There has been a great deal of criticism surrounding this year’s Apprentice winner, Dr Leah Totton and her business plan. During the filming last October I knew then that if she won, it would cause more than a ripple of a media storm, especially in the wake of the Keogh report and lack of regulation debate.
Clearly an intelligent women, Leah’s idea of a chain of injectable clinics probably looked good on paper – and I’m sure the numbers she presented made Lord Sugar’s decision a great deal easier, however her plan does carry some glaring flaws.
There were some encouraging points, such as that she will seek to employ only registered nurses and physicians and also ensure that all industry regulations and policies are followed…
…BUT the key to the success of her plan was to charge ‘bottom dollar’ for treatments in order to drive a larger number of clients through the door. Sadly the ‘high volume low cost’ Easy Jet type of financial model cannot be applied to any part of the medical industry, and this includes the aesthetic/anti-ageing genre. It serves to trivialise an industry trying desperately to regain respectability after years of controversy.
In addition, the majority of those seeking anti-wrinkle and filler procedures do not make their choice of practitioner on cost alone – price is probably last on their list. Upper most in their selection process are practitioner qualifications, proficiency, reliability and peer endorsement.
It will be interesting to follow Leah’s journey and I wish her success, but I think both she and Lord Sugar will need to take some very specialist guidance if her plan is to work.