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Do You Believe Strong Leadership Can Affect Your Medical Spa’s Profitability?

Posted By Administration, Thursday, April 4, 2019

money

By Tim Sawyer, president & co-founder of Crystal Clear Digital Marketing

Does anyone in the med spa industry think strong leadership can affect profitability?

If you had asked me this question a week ago, I would have replied with a resounding, “Yes, of course.” After my experience this past weekend, I’m not so sure. In fact, I am more convinced that the basic concept of leadership in this community is not just undervalued, but almost deemed irrelevant. While I have given many talks on the subject at dozens of shows—including The Medical Spa Show, Vegas Cosmetic Surgery, A4M and The Aesthetic Show, to name a few—my experience this past weekend cemented my belief that now more than ever, we need to keep this topic in the forefront of our discussion through our lectures, blog posts, podcasts and national meetings.

Why? As the co-founder of two separate marketing and software businesses appearing in the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing privately held companies, I am a firm believer in the very direct link between strong leadership and profitability. As a lifelong entrepreneur, I am constantly bombarded with books, seminars, podcasts and events touting the value and strategies for effective modern leadership. I get it. No leadership equals no sustainable growth. As a former business student, it’s one of those, “Duh, obvious,” things. For surgeons and med spa owners who have spent their lives focused on anatomy, clinical outcomes and patient safety—not so much. And I am not suggesting there is a lack of desire to be stronger leaders; I am suggesting there is diminished value and a lack of understanding.

Back to this past weekend. As I walked onstage to deliver my best 15-minute lecture on leadership, about 40% of the 150 attendees in the room—mostly surgeons—took the opportunity to use this time to take a break, get coffee and mingle. In other words, almost half of the attendees viewed this topic as somewhat irrelevant.

At this point, I know what you’re thinking: “Tim is a sore loser because people walked out of his talk.” Fair enough, and there may be some truth to that. However, it is more concerning to me that these leaders lacked the appreciation of the important role they play in their practices’ success outside of the 12-hour days spent doing treatments and procedures. In fact, I even asked the question, “How many of you want to spend the rest of your lives working 12-hour days with your primary (only) source of revenue coming from your physical labor?” Of course, that drew some intense stares, intentionally. Because this is what is at stake for many of the people in the room.

Entrepreneurs understand that you can’t scale a business if the majority of the revenue comes from the owner’s direct labor. To further explore this concept, I recommend you read The E-Myth; this would be a great investment of your time if this topic is remotely interesting to you. To get scale in your business, surrounding yourself with great people who can also make significant contributions to the business in terms of revenue is the number-one priority. The most successful entrepreneurs know they have done their job well when their businesses can function on its own with little or no direct involvement or supervision from the founders. Many of these strong leaders begin their business with the end in mind. They ask the question, “What do I need to do in this circumstance to create an entity that is either investable by others or saleable to another entity?” More simply put, if I bust my butt for 10 years, how do I exit and get paid? This is every entrepreneur’s dream.

That said, the rules are a little different in elective medicine, as the skills and training of the surgeon or provider essentially represent 100% of the value of the practice. And here’s the billion-dollar question: Is the current state a situation that can never be changed, or is there perhaps another way of looking at the role of the modern entrepreneurial surgeon leader?

I think part of the problem lies in the way we talk about, celebrate and showcase only those practices experiencing hypergrowth (for a variety of reasons, and I include myself in this group). We create this unrealistic expectation that anyone who applies this model or buys that device will immediately ascend to the elective medical elite, which is at best a bunch of B.S. When we do this, we disenfranchise the 90% of practices and med spas that could benefit the most from applying a few basic leadership principles, even if they only have a few employees.

Here are a few principles you can apply right away to increase the value of your practice and set it on a path to realistic sustainable growth. First, ask yourself, “Do I believe there is a correlation between effective leadership and increased profitability?” If the answer is no, sorry about the time you wasted reading this, and hopefully you will find my next article more valuable.

