Aesthetics Practitioners’ guide to finding premises
Finding premises to operate from can be hard for aesthetics practitioners of all levels.
First you’ll need to decide how you want to work. For example, do you want to work solo from your own base, or as a visiting aesthetics practitioner at another business?
Becoming a visiting injector at, or renting a room in an existing aesthetics clinic should technically be easier. However, there are still a number of practicalities to be aware of.
Wherever you choose, in addition to having to meet specific legal requirements, you’ll need an environment and location suitable for your patients and your brand.
We understand that you’re keen to start practising and treating your own patients. Just don’t cut corners when it comes to finding the right premises for your practice.
Here’s a quick overview of considerations to bear in mind when looking for your perfect clinical base, in addition to the obvious big one: budget.
MAKE A CHECKLIST OF ALL THE NON-NEGOTIABLE REQUIREMENTS YOUR PREMISES MUST HAVE
We highly recommend reading through the information listed below. Add each requirement they contain to a checklist so you know what you’re looking for from a space.
Doing so will also give you a handy list of questions you can use in initial enquiries, before even visiting potential locations.
This research may take a little time to put together but it’ll help you to be fully prepared and avoid wasting your time whilst finding premises!
Read the JCCP Premises Standards Guide
The Joint Council of Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP) has worked with the Chartered Institute for Environmental Health to update its official Premises Standards Guide. Its latest iteration was published and made available for download in December 2022.
Check your insurance
Read through your insurance policy to ensure you are aware of any requirements relating to your premises. You may also want to contact your insurers for further clarity here.
Understand the difference between Environmental Health standards and Care Quality Commission (CQC) requirements
It’s important to understand the difference in standards between regular Environmental Health standards for aesthetics practitioners’ premises, and CQC registered clinics’ requirements.
A commonly misunderstood example is the type and size of sink aesthetics practitioners should have. Clinics looking for CQC registration will be required to meet a number of criteria, including those relating to the size of their sinks. However, the standards you need to meet in order to practise safely under the Environmental Health guidelines tend to be less stringent.
You can obtain copies of the relevant rules from your local council’s Environmental Health department. Other guidance, such as the National Occupational Standards agency’s 2019 overview of requirements for premises where non surgical aesthetics are to be carried out, may also be useful.
ADD YOUR ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS TO YOUR CHECKLIST THEN START LOOKING!
Once you have the above information, add each requirement to a Finding Premises checklist. Also include any additional aspects you would like to have. For example...
- Easy access to parking or specific public transport links
- A private entrance
- Step-free access
- Buzzer/video entry
- A staffed reception where your patients will be looked after
- Adequate refreshment making facilities
- A cleaner/sharps removal etc. included in the price.
- No matter how small, add all your requirements to your list which can then be categorised into requirements and preferences.
- This will make it easy for you to score each of the premises you see, aiding your decision making process.
Conduct site visits in person
Always visit potential premises in person – online tours will not give you all the information you need. Explore the area. Walk through looking at the space as a practitioner. Next walk through again looking at everything from a patient’s point of view.
If you can, look at everything from the patient’s perspective. Literally. If the patient is sitting up, what will they see from that angle? What about if they’re lying down? Check out what is at their eye level or in their line of sight. Immerse yourself in the patient experience to get the fullest picture of the work you may need to do.
Consider aspects that are important to patients, such as comfort, cleanliness, accessibility and privacy. Interrogate aspects such as how easy will it be for you to keep this place sterile and looking clean? Does it require redecorating or even remodelling in order for you to do so?
Some aspects will be within your control, such as changing the lighting. Others – such as the layout – won’t be. For example, is the waiting room or clinical space next to a toilet shared by the rest of the floor?
Remember that the more changes you need to make, the higher the initial outlay and/or maintenance may be. This will then need to be reflected back in your pricing in order to recoup those costs.
Consider renting a room already used by other injectors
If you’re looking for part time premises, consider renting a room already used by other injectors the rest of the week.
This scenario should mean the space already meets the relevant standards. You may also be able to pick up patients from people who drop by as they’ve heard that injectables are available there.
Obviously, do your research as to who else practices there first and take their reputations into consideration.
Working from a room in a complimentary medical business, such as a dental practice, a plastic surgeon’s clinic, or chiropractor’s office, may be another worthwhile consideration.
REMEMBER YOU'RE NOT COMMITTING YOURSELF TO ONE LOCATION FOREVER!
Whatever premises you end up in, remember that if it doesn’t work out, you can move on. Don’t get too stuck on the wishlist element of your checklists, especially at first.
When starting out, find somewhere you can perform treatments from safely, legally and relatively cheaply. This will help you to build your practice – and experience – as a new aesthetics practitioner.
Make sure the terms of your rental agreement reflect this and aren’t too long term, without any break clause. This offers you the flexibility to be able to give notice to terminate should a better opportunity arise.
We hope you find this information helpful. If you use it, do let us know and tag us in your new premises photos on Instagram!