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Portrait of a Medical Spa Owner, Part 4: The Entrepreneur

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 6, 2019

christina imes

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 Entrepreneur

In 2014, shortly after Christina Imes sold the yoga and wellness clinic she owned in Chicago and moved out to the suburbs to be a full-time mom, her neighbor, a nurse, asked her if she’d consider buying a medical spa. Imes said that she hadn’t considered it, but would ask her stepfather, an ER doctor, if he was interested in getting involved in the medical aesthetics business.

“I asked him a couple days later; he said, ‘Absolutely not. I’m happy in the ER, making a lot of money. No,’” Imes says. “Seven months later, he calls me—this is totally how my stepdad is—and he says, ‘Hey, do you want to come with me this weekend to a laser show?’ And I’m like, what? What are you talking about? And he said, ‘You know what? I’ve kind of warmed up to that whole med spa idea. I’ve been thinking about that.’”

Imes’ stepfather ended up buying $350,000 worth of laser equipment that weekend, and in March 2015, he and Imes opened Rejuvenate Med Spa in Oak Brook, Illinois, just west of Chicago. Since it was founded, Rejuvenate has grown to offer a wide variety of treatments—more than enough to stand out from its competition—and features an experienced, talented team of providers that Imes has built through the years.

“I don’t do any of the treatments here,” Imes explains. “I can’t give a facial—I can’t do any of it. But I’m very good at connecting with people. I am incredibly good at forming relationships. My Allergan rep, my Galderma rep, my Alastin rep, they all love me and they would do anything for me. They come in here like once a week, just because we have so much fun here. I create a very fun culture to work for and be in.”

Imes values the freedom that being an entrepreneur in the medical aesthetic industry affords her, but also says that freedom can be a double-edged sword.

“I love that I can do anything I want, whenever I want. I can work wherever,” Imes says. “People are always like, ‘You’re so lucky—you get to go on vacation.’ I’m like, you know what? I am actually always working. I’m constantly worried and checking what’s going on and brainstorming. But that’s also what I love about it as well—the flexibility.”

And despite the financial risk involved in owning a medical spa, Imes believes the money currently being made in the aesthetics industry represents the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s an incredible time to be an entrepreneur in this industry,” she says. “At Allergan’s big meeting this year, someone said that we’re only touching 6% of the population in the aesthetics world. So what does that mean? There’s a ton of money to be made. Get going, people, because hopefully pretty soon the hedge funds will come in and buy us all up and we’ll all be millionaires.”

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  QP 

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Portrait of a Medical Spa Owner, Part 3: The Nurse

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 25, 2019

emily tryon

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 Nurse

Six years ago, Emily Tryon, RN, reached a crossroads in her career. She had spent much of her time in nursing working night shifts at hospitals, but she also had a passion for aesthetics that was causing her to question how badly she wanted to continue working in that setting. So in a moment of what she calls “entrepreneurial insanity,” she decided to strike out on her own.

Her first experience in the industry was a disaster. She began administering cosmetic injections out of a room at a physical therapy center, which she said was “a terrible location, because everyone coming in was just grateful to be alive—they certainly weren’t interested in how they looked from a cosmetic injectable standpoint, that’s for sure.” This arrangement came to an end when the physical therapy practice owner was evicted for failing to pay rent to the building owner; Tryon had to fight tooth and nail to simply get into the building to reclaim her equipment.

Shortly thereafter, she set up her practice, Esthetic Solutions, in a 150-square-foot space in the basement of a hair salon in Scottsdale, Arizona. Against all odds, it was there that she became one of the top injectors in the country, eventually clearing more than $1 million per year in injections alone.

“By year three, I was in the top 7% of cosmetic injectors in the nation, according to Allergan Professional Consulting,” Tryon says. “By year four, I was in the top 3% of injectors in the nation, and as of August 2018, I am now in the top 1% of cosmetic injectors nationwide.”

In December 2018, she moved Esthetic Solutions into a 2,000-square-foot space and expanded its staff to provide a full range of medical aesthetic treatments. She also works as a trainer who specializes in aesthetic medicine and consultation skills.

“That’s where it’s really at for me,” Tryon says. “I finish my training day at 6 p.m., and when I walk out of that clinic and I have hugs and tears of joy from my participants, where they say, ‘Thank you so much—I now have confidence to inject and I know that I can do this. Thank you so much for giving me the tools to do that.’ That’ll get me on a plane at 4 a.m. any day.”