When I pose this question to live audiences, I always get a lukewarm response. But let’s assume we agree that leadership could make a 10% difference in the profit of your clinic. So, step one is to assign a dollar value to the 10%. Now, the next logical step (if we agree) is to first be realistic. Do you spend 10% of your time working on your leadership skills and strategic thinking? If the answer is no, we have already diagnosed a major problem, which is great and free.

Next, how can you put leadership to work in a small elective medical practice?

  • Lead yourself. Be mindful of the words you use, be respectful to employees and manage to your principles. Ask yourself, “What are my most important guiding principles that I will not compromise?” Are you walking that out daily?
  • Share skills. Employee turnover hurts when you have invested time and energy into training. Get over it. Things could be worse, like if you don’t train them and they never leave… yikes. Don’t forget—if you’re not training someone up to replace you, you will never be replaced. (Cue the surgeon-working-in-a-coffin music.)
  • Train and practice together. It’s a team and you’re the leader. Lead. This requires time. If you make it a priority and then a habit, you will improve the culture in your practice.
  • Hold your team accountable.
  • Have a plan, set goals and manage to the plan. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.
  • Share your vision and passion often. People love to feel like they are a part of something special.
  • Incentivize the right behaviors and address the wrong ones.
  • Be inspired. These simple universal truths can apply to any business of any size. You don’t need more consultants, more devices or more marketing. You just need some time to reflect in front of the mirror. Look past the outside and the comparative narrative and focus on the incredible leader inside of you. This is truly one of those scenarios where size doesn’t matter. Crystal Clear started with three employees, and now we have 80. Remember, if we agree that improved leadership skills could make just a 10% difference in the profitability of the business, that’s 10% more time and money you have to do the things that mean the most.

In addition to a world-class digital marketing and software platform, Crystal Clear offers a full-service consulting team to help you get the most out of your people, your processes and the tools you use to grow your clinic in 2019 and beyond. We get it. You can’t do everything by yourself. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Our world-class training team is here to help. They have been in your shoes in real life, long before becoming trainers. To learn more about Crystal Clear, visit www.crystalcleardm.com or call 888.611.8279.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends 

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Capturing Your Captive Audience

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 26, 2019

computer software

By Tyler Terry, vice president of sales, TouchMD

Medical aesthetic practices spend a lot of their money and resources on marketing to attract patients to their practice, as well as on a savvy website to sell patients on why to choose them over their competition. All this results in a patient scheduling a consult. What happens next is where most practices “strike out looking.”

I've been in more than 400 cosmetic practices spanning more than 40 states across the country, and the problem is always the same: Patients—your captive audience—are either on their smartphones or reading magazines in both the waiting and consultation rooms. They are literally waiting to be sold on whatever product, procedure and/or service that attracted them to your office in the first place. Wouldn't their time be better spent learning about that product, procedure or service? This surely would prepare them to ask better questions and participate in a more efficient and effective consult. Sure, most patients are already sold on Botox, but why wouldn't you give them the opportunity to engage with and learn about the new laser you just purchased or any specials or events that are coming up?

Brag books and brochures were sufficient back in the early 2000s, but it's time to retire them both and invest in technology that will enhance the patient experience and showcase the products, procedures and services that your practice offers. You can start by adding a waiting room solution consisting of either a patient-friendly app for patients to download and watch videos and look at before-and-after pictures, a waiting room loop system to stream educational and promotional content, and/or a tablet with which patients can interact. The same concept applies to your consult room—take advantage of any downtime the patient might have while he or she is waiting.

Here are a few ways to implement captive audience experiences:

  • In-house marketing: Utilize promotional videos and images to educate patients about services you offer.
  • Visual consultation: Everyone is a visual learner—combine videos, images, before-and-after galleries, and educational content into a patient education platform.
  • Patient education: Allow the patients the opportunity to relive the consultation at home using software. Your patients can review drawings, signed consents, operational instructions and custom educational videos.

