Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
By Bryan Durocher, Founder and President of Durocher Enterprises
Marketing and advertising techniques for medical spas are key to bringing new patients into your practice. Since med spas are medical practices there are specific compliance concerns regarding truth in advertising, social media marketing, and your website that you need to know. Once your legal bases are covered, though, there’s still the business of getting patients into your doors. Continue reading to learn the keys to creating your med spa marketing plan.
The Web 24/7 Shopping – Are You Waking Up with Money in Your Inbox Every Morning?
Your website IS your first impression! Is it easy to navigate and can your customer or prospect easily drill down to what they are most likely to be interested in? Almost all small businesses use their own website to motivate consumers.
We use WooCommerce and their e-commerce platform for our clients when designing in WordPress. It is a plugin that allows you to sell anything, beautifully, and it is built to integrate seamlessly with WordPress.
A typical consumer will visit your site 5-7 times before making a point of contact. If they are looking to buy a product make it easy for them.
Think like Amazon! Why did they develop the “One Click” option? They knew people were leaving millions of dollars in their shopping carts and not coming back. Whether it’s a move of the mouse or a call to action icon or incentive, have something in place to not to lose the sale.
Make sure your site is Mobile responsive! Mobile searches now exceed the desktop. Consumers want all the functionality on their phone just like in their home or office.
Social Media and Cashing In
Companies are on trend to spend over 20% of their advertising budget on social media in the next few years. It’s no mystery that social media is a popular way to promote offerings.
Facebook now has 1.6 billion users and a vast number only on mobile. 66% of all shares on “i” devices are delivered via Facebook. Users on this platform are more likely to have completed college or have advanced degrees than any other social media platform, according the Pew Research, and are more likely to have higher incomes.
Pinterest gets the dollars in. Pinterest allows businesses to create pages aimed at promoting their businesses online. Such pages can serve as a “virtual storefront”. In one case study of a fashion website, users visiting from Pinterest spent $180 compared with $85 spent from users coming from Facebook. These users spent less time on the company’s website, choosing instead to browse from the company’s pinboard. People may be more attracted to pins of products and images than of people.
Have a YouTube channel and have videos on your own site. Almost 50% of online consumers look for a video of a product before visiting a store, according to digital marketing platform Hubspot, and video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.
Are you using Instagram to buy the items pictured with the tap of a finger? It is a terrific platform for building your brand. Mobile shopping takes a few clicks, but the only thing you have to do is “heart” the photo.
Vogue is using a platform called LIKEtoKnow:IT, a RewardStyle offshoot for Instagram, that shows users where to purchase the outfit or item they “hearted” as soon as you sign up with the platform. In the past two years since launch, LikeToKnow:IT has generated more than $100 million in revenue, with 1.5 million users subscribed to the system and more than 1,000 LTKI posts created every day. Though RewardStyle has been operating under the radar, it has grown to generate more than $1 billion in sales for its 4,000 retailers and 575,000 brands worldwide since launching in 2011.
The Reviews are In!
You don’t have to be number one organically on the page to attract the most attention. Have five star reviews show up on your Google My Business page which in turn shows up next to your Google search listing and even though you may rank number 4 for a term you will be your prospective customer’s 1st choice!
It’s impossible to overstate the importance of collecting testimonials and reviews from your patients, with companies like Demandforce making it easy to get feedback from your customers to use as a marketing tool. Be mindful though as Google likes original content and you should have your own reviews on your site and not a link or duplicated reviews from somewhere else.
Online directories and review sites are also popular, with potential patients using portals like RealSelf to gather information on treatments and providers before making their purchasing decisions.
83 percent of U.S. consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN).
The report also found that 52% of consumers have switched provider in the past year due to poor customer service, with banks, retailers, and cable and satellite television providers being the worst offenders. This is striking because new patient acquisition can cost 3-5 times as much as current patient retention, and in the U.S., the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 trillion.
An increasing number of consumers are seeking premium products and services with a connection to a group/community to discuss the information, uses, and satisfaction around them. People want to feel a sense of community and be connected to your brand. Facebook is great platform for connection, and a forum or comments section on your website creates a place for your customers to ask questions, post reviews and be part of your community.
Forget the Competition
“You compete with Your Client’s Lifestyle Choices.” Many times it’s not the guy down the street you have to worry about. It’s about convincing your customer to choose your service to bring them personal happiness and satisfaction over a vacation or other lifestyle investment.
Selling Points Matter
What are your USPs? It’s your “Unique” approach or offerings of products and services. They can be simpler than you think. Do you have late hours for busy working professionals? Do you have ample and available parking so your clients don’t have to drive around for 30 minutes like a vulture eyeing for the elusive parking spot? Do you customize a unique experience just for them? Perhaps you are the only one to retail a certain product in your geographic zone. These are selling points and should be highlighted in all of your detailed marketing materials.
