At Densura, one of our key partners is Aesthetics Entrepreneurs. Founded by Richard Crawford-Small, a sales and marketing consultant with multiple positions across the aesthetics market for the past 20 years, Aesthetics Entrepreneurs both mentors and gives business advice to help clinicians and dentists establish a facial aesthetics arm of their business.

Richard has worked with different technologies, from skincare to injectables, as well as businesses of every size, from small start-ups to large manufacturers, from deals that involved a few hundred pounds to those worth a couple of million. With a unique view of the industry, Richard spotted a gap in the market and, in 2018, established Aesthetics Entrepreneurs. 

Aesthetics Entrepreneurs provides a unique offering to the entrepreneurial dentist looking to expand into the growing facial aesthetics market. How did you identify this opportunity?

It was a response to the market’s challenge where there was a lot of business support that was a little bit identikit. It was always geared around small businesses, but it didn’t take into account that there is quite a bit of unique nature to this set of businesses for the kind of treatments they do and the types of products they have. But also taking into account that there are a lot of human factors involved in all of this, being an entrepreneur and a business owner is quite hard, especially if you don’t have a background in it and you’ve come straight from a medical environment. There is a lot to learn; there are a lot of dead ends to go down. 

I decided to respect and harness that entrepreneurial spirit and create roadmaps, courses, and programs to help them up-skill themselves through their business journey. The insurance part is that the insurance proposition generally in the facial aesthetics market could be better. Because it’s all essentially geared for payout, and there was, and probably is, a large group of potential clients who understand that, and if they put a complaint in, it doesn’t matter whose fault it is; there might be no fault. What tends to happen is it’s paid out, and that’s quite a source of frustration because you haven’t done anything wrong. Suddenly, they’re paying out because it’s easier and cheaper to pay out than fight it through court. 

Having the right indemnity insurance is clearly vital for dentists then, and for those providing aesthetic treatments.

That’s what attracted me to Lockton with their Densura product, which was geared toward dentists and wasn’t discretionary; it was properly contractual. I thought there were a lot of advantages to bringing something like that into the aesthetics market, and I still think there are. Even though, from a dental perspective, they’re probably similar policies or similar kinds of make-up, there are a lot of opportunities, I think, for crossover. Cosmetic dental treatments have a massive part to play, and I think there’s a definite connection between that and the facial aesthetics market.

What is the opportunity for facial aesthetics in dentistry?

I was in New York a couple of weeks ago. I was doing a conference over there, and one of the things that struck me was how connected the client pathway is. It’s all lined up, from skincare and injectables to capital equipment, cosmetic dentistry, and plastic surgery. A client’s lifetime journey will probably touch on all of those different things. But in the UK, it’s not connected. It’s almost deliberately disconnected. The opportunity is there for that dental market with image-conscious or aesthetically aware clients. Who are in the right demographic, like 44 to 60.  Who are going through life changes, menopause, etc. They’re tuned into it, and it struck me that it doesn’t make any sense where someone can have a fantastic oral procedure, you’re cleaned up, etc. They are sitting in front of someone who has the skills and the ability to do more but doesn’t know how to offer it or position it in that way. So, the opportunity is there. It just needs a little bit of finessing.

How are dentists responding to the idea that aesthetics is important in dentistry?

It’s generally positive, and to be honest with you, a lot of dentists have already explored it or done some training on it. Very few dentists don’t know how aesthetics work. But a lot can’t work out how to connect it in the business, and that’s the blocker.

What can a dentist expect if they were to enrol in the Aesthetics Entrepreneurs Program?

We call it the AE Program. We walk through a series of different steps. Through the last 20 years, we’ve worked out our roadmap and methodology, which go through seven essential steps. 


The first step is set around goal setting, so it always comes back to:

  • What is it you want it to achieve?
  • Why do you want to achieve it?
  • What’s the impact going to be on you and your life?

Financial analysis is also used so we can get a picture of what financial perspective they want and want to achieve from a personal perspective. Getting that clear goal in place stops them from drifting around spending money in areas where they don’t necessarily need to. Investing in technologies or equipment that they don’t really need.


As long as we’ve got the goal, we can create a plan, which is the second part. Having that clear plan creates a focus; it structures and removes all of the overwhelm and makes someone far more confident to step forward.