The captive audience experience is too often forgotten or left out of the equation. It's an easy fix with the right technology.

TouchMD is a visual consultation, marketing and imaging software utilizing touch-screen technology that enhances the patient experience with proven revenue generation. To learn more about TouchMD or request a demo, please email tyler@touchmd.com.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post  Med Spa Trends 

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Front Office Training: 7 Steps to a Positive First Impression

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 19, 2018

By Terri Ross, Founder of Terri Ross Consulting

 The front office is often a patient’s first glimpse into the workings of a practice or medical spa, and if a patient has a positive experience with your front office staff, it sets the stage for a positive experience overall. As with any business, effective communication in the medical aesthetic office or medical spa is key. The first interaction you have with potential patients is often a phone call. Front desk staff should be trained on how to begin and execute a productive and engaging phone call. In their interactions with patients, front office staff should strive to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable and engaging.

7 Steps to a Positive First Impression:

1. Be Enthusiastic, Engaging, Confident.

A positive attitude is infectious and an important element of success in any business. Convey a positive attitude; speak and articulate information with confidence and engage the patient in dialogue to ensure you have gathered all of the facts about them and what they are requesting. This will set you apart significantly from others practices that invest in training their staff.

2. Listen first.

Listen to prospective patients—assess their needs and desires before pitching a service or treatment. Strive to make a genuine connection with each patient. You want to “land the patient.” See TSIA’s explanation of the LAER (Land-Adopt-Renew-Expand) model here. The LAER Model that I teach stands for Listen, Acknowledge, Explore, Respond. Most often, people tend to Listen and Respond without really understanding  patient needs. Explore more details, show empathy and acknowledge that you fully understand what the patient is telling you.

3. Ask Questions.

Your ability to connect, ask questions, and engage with potential patients is critical. The medical aesthetics space is very competitive, and consumers are far more educated and have numerous resources to explore. They also have many choices. So your ability to articulate with conviction by credentialing the business, the medical providers, and knowing the products and treatments you offer over the competition is paramount to a prospective patient wanting to schedule with you instead of another office.

4. Never say “no!"

If a patient asks if you offer Ulthera and you don’t, never say “no” or you’ve lost them. Instead, say: “May I ask who is calling? Hi [patient name], so you are interested in skin-tightening is that correct?” In order to start this conversation, you must know your technology and your competition, and be able to effectively convince them why what you offer is equally as good, if not better, than another option. More importantly, your knowledge and skill-set will make them want to schedule with you. If that doesn’t work, ask if you can follow up with them.   

5. Respond to patient needs in a timely fashion.

If a patient calls or e mails with a question or need, make a point to respond immediately, within 1 to 3 hours or 24 hours at the very latest. There are several different types of patient inquiries and one of them is NEW LEADS. This is critical, because they are shopping around, but haven’t yet decided on your practice. Current patients are the ones that know you, trust you, and already have a relationship with you. However, communications with current patients are equally as important as this helps to establish patient retention. If a patient asks a question you don’t immediately know the answer to, respond that you are searching for the answer and will get back to them as soon as possible. This lets them know that they are important.

6. Be the expert.

It is essential for your front office team to know every product and service offered in your office. They need to do their homework. They need to know every treatment: what it does, what it’s used for, and how it can be incorporated into a personalized treatment plan. By knowing the services and how they compare to your competitors, the patient is engaged and it makes them feel they have landed at the right office or medical spa.

7. Go beyond what is expected.

In attitude, knowledge, and service, go beyond the patient’s general expectations. Make sure the patient has a positive experience from start to finish.  Are you the Four Seasons or the Marriott

IS YOUR OFFICE RUNNING AT MAXIMUM CAPACITY?
HAVE YOU INVESTED IN STAFF TRAINING OR SALES CONSULTING?
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TERRI’S 10 POINT CHECKLIST

Tags:  Guest Post 

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Critical Financial Numbers You Must Know

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 16, 2018

By Terri Ross, Managing Partner of Lasky Aesthetics

In order to maximize the profitability and success of your office, you need to take an accurate and realistic snapshot of where you are by the numbers.