It’s all About the Bennies
People only buy for two reasons: You are offering a solution to their problem or you are providing the opportunity for good feelings. If it isn’t one of these they are not going to buy.
What are your business’ features and benefits? Remember the features and sell by the benefits!
Loyalty rewards programs are used by some of the most successful businesses including GNC, American Airlines, and others. We do not have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to these programs. Offer clients acknowledgement and value added incentives for being your best clients and they are more likely to keep doing business with you.
VIP Programs not only create client loyalty they can be an excellent source of cash flow. Gift card companies can custom make VIP cards with your business name and logo which you then can retail to your clients.
Why Clients Consider Your Products or Services
Why are clients considering you? Is it Ageing, A Self Esteem Boost, A Special Occasion, Lifestyle Change, or Work Related? Key in to their need and plan a strategy with them to win. Include the timeline and steps it will take to get them to their finish line. This is also very helpful if they have their own deadline date. Be their coach!
Communication Fast or Slow? You Will Market Better by Understanding Who You Know
One size fits all communication doesn’t work! Some people buy into the latest products and services immediately others take their time to see the results from the early adopters. You need to know how to communicate effectively to your potential consumer to close the deal.
Have you ever talked with a friend, client, co-worker, or your boss and felt what you were saying was going right over their heads? You are not alone. Some of our biggest frustrations communicating with others is not being heard correctly or misinterpreting someone else’s message. This is the classic example of relating vs. relatedness, which means moving from simply observing someone’s communication to truly walking beside them and understanding their perspective.
Being an effective communicator takes more than just listening. We have to listen contextually and hear between the lines of our communication partner to understand where they are coming from. This can be a great challenge unless we know what to look for.
It’s about people, communication and the four natural styles. When we understand and recognize another person’s natural style of communicating, we can mirror their style and produce a more positive result, avoiding the barriers that breakdown communication, cause frustration, and take away from your personal and professional quality of life.
Tell the client what to expect. If there isn’t a magic wand handy give them the idea of the real results they can achieve. Provide before and after and or testimonials to show your prospective client all the happy people who have enjoyed the results of what you have provided.
Quote the investment and be confident about it! People with a lack of confidence or people who truly don’t believe in your products or services don’t close sales! If your staff member thinks it’s too expensive for example they are going to “mind your client’s wallets” and not make a recommendation in the first place.
All team members need to believe in the quality and experience of your service and products and that they enhance your client’s lifestyle. Provide a lot of training and feedback with this aspect of your business. Spot check with secret shoppers and record calls with programs like CallHub, RingCentral, InContact. Follow up! It may take more than four follow ups via phone, mail, or e-mail before a client makes a buying decision.
Let’s review how you can take your business to the next level:
Create or tweak your website so it works for the user
Establish your presence on social media because that is where you customers are talking about you
Get your reviews on your Google My Business page so they show up in search results
Use social media and your website to create an interactive community for your present and future customers
Position your services and products as a lifestyle investment
Write a USP (unique selling proposition) that all your staff knows and when anyone asks why your services and products, the USP is the official answer
When writing your USP, mention the features but put the focus on the benefits
Identify your customers by their needs and cater to them
Learn your communication style and how to communicate more effectively with clients and staff
Bryan Durocher is the author of Wakeup Live the Life You Love in Beauty, and is the founder of Essentials Spa Consulting and Durocher Enterprises. Durocher was named one of the “Top 20 People to Know in the Beauty Industry” by Global Cosmetic Industry magazine, and provides coaching, consulting, global industry trends, and marketing solutions for medical spa, spa and industry professionals internationally. He has published many articles and has provided business education internationally at a variety of national and international industry events including AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps and The Medical Spa Show.
Posted By Administration,
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
By Alex Thiersch, JD, Founder and Director of the American Med Spa Association
An employment contract between a medical practice and a physician must benefit both the employer and employee; otherwise, it likely will be unsatisfactory for one or both sides. If one or both sides don’t take the time to read the contract, they could find themselves disappointed with the outcome. Here are a few things that physicians and practices should find within a mutually beneficial contract.
For more information on medical spa employment contracts, view AmSpa’s webinar on the topic (free to AmSpa Plus members.)
A Clearly Articulated Goal
Before a contract with a physician is finalized, the practice should consider what it wants to accomplish. Does it want to fill a need? Does it want to service more patients? Does it want to transition ownership to this individual? The answer to this can affect the way an employment agreement is designed and the type of person the practice wants to recruit (i.e., a younger doctor versus a more experienced one). If a practice hires a physician who has entrepreneurial aspirations to simply tend to patients, for example, neither side is likely to be particularly happy, and the relationship likely will not last very long.
