How to start a laser clinic. Part four.

This is the final post in the series on how to start a laser clinic. I know that the steps that I have been proposing are a bit unusual at times. However, this is the line of thought and process that I have always followed starting a new project. It has always served me well.

By now you will have a good understanding of the market in your area and also know your potential opposition and opportunities.

From here on the next step is twofold: Firstly, education. As you have noticed by now, starting a laser clinic is not always as straight forward as you may think at the beginning and it does involve a lot of capital. Ensuring that you have the best possible training upfront will save you a lot of money and effort later on.

Secondly, it is now time to sit down and write your plan on paper. The idea is not to write the perfect business plan. The function of this is to structure your thoughts and create an action plan on how to make your dream a reality.

Your written plan should at least touch the following points:

  • How are you going to pay for starting your business and equipment?
  • How are you going to finance your marketing?
  • How are you going to finance your living costs when you are a new business and not yet profitable?
Business Structure:
  • This is more important than most people think. Because it will determine what personal risk you have to take on when you are a business owner?
Business Name:
  • Some people have decided on this long ago and others just cannot find a suitable name.
  • Something practical that I have learned about this, is that a lot of times you will end up on an alphabetically ordered list. It can be a phone list; an expo list… doesn’t matter. What does matter is that you want your name as close to the top of this list as you can get.
  • If your business name starts with an A you have a very good chance at beating the competition.
Licenses and Permits:
  • In this business it is very important that you have all the necessary permits. Also get the correct insurance. And in some countries it may also be required that you belong to a professional body.
Your Accounting System
  • It is very important that you have control and knowledge over your financial situation, especially in the beginning.
Your Business Location
  • Try not to overspend on decoration in the beginning.
Your Team
  • Will it only be you to start with?
  • Who will help you with your family obligations when you have to work?
Promotion of Your Business
  • How?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Plan this for the first month, first 6 months and first year.

For a more detailed business plan and guidance it may be a good idea to contact your bank. A lot of banks offer various resources and guidance for people who want to start a business.

I hope that this series of posts were helpful to bring you a step closer to turning your dreams into reality.

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When you are ready for the next step, please have a look at our courses.

How to start a laser clinic. Part three

It has been some time now since we have created our lists of active clinics in our areas and we have been following them on social media, as well as in the classic media.

What I have been noticing is that I can divide my list again in 2 categories: Professionals; and those who are clearly in it for the money.

With this I also notice a clear divide in the messages they put out to society as well as the equipment each category uses.

It is now time to step it up a bit and the following step we need to take is to start with consultations.  We would like to get as much experience as possible in the consulting and sales process. In my mind the best way to start learning this is to be the client.

Apart from this, I would also like to meet these therapists in person to see if the conclusions I have come to during my previous research are right. As the newbie I would like to soak up the local industry ’culture’ and see how these people present themselves.

When we start booking consultations it is probably best to keep it as real as possible and therefore it is better to go for consultations on “problems” that we may actually consider treatment for.

Some of the things that I will be trying to find out about the therapists are:

  • The training each therapist enjoyed?
  • How long they have been doing laser treatments?
  • The reason why each of them decided on this career?
  • Is (s)he the owner of the clinic or an employee?
  • Why (s)he decided on this specific machine if it was his/her choice?

In general I will be looking at:

  • How the clinic is presented to the client (first impression)
  • How the therapist presents him/her self and how knowledgeable (s)he is.
  • Can I have a test spot done? (With this I would like to see how they treat their equipment. It is also the perfect opportunity to experience what treatments with the different machines are like.)
  • What is my gut feeling about this therapist and set-up?
  • Is this someone I will allow to work on my body?
  • What is worth remembering to implement in my clinic as well?
  • What is done here that I should surely not do in my clinic?
  • I also want to get a complete price list from each.

Do not worry if you don’t have it as you want it after the first of second consultation. We all need to be open to learning as much as we can and adjust after each step we take where needed.