  • Do you know your return-on-investment (ROI) for every procedure and treatment you offer?
  • What percent of patient leads do you retain?

Patient retention is directly linked to how well your front office staff listens, engages and responds.

In order to become a top-performing practice, every working part of your office or medical spa—the staff, systems, processes and protocols—must be performing at optimal speed. Be diligent and organized in your record-keeping. Take a quarterly snapshot of your office. If you know where you are, you can make a sustainable plan for future optimization and growth.

HERE ARE THE KEY NUMBERS YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Budget
  • Start-up costs – Property, building, equipment, technology, staff and marketing all go into start-up costs.
  • Payroll – When your business is off the ground, payroll makes up a large part of your bottom line. Know how much you pay your personnel, in wages, taxes/insurance and bonuses throughout the year.
  • Equipment – This includes initial cost, maintenance and materials required to run, update and optimize equipment.
  • Marketing – Any expense targeted toward attracting new patients falls into this category, from pamphlets, to website development and networking events.
ROI = (Gain – Cost) / Cost
  • Procedures – Know how much every procedure costs you to perform, including supplies, time and personnel involved. Your potential gain-per-procedure is based on these expenses.
  • Technology – Know how much a piece of new equipment costs to acquire and maintain. You’ll need to include maintenance and supply costs in your calculations of ROI for every piece of equipment in your office.
  • Marketing – Knowing your ROI on marketing strategies allows you to quantitatively measure how successful a specific marketing tactic is. Know how your patients found your office and why they return—online marketing, networking at the right events, etc. Read more about how to calculate your marketing ROI in this article from Forbes.
  • Website position – Know the numbers behind your website—how many people visit the site per day, what page they go to and stay on, what your bounce rate is, and modify from there.
Rates
  • Conversion/close rate – How many prospective patients do you “land?” How many are retained as long-term patients?
  • No show/cancellation rate – On average, how many patients make an appointment and don’t show? Or cancel in advance?
  • New patient rate – The number of new patients you bring in per month, year.
Room Revenue Assumptions
  • Number of rooms – Total number of procedure rooms.
  • Hours of operation – How many days are you open?
  • Average treatment price – Taking an average of all procedures offered, what is your average price?
  • Average length of procedure – On average, how long do your procedures take? This includes operating preparation.
  • Treatments per day – How many treatments do you complete per day? Are any days busier than others?
  • Revenue/hour – Based on the numbers above, what is your average revenue per hour?
Goals
  • New patients – Set a goal for number of new patients retained per quarter. Using the LAER model I developed, you can train your staff to engage, respond to and retain patients.
  • Revenue - Based on where you are, what is your projected revenue? Set your revenue goals and make the necessary changes (processes, protocols, staff) to get there.
  • Revenue/hour – To reach your revenue goals, how much do you need to generate per hour? Avg room should do between $600-$1000 per hour.
  • Price strategy (vs. competitors) – Based on your current and desired revenue, and keeping competitor pricing in mind, develop an informed and realistic price strategy.

How Does Your Office Look By The Numbers?

Do You Have Attainable Revenue Goals And The Infrastructure, Protocols And Staff In Place To Get You There?

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE ASSESSMENT BELOW & COMPLETE TERRI'S 10 POINT CHECK LIST.

Terri Ross is managing partner of Lasky Aesthetics & Laser Center, which she transformed from a $500,000 to a $3.5 million business in the span of three years. She is also the CEO of Terri Ross Consulting, providing high-level practice management consulting services and sales training to a number of high-profile physicians, including world-renowned plastic surgeon, Garth Fisher, MD, who started Extreme Makeover, and world-renowned facial plastic surgeon and host of the TV show Botched, Dr. Paul Nassif. Ross is an advisor for Revance Therapeutics, speaks for many companies, and works with venture capital firms to help start up medical spas. Her experience also spans the corporate world, with more than 16 years working as a sales director for several leading medical device companies, such as Zeltiq, launching Coolsculpting in the United States and Canada; Medicis (now Galderma); EMD Serono; and Johnson & Johnson.