The practice must clearly communicate its intentions during the recruitment process and make sure that the contract is built around that philosophy.
From the other perspective, a physician must honestly evaluate his or her goals when negotiating a contract. Physician contracts typically last for one to two years, but both sides typically expect that the relationship between the practice and the physician will continue thereafter, so a physician must consider his or her long-term plan. Is this where he or she wants to build a career? This can influence how the contract is negotiated.
The physician also needs to consider his or her “plan B”—if this arrangement does not work out, what’s next? The answer to this question heavily influences how he or she evaluates the contract. For example, if the physician wants to live in the city where the practice is located but the contract has a restrictive non-compete clause, that clause will need to be negotiated, as it severely restricts his or her options if it the relationship with the medical spa does not work out. Click here to read more on non-compete and non-solicitation clauses.
A Fair Wage
A medical spa should balance the economics of the practice, the risk tolerance of the owners, and the realities of the market in terms of salary when negotiating a contract. A competitive guaranteed base salary with some form of incentive-based bonus system can make a difference when it comes to obtaining top talent who might be considering other options. There are multiple ways this can be arranged depending on what suits the physician.
The prospective employee, on the other hand, must come to terms with his or her risk tolerance. While a high base/low bonus structure might appeal to some, others might want to bet on themselves with a low base/high bonus structure. It is up to the physician to determine his or her comfort level with the contract’s salary structure and negotiate if it is not optimal.
The physician also must be sensible when determining his or her actual earning power. If there is not enough potential business in the market to justify taking a low base/high bonus salary, the physician should negotiate a different deal.
The practice must determine what it wants to accomplish in terms of ownership with the hire, since it will affect everything from scheduling and coordination to top-level decision-making. The owner(s) of the practice also must consider if this transaction constitutes part of their exit strategy; if so, the contract must be structured with that in mind.
The physician, meanwhile, must determine his or her goals in building the practice and figure out how the ancillary revenue streams offered by the practice compare to those offered by others. Ownership has different appearances for different entities, so the physician must think about what he or wants and what the practice can provide. What is the cost of the investment? What is the potential return? What is the risk? All these questions should be answered in the contract.
A contract is a complicated matter. Both sides must assess the value of the risks and rewards, and they must be willing to compromise on matters that may not be as important. A careful reading of a contract is absolutely imperative, however—if a physician or practice doesn’t thoroughly read the contract, they have nobody to blame for their unhappiness but themselves.
For more information on structuring your medical spa profitably and compliantly, attend an AmSpa Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp and be the next med spa success story.
Posted By Administration,
Thursday, September 6, 2018
By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, Founder and Director of the American Med Spa Association
Excellent medical spas require a commitment to building an excellent team, and once that team is in place many medical spa owners look to non-compete and non-solicitation clauses to protect their investment in time and training. Conscientious medical spa owners invest a great deal of time, effort and money toward making their employees the best they can be, and these contractual clauses, known as restrictive covenants, can prevent former employees from working for a competing medical spa and taking its clients and/or employees for a certain period of time. Implementing these clauses and enforcing them, however, are two very different things, so medical spa owners and operators must understand what they’re all about before attempting to utilize them.
A non-competition agreement is a part of a contract that is designed to bar an individual from working for a competing medical spa for a set period of time in a designated geographic area. If employees with non-competition clauses in their contracts choose to leave your medical spa, they would theoretically be subject to legal action if they went to work for another medical spa within the agreed-upon time span and geographic area.
This seems fairly straightforward; however, in reality, non-competition agreements are somewhat difficult to enforce to their fullest extent because American courts tend to be very reluctant to prevent people from working where they want.
As with many things in this industry, the laws governing these arrangements vary from state to state. California, for example, has essentially established a ban on non-competition agreements. In Illinois, according to Renee Coover, JD, attorney with the law firm ByrdAdatto, “In a 2015 decision, the Third District of the Illinois Appellate Court readily followed and applied a rule established by a ground-breaking 2013 First District Appellate Court ruling. In Prairie Rheumatology Associates, S.C. v. Francis, the court reiterated that continued employment is sufficient consideration for a non-compete only where the employment is for a substantial period of time. Citing the 2013 Fifield v. Premier Dealer Services, Inc. opinion, the court held that two or more years of continued employment amounts to adequate consideration. This means that the employee must be employed, under the terms of the non-compete agreement, for two years before the non-compete is enforceable against the employee.”
A non-solicitation agreement is a part of a contract that is designed to prevent a former employee from soliciting clients and/or other employees from your practice for a specified amount of time. In the medical spa setting, it’s not unusual for patients to become attached to the nurse practitioners, laser technicians and nurse injectors to whom physicians commonly delegate treatment.