As we are more exposed to machines and treatments it is also of more importance to educate ourselves about the technologies and equipment. We need to learn to sift through all the stories that we will be told and extract the usable bits.

I recently had a discussion with someone who wants to open a laser clinic and will be targeting skin type 5 and 6 for 98% of her potential clientele. I was really shocked when she said that she thinks an IPL will suite her needs best. When I asked if she ever had any laser or IPL treatments performed on herself, her answer was no. Yet, she is willing to pay thousands of dollars for a machine that she knows nothing about.

Learn the difference between lasers and lasers and more importantly, the difference between lasers and IPL’s. If you take one thing away from this post let it be this. Do not even consider looking at equipment until you are sufficiently educated in the differences between technologies firstly; and secondly the differences between machines in the same technology.

In meantime it is good to start a list of all equipment suppliers that are locally active in your area.

With this I will conclude this post. We have a lot of work awaiting us. Remember the more you document at this stage the more information you will have in your library to fall back on and easier it will become later on.

How to start a laser clinic. Part two.

In part one I gave some home work. The assignment was to create a list of 15 laser clinics as close to the location where you want to open a laser clinic as possible. This list of laser clinics will form the foundation of your library that you are about to build-up.

Please document everything as well as you can. The more you document, the larger your library will become in the shortest time.

The first thing that I recommend you do with your list of laser clinics is to divide it into 2 categories: Clinics offering treatments I am allowed to perform; and clinics offering treatments that I am not allowed performing.

In your country certain treatments may be linked to specific job titles. For example in Belgium a beautician may perform laser hair removal but not pigmentation treatments, where a dermatologist may perform laser pigmentation treatments.

Always keep in mind that simply because something is done in a specific way or by a specific group of people does not mean that it is regulated in the law that way. You may be allowed to do more than you think.

By doing the exercise in the above paragraph you will learn a couple of things. Firstly, the laws and regulations governing laser treatment where you want to open your laser clinic. At the same time you will also learn what is not regulated. This is important because most people are so focused on what is regulated that they close their minds to the possibilities of that what is not regulated.

You will also learn who may be real competition and who may be a partner to work with in the future.

You may furthermore learn about treatments that you may not have known to exist.

It is also important from now on to actively follow the clinics on your list. If they have a Youtube canal, subscribe, follow them on Facebook and if you see a printed ad, cut it out and put it in you file. These clinics are currently shaping the perspective of your potential clients on laser treatments and it will be to your advantage to know what these clinics tell the community.

Also try to replace the clinics that falls under “treatments you are not allowed to do” with new names on your list. Thus follow at least 15 clinics that offer treatments that you are allowed to offer.

Next time we will start looking at different technologies and types of treatments. Until then try to learn as much as possible from the people whom are already doing what you want to start in your area.

Please let us have your questions and feel free to make comments that will help others as well.

How to start a laser clinic. Part one.

A lot of people ask me: How do I start a laser clinic?

Maybe you have been reading about laser therapy in the media a lot lately. And maybe you know a laser therapist that’s always talking about the interesting treatments he or she performs. Or maybe, you know about a laser therapist or laser clinic owner that drives around in his or her big fancy car and you wonder how they do it?

For me it was a bit different. I started my first laser clinic in 2001 in Pretoria, South Africa. In those days there were not allot of media attention given to aesthetics lasers and I have not met any laser therapists before I started a clinic. It sort of just happened. But the days that things sort of just happen are over.

In this series of posts I will try to give some pointers for people that would like to start a laser clinic or just want to become laser therapists.

It is very similar to starting any business in live. The first thing that I recommend for you to do is to start with the phonebook. Or maybe nowadays it is better known as Google.

Just look for as many as possible laser clinics that you can find in your area. If you live in a city, you area may be as big as your local suburb to find at least 15 laser clinic. If you live in a rural area don’t think that you have a raw deal. It may sometimes be a benefit. Whatever the case may be. Try to make a list of at least 15 laser clinics or salons as close to you as possible.