The third part, and this is one that always gets missed, is culture. In so many businesses I’ve seen, not just in the aesthetics and dental market, the whole aspect of vision, values, beliefs, and behaviours must be considered. And that leads to many standardised offerings where everything seems to look the same and feel the same. If they understand their culture, believe their culture, and communicate that, it creates quite a unique offering. Something that’s based around the person. Once we’ve created and understood what the culture is, then we can move into the content piece.


I get it. Creating social media is complex, challenging, and time-consuming. But if it’s based around just some critical aspects of it, like video first. I’m a massive fan of doing video first because you can turn video into lots of different types of content. You have to be brave enough to be able to do it. Understand what it is you want to talk about and understand the challenges and goals that your clients have to communicate them. That makes you much more prominent in your marketplace.


The next step is community. Once we’ve talked about our vision, values, etc., and we’ve got the right content, we start to attract people who are right for you. It builds a community and makes you kind of more remarkable in that environment as well as in that marketplace.


The sixth step is opportunity. It’s about processes. People love to see roadmaps. Roadmaps for themselves and what their journey is, and also customer roadmaps so they can see those stepping points we talked about, but it’s all completely disconnected. Generally, because there’s no actual map, put the map in place, and people can follow it quite easily. That helps protect their resources to understand ROI, time, energy, money, balance, and all those aspects of it.


The final part is revenue. I’d love it to be at the beginning, but it’s not. Once you do all of those things and get them all lined up, then you’ve got a business to support that’s much more profitable, much leaner, and much more efficient as well.

Is the aesthetics market consumer-led, fed by the rise of social media and celebrity culture? Or has there always been a demand for it? 

The market has been around in many different forms for years. I’ve been in it for twenty years, and it really blew up in the UK around that sort of time. Botox basically was the thing that kicked it all off, but it has evolved quite a lot, and it’s evolved with generations. Twenty years ago, we would be talking very much to the Boomers, and the consumer messaging around that time was very much around this whole ten years younger kind of approach to things: let’s turn the clock back. But the trend now is Gen X, and it’s very much a, “You know what? We’re okay where we are. We just don’t want to age any further.” 

So it’s about looking good at your age and being able to be active. The change in the aesthetics market is consumer-led to a degree, but obviously, the consumer’s demand is driving the approach that the businesses take. This is why I think things like personalised aesthetics are really starting to come forward, like HRT, bioidentical hormones, and personalised prescription skincare. It’s not just a one-size-fits-all all. And that’s been driven by the basic requirements of Gen X, which is a very different mindset to Boomers and Millennials, which is quite exciting because it sets the scene for the next 10 – 15 years of the market.

If a dentist is considering entering the aesthetics market, what are the first steps they should take?

The first step is to understand why they want to get into the market in the first place. It’s just coming around to that whole goal piece again. What are they doing it for? Is it because they are genuinely interested in it? Is it because they’ve seen their mates have done it and made a killing on it and want some of that? And those are two very, very different motives. One is to understand that setting anything up in the aesthetics market is a challenge; it’s complicated. It’s a very commoditised market at a certain level, especially around injectables. It’s very difficult to break in and get some traction. So you’ve got to look at your existing client base and think, “Do my current clients actually want this service?”

Test your market. Ask them. Find out if there’s an actual demand for it and if there is, find a reputable training course and invest the time, energy and money in getting it right. And what I mean by getting it right is that, essentially, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Create your cultural story around it and then sell that.

I can guide people through the whole process but only sometimes deal with startups or people right at the very beginning. But we’ve got a network of partners that use training on different aspects of things. I think it just depends on what inspired them to get into it. There’s a lot more around people entering from a skincare route and a regenerative medicine route, not just an injectable route that’s traditionally the entry point. Sell a course on Botox and a course on fillers, but go broader. There’s much more opportunity in this market now than there was 20 years ago, so you could come at it from “How do I help my clients look better and live longer?” 

Because oral health is the start of it all essentially, things like good nutrition and looking after yourselves obviously have an impact on the aesthetics as well. 

There are a lot of opportunities for dentists. Sit, map it out, and jump into the centre of the entrepreneur’s community. We’ll happily walk you through the opportunities that are available.

In the meantime they can always visit our website at for more information and complete our online quiz to discover their Aesthetic Business Success Score.

Densura, more than just indemnity.

Aesthetic Entrepreneurs is just one of our many key partners, as we continue to build a community across the dental industry. Market leaders in varying fields are able to provide invaluable support and advice to our members enabling them to grow their businesses. For more than just indemnity visit

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