When one of these people decides to leave a practice, that practice needs to make sure that no effort is made to take said patients along—those are the practice’s patients, not the individual’s. If former employees make any effort to reach out to those patients and entice them to follow the employees to another practice, it is a clear violation of any non-solicitation agreement has been accepted.
Unlike non-competition agreements, non-solicitation agreements are commonly enforced, as courts are consistently willing to punish the misappropriation of a company’s assets—in this case, patients and employees. And with good cause—imagine the financial hit a medical spa could take if nurse injectors or laser techs were simply allowed to take the clients they’ve treated when they leave. However, like with non-compete agreements, you must be sure that any non-solicitation agreement you employ is carefully crafted to best protect your interests.
Keys to Enforceable Contracts
Simply writing a non-competition or non-solicitation agreement into your employment contracts does not guarantee that they will be enforced when push comes to shove. But if these clauses adhere to the following guidelines, a medical spa’s chances of collecting damages if they are violated improve dramatically.
Adequate Consideration: In order to get something—in this case, protection for your medical spa should an employee leave—you must give something. This is known as adequate consideration, and every contract must include it in order for it to be enforceable. If you include a non-competition or non-solicitation clause in employees’ initial contract when they are hired, it is understood that employment is the consideration they are receiving in return for signing the contract.
“In the employment context, when an employee is at will, meaning he or she can be terminated at any time without cause, the employment itself constitutes adequate consideration,” says Coover. “Similarly, if a new employee signs a non-compete agreement as a condition of employment, the employment itself is also adequate consideration.”
However, if you wish to incorporate one of these restrictive covenants into an existing contract, some states require that you provide your employee with something extra in return for it—typically a pay raise or a promotion These states do not consider continued employment to be adequate consideration. If an employee does not receive something in return for this newly incorporated restriction, it is unlikely that a court will view the contract as enforceable.
Coover adds, “For continued employment to be adequate to enforce a non-compete agreement on the existing employee, the employment must last a sufficient amount of time. For example, if a new employee signs a non-compete and the employer fires the individual the next day, it would not be fair to restrict the employee from competing for years in the future.”
Legitimate business interests: Courts typically permit the enforcement of restrictive covenants when they are utilized in the protection of confidential information, investment in specialized training and patient/client relationships. Make sure that any restrictive clause you wish to employ addresses these issues in some fashion—reach for anything more and you risk its enforceability.
Reasonableness: A restrictive covenant should not be excessively long in duration or cover a geographic area any larger than need be. Of course, both of these factors are case-specific—if a medical spa is in an urban area with a great deal of nearby competition, for example, it makes sense that the geographic restriction should cover a smaller area than if it were in a small rural community with one other medical spa in a 20-mile radius.
When delving into the world of restrictive covenants, it’s crucial to make sure that any non-competition or non-solicitation contract provided to employees be legal and binding. After all, a medical spa’s employees and clients are its lifeblood, and need to be protected. If you have existing contracts, make it a point to have a local health care attorney review them for viability. If you don’t have them in place and want to include them in your employment packet, make sure to work with a health care attorney to craft them correctly the first time.
Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
By Dori Soukup, Founder and CEO of InSPAration Management
Recruiting, and hiring medical spa employees (including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and aestheticians) and building them into a high performing team can be difficult. Finding talented team members, training them, and keeping them is essential to success! In this article, you will discover five effective principles to help build your team and elevate your performance.
PRINCIPLE 1: Always Be Recruiting
You should always be on the lookout for talent. Avoid waiting until you need people to start interviewing. You want to hire people who have a position already. In sports, teams have recruiters who are always scouting and looking for talent. Your business should follow the same practice. You need to always be searching for “A Players”. If you wait until you need someone, you end up hiring out of desperation and you will most likely hire the wrong person.
PRINCIPLE 2: In-Depth Interview Process
It all starts with the interview. Do you have a system for the interview process? If not, you must in order to avoid faux pas. The most common mistake spa and medi spa professionals make when hiring individuals is the lack of clarity in regard to expectations.
Often, a detailed position description and a commitment agreement are missing. Both are essentials components of the CLARITI Hiring System where you write down all the expectations you want the employee to do.
For example, if recommending retail products is mandatory, it needs to be clarified in the interview process. Or if attending training and team meetings is something you do on weekly and monthly basis. Or if doing laundry and maintaining inventory, etc. All expectations should be disclosed, clarified, agreed upon in the interview process, put in writing and signed off by both you and the new employee. This will help you avoid making costly mistakes and assist you in hiring A and B players instead of C and D players.
The cost of team turnover and hiring mistakes is enormous. Always hire slow. Take your time and make sure everything is crystal clear prior to offering the position.
