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Launching a Medical Aesthetics Practice: Key Factors to Consider

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 20, 2019

medical spa staff

By Terri Ross, Terri Ross Consulting

Launching a medical aesthetics practice can be an incredibly challenging but ultimately rewarding venture. Before opening the doors to your practice, there are several key factors to consider, including, but not limited to, market characteristics, population statistics, competition, potential resources and personal drive.

Market

The status, pace and growth of your niche market is the most critical factor that will directly impact the success and profitability of your medical aesthetics practice. Take a pulse of what’s happening in your target area. Is the market already saturated? How many offices are currently in operation? How many have opened in the last five years? Are they expanding? What specialty treatments and services do they offer?

Identify practices that have demonstrated considerable success and learn from them. Take note of their infrastructure, marketing style, target clientele, etc. Your goal is to create a medical aesthetics practice that excels above the competition. There are a few ways to approach this goal. First, you can strive to meet the needs of your target clientele better than existing practices. This can be achieved by providing a superior patient experience: upscale office and treatment areas, knowledgeable and engaging staff, and personalized treatment plans. Conversely, you can strive to meet a new need in your target population by specializing in a new area or offering unique treatment plans. (Click here to read an article from Forbes about how to find and develop your niche market.). The key is to identify an area of the medical aesthetics market that is under-developed in your region of interest—and capitalize on it.

Population Statistics

Before launching your medical aesthetics practice, you’ll want to carefully and diligently define your target patient population. Where do they live? Where do they shop? Which restaurants do they frequent? Identify this population and research them extensively. Take note of their average household income and their average monthly expenditures on medical aesthetics services, among other expenditures. Consider what types of medical aesthetics services they are currently receiving and what types of services they might be interested in. Identifying and characterizing your target population links back to defining your niche market. If you can identify a need in your target patient population that hasn’t been met by the current market, you’ve accomplished the most important—and perhaps the most difficult—part of launching your new practice.

Competition

Identifying and understanding your competitors is a critical factor that will directly impact the success and profitability of your medical aesthetics practice. What types of services and treatment plans do they offer? Are there any specialty practices already in the market that have a main focus, such as body contouring? Be careful and diligent in your research. Identify three to five of the most successful offices in your area, take notes and visit the competition. How long have they been open? How fast are they growing? How many doctors practice in each? How extensive is their support staff? What is their patient retention rate, according to industry reps? By mapping out these details for each of your top competitors, you will begin to understand key elements you want to implement—or not—in your office.

For example, you might hone in on a particularly successful marketing strategy or identify treatment plans that maximize profitability in your area. By thoroughly examining the competition, you’ll be able to learn from their mistakes, streamline processes and shape a successful marketing strategy before ever opening the doors to your own office.

Potential Resources

Once you’ve identified your niche market and target patient population, you’ll want to make sure that the region you’re considering can support your vision. The area where you choose to launch is critical. It will affect your ability to staff, manage and grow your office. What are the local demographics? Your staff’s ability to listen, engage and communicate with your patients is among the most critical aspects that will shape the success of your office. This begins with hiring the right people and training them well. (Click here to read more about the LAER model I developed for effectively training your front office staff here.)

The accessibility of technical support for your medical equipment is another important resource you’ll want to consider. Your equipment and supplies will need regular and established maintenance and support to ensure optimal performance. Most laser companies offer a maintenance plan; however, while it is vital, it is also very expensive. How quickly can support personnel be onsite? Do they offer a loaner?

The potential for collaboration is one last element to consider before making the final decision on where to open your practice. Are there any practices in the area that offer services that would complement your services or specialty? Would a collaboration or referral system make sense? In some cases, it may be more beneficial to work with key competitors rather than against them. There may be an opportunity to offer patients a bundled promotion or personalized treatment plan that successfully incorporates the expertise of both practices. In this way, you are capitalizing on existing resources and building upon them to maximize your profitability and success.

Personal Drive

Your personal drive is another key element that will impact the launch of your medical aesthetics practice. This factor cannot be easily measured or analyzed, but it plays a pivotal role in the success of your practice, particularly in the launch phase. Undoubtedly, launching a new medical practice in any specialty requires not only expertise and knowledge, but also persistence and drive, in both the medical and business fields.

As the medical expert, you’ll be required to know and stay up-to-date on your clinical knowledge. This includes learning new technology, procedures and treatments as they become available, and implementing them in your space.

As the business leader, you’ll be required to make smart decisions and make changes that will support the growth and success of your office. This includes hiring and training medical and administrative staff, implementing efficient processes and protocols, creating and sustaining a successful marketing plan, and consistently achieving new goals in patient retention and conversion, ROI and room revenue assumptions.

Click here to take a look at some of the critical financial numbers that will affect the growth and profitability of your office. To launch and sustain a successful medical aesthetic office in the current market, you will need diligence, tenacity and a great deal of personal drive.

Launching a successful medical aesthetics practice is a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience. Do you have what it takes? Do you have attainable revenue goals and the infrastructure, protocols and staff in place to get you there? Click here to download the assessment and complete Terri’s 10 Point Checklist.

Terri Ross brings more than 20 years of sales and management experience to the field, having worked with leading-edge medical device companies such as Zeltiq, Medicis, EMD Serono, Merck Schering Plough and Indigo Medical, a surgical division of Johnson.

Ross’ vast knowledge and experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20M in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become a renowned plastic surgery management consultant helping aesthetic practices thrive.

To optimize revenues and business performance, Ross’ practice management consulting services help physicians evaluate practice processes including, but not limited to, overall-operating efficiencies, staff skill assessment, customer service and operating efficiency strategies. The goal is to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve productivity, quality, efficiency and return on investment.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends  Terri Ross Consulting 

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Portrait of a Medical Spa Owner, Part 1: The Doctor

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 18, 2019

nicole norris

By Michael Meyer, Content Writer/Editor, American Med Spa Association

In the early days of the medical aesthetic business, it was more or less presumed that a medical spa would be owned by a “core doctor”—i.e. a plastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, otolaryngologist or cosmetic dermatologist. However, as the field has matured, the group of owners involved has become more and more diverse, ranging from doctors and nurses to entrepreneurs and even estheticians. In fact, it’s somewhat difficult to find a medical spa owned by a core doctor today—according to the American Med Spa Association’s 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, of all of the medical spas owned by medical professionals, only 20% owned by core doctors.