Tryon believes that having a background in nursing has played a critical role in her success in the medical aesthetics business, since the non-medical skills nurses have to develop makes them a natural fit for the retail side of the business.

“Every nurse is in sales,” she says. “When we call a doctor at 2 a.m. because we think a patient needs a blood transfusion, for example. That was my foundation when I became a nurse—I started in sales 20 years ago as an RN in the ICU.”

Ultimately, Tryon’s “entrepreneurial insanity” turned out to be a solid bet on herself and her skills, one that forced her to become a top practitioner and a better businessperson.

“I would say that being an entrepreneur is the biggest, most challenging, most intense game I have ever played in life,” Tryon says. “There are really, really great highs and there are really, really great lows. And being able to see all of it as pieces to a giant puzzle and put those pieces together, for me, it pulls from every one of my strengths and my weaknesses to continue to grow and develop myself and who I can be.”

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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Portrait of a Medical Spa Owner, Part 2: The Mid-level

Posted By Administration, Friday, November 22, 2019

maegen kennedy

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 Mid-level

Maegen Kennedy, PA-C, trained in family practice and dermatology, and worked at a busy urgent care where she saw dozens of patients every day. It wasn’t long before she grew frustrated with the grind of practicing medicine in a managed care environment.

“I was tired of seeing 40 patients a day and feeling like a hamster in a wheel,” she says. “I was tired of insurance reimbursements and being told what to do. I was tired of jumping through hoops for patients who weren’t following through with treatment plans, exercising and dieting. You get burnt out.”

Instead of continuing to toil in a job she disliked, however, Kennedy decided to strike out on her own and pursue medical aesthetics.

“It was a big decision that weighed heavily on my conscious—do I want to give up a lot of my training, and will I be happy just doing aesthetics? I decided that it was in my best interest to do that,” Kennedy says.

She didn’t have enough money to open a medical aesthetic practice right away, but her desire to make it on her own sparked her ingenuity. She rented a tiny 250-square-foot studio and began administering microblading treatments; during this time, she built a large client base, became a nationally renowned expert in microblading and, eventually, made enough money to open her medical spa.

“I was just tired of building up somebody else’s practice,” Kennedy says. “I believed in myself enough that I knew if I opened something, I was going to go full force and wholeheartedly into it, and it was going to be successful. I just believed that, even though the med spa space is extremely risky and scary. It’s very hard to break into the industry if you don’t have the capital.”

In September 2017, Maegen and her husband Jordan Kennedy, DMD, opened Windermere Dental & Medical Spa in Orlando, Florida, a full-service medical aesthetic practice combined with a dental practice. Additionally, she operates Fleek Brows Microblading Training, through which she conducts intensive courses that help medical aesthetic practitioners learn how to perform and market microblading treatments.

Kennedy feels that her background as a PA-C has allowed her to become a success in medical aesthetics and, although she is much happier operating her medical spa than she was before, she suggests that people who are undergoing advanced medical training should not begin a career in medical aesthetics right away.

“This is what I tell people all the time: Don’t come out of school and go into aesthetics. It’s just not the right way. I know aesthetics is very attractive because it’s fun and you don’t have to see 40 patients a day—you can see 15 or 20. But the truth is, when it comes to medicine, you’ve got to get your foundation. You need the foundation. I find that without my foundation, there are situations that I may not have recognized or felt as confident in treating patients. But when you have a foundation—whether it’s internal medicine, family medicine or even dermatology—then you’re better equipped in aesthetics. You’re more well-rounded, and I believe you have an appreciation for aesthetics that is so much different than if you just went into it right out of school.”

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 Trends  QP 

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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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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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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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A Booming Industry with Compliance Concerns

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 14, 2019

medical spa

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

Anyone involved in medical aesthetics can tell you that the industry has been absolutely booming for some time now. Whether you own a large medical spa, operate a small aesthetic practice, or sell devices to providers, chances are you’re making money. Good money.

And the industry has shown incredible resiliency and staying power, having remodeled itself after the 2008 recession into a larger, more profitable enterprise.

The numbers don’t lie. AmSpa recently released its 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, which details business, financial and treatment data relating to United States medical spas. The numbers are pretty impressive.

The report showed that the industry grew a whopping 50% in 2017 alone, with 2018 following close behind with 30% growth. Since 2011, when the industry really started to take off in its current form, it has grown an average of 28% every year. And it shows no signs of stopping. AmSpa forecasts nearly 20% growth every year for the next five years, projecting the industry will double in size from 5,400 medical spas in 2018 to more than 10,000 in 2023.