Tags:  Guest Post 

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Build Loyal Med Spa Clients with a Loyalty Program

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 7, 2018

By Dori Soukup, CEO and Founder of InSPAration Management

In the early 1980s, American Airlines’ goal was to increase retention and provide their clients with something extra special. The airline created the first frequent flyer program that allowed travelers to accrue miles and gain benefits when they flew with American. 

American Airlines was one of the first companies in the country to offer a customer loyalty program. It set the standards for the entire industry. Since then, loyalty programs have gained significant popularity. According to a recent study, companies spend more than $2 billion on loyalty programs every year. Statistics show that the average American household belongs to about 14 different rewards programs. 

If you want to increase your retention rate, it is a great idea to offer your clients a loyalty program that will keep them coming back. 

What type of loyalty program should you offer? 

There are several types of programs to offer consumers, and no matter which one you choose, it is important to keep it simple. Below are two of the most effective loyalty programs: 

A. Charge a fee to join the loyalty program. 

For example, Barnes & Noble charges its clients $25 to join their loyalty program. Then, its members can save 10 percent on their purchases for an entire year. For a person who frequents Barnes & Noble weekly, this type of program provides great benefits. The end-of-year savings are significant. This program keeps me loyal to Barnes & Noble, and the $25 fee to join is well worth it. You can do the same, but I recommend you charge more. For example, you can charge a fee of $150 to join and offer them the following:

  • Two $25 gift cards—to be utilized one at a time 
  • A complimentary consultation valued at $50 
  • A complimentary makeover valued at $50 
  • A loyalty program welcome kit 
  • A discount of five to ten percent on every spa visit or retail purchase 

You are giving them the $150 enrollment back in value. This allows you to raise cash flow, and encourages the new member to visit the spa on a regular basis. As part of the loyalty program, the client will benefit by receiving a small discount with each spa visit. 

B. The second plan offers clients a chance to join for free and earn points with every visit. You can reward them by letting them earn one point for every dollar they spend. Once they reach a certain number of points, they can use them toward gifts, services or products. 

You will need to determine the amount of rewards you are willing to offer. For example, if someone spends $500, they will earn 500 points. If you wish to offer them a 10 percent reward, you will need to select a $50 prize that they can have once they reach 500 points. This represents a 10 percent reward. If you are offering this type of loyalty program, I recommend you offer merchandise as a reward because your cost will be $25, but the client will receive a value of $50. This practice allows you to decrease your loyalty cost to a five percent reward instead of 10 percent.

Select gift items that you can brand with your logo. This includes robes, T-shirts, hats and water bottles, all displaying your logo. This method has many benefits: 

  1. Provides your loyal clients with desirable, quality gifts 
  2. Gifts are a great way to promote your business 
  3. Shows a higher perceived retail value while reducing your loyalty cost 
  4. Saves money and increases retention 

The point system can also be used as a marketing tool. If you have some slow slots within your schedule, you can reward your clients with double points on slow days or hours. Instead of offering discounts, offer double points for promotions. You can ask your clients to write reviews to earn points. Or, let them earn points when they “like” your page on Facebook, and so on. 

Keep in mind that no matter which program you offer, you have to market it, track it and deliver a great guest experience. 

Offering a loyalty program is a great opportunity to promote your business and recognize your VIP clients with special value while motivating your clients to keep doing business with you. Implement a loyalty program and increase your retention! 

Dori Soukup is the Founder and CEO of InSPAration Management, a firm specializing in medical spa and salon business development, advanced education, and business tools. Throughout the past 15 years, Soukup has contributed to the success of spa companies worldwide. Her passion is developing innovative, effective educational programs and business strategies leading to exponential growth and profits. She is the recipient of the American Spa Preferred Educator award and is a sought-after global speaker within the spa and medical spa industries.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post  Med Spa Ownership 

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5 Tips to Make Med Spa Consultations More Effective For Your Practice

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 3, 2018

By Dori Soukup, CEO and Founder of InSPAration Management

A consultation in a medical spa isn’t just the introductory part of a treatment, it’s a key piece of your med spa process that can lead to better results for your patients and better profitability for your practice. 