Today, it’s much more common to find doctors with backgrounds in family practice and emergency medicine owning medical spas—each of those specialties owns 23% of the practices owned by medical professionals, according to the report. Why is this? As you’ll read in this series, there seems to be a certain frustration with the way managed care has caused health care in the United States to evolve, and doctors, nurses and physician assistants are interested in providing more personalized care to their patients without having to deal with insurance and other payment issues.

However, doctors aren’t the only people involved in medical spa ownership—entrepreneurs are making their mark on the industry, as well. According to the report, 12% of medical spas owned by individuals and 24% of medical spas owned by groups are owned by entrepreneurs. It speaks to the broad appeal of the industry—and the amount of money people are making in it—that this many people from outside the traditional boundaries of it are willing to invest their money in medical aesthetics.

In this series, you will be introduced to four people—a doctor, a mid-level practitioner, an RN and an entrepreneur—who came into the medical spa industry from different backgrounds, but managed to find success because of their determination and love for the business. Each one is true success story and an example of how, in this industry, hard work and quality care are a winning combination.

The Doctor

Nicole Norris, MD, spent 12 years working as a family practice physician in Peru, a city of approximately 10,000 in North Central Illinois. During that time, she established a reputation as a caring practitioner who maintained close relationships with her patients. However, after moving from private practice into hospital employment, she discovered that her style of patient care was at odds with what was expected of her.

“Due to the way medicine has gotten mangled by managed care, I made the decision to find another option,” Norris explains. “The hospital was going to drop my salary a third time because I wasn’t seeing 30 patients a day. It’s impossible, with patients with chronic health problems, to see them, get them well and take care of everything. And with the opening of urgent care centers everywhere, the patients who come into the office for acute visits were few and far between. It’s easy to see 30 acute visits—colds, flus, that kind of thing—but not easy to see patients with multiple chronic health problems; that doesn’t happen in 10 minutes. I refused to change the way I practiced, and that was not rewarded. That was when I thought, ‘I have to find a different way to make people healthy.’”

Norris had been administering aesthetic treatments on a very limited basis at her family practice, and she found the experience to be extremely rewarding.

“I could not believe how these patients transformed, both physically and mentally, in just a few visits,” Norris says. “They walked taller and seemed happier and even healthier. I started to believe that my aesthetic procedures were superior to Prozac.”

In 2016, she decided to leave family practice and commit to medical aesthetics full-time. She opened Nicole Norris MD Medical Spa in Peru, and her commitment to attentive patient care has continued to pay dividends.

“Having those relationships basically encourages those patients to come in and see me now, even though I’m not their family doctor anymore,” Norris says. “We already had a relationship—they trusted and respected me. When I opened the medical spa, it helped me to have a good reputation. People already knew me and knew that I was a good doctor, so even though I was doing something really crazy, they still respected it.”

Norris initially approached the practice from a more medical standpoint, but quickly embraced the less traditional aspects of medical aesthetics.

“When I first opened, I was very focused on trying to keep my brand as a medical spa more medical and less spa,” Norris says. “I have since learned that luring patients in the door with spa services, such as facials, eyelash extensions and teeth-whitening, is very lucrative. These are ‘entry drugs.’ Then, by approximation, while in our office, they end up progressing to injectables and laser hair removal. Then they get a little braver and decide to try laser resurfacing, photofacial, SculpSure and even PDO threads. My brand is still very medical, but I am not too proud to emphasize the spa side of my practice, as well.”

Norris’s career move may have seemed risky at the time, but today she is delighted with her decision to leave traditional family practice.

“I love that I can make people mentally happier and, therefore, physically healthier without prescribing one pill,” Norris says. “It’s funny, but even though I work more now, I don’t feel like I go to work anymore.”

For legal updates and business best practices delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to AmSpa’s email newsletter. For more information on how AmSpa can help your practice operate legally and profitably, contact us online or call us at 312-981-0993.

Tags:  AmSpa's 2019 Medical Spa Statistical Survey  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends  QP 

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The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Medical Director for a Medical Spa

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 13, 2019

medical director

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

The medical aesthetic industry is booming. According to AmSpa’s 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, the annual revenue for the industry as a whole is estimated to approach or surpass $10 billion in 2019, which would represent an increase of more than 919% from 2010. The number of medical spas in the United States has more than quadrupled since 2010—from 1,600 to an estimated 6,582 in 2019—and the average medical spa brings in more than $1.5 million in revenue.

Thus, it makes sense that an ambitious dermatologist might be curious about joining or founding a medical spa as a medical director. And although it certainly seems to make sense to join a flourishing industry, there are also a number of reasons why you might not want to take that leap. Here are some pros and cons of becoming a medical director for an aesthetic practice.

Pro: Money

Dermatologists are among the specialists known in the medical spa industry as “core doctors”—doctors whose specialties align with the industry in fundamental ways. Core doctors tend to incorporate their medical spas into their existing practices, which is a less lucrative business model than running them as a business independent of their practices. However, the money still can be exceptionally good, especially if the dermatologist in question allows his or her medical spa to be run as an independent arm of the business by people who understand how to effectively market and promote a more retail-focused business.

Now is the time to earn your money in the medical aesthetics industry. AmSpa’s report suggests that the value of the industry is projected to double in the next five years, and given that it projects a fairly conservative rate of growth compared with those of recent years, the actual rate of growth could be even higher. Dermatologists are in a uniquely advantageous position to benefit from this.

Con: Compliance

When you are the medical director of a medical aesthetic practice, you are responsible for all aspects of the medical side of the business, and that includes compliance. You not only need to be sure that you are properly delegating and supervising the procedures being performed at the practice, but also create protocols for the non-medical employees of the practice in order to make sure they remain compliant with the regulations that govern medical practices in your state.

AmSpa members receive a complimentary 20-minute Introductory Compliance Assessment with a ByrdAdatto attorney. Click here to learn about this and many other benefits of becoming a member.

Pro: Referrals

As stated earlier, dermatologists who operate medical spas typically incorporate them into their existing practices. When this arrangement is properly carried out, a medical spa can create referrals to the dermatology side of the business. However, it is important to understand that creating referrals cannot be the primary reason to add a medical spa to the practice. As previously mentioned, a medical spa must be operated as a separate entity, since a medical spa is significantly different than a dermatology practice in form and function. A medical spa should be able to succeed on its own terms, regardless of what is going on with the dermatology practice.

This might be difficult to come to terms with. I’ve spoken with several core doctors who have had bad experiences with running medical spas, and they can hardly believe that the industry is as successful as it is. Invariably, they went wrong by viewing their medical spas as existing primarily to drive business to their main practices. This can’t be the primary reason you run a medical spa. Any referrals you receive from your medical spa should be viewed as a bonus.