Why you need this list of 15 clinics will become clear to you in the posts to follow.

The second thing that I recommend you start with immediately is to educate yourself. This you can do by start reading industry magazines, reading articles and watching videos on the internet and enrol for courses.

Just one note of warning: When you use the internet to educate yourself please realize that not everything that you will read or see on a video is the absolute truth.  You may find yourself very soon in a place of confusion more than anything else. Do not worry, this is a normal phase that you will go through as you start to grow you knowledge on this topic.

I always welcome any questions or remarks you may have. Please send it to me.

Can you study laser therapy online?

Do you have your doubts about doing an online course, never mind an online laser course? You are not alone.

We often get the question: How can you do such a technical training as laser therapy as an online course?

At first, laser therapy may looks like the one type of training that is not possible to do online. However, you can roughly say that 95% of the knowledge you need to be a successful laser therapist is not machine specific.

Before you can think of giving your first laser treatment you have to know all relevant safety procedures and before- and aftercare needed for the treatment, apart from the actual treatment protocol. You have to know and understand the physics that enables the treatment; else you will never have a satisfied client. You need to be familiar with the industry standards, your competition and fellow laser therapists. If you want to purchase a machine you need to know which machine will serve you best and why? And on top of that you will have to give your client an intelligent answer when (s)he asks a question about a treatment totally not related to what your busy doing.

Since there are so many different laser machines on the market you cannot prepare for a career as laser therapist by learning how one or two specific machines work. There is a very good chance that you will never work with the machine you have trained with, unless of cause if you have bought that laser. However, if you know the science and technology that enables a treatment and you understand your treatment parameters you can do a successful treatment with any machine.

The 5% of knowledge you need from practical training will be provided by the distributor that have sold you the machine or by the clinic you are going to work for, this is usually very machine specific. The other 95% of knowledge you need to have before you touch a machine the first time… This 95% is the training that the LaserCollege.Org strives to provide you with.

The LaserCollege.Org is not contempt with minimum requirements being fulfilled by a course. Our courses provide you with more than just a certificate. It provides you with the knowledge to excel. The courses developed by us are aimed at the therapists who want to become part of the top 5% performers in the aesthetic laser industry. You know your stuff and you are excellent in what you do.

Whether you are about to make a career switch to aesthetic laser therapy or you want to take up a executive position in the industry you definitely have to look at the courses offered by us. Visit us at and do not hesitate to ask questions.

The difference between the “Advanced cosmetic laser therapist course” and the “Laser and IPL hair removal therapist course”?

We often get the question: Please explain the difference between the “Advanced Aesthetic Laser Therapist course” and the “Laser and IPL Hair Removal Therapist course”?

The “Advanced Aesthetic Laser Therapist course” is a complete course covering all aspects of laser and light therapies. This course includes low-level laser, LED-therapy, high power laser and IPL. It also gives an overview of ablative and other types of lasers used in aesthetic medicine.

The treatments covered by this course include, but are not limited to: Laser hair removal, vein treatments, pigmentation treatments and various skin rejuvenation treatments.

The Advanced course includes a LazerTouch handheld low-level laser unit as part of the course material. This unit is needed for the completion of practical assignments.

An additional benefit of this LazerTouch unit is that it is a professional unit that allows you to start generating income from your clinic or salon the moment you have completed the course.

If you are not sure which direction you would like to take as laser therapist or want to make a career change and first wants to get an overall view of the aesthetic laser industry before you make the change, this is the course for you.

You will find a full overview of this course here.

The “Laser and IPL Hair Removal Therapist course” is a specialist course that Laser and IPL hair removal therapist courseonly deals with laser hair removal. It teaches you the difference between laser and IPL and when which of the two is best suited. This course does not include any equipment as part of the course material.