Once you’ve hired the new employee, your goal is to position them for success. Begin with a professional Orientation. Your orientation manual should contain your operating guidelines, your organizational structure, your culture, your policies, procedures, your systems along with your employee manual. This can be a mini seminar they attend or it can be a video they sit and watch. Post-orientation, they should be tested to ensure they understand everything. This will provide clarity on what it means to be part of your team.
PRINCIPLE 4: Spa & Medi Spa Training Manuals
No one is going to come to you completely trained. It’s essential to have training manuals to help you train your team. One thing I learned long ago is that for a business to succeed, you need to have effective systems in place, then keep training those systems until they are perfected.
As a business consultant, I have the opportunity to speak to many medi spa owners and directors. The one thing I notice over and over is the lack of training structure within spas. Spa leaders must put on the trainer and coach hat more often if they want to build a dream team and reach new levels of success.
I like to use sports analogies because they have a lot in common with business. Sports teams spend a lot of time training and sharpening their skills. Coaches are always on the floor watching and coaching their teams. They take time-outs, watch videos, create plays and map-out game strategies. You have a TEAM and if you want to win, you need to spend time coaching and training.
A. Business Training
Business training is almost non-existent within the industry. BIG MISTAKE!
As leaders, it’s essential to train the team. Having training manuals by department will make your life a lot easier. Your manuals should include systems, strategies, processes, tools, forms, scripts, an approach on how to perform and deliver a great guest experience.
Business training should include:
Revenue generation – Training the team on how to increase service and retail revenue (Click for more information on recommending treatment upgrades, series sales, or retail products)
To be successful, a big emphasis must be placed on initial training and continual training.
PRINCIPLE 5: Develop Healthy Training Habits
Develop a training calendar and publish it. A training session can be as short as 30 minutes. Getting the team into a training habit is essential to your success. Schedule training sessions for the same day and time on a regular basis.
Be prepared with an agenda and a purpose. Portray a professional image to your team and keep them engaged.
Evaluating Your Training
It is wise to evaluate your training to ensure productive sessions and obtain valuable feedback.
As in sports, the head coach has assistant coaches to assist them. Who are your assistant coaches? If you don’t have them, it’s time for you to develop some key players to assist you.
Establish targets and goals for each department. Break them down into daily goals.
Not measuring results is like getting on the playing field with a bunch of people running around and not keeping score of the game. Setting goals and measuring results is the only way to run a successful business.
Success requires planning, self-discipline, motivation, dedication and consistency. When you invest in your team’s technical/business training and development, your spa business will thrive and produce great results.
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.
Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Rebecca Gelber, MD, Tahoe Aesthetic Medicine
A successful medical spa requires two things: 1) A patient-first focus on results and service and 2) tightly buttoned-up business practices. As clinicians opening a new aesthetic practice we are often already trained in the first, but we are rarely armed with the second.
Medical aesthetic practitioners have extensive training in performing procedures, but most of us have close to zero experience with the business side of aesthetic medicine. Practices rarely run into trouble because they can’t perform treatments properly. They run into trouble because they don’t know how to sell those treatments.
You can have the best equipment and skills, but if you never get patients to sign up to sit in your treatment chair it's all for naught. Even when we do have a patient coming into our practice it’s all too common for them to leave without taking full advantage of the services we offer.
There are missed opportunities in our path each day. Every patient encounter is a chance to add value to their life and strengthen their relationship with your office. If someone comes in for Botox, ask if there is anything else they would like help with. This may be the time for them to learn about fillers, lasers or even a skincare product.
If you’re unsure where to start, learn from people who know how to sell. When sales reps come into your office, study what they are doing - especially the ones who have been around a long time. There is a mantra in the sales world: “Always close for something.” In other words, always move the process forward, even if it’s a baby step. Bad sales reps make you feel uncomfortable when they do it; good sales reps make it natural and non-threatening. They might ask, “Is there anything else that’s bothering you?” or “May we call in a couple of months to check in?” A good sales rep moves the process forward without making you feel pressured.
Believe it or not, dental offices are fantastic at selling. They “always close for something”. They have methods perfected for getting people to sign up for their next appointment before they leave, and ensure that the patient shows up six months later. Try incorporating something like this in your practice. Even if they aren’t ready or able to block out their next appointment, you can get permission to call or send them a reminder card.
In our office, we have a sheet of paper for every patient. If they come in during May and say that they would like to do a laser treatment in September when they can be out of the sun, we ask if they would like a call in August to make sure they get the best appointment slot. If they say yes, we make a note of that and then put that paper in a folder marked August. We have a folder for every month and keep each page with an action item in the appropriate month. That way, when anyone in the office has a free moment, they can pull out the current month's folder and follow up with someone.
