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Thriving in Tough Times: Strategies to Keep Your Aesthetic Business Profitable During a Recession

In times of economic downturn, businesses face a multitude of challenges that can significantly impact their bottom line. The key to not just surviving but thriving during a recession lies in strategic adaptation and innovative thinking. This blog explores effective strategies to remain profitable during a recession, focusing on leveraging sales with a low cost of goods, minimizing the cost of goods sold (COGS), increasing gross margin, and utilizing high-quality photography to stand out from the competition.

Leverage Sales with Low Cost of Goods

One of the first strategies to consider during a recession is to focus on products or services that have a low cost of goods sold. This approach involves identifying items in your inventory that require minimal investment to produce or acquire but maintain strong market demand. By emphasizing sales in these areas, businesses can ensure a higher return on investment, as the reduced costs directly contribute to profitability. It’s essential to conduct a thorough analysis of your product line to pinpoint which items meet these criteria and then shift your marketing and sales efforts to highlight these low-cost options. An example of this for aesthetic practices would be to focus your energy and marketing on surgical procedures or laser procedures with zero or very low consumable costs.


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Increasing Gross Margin

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Keeping Cost of Goods as Low as Possible
Reducing the cost of goods sold is paramount in enhancing your business’s financial health, especially during economic downturns. Here are several tactics to achieve this.  Your software should be able to tell you which injectable treatment has a higher actual relative cost of goods sold. This includes taking into consideration all your treatments like those that are reduced cost or zero cost(ie., touch up treatments, free treatments for some patients etc…) We recommend keeping your injectable treatments above 80% gross margin.(Gross margin = Net Revenue/Total Revenue) The higher the number the better. 


Negotiate with Suppliers: Open a dialogue with your suppliers to negotiate more favorable terms, such as bulk purchasing discounts or extended payment terms. Suppliers are often willing to offer better rates to maintain their business during slow periods. Show them your reporting on cost of goods and gross margin and let them know you’ll be shopping around to get your numbers higher.

Outsource Strategically: Consider outsourcing non-core activities if it’s cost-effective. This can reduce overheads related to staffing and operations.

High-Quality Photography Stands Out

In a crowded market, especially during challenging economic times, distinguishing your brand from competitors is crucial. High-quality photography can be a game-changer in this respect. Exceptional product images not only attract attention but also communicate the value and quality of your offerings. Investing in professional photography can enhance your online presence, making your products more appealing and driving sales.  Here is how:

Elevate Brand Perception: Quality imagery elevates your brand’s perceived value, encouraging customers to choose you over competitors.

Enhance Online Experience: In the digital marketplace, visuals play a pivotal role in customer decision-making. High-quality images can significantly improve the online shopping experience, leading to increased conversions.

Social Media Engagement: Visual content is more likely to be shared on social media, increasing your brand’s visibility and attracting potential customers.

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Marketing to Existing Customers

It is much easier selling your products and services to existing customers who already have a positive relationship with you and have a level of existing trust. Focus your marketing efforts internally on your best customers and they will return. Now is not the time to try and generate new customers when most people are tightening their belts and reducing discretionary spending, those dollars are mostly going to waste.  Instead, find out who has spent the most on each procedure and develop some marketing material for them and make the offer persuasive. Your best customers drive most of your revenue, show them some love!


Surviving a recession requires a blend of cost management, strategic pricing, operational efficiency, and marketing ingenuity. By focusing on sales with a low cost of goods, striving to keep the cost of goods as low as possible, working to increase your gross margin, and differentiating your brand through high-quality photography, you can build a resilient business capable of weathering economic downturns. Remember, a recession, while challenging, also presents opportunities to refine your business model, improve efficiency, and strengthen your market position. By adopting these strategies, you can turn the adversity of a recession into an opportunity for growth and profitability.


Navigating through a recession is no small feat, but with the right approach, it’s entirely possible to not only survive but thrive. By focusing on key areas such as cost management, margin improvement, and market differentiation through quality presentation, businesses can create a robust strategy to weather economic downturns. The goal is to emerge from a recession stronger, leaner, and more competitive than ever before.

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