Con: Hands Off

Serving as the medical director of a medical spa is more work than you might imagine, but it may not be the type of work you’re used to or prefer. An effective medical director needs to trust his or her staff to conduct most of the everyday treatments at a medical spa, and this may be difficult for a physician who is used to performing treatments and consultations with his or her patients. Unfortunately for dermatologists who enjoy this aspect of their work, it just doesn’t make sense to be hands-on with the high-volume medical spa side of your business when you could be doing more lucrative work at your dermatology practice. There are only so many hours in the day, after all.

This also speaks to the importance of maintaining a qualified, conscientious staff. You have to be able to trust the people who work under you, and that requires you to pay very close attention to who you hire and how they’re performing. At the end of the day, the medical aspects of the medical spa are the physician’s responsibility, regardless of whether or not he or she is on the premises.

Understanding the Commitment

Owning a medical spa is a great, fun way for dermatologists to supplement their income, but do not underestimate the amount of work you will need to do to make it a success. Serving as a medical director is a major commitment, and it’s best to approach it with realistic expectations.

For legal updates and business best practices delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe to AmSpa’s email newsletter. For more information on how AmSpa can help your practice operate legally and profitably, Contact Us online or call us at 312-981-0993.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends 

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Home-grown Success

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 11, 2019

rejuv fargo north dakota

By Michael Meyer, Content Writer/Editor, American Med Spa Association

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the Midwest—which includes Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota—represented approximately 21% of the U.S. population in 2018 (the most recent year for which this estimation is available). However, according to AmSpa’s 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, the Midwest is host to approximately 24% of the medical spas in the country, an increase from 22% in the 2017 report. This represents the largest positive discrepancy between the population and the number of medical spas in any of the four census-recognized regions.

So why are there so many med spas in the Midwest, and why is the number growing? Simply put, demand is exploding. Consider the story of Radiant Divine Medical Spa, which opened in Brecksville, Ohio, in suburban Cleveland, in May 2017.

“After the first six months, we were at about $500,000 in sales, so I’m like, this is something—we’ve got something here,” says Ryan DeVault, Radiant Divine’s co-owner. “We had demand from other areas and other markets, so we opened up another medical spa about 25 miles away in Avon, Ohio. I signed that lease in January 2018. Then we had demand from another market that was about 25 miles south of us in Medina, Ohio. I signed that lease for new construction in June of 2018 and we opened up in October of 2018, so we turned one practice into three spas in the first 17 months.”

According to DeVault, Radiant Divine is on pace for $3.5 million in revenue across its three sites in 2019. (Author’s note: Read more about Radiant Divine in the “Cleveland Rocks” a little later in this article.) And although not every medical spa owner has the same ability to open new locations, many in the Midwest have discovered that the path to profitability leads to some far-flung places that one would not necessarily consider to be hotbeds for aesthetic services.

Dakota Dreams

Fargo, North Dakota, is the 222nd-largest city in the United States, with an estimated population of 124,844 in 2018, so it is not exactly a sprawling urban center. Its economy has traditionally been associated with agriculture, and farm families are not generally thought of as traditional medical spa customers. However, Fargo is growing—its population has more than doubled since 1980, and it has increased 18.3% since 2010—its economy is diversifying, and, perhaps surprisingly, it is home to one of the country’s most consistently successful medical spas.

Rejuv Medical Aesthetic Clinic opened in 2005 with 1,500 square feet and three employees. Today, it operates out of a 12,000-square-foot facility, has 40 employees and is on track for approximately $8 million in revenue in 2019.

“We’ve had 15 years consecutive growth at a minimum of 20% every year,” says Melissa Rogne, president and founder of Rejuv. “We really haven’t struggled in finding an audience, and we really have always defied what the typical aesthetic patient is supposed to look like. We’ll tell stories where some of our patients come in and they bring us eggs from their farms. We really feel like Rejuv has broken down the stereotype of what a typical aesthetic patient’s profile is.”

Conventional wisdom suggests that having a large population base is necessary for medical spa success. However, Rogne believes that being part of a smaller, more insular community actually works in the practice’s favor.

“Because of the tight-knit community, the referral network is alive and well, and we’re able to really capitalize on the good nature of the people in this area,” Rogne says. “The Midwest is known for having the friendliest people in the United States, and that’s true. Those people want to tell their friends, they want to see you succeed and they know you really genuinely care about them.”

However, despite its size and success, Rejuv is not the only game in town, which speaks to the medical aesthetic industry’s growth in recent years.

“One of the things that people think is that there’s no competition; it’s actually quite the opposite,” Rogne explains. “I did some research about a year ago, and we have essentially one aesthetic medical spa for every 5,000 people in this community. The competition is extremely stiff—it’s not what people think it is.”

Royal Treatment

To Rogne’s point, according to AmSpa’s 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, there are an estimated 6,582 medical spas in the United States, up from approximately 1,800 in 2011. Back then, it was possible to find markets in the Midwest that simply were not being served at all, and that is how aNu Aesthetics and Optimal Wellness in Kansas City, Missouri, came to be.

“Where we started, there was a really big void of providers,” says Cristyn Watkins, MD, founder, owner and medical director for aNu. “There was really nobody around us.”

For several years, Watkins and her partners—a nurse practitioner and two other doctors—kept their practice low-key, working evenings and weekends as time permitted and building up a devoted patient base.

“The nice thing was that, since we were all small-business owners and this was kind of our side job, everybody had our cell phone number, we e-mailed every single patient after we saw them, and we were our own schedulers,” Watkins explains. “Our patients really liked the fact that they had access to a physician who cared for them and who they had direct access to.”

During this time, aNu’s reputation grew via word of mouth, and when Watkins decided to dedicate herself to the practice full-time in February 2016, business “went crazy.” The practice moved to a new 6,000-square-foot location in November 2017, and it is projected to bring in $3.5 million in revenue in 2019. Watkins refuses to rest on her laurels, however—she is doing everything she can to spur on aNu’s growth, and that means doing everything she can to give her patients what they want.

“Between medical aesthetics and wellness, you have to be on the cutting edge all the time,” she says. “If there’s something I’m interested in or my staff is interested in, we usually implement it within about 90 days, if it’s got good ROI and I think it’s something we should be doing. You have to always be figuring out what the new thing is in order to make it [to the top], I truly believe. But I also believe that if you care about your patients and you take care of them, that they’ll take care of you.”