If you already know that laser hair removal is what you will specialize in as laser therapist or if you have already bought a laser or IPL and are not sure about your protocols, this will then be the course for you.

You will find a full overview of this course here.

We always recommend that you start your journey in the aesthetic laser industry by educating yourself. This will save you thousands of euro’s, dollars or any other currency you may use.

Importing your own laser and IPL equipment.

We often get the question from students: “What do we think about importing your own equipment from China?”

Chinese made laser or IPL

There is no easy answer to this question.

Before you can start thinking of buying equipment you first need to answer two questions for yourself.
Firstly, what would you like to do? (What treatments or services would you like to offer your client?)
Secondly, what technology would serve you best to do these treatments you would like to offer?
These two questions you have to answer before looking at equipment, whether importing it for yourself or buying from a local agent.

The only way you can answer these two questions is to start your journey with a solid education in the treatments and technologies that you have in mind.

Once you have decided on what it is that you want and that you would like to import it yourself from China there is one very important factor that you have to remember: When you deal with Chinese manufacturers the first thing you have to realize is that English is not their main language. This is very important, because it may lead to various miscommunications on both sides of the negotiations. It is therefore important that you spend time in reading and writing emails various times before coming to a conclusion. The same is also valid for the user manual(s) that will accompany the equipment. Do not except that it will be written in a form of English that you can easily understand.

Other factors that you have to keep in mind when dealing with a foreign manufacturer directly are practical training on the specific unit(s), technical support and availability of consumables (like flash lamps). If you can get a suitable solution to all of these points, you may save yourself a lot of money by importing your own equipment.

However, on the other side of the coin, you may end-up with something totally different than what you have had in mind.

Many newcomers to the industry think that a Nd:YAG laser is the same thing whether you buy it in China or America. This is a total misconception. It means that the machine from China and the machine from America will have the same wavelength (1064nm), but apart from that it will be two totally different machines. The wavelength is no indication of the overall quality of the machine.

Evaluate all the properties of a machine before you buy it and not just the wavelength. The ability of the machine to provide good results lays in the combination of all the properties of the machine and not just in the wavelength.

To find out how the LaserCollege.Org can assist you in your training needs read through our website.



A word that appears more and more nowadays in media is biomodulation. Biomodulation is a better descriptive word than low-level laser or LED-therapy for the biological processes stimulated with low energy photon irradiation.  With the advancement of low-level lasers and LED’s, it has become more probable that the devices utilizing these technologies also create a thermo reaction (heat reaction). With biomodulation this thermo reaction is absent, irrespective of the technology used.

Photo-biomodulation has become the collective name for what was previously called LLLT, soft laser, cold laser, LED-therapy and cold light therapy. These names all referred to treatments where no thermo reaction was created. The light is only used to stimulate existing chemical reactions in the body.

Biomodulation, itself, is the process following a photochemical reaction. Photochemical reactions can be compared to photosynthesis in plants where the light causes a chemical change when it is absorbed.

Which treatments are generally seen as biomodulation treatments?

This can be any treatment done with low-level lasers, LED devices or other low energy output light devices. You will find these treatments in beauty, lifestyle and medicine. The most important factor is that the light does not create a thermo or ablative reaction. Only a chemical reaction.

How much energy is required for biomodulation?

There are more and more evidence that biomodulation has a biphasic dose response. This means that effective treatment require a minimum level of energy to achieve a therapeutic (beneficial) reaction and as the energy is increased from this minimum level upwards the therapeutic reaction will improve until it reach a maximum therapeutic result. When more energy is applied after this maximum therapeutic level has been reached the results will decline and at some point a too high energy level will give negative therapeutic results.

In general it seems that the best biomodulation results are between 2 J/cm2 and 8 J/cm2 (depending on various factors).

You will find some more information about this in the paper: “Biphasic Dose Response in Low Level Light Therapy – An Update” by Huang, Ying-Ying; Sharma, Sulbha K; Carroll, James; more…

A publication of International Hormesis Society, 2011, Volume 9, Issue 4.

