QUESTION: What impact has the 2019 Royal Commission into the financial services industry and ‘buy now – pay later’ services had on the availability of financing options for small business owners in the beauty industry?

LEARNING: Clinics should ensure they complete research in the financial services space and look out for good quality lenders.

Dennis Cronje said he doesn’t think 2019 had any effect and that he thinks it goes back further than that.

“We saw after the GFC in 2008 that there was reluctance internationally for funding and it only hit us roundabout 2010, 2011. Any of the medical doctors, physicians or specialists investing in technology have very little barriers to entry into the market and funding is freely available. Once you move outside of that into the nonmedical market and the beauty industry, it becomes really difficult. And it’s not to say that there isn’t funding available, but the criteria around that are extremely strict.”

Mathew Green said there’s always been a love-hate relationship between lenders and beauty.

“The only advice I could think of to get someone who wanted to enter the industry would be to build your business on the back of something you can actually access. It might be pharmaceutical injectables, cosmeceutical products or something you can actually establish.”

Shannon Wooldridge said that in regards to Afterpay, that’s where the revenue stream starts for small business owners.

“If we can increase their revenue stream by offering alternate sorts of payment methods such as Zip or Afterpay, obviously that will improve the profitability of their business; hence allowing them to invest more in technology in their clinics as well.”

Rebekah Woodbine said she’s surprised how many use [Zip and Afterpay].

“So many [people] across all demographics use it in our clinic. It’s very, very popular.”

Zina Sebastian feels like more interest is coming from the impulse buyers that would normally want to purchase that product or that service, but they don’t have funds right then and there.

“It’s definitely helped revenue.”