Smart50 Awards 2016

17 Laser Clinics Australia

Revenue

$118 million

Growth

204.4%

Founders

Alistair Champion, 39, Babak Moini, 50

Head office

St Leonards, New South Wales

Year founded

2008

Employees

800

Industry

Retail and consumer products

Website

www.laserclinics.com.au

Winner

Top Franchise Award

LaserClinics_Alistair Champion

Alistair Champion

Growth has been the name of the game for Laser Clinics Australia founders Alistair Champion and Babak Moini over the last 12 months, with their business’s employee numbers, revenue, and Smart50 rank all jumping significantly.

Laser Clinics Australia was ranked 29 in the Smart50 in 2015 and at the time had nearly 500 employees, who offer customers laser hair removal, skin treatments and cosmetic injections in clinics across the country.

The business has hired another 300 workers in the past 12 months and completed more than 2 million treatments.

Thanks to annual revenue of $118 million and a three-year growth rate of more than 200%, the business has jumped 12 spots up the Smart50 this year.

Champion and Moini have sought to establish the business as a market leader in the Australian laser cosmetics industry through its 65 franchises across the country. They’re motivated by a belief that typical beauty salons are no longer getting the job done.

“Beauty salons no longer meet the consumer needs in terms of range of services or efficacy of treatments. Additionally, the ability for customers to access both laser hair removal and cosmetic injectable treatments (e.g. Botox, fillers) was price prohibitive, inaccessible and intimidating,” the two say.

“We saw a huge gap in the market for accessible, results-driven cosmetic treatments at affordable prices.”

Laser Clinics Australia is hoping to hit 80 clinics by the end of this financial year and its founders are looking to expand the model by venturing overseas. The goal is to double the size of the operation over the next few years.

But the company hasn’t always benefitted from such scale. Champion and Moini say the early days were tough and building scale into a business from its inception is a “huge challenge.”

“Every detail must be planned. 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,” they said.  

“For this reason we devised a unique franchise joint venture model, where we share the risk and returns of ownership with the franchisee.”

Each clinic is half owned by the franchisee and half owned by Laser Clinics Australia and Champion and Moini say this model creates more engaged employees, while the shared risk and shared return better align the franchisee’s goal with the business’ own.

For fellow business owners, Champion and Moini have one key piece of advice: don’t let the tail wag the dog. Define what you what to achieve then build a plan to make it happen, they say.

“In retail, business owners will often build a single store, realise they have a good business model then try to roll it out. This can be fraught with problems, from not having the right management structure in place right through to supply chain inefficiencies,” the founders say.

While the two believe this doesn’t negate the importance of being prepared to evolve your business quickly, they stress the importance of not damaging the business or the brand’s essence during a speedy roll out.

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