The medical spa industry is currently a $10-billion business that employs more than 53,000 people by itself (excluding other aesthetic practices such as plastic surgery and cosmetic dermatology). It is on pace to become a $20-billion industry in short order. This places it among the fastest-growing industries in America.

So what’s not to like? Strong growth, better technology, increased appetite for non-invasive techniques that make customers look younger—it all looks good, right?

Although all signs point to continued robust growth, one issue lurks beneath the surface that continues to nag at the industry as a whole. It is the one problem that the industry can’t seem to get its hands around and, until it does, it risks not only never reaching its full potential, but also causing the industry to crumble under its own weight.

I’m talking about compliance. AmSpa’s report also took a high-level snapshot of how the medical spa industry functions from a legal and regulatory standpoint. It’s critical to remember that this industry is made up of medical spas—businesses that are medical facilities governed by the same regulations that orthopedic surgeons, family practice doctors and cardiologists, for example, must follow. These rules are enforced by state medical and nursing boards, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), as well as state attorneys general. These are mandatory regulations that, when broken—even if just a little bit—can result in loss of license, hefty fines and even imprisonment.

All of these outcomes have occurred at an increasing rate during the past five years, and enforcement efforts are clearly increasing. Don’t believe me? Try typing “Botox arrest” or “med spa arrest” into Google and see what pops up.

It’s understandable, I suppose, that this industry would be slow to get on track legally. After all, with entrepreneurs and pharmaceutical companies raking in billions of dollars, it stands to reason that some shady characters would operate on the fringes. And there is no question that the applicable laws can be difficult to find, are sometimes fuzzy, and almost always are antiquated relics designed to apply to a different era of medicine. With so much new technology and so many new opportunities coming together in one industry, it is not surprising that many providers have struggled to determine what rules apply, and when. Don’t believe me? Just try calling your state medical board or nursing board.

But it’s time to get serious—and fast­—because as the industry innovates, creates and adds zeros to its bottom line, more and more opportunists take notice. Turf wars are developing between medical providers and societies. Industry executives are carving out pieces of the pie exclusively for themselves. Scammers are emerging, as are get-rich-quick schemes. And state and federal authorities are opening their eyes and actually paying attention.

Here’s the bottom line: If the medical spa industry doesn’t get its act together and focus on becoming safe, compliant and trustworthy, a reckoning will come in the form of over-regulation, truly bad publicity and public distrust—none of which are good for consistent growth.

And let’s be honest with ourselves here: Many of the rules that are being broken are not terribly difficult to wrap our heads around. Should an aesthetician with zero medical training, no oversight or supervision, and no hospital privileges be performing lip injections that can cause a patient to go blind if side effects aren’t handled properly? Should lasers that can quite literally burn a patient’s skin off their faces be administered without oversight or medical supervision?

AmSpa’s 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report found that 13% of medical spas don’t perform any medical consultation prior to treatment, and that 15% of medical spas have someone other than a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant or doctor performing injectable procedures. Five percent of medical spas admit that they have employees with no medical training whatsoever performing injections.

Take a step back and really think about those statistics. There are close to 1,000 medical spas in this country where a patient can be injected with toxin or fillers—treatments with potential outcomes that, if untreated, have been scientifically proven to cause serious side effects—without ever seeing a qualified medical professional. Or where a technician can fire a laser capable of causing third-degree burns and permanent disfigurement without any medical supervision whatsoever. Now imagine the news coverage and subsequent legal and legislative action that would result from even one individual going blind from a filler injection from an unqualified provider, or one high-profile individual being permanently scarred from laser burns. The results won’t be pretty.

Physician oversight is crucial, as are minimum training standards. Basic requirements must be universally adopted and self-enforced. The public must be convinced beyond any doubt that all medical spas are just as safe—if not safer—than plastic surgery offices or dermatology practices. AmSpa, with its partners at the law firm of ByrdAdatto, has been working tirelessly for more than six years to educate the industry on the basic requirements needed to make it safe and allow it to grow to its full potential.

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

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Medical Spa Buzzwords

Posted By Administration, Friday, October 4, 2019

wellness

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

The medical aesthetic industry is all about buzz. A treatment that’s hot one day can be passé the next, and keeping tuned into the buzz around the industry is the only way to keep track of what’s what. There are a few terms that you’re likely to come across again and again, however, and understanding why people are talking about them is a key to maintaining a successful practice. Here are a handful of the buzzwords we’re encountering regularly, what you need to know about them, and how you can harness their power.

