A North East health professional who is passionate about improving standards in the aesthetics industry has launched her own treatments clinic.
Having worked for the past 30 years as a nurse, midwife and health visitor, Gateshead’s Nicola Jones aims to use her clinical skills and knowledge to provide a professional and high-quality service.
After training as an aesthetics nurse and qualifying as a registered independent prescriber, she turned to experts from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) to help her turn a career in caring into a commercial business.
A series of workshops, residential courses and one-to-one advice sessions provided by the BIC’s start-up programme gave Nicola the confidence to set up her own business, Vita Nova, in addition to her work with the NHS.
She’s now running a regular clinic from premises within Hebburn’s Viking Gym, offering treatments including wrinkle relaxant injections and dermal fillers as well as a prescribing service to other aesthetic practitioners.
Nicola said: “I’m starting my business at a really exciting time for the aesthetics industry, when there is now government recognition of the importance of clinical practice becoming professional and regulated and I’m proud to help set new standards of care and safety for clients.
“My clinical experience and qualifications as a registered nurse and independent prescriber give my clients real confidence that they’re in safe hands. I feel passionately that this is the way the aesthetics industry should operate, not only to ensure client safety but also to avoid putting more pressure on our already-strained NHS in the event of poorly administered treatments.”
Nicola credits the BIC’s support as enabling her to make her business dream a reality and is the first to admit she knew nothing about self-employment before meeting their business experts.
She said: “I know how to do my own job well but before I met my advisers at the BIC I had absolutely no idea how to set up a business!
“But I had nothing to worry about because there is so much support available. I couldn’t believe such fantastic resources and services are available free of charge to people wanting to become self-employed.
“I’ve accessed some amazing expertise, from workshops on how to attract customers to one-to-one practical advice guiding me through the essentials such as cash flow and bookkeeping.
“It’s been absolute gold to me. It’s been the difference between thinking about this and actually doing it. Starting your own business demands new skills, resilience and knowledge but once you’ve acquired them it’s really exciting to be in control of your own future.”
Shirley Hermiston, Business Support Manager from the BIC said: “Here at the BIC we’ve 25 years’ experience of guiding people along their own path to entrepreneurship, signposting them to the most relevant courses, workshops and advice to fill any gaps in their skills and confidence.
“It’s always incredibly satisfying to see our clients going into business after working hard to equip themselves with the knowledge and know-how they need to make a commercial success of their business idea. We look forward to learning of Nicola’s future success.”
The North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC)’s start-up programme is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).