Cleveland Rocks

Compared to Rejuv and aNu, Radiant Divine is an overnight sensation; however, although the spa itself has only been open since 2017, its primary provider, Rachel DeVault, RN—Ryan’s wife—has been building a reputation in the Cleveland area for far longer.

“My wife became an RN in 2010,” Ryan says. “She was working just regular hospital jobs, and then a friend of ours opened up a medical spa in the back of his tanning salon. He knew she was an RN and introduced her to aesthetics. She just has a niche for it. She grew his injectable practice from zero to 200 people in about 60 days. She created the following for him.”

Since then, Rachel has become an expert injector. She is currently a Galderma GAIN trainer, and not surprisingly, her loyal clients from those early days formed the foundation of Radiant Divine’s success.

“We didn’t solicit any of her old people—they found us,” Ryan says. “We didn’t do really any forms of advertising. The website was not the strongest. But it just seemed to be that word of mouth and referral was our best source.”

Close to Home

The success of these practices demonstrates the value of establishing a reputation for exceptional service, particularly in places where members of communities are close and inclined to recommend businesses that provide what they promise. However, there are certain disadvantages to working in places that are off the beaten path for aesthetic professionals.

“For us, probably the biggest issue has been hiring,” says Rogne, of Fargo’s Rejuv. “It’s really difficult for us to find people who have experience in this industry in a smaller market like ours. We’ve really had to invest a lot in training people and bringing them up new in this industry. We don’t get to just hire a nurse injector—we have to create a nurse injector. Without a doubt, the biggest challenge for us is the availability of human resources and staffing.”

“It’s always staff,” agrees aNu’s Watkins. “It’s always finding a good front-desk person and a manager.”

However, dealing with issues such as these is a small price to pay for home-grown success.

“I’ve lived here forever, she’s lived here forever,” says Radiant Divine’s Ryan DeVault of his wife, Rachel. “It’s an area I’m familiar with. I know a lot of people here and I know the approach and I know what they’re looking for—the services they’re interested in. I feel we can accommodate our market because we’re familiar with it. Can we do this in different market? I don’t know, but we know this market. Cleveland’s home, you know?

Tags:  AmSpa's 2019 Medical Spa Statistical Survey  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends  QP 

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The Power of Patient Retention

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 6, 2019

patient retention

By Terri Ross, Terri Ross Consulting

Patient retention is a very powerful—and sometimes overlooked—way to rapidly expand your medical aesthetics practice. Why? Because once you’ve captured the interest of your patient population, the hard work is done. At this point, making genuine connections and encouraging them to take action are your primary goals. They can be achieved through engaging conversation, personalized treatment plans and intentional follow-up. Patient retention is directly correlated with how well your front office staff performs, their ability to educate and, more importantly, how well the consultation is conducted by the medical provider.

Is every staff member in your office engaging, direct and knowledgeable of the services and treatment plans you offer? (Click here to read more about the LAER model I developed for staff training.) Another key aspect of patient retention is related to your brand as a medical aesthetic office—i.e. the level at which you perform, as evidenced by a top notch facility, expertise, state-of-the-art equipment and marketing efforts that match the brand. Sophisticated and educational marketing materials relay a consistent message to your patient population—they should choose you for their medical aesthetics needs.

Why Is Patient Retention So Important?

Focusing on your current patient population is the best way to rapidly increase your profitability. Invest in high-quality staff, branding and technology, and gear these elements towards encouraging your current patients to take action. Research shows that increasing your patient retention by 5% increases your profitability by more than 25%. The concept is simple: your current patient population, including both new and established patients, has already expressed some level of interest in your practice. Your goal now is to capitalize on this interest, gain their trust and guide them toward taking action—whether that is scheduling a consultation appointment or moving forward with a personalized treatment plan that includes multiple treatments; this will do two things: ensure a better outcome and protect their investment.

Key Elements to Maximize Patient Retention

Engaging staff: Every member of your front office staff should strive to make a connection with your patients, both new and established. As outlined in my LAER model for staff training, it is critical that your front office staff listens, engages and responds to patient questions and needs. They should be proactive in their patient interactions. Ask a new patient if they’d like to read some new literature on the procedure in which they expressed interest. Ask an established patient if they’re interested in a new promotion that would extend their current treatment plan.

In addition to being proactive, your front office staff should be knowledgeable about all aspects of the treatments you offer and the aesthetics industry as a whole. Having had the pleasure of working with many practices, I know this is one area that is sadly overlooked. Staff members should know what procedures and treatments you offer, how they can be incorporated into a treatment plan, and how they compare to your competitors. It is critical that your staff is capable of discussing your technology and services, so that patients are encouraged to choose your practice over another. Patients want to feel like their needs are not only being met, but also being exceeded. This is what makes that lasting impression—the one that makes new patients commit to a treatment plan and keeps established patients coming back, year after year.

Consistent marketing: Be consistent in your marketing efforts. Find your niche in the market of medical aesthetics practices and commit to it. This applies to everything—from the font style of your website to your business statement to your appointment cards. Patients want to feel like they’re coming back to a familiar place when they visit your office or website. This familiarity is established by an inviting atmosphere, sophisticated décor, office-branded brochures and pamphlets, regular e-newsletters, and a streamlined and informative website.

  • Office space: The physical structure of your medical aesthetic office—including the building, exterior sign, interior waiting area and treatment areas—sets the tone of your patient’s experience. The waiting area is where your patient’s experience begins and ends. An inviting, sophisticated and well-conceived space can create a familiar environment to which patients want to return. Clean, accommodating treatment areas, equipped with cutting-edge technology, convey a clear message of expertise and professionalism to your patients. The bottom line is this: If a patient enjoys their experience in your office and receives top-notch, personalized care, they will return.
  • Technology: Commit to being the expert in your niche of the medical aesthetics field and acquire the equipment to make it happen. Align your passion and expertise with the newest technology and make it available to your patients. Patients don’t want to feel sold on any and every treatment out there, but if they feel that you are the expert in a specific treatment, and this is supported not only by your knowledge as a clinician, but also in the technology available in your office, they will be encouraged to choose you for this treatment.
  • Brochures and pamphlets: Devote a significant portion of your overall marketing budget to creating and maintaining office-branded literature. Develop brochures for each major treatment or service you offer, going through general information about the treatment, relevant technology and how your office excels above the rest. Include your office name, logo, statement and contact information on each brochure. Personalized brochures relay a sense of expertise and sophistication to your patients and encourage them to follow through with a plan of action in your office.
  • E-newsletters: Beyond office literature, it is important that you send out regular, informative and branded e-newsletters. Either monthly or quarterly, send a newsletter to your patients outlining new technology, promotional treatment plans, new staff and/or new expertise. Did you recently acquire a piece of technology that will greatly expand your treatment options? Did you hire a new team member who adds specific and impressive expertise? Highlight this information. Keep your patients informed and engaged. If they get the impression that your office is constantly growing, diversifying and moving forward in the field of medical aesthetics, they will want to choose your office. This will not only increase patient loyalty, but also will encourage current patients to try new options, leading to increased treatment appointments and increased profitability.
  • Website: Just as your office serves as the physical representation of your brand, an organized, streamlined and informative website defines your brand online. Make sure your office information, logo and contact information are visible on each page. Keep fonts and styles simple and sophisticated. Clearly outline the treatment and service options you offer, making sure the site is optimized so it ranks on the first page of Google during web searches—and emphasize what makes your office stand out among the competitors. Provide enough information to portray your expertise in the field while encouraging new patients to contact you for additional information. This will lead to increased patient conversion and patient retention. Your website is your virtual brochure—it’s the first place patients look so when they get to your site, so keep them there. Your website should generate more than 100 leads per month. If it’s not, something is wrong.