The “GUEST” is the most essential component to the success of any medical spa business. The way we take care of our guests while they are in the med spa is what determines whether they come back or disappear forever. 

When I ask industry professionals why they chose a career in the med spa industry, most of them say it was so that they could help people. Yet when a new guest visits a spa, they are normally expected to simply select a treatment from the menu, with is then administered with little (if any) discussion. Sometimes I intentionally select a treatment from the menu that is wrong for me to see if the provider will recommend something else more ideally suited for me. They rarely do. 

Why? Because in most cases, med spa professionals don’t take the time to conduct a proper guest consultation. To me, the guest consultation is the most important step of the entire experience. The consultation insures that providers are going to provide the guest with exactly what they need, address their challenges and deliver the results they are looking for. Without a consultation, we are disappointing our guests and hurting our retention rate.

If you want to improve your guest satisfaction, retention rate and income, I suggest implementing the following five steps to generating revenue through guest consultation. 

Check the AmSpa Store for more resources to help you implement your own successful consultation process.

1. Schedule Time to Conduct a Detailed Consultation

When you have a new patient, you should always reserve a consultation first in order to learn and discover their concerns and needs. It’s wise to have the receptionist reserve time for both a treatment and a consultation. 

Have the provider decide which treatment is ideal for the patient once a consultation is performed. To do this, your receptionist must be trained on how to present the consultation appointment and make the reservation for it. 

2. Identify Guest Concerns 

To identify the guest’s concerns, you can use analysis equipment for face and body depending on the type of treatments you offer. We found that when people see their skin care issues with their own eyes, they are more motivated to take action on your recommendations. You can also use consultation forms; just make sure the form includes problems that guests could be experiencing with their face and body. The guest will mark the concerns they have, which gives you the opportunity to make the appropriate recommendations. You should focus on solving their problems via your menu of services. 

3. Develop a Customized Treatment Program 

Addressing people’s concerns and gaining results normally requires multiple treatments. As a medical spa professional, you should recommend a series of treatments, not just one. One treatment is not going to solve problems or produce the results your guests are looking for. 

4. Recommend a Home Care Program 

At the end of the first treatment, take the time to help your guests by recommending a home care regimen. Home care is an important part of gaining results. Don’t cheat your guests of your professional advice or lose the additional income you could generate from home care products.  Find resources to help you train your team to better recommend products here in the AmSpa store.

5. Measure Results

 Since the goal is to recommend a series of treatments with your consultation, it’s important to measure results and gain a testimonial from happy clients. You can take before and after pictures, document conditions or measure improvements. Whichever method you choose, make sure you gain a raving fan to help build your business. 

When establishing your consultation procedure also remember that medical spas are medical practices, so before a treatment plan is finalized, and especially before a patient receives a procedure he or she must be seen by a physician or mid-level practitioner. Conducting the initial exam (or good faith exam) is one of the top legal issues in the medical spa industry so make sure your patients see the required medical professional prior to their first treatment.

Conducting a guest consultation is truly the most important function of your practice. It is the foundation of the entire experience. Don’t dismiss it, embrace it! Implementing the consultation process with every new guest will help you boost client satisfaction and your income! 

Dori Soukup is the Founder and CEO of InSPAration Management, a firm specializing in medical spa and salon business development, advanced education, and business tools. Throughout the past 15 years, Soukup has contributed to the success of spa companies worldwide. Her passion is developing innovative, effective educational programs and business strategies leading to exponential growth and profits. She is the recipient of the American Spa Preferred Educator award and is a sought-after global speaker within the spa and medical spa industries.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Guest Post 

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