Youth Lab is the only cosmetic clinic to be named a finalist in the Telstra Best of Business Awards.
Perth’s one-stop skin destination Youth Lab has been named as a finalist in the Telstra Best of Business Awards 2021. Nominated in the category of Outstanding Growth, which celebrates small and medium-sized businesses achieving significant growth and contributing to building a more resilient Australian economy, Youth Lab is the only cosmetic clinic in Australia to be recognised as a finalist in the Awards.
Founded by Dr Kate Jameson and her partner Jon Ogden in 2018, the Perth-based aesthetics clinic has become a favourite among the WA beauty community and amassed almost 15,000 Instagram followers. “I am so proud of Jon and the work we have done with our company. We live and breathe Youth Lab, and could not have achieved our success without our incredible team,” says Dr Kate. “This is only the beginning for Youth Lab.”
It’s been a challenging few years for small business owners, especially when it comes to medispas, clinics and all things skin. So we spoke to Dr Kate, to find out what it takes to run a small business that stands out from the crowd and what’s next for the Perth-based clinic.
Congratulations on being named finalist in the Telstra Best of Business Awards! What has your journey looked like so far?
KJ: Our journey so far has been exciting, challenging and very rewarding. Both Jon and I have worked incredibly hard to get Youth Lab to where it is today, however our sustained success is all down to our fantastic team that we have brought together.
Our journey into business, while challenging, has been an absolute joy for both of us. For me, I get to do what I love in terms of my work as a cosmetic physician, while also getting to help guide the brand and business. For Jon, he’s been able to focus on the business, our growth plans and working tirelessly on our marketing efforts.
From starting out as a sole practitioner clinic in 2018 we have grown to a team of 26 with 15 practitioners, all working tirelessly for our clients and the Youth Lab brand. I have gone from working six days a week as an injector, having given up my work as a GP in 2017, to now only working part time “in” the business with the majority of my efforts in my role as medical director, training and mentoring my team and focusing on our growth and strategy. Jon has thrived as our leader and managing director and our complementing skill sets, strong partnership and commitment to our team and culture is what has made our company so successful.
This is only the beginning for Youth Lab and we are excited for what 2022 will bring for the clinics and our growth as a company.
What are the most challenging aspects of running Youth Lab? What are the most rewarding aspects?
KJ: Our business is very people focused and one of our main accomplishments has been the amazing team we have developed. Bringing great people together, and maintaining a fun and positive culture is not easy and takes constant work, however the payoff is well worth the effort.
We have spent a huge amount of energy focused on developing our values as a company, which is certainly a challenging exercise but has allowed us to have a tightly aligned team which can then take the steps towards scale. Our culture is what sets us apart and rewards us on a daily basis.
This has not been without challenges, I don’t think I could answer this without mentioning the pandemic. With lockdowns, economic uncertainty and HR issues we have weathered a few challenges over the past 12 months. Yet we managed to scale, open our second clinic and nearly triple our revenue in 2021.
How do you set Youth Lab apart from competitors?
KJ: For us, it is all in the details and that is what defines Youth Lab from our competitors. For example, from the outset our clinics have had their own signature scent, a curated soundscape, luxury fit outs and our team have been trained by luxury spa consultants so that we hit all the right touch points for our clients. We work as a team to deliver a 5-star client experience everyday, delivering a luxury experience to our clients yet still delivering on advanced clinical treatments.
As a medical-led clinic, we are very dialled into professional development and team training. A key USP is to have the best trained team in Western Australia and this is done by having each team member committed to at least 50 hours of training per year. Our commitment to in house training is evident in the skills and passion of our practitioners and our high staff retention. We are the place to work here in Perth. This was made evident when we recruited two incredible dermal clinicians from Melbourne during the lockdowns last year from some of Australia’s most respected and reputable clinics. We are excited for 2022 when borders reopen and we can have our team begin to attend some of the conferences in the Eastern states and overseas again.
Finally, we have a clearly defined purpose and values set that we have the team aligned around giving us a clear vision for who we are and the direction we are going in. We don’t just pay lip service to this aspect of our business but we actively hire based on these common values. By packaging all of this together, it gives us a competitive advantage that is hard to replicate or imitate.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since launching Youth Lab?
KJ: Both Jon and myself have had no formal business training so we have essentially built the brand from scratch and learnt along the way. As a typical doctor, I have struggled with having control over both the clinical and managerial aspects of the business and would struggle with micromanagement or “doing it all” in the early days. I have learnt to delegate and trust the skills of my team to manage certain aspects of the business. By hiring a team who is capable, smart and driven by our core values this has allowed us to focus on strategy and growth, rather than the small things that set you back and take away precious time. Ultimately I have learnt that I cannot do it all, especially since the birth of my son, and this has forced me to focus on the bigger picture and trust others to manage the day to day.
Do you have any tips for budding entrepreneurs looking to launch a business of their own?
KJ: My main piece of advice is try and find your passion. It is so important to have a genuine passion for what you do as this helps build everything on a stable foundation. Starting a business for status or to make money may work out, however without that underlying passion for what you do helping to get you out of bed at 5am and drive your business forward, it can make a difficult road to travel. You need to live and breathe your business, which may result in personal sacrifices, and be willing to face setbacks and failure.
What’s next for Youth Lab?
KJ: Youth Lab has a clearly defined long term strategy and a strategic growth plan that is clearly defined. The next step for us is to establish ourselves as the leading cosmetic clinic in Western Australia with our longer term plans including entering the Eastern states and establishing ourselves as an Australian leader in delivering aesthetic confidence. 2022 will be an exciting year as we launch our third clinic and begin our expansion plans.
We have also launched a new training academy called Clinivate which is filling a niche in the WA market of a practical and supporting training environment for beginner and advanced practitioners. We want to raise the standard in cosmetic injectable training and support future aesthetic practitioners and their careers. To ensure our industry remains competitive, compliant and ethical. Our first course launches in February 2022.
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