This one little thing can keep your calendar full without having to resort to expensive marketing and specials. It keeps patients coming in regularly, greatly improving your revenue stream and also the results and service you provide.
“Sell” is a four-letter word, but in your medical aesthetic practice it doesn’t have to be a bad one. By taking every opportunity to educate your patients on the services that you offer you can improve the quality of their results while also increasing the profitability of your business.
Dr. Rebecca Gelber graduated from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1993 and completed her residency training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Since that time, she has completed a preceptorship in aesthetics, liposculpture and stem cell therapies, as well as specialized training with luminaries across the country in BBL and laser therapies, Botox, dermal fillers, and thread lifts. She founded and owns Tahoe Aesthetic Medicine and also offers specialized training to other providers.
Posted By Administration,
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, Founder/Director of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)
Increasing medical spa retail product sales can be one of the fastest ways to boost the profitability of your medical aesthetic practice.
Focusing on product sales can benefit your medical spa in a number of key ways, and according to the AmSpa 2017 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report retail products account for 18% of total revenue at the average medical spa. Once you’ve decided that you want to make this a larger part of your business, where do you get started?
A Product to Fit Your Business
When choosing product you want to make sure that what you are bringing in not only fits in with the brand direction of your business, but also that the products match the services you offer since proper use of a skin care program can produce better treatment results for your patients. You don’t necessarily have to stop at treatment products, however. A few on-brand retail pieces that don’t require a recommendation to buy can help create a more full experience for your customers. Are you a luxury brand? A wellness brand? You might consider dedicating some shelf space to items that reinforce this message.
Tyranny of Choice
Though it’s good to have some selection of product in your medical spa, offering too many options at the same level of product treatment can be a detriment. Too many choices that aren’t differentiated can leave customers confused and less likely to purchase. Choosing a few lines that each have multiple levels of treatment will often serve you better.
As medical spa industry expert Bryan Durocher of Durocher Enterprises states, “While selection is important, sometimes it is better to go an inch wide and a mile deep.”
Make Sense of Senses
Major retailers know that engaging customers through multiple senses can yield benefits in retail sales. Visually interesting displays combined with calming music, or scents that match the scents of some of your products provide subtle boosts for retail sales.
Small changes to the layout of your space can also make a difference. Do you keep the lion’s share of your product behind a counter or in a locked case? This will impact your sales since people like to look at and hold things as they consider buying it. Does your retail area overlap with your waiting room? Think about separating them, because as Durocher states, “People that sit don’t shop.”
Of all the possible points of improvement in retail sales you can possibly see in your business, training your team will give you the biggest benefit, bar none. When talking about retail sales Dori Soukup, of InSPAration Management says, “How can you expect to improve performance and achieve new results if the team is not held accountable for their actions or performance?”
She emphasizes concrete expectations, measureable goals, sales systems, and team coaching when setting up a business for retail success.
As Durocher states, “Have a defined client experience that incorporates retail products during the consultation, during service, and at the close of the visit.”
It’s also important to incentivize your team. While, in most states, you generally cannot pay staff commission for services in a medical spa because of fee splitting laws, you are generally allowed to pay percent commission on retail product sales.
Selling product is one of the keys to increased profitability in medical spas, and if you’re looking to get into the industry it’s a core principle you need to be familiar with.
For more information on ways to build and run a successful, profitable, and legally compliant medical spa attend one of AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps and be the next med spa success story.
Posted By Administration,
Thursday, August 9, 2018
By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, Founder/Director of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)
Does your med spa website meet all your local laws and regulations? According to the 2017 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, a website is the most frequently used marketing tool for med spa practices. If you don’t have one, you’re losing out. A very common mistake being made by med spas across the country, however, is the failure to create and maintain a website that accurately reflects and realistically represents the business structure and ownership of the med spa.
Due to recent substantial growth in the med spa industry, regulatory authorities in several states are cracking down on med spas that are, or appear to be, operating illegally. But just how are these state regulatory agencies obtaining information on the business operations and workings of med spas? And what information is leading investigators to believe a med spa is operating illegally?
Websites. Technology and social media has driven businesses, big and small, to use the Internet as a tool to provide information to their clients. Med spas are no exception. A majority of med spas across the county operate websites with information about their “team” of professionals, the services provided, specials and discounts offered and even explanations of the different treatments and procedures clients can purchase.
Many of these websites provide bios of the professionals that own and operate the med spa and perform medical procedures. But, unfortunately, in several instances those individuals are not licensed to practice medicine and thus, cannot perform medical procedures or own a medical practice. State regulatory authorities have caught onto this- and now they are enlisting investigators to examine med spa websites looking for signs of illegal ownership or the unauthorized practice of medicine.