Personalized Follow-up: Your front office staff should make a proactive, regular effort to follow up with patients. Particularly after introductory or consultation appointments, when new patients may have unanswered questions or concerns, it is critical that your staff remains in touch. Make it a policy to check in with every new patient one week after their first treatment appointment to verify that the treatment was successful and to gauge their satisfaction. It is key that you address any patient concerns as quickly as possible. You want every patient to feel important; this is what will make them return. It’s important to stay in touch with established patients as well—inform them of any new technology, treatment plans or promotions available to them, and encourage them to take action.

If you want to quickly increase the profitability of your office, focus on patient retention. It cost eight times more money to gain a new patient than it does to nurture the ones that you have.

Schedule a strategy call with me and take the first steps towards optimizing your business and improving patient retention today.

Terri Ross brings more than 20 years of sales and management experience to the field, having worked with leading-edge medical device companies such as Zeltiq, Medicis, EMD Serono, Merck Schering Plough and Indigo Medical, a surgical division of Johnson.

Ross’ vast knowledge and experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20M in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become a renowned plastic surgery management consultant helping aesthetic practices thrive.

To optimize revenues and business performance, Ross’ practice management consulting services help physicians evaluate practice processes including, but not limited to, overall-operating efficiencies, staff skill assessment, customer service and operating efficiency strategies. The goal is to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve productivity, quality, efficiency and return on investment.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends  Terri Ross Consulting 

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What to Look for When Purchasing a Laser

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 28, 2019

laser treatment

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

Laser treatments are a staple of the medical aesthetic industry. According to the American Medical Spa Association’s (AmSpa’s) 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, laser hair removal is offered by 59% of medical spas, and it is the second-most common procedure for a first-time patient, so it actively brings patients into practices. Additionally, the report found that 29% of medical spas offer full-field ablative laser skin resurfacing. What’s more, 8% of medical spas that don’t offer laser hair removal and 5% of medical spas that don’t offer laser skin resurfacing are considering adding them.

In order to perform any of these laser treatments, however, the proper equipment must be acquired. And that can be more expensive and complicated than one might imagine.

Laser Overview

In recent years, a number of new companies have begun offering laser equipment designed for use by medical aesthetic practices, which has resulted in unprecedented competition. This equipment can be very expensive, costing as much as $250,000, so the stakes in the market are very high.

The representatives who sell this laser equipment typically are compensated, at least partially, on commission, and the commissions they can make are substantial. As is typically the result of commission-based compensation plans, the reps are very motivated to close the deal. Potential clients often forget this fact when they are shopping for a new machine, but savvy consumers always will remember that the sales reps, even at the most reputable companies, make most of their money when they actually sell a machine. Because of this, some reps can be very aggressive.

Although there are many reputable laser companies with very knowledgeable, considerate reps, some other companies employ laser sales reps who act in an unscrupulous manner because of the potential for lucrative commissions. This is the primary reason why you should work with reputable companies with established track records.

Unscrupulous reps often pressure potential customers to make a decision immediately, before they have a chance to truly evaluate their options. These reps will tell customers that they are on a tight timeframe or that they have limited-time discounts that expire soon. However, prospective clients should take a step back and evaluate their options. These are major investments and should be treated with a great deal of care. Good sales reps from trustworthy companies will understand the gravity of the decision and provide customers with the time, information and references they need to make an informed decision.

Prospective customers also should keep in mind that the only time they have leverage in this situation is before the contract is signed—when you can still walk away. This is the time in the process when they must do everything they can to negotiate the deal in their best interest. Therefore, when a representative offers a prospective customer a contract to purchase a laser, that customer must fully understand that contract, because this likely will be the only time that contract can be negotiated.

Preventing Problems

Taking the time to read and understand the contracts offered by the salesperson is the best way for laser customers to protect themselves. If provisions you don’t understand are in the contract, ask the sales representative to thoroughly explain them to you. A good rep will always make sure you understand the contract. But it is always a good idea to get an independent explanation. If your lawyer is familiar with negotiating laser contracts, you should consult him or her; if not, you should consider hiring an attorney with knowledge in this area. Laser contracts can be much more complex than contracts for other types of medical aesthetic equipment—they may include convoluted provisions on warranties, maintenance, technical support or authorized use, so enlisting the aid of someone who has experience with them can be tremendously helpful.

The amount of marketing support the manufacturer is offering is an aspect of a laser contract that should be carefully considered. Some laser companies offer excellent support; others say they will but offer nothing in writing to guarantee it. The inclusion of a well-developed marketing assistance program often will increase the price of the laser, but it can add substantial value to the deal. The customer must make sure that the contract he or she signs includes language that guarantees sufficient manufacturer support. With a purchase of this size, it is crucial to the customer to have as much support as possible.

It also is important to ask the representative to provide references from people who own the laser model you are considering purchasing. These should not be clients who just bought the laser and are still in the “honeymoon” period—these should be experienced users who know the highs and lows of owning the laser long term. Or, better yet, ask a group of medical aesthetics professionals you know to ensure you get an honest answer. For example, AmSpa offers a private Facebook group to its members, which acts as a forum for these and any other professional questions that come up in the course of your medical aesthetics business. A prospective buyer should ask about how the laser performs, its service record, its return-on-investment, manufacturer support and any additional relevant information. Good reps will have a large number of references from people they have dealt with throughout the years; if they don’t, that should be seen as a red flag.

