When Danielle Daniel first contemplated the idea of buying a Laser Clinics Australia franchise in Traralgon in regional Victoria, she admits there were plenty of question marks and doubts.
What about her lack of business experience? Would locals embrace laser hair removal and cosmetic injections? Could a country clinic generate enough revenue?
“I almost backed out,” Danielle recalls. “I was really worried because I had no business background at all. But then Support Office came back and discussed it further and I said, ‘I think it will work, and I can make it work.’ And ended up going for it.”
Four years after opening the doors to a Laser Clinics Australia clinic at Traralgon, Danielle’s confidence has been rewarded. This year, she has been named Laser Clinics Australia’s Franchisee of the Year, recognition that comes on top of a string of other Laser Clinics Australia and community awards in recent years.
A team effort
A local in Traralgon – a city in the Latrobe Valley with a population of about 26,000 people – Danielle deflects any praise and instead compliments her team, which consists of 13 therapists, three cosmetic injectors, two of whom are clinic managers, and a number of full-time, part-time and casual employees.
“Obviously, it’s not something I can do on my own,” she says. “It comes down to my team and having a great foundation and relationship with them. This is not a ‘me’ thing, it’s an ‘us’ event.”
Danielle does, however, admit to working hard and leading from the front. “I definitely do have the drive to succeed. I also feel like I show up for my team. So, there’ll be late nights when I come down and clean the bathrooms and mop the floors – it’s about showing respect for all our employees.”
The clinic at Traralgon is part of Laser Clinics Group’s network of more than 200 clinics globally that collectively delivered more than 3 million treatments in the 2023 financial year. Despite a tough initiation because of disruptive shutdowns during COVID-19, the clinic is performing well and has won the trust of a local clientele.
“We don’t have the population or the pool of people as you do in a metro area, but overall the clinic does really well,” says Danielle, who initially worked in the beauty industry and the education and training sectors before becoming a mother.
Laser Clinics sparks franchisee career goals
After putting her career on hold for several years, Danielle decided she wanted a new challenge.
“I needed to do something and I was at the Laser Clinics Australia clinic at Fountain Gate (in outer Melbourne) getting laser treatments and I could just see the number of clients coming through the door and thought, ‘Why don’t we have one of these clinics back home?’ ”
She sent an email to the Support Office of Laser Clinics Australia suggesting she open a clinic in Traralgon and, after market research into the area, Danielle got the go-ahead to become a franchisee in 2019.
For Danielle, a 50/50 shareholding and franchise relationship with the Laser Clinics Group has worked for her knowing she receives ongoing support and, and she receives an attractive remuneration package as well as a share of the clinic profits.
“The franchise relationship really gave me confidence and I knew that they would’ve done their research on their end to ensure that the clinic was able to work with the right person running it,” she says.
Drawing on her home-town knowledge, Danielle has targeted community events such as Fashions on the Field at the races to promote the brand, along with local radio and TV marketing that is much cheaper in regional areas than in Melbourne.
“Because I’ve grown up here, I know the right marketing avenues to take up and that’s helped us build strong connections in the community.”
Great customer service has also been part of the formula. “It’s a tight-knit community, so if you’re not on point it’s spoken about by the locals,” she says. “I know that if we give amazing customer service, everything else will just come naturally off the back of it.”
Bright future as a Laser Clinics franchisee
Despite the challenge of staff shortages and some long working hours, Danielle loves her new role and is grateful for the new lease of life that Laser Clinics Australia has given her.
With the Traralgon clinic thriving, Danielle is hopeful of one day opening a second clinic.
“It doesn’t come without hard work and commitment, but this opportunity has been amazing for my personal growth and the avenues it has opened for my family.”