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Bouncing Back – A Thing of Beauty

May 12th, 2023

When Mahmoud set up Azthetics in Weston-super- Mare he quickly built up a loyal following. Running the clinic alongside his orthopaedic surgery rotations at the University Hospital Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust, he worked days in the hospital and evenings at the clinic.

The hard work and long hours soon paid off, and with over 1,500 clients on the books, Mahmoud decided to focus all his efforts on Azthetics, identifying an opportunity to grow the business with a second clinic in upmarket Clifton, Bristol.

Realising that he needed additional support, Mahmoud turned to his good friend Dr Tom MacDonagh. Together, they invested half a million pounds in the clinic on White Ladies Road, installing new equipment, rebranding the premises and putting all the marketing in place ready for the big launch in March 2020.

Offering 42 different cosmetic treatments, including laser and injectable treatments designed to promote the overall health and wellbeing of clients, they were well-set to meet an ever-growing demand for aesthetic treatments.

Renovations complete, the state-of-the-art clinic started trading on 1st March. Just 23 days later, the coronavirus lockdown forced the business to close its doors.

The next 12 months were a rollercoaster ride. When they were able to reopen the new clinic in July, the clinic experienced a huge influx of customers seeking cosmetic related treatments including Intrafuse, an IV vitamin boost to the immune system. The team also launched the Azthetics Academy, a weekend training centre for like-minded medical professionals to learn excellence in facial, cosmetic and health procedures. Then, once again, they had to close their doors as the November restrictions came into force.

Thanks in part to Simpkins Edwards, and their specialist healthcare accounting specialists, Mahmoud, Tom and their team have made it through all the lockdown restrictions and are once again ready to reopen in April 2021.

“It’s been great to have Simpkins Edwards by our side,” says Mahmoud. “When we set up the business, we realised that we needed the support of a proactive accountancy practice with a proven track record in the medical sector. Simpkins Edwards came highly recommended and so we went to meet them."

“We connected with Seb Beard and Mark Simic instantly. They impressed us with their extensive knowledge of the aesthetics industry and gave us an insight into the depth of business reports that they could offer, looking at expenditures, staffing costs and budget allocations. That gave us the confidence that they were a really good fit for us.”

“With their help we restructured the share capital of the business to bring Tom in as a shareholder/director. They also helped structure up the Azthetics Academy business to ensure we were maximising the tax reliefs available to us.”

For a regular monthly fee, Simpkins Edwards delivers a tailored set of services. Pre-covid this package included bookkeeping, year-end statements, business advice and monthly reporting, however this flexed during lockdown.

“Simpkins Edwards has been incredibly supportive,” says Mahmoud. “Having only just set up the Bristol Clinic, we found ourselves in a very difficult situation where we had three new members of staff, none of whom were eligible for the furlough scheme, and we also had a lease on the premises with no income. That’s when Tom and I went back to working in the NHS so that we could cover the wages of our staff, our overheads and play our part in the fight against Covid-19.”

Tom commented: “It’s great to have had Mark and Seb on our side. Mark brings solutions to problems and Seb provides a great point of contact on a practical level."

“Alongside specific advice and guidance, they produced regular updates and briefings on government grants as well as funding that we were eligible for, which meant we didn’t have to spend hours trying to decipher the detail. Together, they have provided a steady hand in very uncertain times and have always been just a Zoom call away.”

Mahmoud adds: “The Simpkins Edwards team has guided us in the use of Xero allowing us to manage the bookkeeping ourselves, which has helped to manage our costs. They have ensured that our staff were eligible for furlough from the autumn onwards, handling the calculations and submissions to HMRC. Vitally, they also enabled us to gain access to grants, and provided financial projections that enabled us to secure a Business Bounce Back loan that’s allowed us to make it through lockdown. We can’t thank them enough.”

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