A new survey has shed light on the significant impact of COVID-19, with 49% of aesthetic practitioners reporting that they risk going out of business as a result of the pandemic.
Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance surveyed 1,360 aesthetic practitioners between March 22 to March 24 and found that almost 100% of businesses had been affected by the virus.
Although figures will likely have increased due to the Government lockdown announcement, it found that from March 24 a total of 81% reported the closure of their clinic, 67% had a reduction in revenue and 63% reported a reduction in enquiries. According to 1,341 respondents, an average reduction in revenue was reported to be at 86%.
It was also revealed that only 28% of respondents had a contingency plan in place should they one day not be able to carry out aesthetic procedures.
When asked what measures respondents had put in place to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, 66% said they had phoned patients to reschedule appointments at a later date and 28% stated that they were planning to introduce welcome offers for when patients can return to their clinics.
Practitioners also shared their thoughts on the future of the industry following COVID-19. Some believed that it will cause a change in the public’s priorities, causing a decline in aesthetic treatments. One survey respondent said, “It will either mean a surge of business post crisis or people will look to more natural products. It will also be down to whether patients are able to afford treatments, as COVID-19 has such a huge impact on income and lives have changed forever. With personal and financial losses, aesthetic treatments may not be high on peoples’ list of priorities anymore.”
On a positive note, 13% of practitioners reported that they were helping their local community and 12% reported that they were working with the NHS to test patients. This figure is likely to rise following further efforts from the Government to recruit retired practitioners and others who have left the NHS. The NHS was quoted by several respondents as a good source of income to help their aesthetic business to survive.
Mark Copsey, healthcare associate director at Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance commented, “We understand that for practitioners this is an incredibly worrying and unsettling time and it is not yet clear what the long term impact of this pandemic will be on the sector. In these unprecedented times it is now more important than it ever has been to work together and support one another to ensure that we protect the things that matter most.”