Deciphering Laser Provisions

Some provisions that prospective customers need to carefully consider are often found in laser contracts. It can take hours to review and analyze all elements of contracts, but there are three provisions that I often focus on when representing clients in laser purchases.

Recertification fees. The most controversial provision deals with recertification fees. It dictates that the manufacturer must inspect a used laser device to “certify” that it is in working order and operating to the manufacturer’s standards before it can be resold on the open market. The fee that the manufacturer charges for this service can be quite high—$50,000 or more—and it must be paid before the machine can be supported at a new customer site, which not only cuts into the resale value, but also makes it difficult to resell on the open market. However, some manufacturers provide a warranty and clinical training as part of the recertification fee, which may actually enhance the machine’s resale value.

There are valid reasons for having this fee in place—ideally, it helps ensure safety for both patient and provider—but it still is a very significant cost that should be understood before the laser is purchased. This is one reason why it’s very important to make sure that the laser you’re purchasing can be supported by your market. If, after a few months, you decide that the equipment is not ideal, you might be stuck with an extremely expensive piece of equipment you don’t use and can’t easily sell— since the secondary market for lasers can be extremely volatile and tends to favor buyers.

Prospective laser buyers should know that they can, in some instances, negotiate recertification fees, and some laser manufacturers are sometimes even willing to waive them altogether, typically when a practice is introducing laser treatments in markets where they have not yet proven to be successful. In fact, some manufacturers will even offer to repurchase the machine after a period of time if customers can show that their market is not responding to the product offerings. However, these are all things that must be negotiated into the contract before the sale is finalized. If the contract is signed and these elements aren’t included, you are out of luck.

Resale restriction. A resale restriction dictates that the customer cannot resell a laser without the manufacturer’s approval, or that the laser must be sold back to the manufacturer at a discounted price. As with recertification fees, there are valid reasons for these provisions; however, they can limit a practice’s options when it purchases new technology. Horror stories abound of medical spas with functional laser technology that they don’t use anymore because newer models were released. I’ve seen practices that have more than $1 million worth of technology sitting in a room gathering dust because they simply can’t do anything with them due to contractual restrictions and a weak secondary market.

However, as is the case with recertification fees, a resale restriction can be negotiated. Again, it is extremely important that the customer recognizes these provisions prior to signing the contract in order to maintain leverage. Reputable laser companies stand behind their products and typically have no issues working with new clients to make sure they are satisfied. If nothing else, a good sales rep should explain this provision so that the customer understands why it is there and how it is designed to help the customer.

Service clauses and warranties. Although they are commonly found in medical spas and aesthetic practices, let’s not forget that these machines actually fire lasers. This technology was science fiction in the relatively recent past. These are very sophisticated, sensitive pieces of machinery, and no matter how reputable the manufacturer, the machine will need to be serviced at some point. Good companies ensure that the customer endures little downtime and expense in these situations, but it’s up to the customer to make sure that everything that needs to be covered is covered for a reasonable amount of time, and that service is guaranteed to occur in a timely manner. After all, every day that the machine is offline is a day it is not generating revenue.

Prospective customers need to learn about exactly what happens if the machine breaks, what is covered—and what is not—under the warranty, and what the included customer support entails. Moreover, they must get as much as possible in writing so that they are guaranteed to have efficient, cost-effective service.

Know What You Don’t Know

For a medical aesthetic practice, offering laser treatments can be extremely lucrative, but buying a laser is much more complicated than simply going down to the neighborhood laser store and picking one out. If you know of a lawyer who has experience negotiating laser contracts, it is in your best interest to hire him or her to help negotiate this transaction.

Tags:  AmSpa's 2019 Medical Spa Statistical Survey  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends 

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Join AmSpa at the Orlando Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp

Posted By Administration, Friday, October 25, 2019

caribe royale orlando

By Alex R. Thiersch, JD, CEO of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa)

Starting next Saturday, November 2, AmSpa will host its Orlando Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp at Caribe Royale Orlando. This is the last AmSpa Boot Camp until April 2020, so if you are a medical aesthetic professional who wants to learn how to improve your practice, make your plans to join us next weekend. There’s still time to register for the event—just click here to sign up.

Here is a quick overview of the program:

Saturday, November 2

The Boot Camp begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast, followed at 8:30 a.m. with my opening keynote. From there, we will move into the main program:

  • 9 – 10:30 a.m.: The Plan, presented by Bryan Durocher (Durocher Enterprises)—What are the most effective ways to develop a business plan for your medical spa? Medical Spa Consultant Bryan Durocher discusses the ins and outs of the planning process and helps determine how long it realistically takes to open a practice.
  • 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.: The Lessons, presented by Louis Frisina—Every medical spa is different, but the successful ones share several common traits. In this session, Business Strategy Consultant Louis Frisina discusses the qualities that are typically found in practices that bring in a significant amount of revenue.
  • 12:45 – 1:30 p.m.: Medical Aesthetic Hot Topics Panel, featuring Tim Sawyer (Crystal Clear Digital Marketing), Candace Noonan (Environ Skincare) and Gail Winneshiek (Galderma)—This panel, moderated by yours truly, will feature a spirited discussion of the current issues and events that concern medical spa owners and operators.
  • 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.: The Law, presented by Alex Thiersch (AmSpa) and Bradford Adatto (ByrdAdatto)—In this presentation, we’ll discuss the long-standing and emerging legal issues that every medical spa owner needs to know about. As you can imagine, there is a lot to cover here, since new concerns seem to be arising daily lately.
  • 4:15 – 5 p.m.: The Treatments, presented by Terri Ross (Terri Ross Consulting)—Learn about the most profitable and popular treatments available to your practice, and find out how to best determine which treatments are right for you based on the state of your practice.
  • 5 – 6 p.m.: The Digital Marketing Ecosystem, presented by Tim Sawyer (Crystal Clear Digital Marketing)—Find out how to effectively spread the word about your medical aesthetic practice and how best to determine what’s working and what’s not. Your practice’s digital presence is more important than ever before, and curating it should be a top priority.

Saturday will wrap up with a cocktail reception from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, November 3

Once again, the Boot Camp begins at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast.

