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Introduction to the start-up

This essay analyzes Deb Farnworth-Wood the CEO of Australian Skin Clinics who is the entrepreneur behind the transformation of Australian Skin Clinics into one of the foremost businesses in the industry growing the company exponentially into what it is today.

ASC History, development and growth

Australian Skin Clinics (ASC) is recognized widely as a leading authority in Cosmetic and Aesthetic services in Australia that offers a wide range of result driven aesthetic treatments that suits all ages and skin types. The company’s history dates back in 1996 when it was established as Queensland’s first Cosmedi-Spa. The doctor who established it had an idea of making it a franchising company but this was not to be. However, the company grew rapidly since its inception and by the time Deb Farnworth-Wood bought it in 2007, Australian Skin Clinic was already an established Gold Coast business that had a 12,000 client base. Since the 2007acquisation, Australian Skin Clinic (ASC) has been on a growth trajectory and has been transformed into a commercially viable franchise company (Ozskin.com, 2016). The company’s first franchise was launched in 2011. Today, the company has 22 franchises across Australia and plans are underway to launch in New Zealand. The company has also expanded its range of services including laser hair removal, laser rejuvenation, cosmetic injectables, skin tightening, microdermabrasion, skin peels and fractional RF. The company also operates the Advanced Skills Academy as well as a shop-fitting business. ASC has also bought a skin care company while its future plans include opening 20 new clinics in each of the next three years which will include fifteen in New Zealand.

Start up background analysis

Background to the entrepreneur in terms of family and socio-cultural

Deb Farnworth-Wood was born in 1962 in the United Kingdom which was her native country. She started working as an office administrator at a young age before being quickly promoted to administration manager of a retail store. She would then be promoted to a regional administrator seconded to store opening teams. This gave her an opportunity to gain experience in audit, goods receipt, warehousing, security, maintenance as well as on-floor sales thus exposing her to almost every aspect of the business. However, when the company wanted to move her to London, she had to resign the job owing to her desire for freedom/independence in addition to the fact that she did not want to give up her family and the quality of life for the chaos of the city (Littunen, 2000). As such, she quit the job and began a temporary job at a general practice hence getting initiated into the health industry. Coincidentally, the UK government was looking for experienced business managers to undertake financial accountability and management while undertaking innovation in the health sector. Her involvement in the initiative saw the doctors make her a partner becoming the first non-general practitioner to become a partner in a general practice.

As time went by, Deb and her family bought a pharmacy where they introduced other services including dietetics, dental, podiatry, aesthetic and counselling services. The industry had a lot of growth and development opportunities which gave a lot of business experience to Deb. Deb worked in the sector for 17 years after which it was time for her to look for a new challenge. At the age of 44 years, she decided to move to Australia with her husband and family for a big change. It was during a reconnaissance mission in 2006 that Deb found Australian Skin Clinics and recognized its potential for growth and development. She made a decision to buy it and revamp it (Whichfranchise.net.au, 2016). Her business experience and background in health management would enable her run the business into what it is today having decided that running the business as a franchise was the best option for her. It is thus clear that Deb history and background coupled with her entrepreneurial nature enabled her identify a good opportunity the ability to run the business into what it is today.

Description of key start up developed by the entrepreneur

A number of entrepreneurial start-ups can be credited to Deb Farnworth-Wood. However, the most notable startup is her Australian Skin Clinics company. As stated above, Australian Skin Clinic is a medi-aesthetic franchise business currently operating in Victoria, Queensland as well as New South Wales. It also has eminent presence in other Australian states. It is worth to note that the company’s first franchise clinic came into being in 2011 and hence the company has rapidly grown to its current size in just over five years. The success is mainly attributed to the company’s successful business model as well as growing demand for the services it offers. The company has been offering a wide range of results driven treatments that have included laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, acne management, treatment for sun damage and skin care, scarring, pigmentation and rosacea (Kuratiko, 2014). The company’s services are designed to suit a wide customer spectrum as far as age and gender are concerned. This is in line with the company’s mission of making its customer’s look and feel fantastic about themselves by offering affordable, acceptable and effective cosmetic treatments in stunning, well-appointed facilities delivered by experienced, qualified and highly trained team members.

