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Centre for Business Plan Development helps 'ink' the deal for laser tattoo removal clinic

Location
CompanyEx'd inked
Industry:Other Services - except Public Administration
City:Stratford, Ontario
Amounts: various  Find what funding programs you qualify for

Centre for Business Plan Development aids in creating tool to receive financing

To look at Iain Booth, you'd think he'd be the last person on earth to launch a laser aesthetics clinic devoted to removing tattoos. But the extensively illustrated Stratford, Ontario businessman is doing just that. He got his first tattoo at the age of 26, and today his back, his entire right arm, and most of his left arm bear elaborate designs. But he considered his second tattoo, the one covering much of his left arm, a badly executed disaster. "I feel embarrassed to wear short sleeves," he says. With a professional business plan from the Centre for Business Plan Development, Booth was able to understand his business a lot better.

A business idea develops

Fortunately, the artist ran out of time and didn't complete the whole arm. After living with it for some time, Booth checked out what it would cost to remove the tattoo. He was shocked by the cost. To completely remove a professional tattoo requires about 10 sessions of laser treatments – at $800 a session! "It was just ridiculously way overpriced," says Booth. "And then it just sort of dawned on me. Why don't I get into laser aesthetics?" Booth worked for an office furniture manufacturer and had to deal with the ups and downs of the manufacturing business and the resulting layoffs and shift changes. He was ready for something else, and he'd been thinking about what he actually wanted to do. This could be it.

The benefits of being your own boss

He entered the National Laser Institute of Arizona to become a certified laser technician, and when he graduated last October, he started exploring how to launch his new business: Ex'd inked. "If I had to work for somebody else, then I'd work for somebody else," says Booth. "But ideally I wanted to work for myself, call the shots and be able to set the rates to make my money in volume and turnover rather than just focusing on the few people that can afford the big bucks."

Finding the perfect niche

He reasoned that launching an affordable tattoo removal business would fill a much needed niche. "I really like the whole idea of the laser-aesthetic field, but I did want to focus my own business on tattoo removal." Few clinics specialize in the field, which paradoxically may be why the prices are so high. "Your typical spas and clinics do all of the procedures, but they have their technician and everything else to pay for and they’ve got an incredible amount of lease space, plus nine or ten machines. So there’s a reason why their rates are so high. People are paying for it, but you get only people who can afford it. You can give them competition."

Moving closer to set goals

Booth needed one specific laser machine in order to effectively remove tattoos (as well as other discolorations, freckles and sun spots.) He explored the cost of the equipment, what kind of commercial space he'd require, and what kind of financing it would all entail. And he decided to prepare a business plan to get him closer to his goals.

Centre for Business Plan Development helps move forward

He found that in addition to providing him with a powerful tool to raise financing, the business plan he received from Centre for Business Plan Development helped him move forward with his small business concept. "It really opens your eyes. You think you understand what your business is about, but when you're asked to look at all these aspects of it, it takes you to the next level. It shows just how big and serious and involved it is, and gives you kind of a new respect for all that's involved with business. I feel it made me a lot smarter, and made me look for different things."

Save time by hiring professionals

He says a business plan is a tool that every small business needs, and hiring professionals is key. "I would definitely say that one of the smartest things I've done is actually get somebody to do a business plan. Do some research yourself, but it takes hundreds of hours to come up with a business plan, so it's great to have a team of experts who specialize in that." He laughs. "And find some rich friends. Financing is tough, so tell people to look into as many avenues as you can."

Imagine how a professionally prepared business plan could help grow your business. For a free consultation, call 1-800-481-8434.

Please note our Centre is not affiliated to programs profiled in the above article and no claim is made that funding is due to our Centre unless stated.
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