  • 8:30 – 9 a.m.: Anatomy of a $5-Million Med Spa, presented by Alex Thiersch (AmSpa)—Have you ever wondered what the difference is between your medical spa and one that’s mega-successful? It might be less significant than you think. This presentation will show what a $5-million med spa is doing right—and what you might be doing wrong.
  • 9 – 10 a.m.: The Financials, presented by Bryan Durocher (Durocher Enterprises)—At the end of the day, the money you’re bringing in is the most important measure of your practice’s success. This presentation will, among other things, demonstrate how to properly develop a budget and use metrics to determine your med spa’s strengths and weaknesses.
  • 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.: The Long-term Revenue, presented by Brandon and Jenny Robinson (Skin Body Soul)—Simply being successful isn’t enough for a medical aesthetic practice; you have to know how to maintain and grow your success. In this session, Bryan will show you how to build patient loyalty and move your business forward.
  • 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: The Consultation, presented by Terri Ross (Terri Ross Consulting)—As the old saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Learn how to put your best foot forward with effective patient consultations—and how to turn them into consistent business.
  • 1 – 2 p.m.: The Marketing Plan and Social Media, presented by Brandon and Jenny Robinson (Skin Body Soul)—This session will help you determine how to most effectively market your medical aesthetic practice using both traditional methods and cutting-edge techniques.
  • 2 – 3 p.m.: The Team, presented by Bryan Durocher (Durocher Enterprises)—A medical spa is only as good as its personnel, so it’s important to make sure that you hire a staff that can do everything you want it to—and more. In this session, you’ll learn about recruiting, hiring and retaining employees who can make your medical spa dreams come true.

Also, you’ll have the chance to visit with a number of exceptional vendors during this event. Attend the Orlando Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camp to check out the latest and greatest from the following companies:

We hope you can join us in Orlando next weekend. This Boot Camp is a tremendous opportunity to get a medical aesthetic business started off on the right foot, and learn how to take an already successful business to the next level. Click here to register!

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Business and Financials  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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Email Marketing Strategies: Targeted Newsletters

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, October 23, 2019

email marketing

By Terri Ross, Terri Ross Consulting

Once you have identified and attracted the attention of your patient population, it is essential to stay in touch. One of the easiest and most direct ways to do this is to send out targeted newsletters that inform prospective and current patients alike about new treatments, new technology in the field of medical aesthetics and special rates your office is offering. As I discussed in my blog on building an effective marketing program, once you have identified your target population, developing personalized marketing tools to guide them toward a consultation appointment is the next step.

Identify Your Patient Population

Identifying your patient population is the most critical aspect of a successful marketing program. Your patient population consists of current patients, new patients and prospective patients. To market to each of these groups effectively, you will need to first establish communication—collect basic contact information, including their email addresses.

Current/new patients: For current and new patients, the process of establishing a connection and recording patient information has likely already taken place. From the very first appointment, your front office staff should be engaging, be knowledgeable and work to establish a personal connection with each patient. (Click here to learn about the LAER model I developed for training front office staff here.) This includes collecting basic patient history and recording current contact information. If some patients are hesitant to relay their email or physical addresses, assure them that their information is protected and will not be shared with external parties.

Prospective patients: Establishing communication with prospective patients is a more challenging but equally important task. Consider what types of clientele you want to attract to your office and what types of treatments and technology might appeal to them. Find your patient niche and commit to it. From there, you can market specifically to this niche.

First, configure your website so it’s searchable to this population and create a page specifically for prospective patients. On this page, include concise and key information about your medical aesthetic office and what sets it above the rest. Offer information about a few key procedures and treatments you offer. Most importantly, include a well-defined banner that allows prospective patients to join your newsletter list by providing basic contact information, including their email address.

Attending and setting up booths at local, regional and national medical aesthetic conferences and shows is another way to secure and market to your prospective patient audience. This gives you a chance to market your office to a wider audience. Feature a sign-up sheet that promises attendees personalized treatment plans and special rates. Be sure to also assure prospective patients that their information will be protected.

To help organize your marketing materials and define strategies to market to current, new and prospective patients, divide patients into different groups based on their specific treatment/procedure interests, age and how many years they’ve been a patient with you (if relevant). This will allow you to personalize your marketing materials and send targeted newsletters to the right populations.

Select a Secure Email Marketing System

Practice-purchased: The best option—if you can allocate resources towards it—is to purchase a secure email marketing software for your medical aesthetic office. There are many solutions on the market to choose from, from simple platforms to sophisticated systems. Companies such as Campaign Enterprise offer business-level software for purchase that allow you to create your own database, tailor your own system and personalize your marketing materials. Click here to read more about this software. One of the advantages of this option is that you can keep all your patient information—including contact information—secure. No third party will have access to this information, making it protected and fully yours. This approach will take a greater investment of time and resources to fully set up, so you will need to budget for this expense upfront. You may also want to invest in training for key members of your office staff, to get the system up and running at full capacity. Once established, however, having a practice-purchased email marketing solution is the best option for the long-term.

Vendor-supplied: If you’re looking for a similar email marketing solution but for a fraction of the cost, purchasing a vendor-supplied system is the best option. There are countless options to choose from, so be diligent in your selection. Consider the size of your office, your budget, your desired materials and the types of patients you’ll want to target. Click here to read about some of the top vendor solutions. The advantages of this option include a lower cost, easier setup and, often, a lower startup burden compared to a practice-purchased system. Key features of many of these services include mass email capability, email scheduling and management, and formatted templates. You’ll be able to get this system up and running quickly, which means you’ll be able to reach your target audience faster. However, you may be limited with regards to the variety of materials you’re able to send, and you’ll have to pay per user, which can add up quickly. The main disadvantage to this option is that you’ll have to enter patient information into a third-party system. While many of these vendor solutions attempt to ensure reliability and security, your risk for patient data corruption and/or theft is increased. If you choose this option, be sure to review relevant HIPAA requirements to make sure patient data is as secure as possible.

In-house: You may be able to use in-house tools to manually create email lists, compile patient information and send out personalized marketing materials. This option will work in the short-term. Although it may seem like the most cost-effective solution, remember that this option will take more of your staff’s time and effort, and it requires constant attention, compared to practice-purchase and vendor-supplied software. As soon as your budget will allow, you’ll want to research and find the best professional marketing tool for your office.

Personalize Your Marketing Materials

Once you’ve identified your target patient population, organized their contact information and selected an email marketing solution, creating personalized marketing materials is your next step. The goal here is to make a connection with each patient. To prospective patients, create newsletters that emphasize what sets your office apart: medical expertise, educated staff and state-of-the-art technology. The key here is to make clear how your office stands above the competition. This will help you begin to establish a connection and guide prospective patients to come in for a consultation appointment. For new patients, you’ll want to send out monthly newsletters detailing new technology or services your office offers. Be sure to include special rates and information about personalized plans that would be available to them. For current patients, you want to maintain a personal connection. Tailor emails and newsletters to specific subsets of your patients. For example, you might send out information on the newest facial technology to patients who have expressed interest in these services in previous office visits or patient surveys. Through personalized marketing materials, you can establish and maintain a connection with your patients.