It is worth noting that since the first franchise was established in 2011, the company’s total number of franchises are more than twenty today. The number of staff employed at the head office have also increased to the current 27. The franchise model according to Deb was preferred owing to its enabling her share success with others as they grow together while being able to bring other business minds and ideas together in a way which constantly challenges and promotes improvement. The company’s success has also been made possible since the franchise model ensures that only those with adequate knowledge are given an opportunity to become a franchise. The company’s values are also hailed for its success (Businessfranchisesaustralia.com.au, 2016). These values include consistency of standards and procedures across all the franchises. The company also gives the highest level of experience to its clients and colleagues at all times while embracing ethical provision of treatment and services. The company also embraces professionalism in all aspects of services and business while undertaking effective treatment research and evidence based treatment and services. The company beliefs that credibility is earned through honesty and expertise while industry leaders are placed at the leading edge of the company’s fields of operation (Businessacumen.biz, 2016). These values coupled with the successful business model are behind the start-ups success.

Analysis of the competitive advantage of the start-up

ASC’s competitive advantage over its rivals lie in its ability to offer high quality services by ensuring that the franchises are ran through high levels of professionalism. The competitive advantage is also seen in the company’s highly distinctive branding culture and approach hence making customers’ look and feel fantastic about themselves. Thus, the company offers affordable, accessible and effective cosmetic treatments in beautiful, high quality facilities delivered by highly experienced, qualified and highly trained team members (Nair, 2015). Thus, training is one of ASC’s unique selling point and hence competitive advantage. The company operates under very high professional standards given that it originally operated in the most highly regulated states for laser licensing and has gone ahead to develop standards that exceed the licensing requirements hence setting the industry’s benchmark. These training and operational standards are replicated across all its operations thus ensuring consistency of high quality are given across the brand. Thus, the company has become a medical model as opposed to pure beauty.

Where the start-up can develop different types of businesses

The pace at which ASC has developed is evidence that there is still great untapped market for services across Australia. As such, the company should first focus on serving the unserved regions in Australia by establishing more franchises across Australia. In the long run, the company should consider establishing overseas operations especially in such regions as Africa and Asia where the services it offers may not be well developed at the moment (Whichfranchise.net.au, 2016). In addition, the company should be more innovative taking advantage of advances in technology to ensure that more innovative services reach as many customers as possible. This will ensure market expansion thus increasing its revenues and hence profits.

Different avenues the start-up can take in future

Every entrepreneur would want to expand their business so as to maximize the amount of returns realized from the venture. As such, ASC should consider taking its business to online platforms in a bid to increase awareness while increasing its client’s base (Dara, 2013). The company should also consider introducing other forms of treatment related to the skin such as skin cancer treatment services thus increasing its scope of services. The company should also introduce a beauty products line where people can buy the company’s products while not necessarily consuming the services offered by the company. This way, the company will successful increase its clients base and hence market.


This paper has looked at Deb Farnworth-Wood who is the power behind Australian Skin Clinics as an example of an Australian entrepreneur. Her ability to turn around ASC from just a one branch clinic in 2006 and from a single franchise in 2011 to its current level of growth shows the entrepreneurial spirit she possesses. The essay has clearly shown that her family and social background has played a great role in imparting entrepreneurial and business skills in her. This is seen in her early career background as a young office administrator in Britain rising through the levels to become a senior company administrator (Amolo and Migiro, 2014). This is also seen in her transitioning from a business background to the health sector. Being able to identify opportunities and turning them into successful businesses are her characteristics as an entrepreneur. It is no wonder then that her business was ranked number 7 among the top 100 entrepreneurships in Australia. Thus, this essay has proved beyond reasonable doubts that Deb Farnworth-Wood is an entrepreneurial force to reckon with.


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