LaserCollege offers a course on low-level laser and LED-therapy. You can click here for an overview of this course.

If you have any experience or thoughts about this topic; please let us know by posting a comment on your experience.

Laser hair removal

Although one of the most common treatments performed with lasers and IPL’s; laser hair removal still remains a regularly discussed topic with some stubborn urban myths about it.

Let us start with the question: What is the difference between temporary laser / IPL hair removal and permanent laser / IPL hair removal?

When the hair root is not sufficiently heated to kill the hair papilla the hair will shed, but a new hair will grow again from the same papilla. The hair free period can be up to 3 months.

On the other hand if the papilla is killed there will not grow another hair from it.

Shedding of the hair after a treatment does not indicate permanent results

How does laser hair removal work?

The light emitted from the handpiece gets absorbed by melanin which then heats-up. Because the hair root contains a high concentration of melanin there will be enough heat created to damage the tissue surrounding the hair root to such extend that no further hair growth will occur from that specific hair papilla.

To achieve this there must be enough energy (light) available for a sufficient period of time to heat up the hair root. The real secret to success lies in the energy and pulse length combination. Too much energy in a too short period will lead to destruction of the hair itself without sufficient damage to surrounding tissue (shedding of the hair and temporary results). Too little energy will cause very little or no visible results and sufficient energy with a wrong pulse length will also deliver temporary results.

What happens to the skin since it also contains melanin?

It also heats-up. The melanin in your skin is exactly the same pigment as the melanin in your hair. For this reason skin cooling is a very important component of successful permanent hair removal. The epidermis must be cooled during the period that the laser emits the light beam.

This cooling will not affect the heating-up of the hair root since the skin is a very weak conductor of heat and both the cooling of the epidermis and the heating of the hair root are local processes.

Thus the lighter the skin is the safer the procedure will be and the darker the hair gets the better the treatment results.

Cooling gels are very ineffective in protecting the skin during a treatment. This is because of two simple reasons:

Firstly, the cooling gel will be pressed away by the handpiece and thus not provide a sufficient protection layer.

Secondly, if the cooing gel is not pressed away and a distance is left between the handpiece and the skin the light will be reflected and refracted to such an extent by the gel that the treatment will not achieve the desired results.

In practise the use of cooling gel during a treatment indicates that you should only expect temporary results and not permanent results.

What is the difference between a laser treatment and an IPL treatment?

Lasers only emit one wavelength of light at a given time. This means that less elements in you skin and body will react to the light during a treatment and the treatment will be much more focused. (Using a wavelength of 750nm will not affect elements that react to 680nm.) For this reason you will get lasers that are suitable for hair removal as well as lasers that cannot do hair removal. There is also no (or very little) loss of energy.

IPL’s emit a broad range of light that is filtered (usually) between 500nm and 1100nm. Because of this the handpiece must be placed directly onto the skin or else too much loss of energy will occur. In turn this leads to a high heat build-up in the epidermis. This is also the reason why IPL’s are not suitable for dark skin types.

Various manufacturers claim that their IPL’s are safe for dark or all skin types. This is only achievable if you lower the energy to such a level that permanent hair removal can no longer be achieved.

Can permanent laser / IPL hair removal be achieved on all skin types and hair types?

No. The hair and hair root must contain a sufficient concentration of melanin to generate enough heat to destroy the hair papilla.

The ideal person for permanent laser / IPL hair removal will have very light skin and dark hair. However, this ideal person exists rarely in reality. The bigger the contrast between skin and hair, the better the results will be.

Is laser more dangerous than IPL?

No.  In the hands of a well trained therapist both technologies will provide the desired results in a safe manner.

Because of the wide range of wavelength and heat build-up, IPL’s may lead more easily to skin burns.

If you have any experience or thoughts about this topic; please let us know by posting a comment on your experience.