Dr Kate Jameson, based in Perth, Western Australia is a qualified GP, Cosmetic Physician and is the founder of her cosmetic clinic Youth Lab. With a focus on natural beauty, Dr Kate uses her passion for aesthetics, medicine and business to deliver an unrivalled service for her clients.
Why did you start your own business?
Starting my own small business was always going to be inevitable for me. My father was a small business owner, so from a young age I guess that I saw it was not just possible to run your own business, but quite normal to be a business owner. I saw the flexibility and lifestyle it afforded him and was exposed to the passion behind his business on a daily basis.
As a doctor I have always loved the medicine and the challenges that come with it, but as I started getting more involved with the cosmetics side of medicine, I realised this is where my passion truly lay.
My partner Jon (and now business partner) saw the same opportunity that I saw in the Perth market for a higher end, yet affordable, client focused cosmetic clinic which probably helped get me started a bit earlier than I might have without him. From here, our clinic Youth Lab was born.
What is one of the hardest lessons you have learnt so far?
Owning your own business can be overwhelming and the desire to be in the clinic, managing everything is very strong. The fact is though, you do end up living and breathing the business, so being able to take a day off is critical to long term success and avoiding burnout. Balance is key and self care is so important. I have the tendency to go a million miles an hour so taking a break from work is a challenge for me. Luckily my first few hires have been wonderful and having that trust in them really allows me to take a step back once a week to have some down time.
What are the areas in your business that you have invested in so far?
My business partner has a strong background in digital marketing, so that really has helped early on as it has allowed Youth Lab to rank effectively online for popular search terms, and use what would have been marketing budget on investing in our clinic.
Specifically, we invested heavily into the fitout of our clinic as we wanted to give our clients a very high end experience from the moment they walk in the clinic to the aftercare we provide. So focusing on the interior design, high quality materials (such as marble), soft furnishings etc were all part of the focus. We really wanted to give the wow factor to clients who came in.
We also selected a property that was a little to big for our needs initially. The reason we did this was so that we had an additional 2 or 3 treatment rooms to grow into as we expand. We are already set to grow into these additional rooms within our first year, which is great. If we had not done this, then we’d already be thinking about moving to a new premises.
What’s your number one tip for those starting their own business?
Invest time in your business plan. I spent 6 months on our business plan and planning the cash flow projections. The reason this is so useful is that a well developed business plan gets you to think of a wealth of things you would never consider. I found a lot of confidence came from this because I felt very prepared for most issues that came up. There are some excellent free online templates which give you the basis for everything that you need to include in a good business plan, so there is no excuse.
Who do you look up to in business/ who inspires you?
I would probably have to say Richard Branson. His approach to business is very positive and I love his flair for both branding and public relations.