Injecting Optimism Into The Aesthetics Business

Dr Yanni Xu appreciates the challenges she faces as a businesswoman but is optimistic that people will still want to look good in the new year.

Coming out of a pandemic, and into a series of challenging global and local situations — logistics issues, inflation, rising costs, workforce evaluation, disruptive technologies, clouded judgement etc. etc. — how will 2023 shape up?

STORM-ASIA talks to industry players about their observations and approach to the new year. The interviews will be featured over the month of December.

Dr Yanni Xu, Director, The Urban Clinic

 Zooming In On The “Zoom Phenomenon”

2022 was an exciting year to say the least.

I came into 2022 optimistic as I was looking forward to Singapore opening up to tourists and the reinstatement of trade fairs and big shows (Formula 1, Jay Chou concert etc.). We were long overdue for catch-ups and parties! 

Many did advise me that the finance industry will have to rally hard and indeed share prices fell, a big cryto exchange went bust (literally). Supply chain disruption affected everybody (Panadol went out of stock at one point, guys!). 

Saying that, some industries did well, too. Hotel occupancy has been at an all-time high, Singapore Airlines was able to give out dividends and thankfully, aesthetic medicine and our clinic managed to weather the storms to record good growth.

Back To Office!

Our clinic has benefited from patients going back to office, meeting up with old friends and the “Zoom phenomenon” — critically analysing and identifying one’s ageing issues whilst on Zoom. 

What I’ve also noticed is that though aesthetic medicine has matured considerably over the last few years, unfortunately, I’m also seeing more over-Botoxed and over-filled faces that cannot move naturally. Many people complain of aesthetics chain clinics that sell packages without even having a proper consultation with a trained doctor. 

The Ministry of Health will continue to clamp down on marketing of aesthetic services and named devices in 2023 in an attempt to curb soliciting and sales tactics from unethical businesses. I feel it’s also important for patients seeking treatments for ageing to understand that ageing well is to look good for one’s age and there is just no natural way to turn back the clock. Looking good hopefully means feeling good and enabling one to enjoy the best possible daily life.

Expansion Plans

In 2023, our team will continue to expand and our doctors and staff will continue to improve our technical and scientific knowledge on skin and ageing. There will be new injectables and devices to benefit the evolving needs of our patients. An exciting new growth for our clinic will be the start of hair transplantation services.

Reasons to pull one’s hair: The Ukraine-Russia war and crazy inflation will continue, and GST will be hiked. Hence, we expect a slowing of business in the first quarter before regaining back our momentum. 

Our strategy includes holding our prices at the 2016 level and not adjusting them. We hope patients will understand our sincerity in doing so and be back in clinic again. 

We will also use the first quarter meaningfully to improve our website, social media platforms and training of our staff. 

The wild card is the reopening of China. We are unable to predict if that will amount to greater interest in medical tourism but we will explore that avenue when the time comes.

I am a cup-half-full kind of person. Every obstacle that comes our way is a growth opportunity. I am proud to embrace 2023 with my team at work and at home and look forward to the continuous recovery of the country from COVID-19 and pray daily for world peace.

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