For instance, in Illinois, the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (“IDFPR”) has begun launching investigations against med spas based solely on their website content. (AmSpa members: check your state’s medical aesthetic legal summary for more information on medical advertising in your state.) The IDFPR, much like other state regulatory agencies, has an enormous case load and it is impossible for investigators to personally visit every med spa to investigate and determine whether the spa is in compliance with state laws. Instead, to save time and effort, investigators are tasked with reviewing the websites of med spas to obtain information on ownership, business structure, fee structure, staff qualifications, and services.
If the med spa website does not realistically reflect its business practices or falsely depicts a non-physician as an owner or co-owner of the med spa, it will quickly be on the IDFPR’S “radar” and the owners and employees associated with the med spa can face suspension of licenses, fines and penalties. Click here to read more about non-physicians owning med spas.
Although not all states have prohibitions against non-physician ownership of medical spas, most states prohibit fee-splitting between physicians and non-physicians. If a website advertises ownership by a non-physician and highlights a physician as a “medical director” for the med spa, it is likely that the non-physician owner is receiving patient fees and then splitting these fees with the physician on staff. This constitutes fee-splitting between the physician and the non-physician owner of the med spa and it is illegal.
To ensure that your med spa website is in compliance with state and federal laws and to avoid the widening “radar” of investigating state agencies, it is important to perform a careful review your website for any terms or titles that may be red flags. Although there is no script to follow in creating a flawless med spa website, here are a few essential pieces of advice:
List the physician owner prominently on the website to show the physician’s involvement in the business;
If you employ an advanced practice nurse or licensed nurse practitioner to consult with and treat patients under the supervision of the physician owner, include this individual prominently on the website to inform clients and potential clients of that individual’s involvement in patient care;
Importantly, if employing a registered nurse or aesthetician as the med spa’s “go to” coordinator or office manager, bestow upon the individual a title that properly reflects his/her duties, responsibilities, and limitations.
As technology grows, websites and other forms of social media become increasingly important for med spas looking to grow their business and compete in the marketplace. Now is the time to reevaluate your med spa’s online presence and ensure that if you have a website, or plan to establish one that you are conforming to the law and using the website to help, not hurt your business.
Posted By Administration,
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
Sponsored Content: Venus Concept
Having an outstanding team in a medical spa or aesthetics practice is one of the biggest contributors to long-term success. Quality employees will impact everything from treatment results, to patient retention, to new patient acquisition, to retail sales and much more.
Every person working at your aesthetics practice plays an important role—from a full-time nurse injector to a part-time marketing intern. Boosting performance is always a priority, but it’s not always clear how to navigate the hiring, training, and team-building process so everyone is ready to keep your practice running smoothly and your customers feeling great.
If you’re wondering how to build a high-performing aesthetics team, then we’ve got you covered with these five key tips to hiring and training high-performing staff for your practice!
1. Start Strong with a Solid Plan
Begin your team-building project by realistically assessing the number and character of distinct jobs that your practice needs to succeed. Your goal is to have the right number of people to serve all your clients without long patient waits. If practice is on the smaller side, the team might be made up of yourself, a direct treatment provider (maybe that’s you, maybe that’s another person), possibly an aesthetician or injector, and a receptionist. A larger practice might add multiple aestheticians, a medical director, a medical assistant, a practice manager, a care coordinator, and a marketing associate.
2. Be Extra Interview-Ready
To build a high-performing team, be patient with the hiring process—adding a weak member to the team will hurt morale and hamper the patient experience. Think about the kind of personalities and credentials that you’d like to join your team. Articulate the top priorities for a potential new hire. These could be professional skills, team style, leadership, customer service, or other qualities.
Those key priorities are your guide through the hiring process; when it comes time for the interview, translate them into questions, and tailor them to fit the responsibilities of each role. Those questions will illuminate how the potential hire rates on the key attributes you identified, and indicate whether or not they’ll be an asset to your team.
3. Keep it Positive
The key to fostering a positive atmosphere? Lead by example! Greet each staff member each morning when you arrive, and say goodbye each evening before you leave. Arrive on time and show empathy. After all, this group spends around 40 hours together each week. Making those relationships meaningful will strengthen your team and your practice. If you create a workplace environment where employees are genuinely happy, patients will feel it, too.
4. Train Year-Round
Another important element to building up your team’s professionalism and dedication is ongoing training, and training can happen in a lot of different ways! Schedule a weekly half-hour training session or an afternoon of training once a month. If you use aesthetic devices, look for manufacturers that offer ongoing clinical education, so employees can use these devices to the best of their ability. Building employee expertise enhances your practice overall, so keep your staff up-to-date on industry trends and new procedures.
