Into Business with Craig Colgan

INTO BUSINESS: Dianne putting on a brave face during difficult period for Dundalk businesses

Into Business with Craig Colgan

Craig Colgan

Reporter:

Craig Colgan

INTO BUSINESS: Dianne putting on a brave face during difficult period for Dundalk businesses

This week’s column features Dianne Crosby, the Clinical Director at Luminess Skin and Laser Clinic based in Seatown Gardens in Dundalk.

Luminess Skin and Laser Clinic is the culmination of 16 years’ experience in the beauty industry. Dianne has a passion for helping clients to achieve their skin and laser goals, be it for personal or underlying medical reasons.

The new business, which started in April 2019, is a medi-aesthetic clinic with the focus being skin health and laser procedures. The most popular treatments would be the digital skin analysis, laser hair removal and vascular treatments.

Dianne works with some of the most advanced skincare ranges and devices in the industry, many of which are considered leaders in their field and can be found in some of the most prestigious Dermatological clinics and hospitals the world over.

Setting up a new business can be tough, and we asked Dianne how she has found self-employment?

“Being self-employed has pros and cons like any other job. For me personally one of the most important things is that I have the final say on what treatments we offer our valued clients.

“There are so many products, devices etc on the market it can be a bit of a mind field, but I am very picky!

“If a product or device doesn't exceed my professional expectations it simply will not be given a place in the clinic no matter how 'popular' it may be. I'm not into fads, I will only entertain a product or treatment if it has long term benefits, clinical white papers to prove its claims and if it is something I would personally have or want myself. It's that old saying isn't it; I don't love it because I sell it. I sell it because I love it!

“I trial and test every single product and treatment that we offer, it's all about research for me.

“Being able to introduce our clients to the very best the industry has to offer and help them with any concerns they felt were untreatable, that outweighs the cons.”

Like myself in Sailor Sharkey Barbers, this is Luminess’s second lockdown. Dianne tells us how she has coped with that and what impact it has had on the business.

“Having to close my business due to the lockdown back in March was without a doubt devastating. The clinic was less than a year old.

“It pales in comparison to what people that had been directly impacted by the Covid19 virus itself went through and are going through of course.

“When I opened the clinic in April 2019 I had the entire year ahead all planned out, right up to Christmas of this year, but the highlight was to be our first birthday in April 2020, but sadly this was not to be.

“So instead, we utilised our website and this way we were still able to celebrate with our lovely clients by offering discounts and special packages via our online shop.

“The website has again come into play majorly with this second lockdown. It is such an integral part of the business, it's like another member of the team really!

“This pandemic and subsequent lockdown has forced us all to re-evaluate how we approach and run our businesses.

“We offer online skin and laser consultations and we pride ourselves on our customer care and client aftercare.

“Just because the clinic is temporarily closed doesn't mean we are going to forget about the importance of looking after our brilliant clients, without them there is no us and we are so thankful for all the support we get from our clients.

“My team has been a massive source of support to me during both lockdowns, we regularly keep in touch, we have a WhatsApp group, we bounce ideas off each other and it helps me stay motivated and positive, we have the craic too of course, they're a fun bunch of girls. I couldn't do it without them,” she said.

Dianne is certainly a futuristic businesswoman with a modern website as she discussed above. We wanted to see how important the site has been to her business.

“The website is my labour of love. I'm not overly IT savvy but I have a brilliant website designer, Stephen from WebNiche.

“The website is, as I've said, integral to the business.

“In a sense we have had to repurpose the clinics business plan, I call it being 'closed physically-open virtually', I would never have imagined that we would rely on the website so much but given that we can't trade normally, the website has really kept us going and brought Luminess to clients from all over the country and overseas, something we physically could never do. My advice to anyone starting out in business or that has maybe been in business for some time now, if you don't have a website, get one!”

The future looks bright for Dianne and Luminess but she isn’t thinking too far ahead for now.

“I have so many things in the pipeline. Some things have obviously had to take a backseat for a minute, but they are still firmly on the list.

“The 5-year plan has been adjusted slightly so we'll just have to adjust alongside it. Watch this space as they say.”

When asked what advice she has for business owners through this time she said: “Take time to decompress!

“During the first lockdown I worked non-stop. We do late evenings in the clinic every night but because I was working from home I felt I wasn't clocking off like I normally would and so I ended up burning out.

“I love my business, it's my absolute dream clinic but no one can work 16-hour days and not end up exhausted. Create a daily schedule for yourself and stick to it, don't neglect yourself.

“Oh, and most importantly, put your phone down and laptop away!”

For more information on Luminess and their services, please contact Dianne and the team at 042 935 6615 or visit www.luminess.ie

If you would like your business featured please contact Craig on info@sailorsharkeybarbers.ie or on Twitter @craigleocolgan