The very first feature article for this new kid on the block called Boss Babes Network, is someone who could write a book on the hows and whats of business. Amy Knoetze will also be the keynote speaker at our next Boss Babes Network event on the 9th of June and we hope you will all be joining us. Let’s take a look at who this beautiful woman in the pictures is.
Boss Babes: Firstly, Amy, can you tell us when and how your journey began into your profession as a Medical Aesthetic therapist?
Amy: My upbringing was somewhat unconventional, and as a teen, I reached a crossroads in my life. I found myself out of school, and knew I needed to make some better decisions in my life. So, at the age of 16 I found myself living with my beautiful foster family, who gave me an opportunity to make changes, get my studies done and support me. I was introduced to the industry by my foster father, actually, and I used some money I had stashed away in a trust to start my journey. At first I thought this might not be for me but when I saw all the text books, and how comprehensive the 3 year programme was, I was over the moon. I went on to be awarded Top Overall Student and knew then already that I wanted to build an empire in my future! I went straight into medical aesthetics when I started working, always more aligned with results- driven treatment rather than conventional beauty treatment, and so I started my “time in the trenches.” I said to myself, work hard for 7 years, learn absolutely everything you can, save every penny possible and then start your company… and that’s exactly what I did. I worked here in Cape Town for a couple of years, and then one day I decided to spread my wings, and a week later, I landed at London Heathrow, 20 years old, never been on a plane before, with a huge suitcase, 100 pounds in my pocket that I had been loaned to get me going, and blind faith and excitement. I spent the next 7.5 years working in the top spas and medical clinics, with dermatologists, surgeons, and celebrity clientele. I did course after course, and I became the best I possibly could.
BB: What lessons have you learned from setting up and running your own business?
Amy: I learned to start slowly, one thing at a time, and to do what you are doing well. Invest everything you can to grow the business and don’t live beyond your means. There was a time that I was embarrassed by my green Ford KA that kept breaking down. My employees drove better cars than me and I did not want them or my patients to look down on me. That voice in our heads that tells us we are not worthy of success is our biggest challenge, and one I try to keep in check every day. Now I drive my dream car, and sometimes the voice shifts to me being embarrassed to drive such a nice car. It’s completely ridiculous, and its other people’s opinions about money that have caused it. The sayings that “you shouldn’t talk about money”, or “wealthy people got there in some bad way”, or the idea that if you have money, it somehow it means you are shallow – those words have power and it’s time to change the script. It’s perfectly OK and amazing to have a solid financial future and want to be able to have nice things. Anyone can do it- you simply need to take action!
BB: What specific challenges did you face along the way?
Amy: Building a team that is invested in your dream is challenging. I used to take it so personally if a staff member resigned. I would be so hurt and upset, but I see now how wasted that energy was; it’s ok for people to move on. I now look at my business as a cumulation of moving parts, some people are meant to be there for a shorter time and some will be more long term addition, and that’s all part of it, we are all on our own journey. Saying that, I have also refined my staff recruitment to a 4 stage process that allows me to have more insight into areas of a potential employee’s personality and drive. It also gives them a space to show if they will be committed to the role and to see if it is energetically aligned with them.
BB: You have a clinic in Kenridge and one in Kloof street. How do you maintain both of them as one person?
Amy: Stepping into my CEO role has been a process of trusting my team to take on more responsibility. We are now a team of around 15 people working on our brand. There is no one person who can do it all. Yes, I do work between 3 companies but now I take on more of a management training and marketing role, and allow my team to take over areas where their strengths shine. If I was going to micromanage and try do it all myself, I would only be a nervous wreck and would ultimately be holding my business back.
BB: What has been your biggest success to date?
Amy: Being an entrepreneur is a daily accumulation of success, from the choosing of the business name, to seeing your finalised logo, to hiring members of your team, or positive reviews from clients. It’s all amazing. I have been sponsored to go to Singapore for the World Congress of Dermatology. I have 2 aesthetics clinics, I have a distribution company that supplies over 250 clinics and I get as much joy in that as I do when I see a patient smiling when their skin has been healed. But having said this, my biggest accomplishment is being able to provide a good foundation and future for my son!
BB: Looking back now, is there anything you would have done differently?
Amy: We all have a history, it’s part of what makes us who we are. Sometimes it may have been difficult to navigate, but I learned through every challenge, and that is what has made me the strong woman I am today. The people who know me know I am always looking 5 steps ahead, always ready to raise the bar and grow!
BB: You have now begun the process to franchise your brand. What do you think constitutes a great franchised brand?
Amy: For the longest time I was reluctant to franchise, it seemed like a mountain in front of me. We were regularly asked to open branches in other regions, but I was afraid the quality would be lost. I spoke with my business coach about it, and for the last year I have been working on every detail- my franchise bible in a sense- to ensure that we empower each new business owner who joins our team as we expand our footprint across Southern Africa. We have carefully cultivated our brand identity, mission and core values and with consistent training and support it is designed to ensure our franchisees succeed and grow.
BB: Where can we find your clinics, and how can anyone get in touch with you from a franchising perspective?
Amy: The best would be to start with a look at our website where you will find all information on the franchise opportunity, and be able to download our company profile and application document. Any candidates with a serious interest will need to submit an application and from there my team will set up a meeting to go over particulars.