cosmetic treatments at affordable prices but were different to the traditional cosmetic surgery model and outdated beauty salons.

The pair sought to create a niche that was positioned between the two with accessibility, affordablity and convenience being the focus.

“Within a very short period of time we picked up a huge chunk of market share and effectively created a new retail category,” Champion says.

The company claims to perform close to 1 million treatments a year now nationally and boasts annual turnover of more than $77 million.

Champion says making the business scalable from inception was the franchise’s biggest and earliest challenge.

“Although we were confident we had an exciting model, we were conscious of the fact that we couldn’t scale without driven and passionate partners as owner operators at the ‘coal front’,” he says.

“For this reason we devised a hybrid franchise and joint venture model. Each of our clinics is today run by a franchisee with extensive business acumen and ‘skin in the game’.”

One incident in 2014 also proved challenging, Champion says, after the business had opened a clinic without having a franchisee to run the clinic, effectively making it a ‘company-owned’ clinic.

“This put significant strain on our head office resources, and at the same time we didn’t see the normal trajectory in performance in these clinics,” he says.

“It reinforced to us the power of the owner operator model and the difference that having an engaged and passionate owner (in clinic) makes to performance.

“There will always be good reasons to have company owned clinics for short periods of time – it may be change of franchisee, or having a franchisee not quite ready to commence when a site becomes available.”

Champion says the key lesson from this is not to let it become common practice and over the past 12 months the company had successfully recruited franchisees to all but one of the ‘company-owned’ clinics.

Laser Clinics Australia’s focus continues to be about growth, with plans to open another 10 clinics by June next year, expand internationally and of course, grow the business within the existing clinics.

“We have recently opened our 50th clinic, and see the opportunity to double the size of our organisation over the next few years,” Champion says.

 

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