From Sole Trader To Own Clinic – Here’s How

We hear from Face By SM’s Sanja about her journey from sole injector to Paddington clinic owner.

Sanja Maria

Are you a sole trader and considering opening up your own clinic? (Once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed and we are back open for business of course!) There are ups and downs for both when it comes to managing yourself vs managing a team, but there are plenty of practitioners that start out small offering services from their home or a rented room and one day decide it’s time to up-size. This is, for most, a terrifying and challenging period, but can really pay off.

Sanja Maria is one of these cases – an experienced Nurse and Beauty Therapist, Sanja was injecting out of Rosebery’s shared work hub La Porte Space for several years before deciding she was ready to come out swinging and open her own clinic. She tells us she has been contemplating the move for a while, before she bit the bullet and opened up Face By SM in Sydney’s bustling Paddington late last year in an exceptionally quick timeframe. The high-end, already-thriving clinic and team of three specialises in advanced injectables, medical aesthetics and facial rejuvenation.

We chat to Sanja about her leap from sole trader to clinic owner, her processes, challenges and rewards along the way.

How long were you injecting at La Porte Space?
I was there for 3 years in total.

What were the perks and downsides of working solo from that space?
Perks were meeting such amazing other independent business owners, who were motivating and aspiring to be in the same space with.

Working anywhere solo is tough, particularly as you get busier, to make sure you manage client expectations with all treatments, as well as managing every day duties to function properly and efficiently.

Face By SM treatment room. Image supplied.

What made you make the change to opening a clinic?
There was a need to expand to a bigger space with more rooms, hire staff and become a team, and introduce some incredible high tech modalities out there that patients could benefit from.

Tell us about the planning/opening process in a nutshell
It all happened so quickly, one minute I’m thinking out loud ideas and Pinteresting decor- next minute I’m signing contracts for the build. This happened over a quick turn of 6 weeks however we are still continuously modifying our space to keep the expectations high, and delivering a warm enthusiastic result-orientated clinic to clients.

Tell us about your team and how you recruited them
I am so lucky to have the team I have. We are still fairly small however we have collaboratively grown so well. We have all previously crossed paths and worked together – and I had always turned to them for advice for my injectable clients, who wanted to do skin to go to them. So it made sense when the time was right and they wanted to move on – to collectively come together.

Face By SM reception. Image supplied.

What are the biggest differences compared to sole trading?
Never a dull moment, never not working, constantly trying to be innovative with the latest trends and ideas – which is a huge bonus when you want everyone to experience the best and latest. However sometimes when you just think – ‘ok we’re good for a while let’s take a minute to stop’ something new starts trending. It’s more of a positive as it keeps us constantly on our toes learning and striving for more.

Would you recommend your professional career path to others in terms of starting solo then launching your own?
Absolutely – it’s very overwhelming opening a clinic straight up. There is a lot of hard work involved, and hard-working, educated staff who want to keep growing are hard to find. Beauty is such an innovative industry; you have got to keep up with the constant demand. Start little and slow, perfect it, and then grow little by little until your clinic is fully formed. Don’t rush the process – just trust it, and it will all work out.

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