Follow Up

After sending out materials to your patients, you’ll want to strategically follow up. Reach out to new and prospective patients and make sure they’ve received all the information they need to make an informed decision about their medical aesthetic care. Invite them in for a free or reduced consultation appointment to get the ball rolling. Also, reach out to current patients and make sure they’re aware of new technology and/or treatments in the office, and answer any questions they may have. This also gives you a chance to record and address any concerns your patients may have, so you can be proactive in your service and offer top-of-the-line, personalized care.

Targeted email marketing is an essential component of a successful marketing program. To choose the right solution for you, schedule a strategy call with Terri today and take the first steps towards making and maintaining a connection with your patients today.

Terri Ross brings more than 20 years of sales and management experience to the field, having worked with leading-edge medical device companies such as Zeltiq, Medicis, EMD Serono, Merck Schering Plough and Indigo Medical, a surgical division of Johnson.

Ross’ vast knowledge and experience as a sales director managing upwards of $20M in revenue and successful teams has allowed her to become a renowned plastic surgery management consultant helping aesthetic practices thrive.

To optimize revenues and business performance, Ross’ practice management consulting services help physicians evaluate practice processes including, but not limited to, overall-operating efficiencies, staff skill assessment, customer service and operating efficiency strategies. The goal is to develop a comprehensive plan of action to improve productivity, quality, efficiency and return on investment.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends  Terri Ross Consulting 

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Retail Rakes It In

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 21, 2019

retail

By Michael Meyer, Content Writer/Editor, American Med Spa Association

Not every medical spa offers retail products, but according to the findings of the 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, those that don’t are missing out. The report reveals that 92% of medical spas sell skin care products as retail and that, each time patients decide to buy these products—an average of 81 times per month—they spend an average of $134 on them.

“High-volume retail sales are absolutely imperative for the profitability and long-term success of a medical spa,” says Bryan Durocher, a medical spa consultant and business development expert who is president of Durocher Enterprises. “In today’s competitive market, owners must invest not only in the products and merchandise stocked on the shelves, but also in properly ensuring their staff is adequately trained in how to sell retail, so that the products move off the shelves and into their patients’ hands. Developing a staff into the ultimate retailing dream team is the best, most underexposed and underutilized investment one can make.”

If someone comes into a medical spa from a medical background, it might seem somewhat gauche to him or her to place such an emphasis on retail sales. However, selling is a key part of what sets the medical aesthetic industry apart from more traditional medical services, and it is important that all providers understand that they are part of the sales process.

“Having meetings and educating the staff takes up a lot of time, and it can be annoying and make the week a little hectic and frantic, but it’s really important,” says Tanya McDevitt, practice manager for NeoSkin Center Medical Spa and Acne Clinic, a multi-million-dollar medical aesthetic practice located in Hudson, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. “Everyone in our facility is trained, from front desk to Dr. [Tricia] Bedrick [the practice’s owner]. Everyone gets the same amount of product training.”

McDevitt estimates that approximately 20-30% of NeoSkin’s revenue comes from retail sales. Maintaining or improving upon this is a top priority, and communicating with sales representatives from suppliers and manufacturers helps her and her staff understand how to best sell these items.

“I’ve really learned to utilize the sales reps for the products that we carry here,” McDevitt explains. “I really had to change my mind-set on that. I feel like setting aside the time with the rep—whether it’s a one-on-one with me to give me updated product information or to give Dr. Bedrick a one-on-one with updated product information or a team training—is just vitally important. They’re the experts on that line. I think a couple of my product reps are in here probably every two weeks. I love having them here. We learn something new every single time they come in, and I just think the presence of those reps is really important. And I can’t believe I’m saying that, because, at first, it really irritated me. But I find that they’re very helpful.”

A provider with excellent product knowledge can confidently tell a client about the benefits of a particular product, and a happy, well-informed client will very likely recommend the product to others.

“Your existing patients are the best and most cost-effective advertisement opportunities your medical spa has,” says Durocher. “When your staff properly educates their clients, they are able to maintain their service results at home. This ensures their satisfaction and return to your medical spa, while creating enthusiasm to spread the word about  their experiences.”

Given this, medical spa owners and operators should try to sell products that are not widely available or easily obtained from other outlets.

“Most of the product lines that we carry are not available to purchase online,” says McDevitt. “I feel like that makes us a destination, and our patients know that they can’t just log on to Amazon or somewhere else and purchase them. I think that makes us unique.”

Branded merchandise is another growing aspect of medical spa retail. According the 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, 19% of medical spas offer products such as t-shirts and jewelry, and while these products don’t sell in as great quantities as the skin care products—the average spend per patient is $45, and med spas report 38 purchases per month—but because they are so cheap to manufacture, they represent a relatively low-risk way to add to a practice’s bottom line.

But even if you feel that selling t-shirts is a step too far, embracing the retail side of the industry in a meaningful way can lead to higher profit margins and greater awareness of your business.

“We’re in a very small suburb outside Cleveland that’s a high-income area, and our lobby looks just like a storefront would if you were on the street and you could walk in,” says McDevitt. “It is so exciting and fun when people walk into our new space—they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe how beautiful it is.’ And it looks like you’re in a retail store.”

Tags:  AmSpa's 2019 Medical Spa Statistical Survey  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends  QP 

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Texas Medical Board Approves for Publication Changes to §193.17

Posted By Administration, Friday, October 18, 2019

texas

By Patrick O’Brien, JD, legal coordinator, American Med Spa Association

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) Disciplinary Process Review Committee met in a public hearing on October 17 to consider its posted agenda. At the hearing, the board unanimously approved a motion to publish the TMB’s proposed changes to its Administrative Rule Chapter 193, Standing Delegation Orders, including Section 193.17 – Nonsurgical Medical Cosmetic Procedures, in the Texas Register. We covered some of the proposed changes discussed at last week’s meeting here. The TMB indicated that the version approved had been revised based on the feedback it received. However, the version of the rules approved at this week’s meeting won’t be available to review until they are published in the Texas Register. This publication will trigger a 30-day public comment period, after which the proposed rules will be eligible for adoption and approval at a hearing of the full medical board. AmSpa Members can click here to view additional analysis on the meeting from our lobbyist. We will keep you updated on developments once these rules are published.

Tags:  Med Spa Law  Med Spa Trends 

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