5. Lay a Good Foundation
Creating and maintaining a high-performing team for your aesthetics practice may be simple, but it certainly isn't easy. It requires commitment on your part. It's difficult to create or sustain a healthy team environment if employees do not feel protected or valued in terms of payment or support for their labor. Start with strong fundamentals like fair wages and realistic benefits, and ensure that these are taken care of before all else. Be consistent and be equitable, and make sure that your bases are covered from day one in terms of fair pay and labor practices.
Still unsure about where to start and how to make the best impact? Don’t worry! Venus Concept partners with high-performing medical aesthetics clinics in more than 65 countries, and has developed a report specially designed to help your practice succeed.
Download the free report, How to Create (and Maintain) a High-Performing Team for Your Aesthetics Practice, to learn more about what makes a great aesthetics team.
By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, Founder/Director, The American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)
The question of who can own a med spa is always one of the most common with medical aesthetic practices, and in Massachusetts it can be a tricky one because of the nature of the laws in the state. Massachusetts is one of a few states that has a clinic licensure statute—a comprehensive regulation that outlines a process by which a person or organization other than a physician or a physician-owned company can own a health care facility, such as a medical spa.
In the past, we at AmSpa and ByrdAdatto have worked with companies in the commonwealth to obtain clinical status for their businesses. However, approximately a year ago, we were informed that in some cases, this process may not be necessary.
“We reached out [to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health] because this potential client had said that according to their conversations with the department of health, as a nurse practitioner (NP) licensed in Massachusetts, they do not have to get a license to own a clinic,” said Renee E. Coover, JD, associate at ByrdAdatto. “That was flying in the face of everything that we had been told by the department of health—they said if you’re a non-physician, you must have clinic licensure in order to operate as a medical spa.”
When ByrdAdatto reached out to the Department of Public Health, it was told that in the opinion of the department’s legal counsel, an NP does not need to obtain a clinic license to own a medical spa. However, since this was merely the opinion of one person, the firm felt uncomfortable telling clients that such a course of action was legally sound.
“If they went to the department of health and they got the same answer, we would be fine, but if they happened to talk to someone else who said, ‘No, that is not the case,’ we were fearful we were going to give out incorrect information,” Coover says. “We’re going to reach back out to the department of health, because at this point, I don’t feel as confident giving information one or way or the other as to really what the law says when it comes to clinic licensure.”
As it stands, though, this issue may be moot, because Massachusetts law states that NPs require physician supervision in order to have a prescriptive practice.
“In light of that requirement, it would be difficult at this point to say an NP could own their own practice, because if they’re going to be prescribing anything—Botox, fillers, etc.—all of those types of treatments are going to need a prescription,” Coover explains. “They’re still going to require physician supervision. Without that prescriptive authority, I don’t know really how they would be able to independently have this medical spa.”
However, Massachusetts Senate Bill S.1257, which is currently in committee, would, if passed, remove the requirement for physician supervision for an NP prescriptive practice. If this bill passes, NPs could theoretically operate a practice completely independently of a physician. This, in turn, raises some questions about how an NP who owns a practice would be able to market it—is it really “medical” if there’s no physician involved?—but these are issues that will need to be addressed when and if the bill passes.
See the process for clinic licensure in Massachusetts in the video below:
Posted By Administration,
Thursday, August 2, 2018
By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, Founder/Director of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)
Selling retail products like skin care or other items is often an afterthought in medical spa practices. While treatments and procedures will always be the bread and butter of your practice, retail product sales have a vital place in the overall success of your business.
Stellar treatment results also increase the rates of customer retention, and offering skin care products that pair with your treatment menu can improve your patients’ procedure outcomes.
“Healthier skin responds better to treatment,” says Nealy Skeldon of Environ Skin Care. “The healthier the skin the better the result.”
Skeldon advises creating packages on your menu of treatments with skin care products bundled in to give your patients the best treatment results, and to increase their likelihood of returning.
Client retention is hugely important for many reasons. For instance, it’s both easier and less costly to retain current customers than attract new ones. Additionally, repeat customers will spend from 20% to 60% more than new customers, and their spend per visit will increase the more they return as you continue to build trust.
There are many ways to increase retention in your medical spa but, according to Terri Wojak of True U, one of the easiest is through retail skin care sales. She noted that, on average, a client who does not purchase a product with their service returns only 10% of the time. Those who purchase one product return 30% of the time and the retention rate for clients who purchase two products can be as high as 60%.
Properly integrating a home-care plan with your patients can pay huge dividends as they continue to return to you.
As industry expert Bryan Durocher of Durocher Enterprises states, “So many people are in touch with top-line revenue and not their bottom-line profitability.”
After factoring in the cost of consumables, labor, electricity, and other details, the profit margin on many medical spa treatments can typically hover around 10%. Retail products, however, can yield a margin of up to 40%, according to Wojack.