Wellness

Historically, medical aesthetics have been associated with fast, easy solutions rather than lasting change, but, in recent years, the mantra of wellness has become a key part of the industry. Today, it’s not enough to simply look good; you must also be healthy, so a holistic approach to self-care has become a part of many aesthetic regimens.

Wellness is a concept that informs many of the other terms we’re going to cover here. Generally speaking, there is a bit of a stigma attached to “quick-fix” solutions for aesthetic issues, so many practices have begun offering more natural, organic solutions and encouraging more comprehensive views of patients’ overall health. After all, no medical spa wants to be featured as part of an exposé on botched aesthetic procedures, and the chances of that increase if your practice uses a lot of harsh chemicals and complicated treatments.

What’s more, a healthy body helps contribute to a healthy mind, and those with healthy minds are less likely to cause problems for your medical spa with unfair expectations and difficult-to-address social media reviews.

Rejuvenation

The concept of rejuvenation is a powerful one for medical aesthetic practices, as it suggests that those who partake of aesthetic treatments can recapture aspects of their youth they thought were gone forever. This is a powerful impression, and successful medical spas are able to leverage it to attract customers who are not entirely happy with their appearance or physical health.

Of course, this term is also now commonly associated with vaginal rejuvenation, a very popular treatment that has attracted a lot of attention to the medical aesthetic industry in recent years, particularly after the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a statement in October 2018 addressing the use of unapproved laser equipment for the procedure. Despite this warning, the market for this treatment continues to be robust.

Anti-aging

This is a loaded term. Obviously, everyone is subject to aging—after all, we all do it every minute of every day. However, medical aesthetic practices, drug manufacturers and device manufacturers use this term to insinuate that their offerings can be used to combat this process, and the suggestion that such a thing is possible is an extremely attractive proposition for those who don’t like what they see in the mirror.

Realistically, though, this term only covers the signs of aging, so it’s a bit misleading when employed as it commonly is. It remains a powerful buzzword in the medical aesthetic industry, however, and as the wealthy Boomer population continues to age, it’s going to keep bringing business through medical spas’ doors.

Preventive

As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This buzzword suggests to prospective customers that the medical aesthetic treatment being advertised can help thwart future problems. Again, this is an attractive concept, both for patients who are conscientious about their appearance and for practices that stand to make money from said patients for treatments they don’t immediately need. That’s not to say that these treatments aren’t useful—to the contrary, they provide tangible benefits over time and a are part of a well-rounded aesthetic care regimen. Over time, it’s more beneficial and cheaper for patients to engage in preventive care instead of waiting for problems to emerge.

Along the same lines, prevention is a key concept when it comes to medical spa legal compliance. It is significantly less expensive to implement proper protocols and procedures at the beginning of a medical aesthetic practice’s existence than it is to correct issues after they are uncovered by a regulatory agency. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of compliance as soon as possible, since it is a significant part of a practice’s existence.

Non-invasive

The term “non-invasive” gets to the heart of the appeal of the medical aesthetic industry. The treatments provided to medical spa patients produce visible, often lasting results without the need for painful, expensive surgeries that require prolonged periods of recovery. The term also suggests a certain convenience—medical aesthetic treatments are non-invasive in terms of the amount of time spent at the practice, as well. A patient can typically pop into a med spa, receive a treatment, and continue on with his or her day.

Although plastic surgeons have historically been key parts of the medical aesthetic industry, the non-invasive nature of medical spa treatments typically makes them much more appealing than surgery to the average consumer. As such, practices likely will benefit from using this term in their marketing materials.

Detoxify

Nobody wants toxic things on or inside them, obviously, so the promise of removing these harmful elements is extremely appealing. As a result, the term “detoxify” is widely used in the medical aesthetic industry, and is effective at convincing people to undergo treatments provided by medical spas. Along the same lines, the term “cleanse” helps patients see that these treatments can help them become healthier and remove detrimental influences on their bodies. From a psychological standpoint, these are extremely powerful suggestions, and they can (and should) also be reflected in a medical spa’s design and layout—a practice should always be clean and inviting, so as to reinforce that it is a place where such things are valued. In maintaining your practice properly, you tell your clients that you are serious about all aspects of wellness.

Restore

If you tell a patient that you’re going to restore their appearance, you’re telling them that you can bring back something they thought they’d lost. Again, this is a powerful idea, and that’s why the term is so widely used in the industry. If you can restore the way a person looked in the past, perhaps you can restore the way they felt back then, as well—or at least that’s the implication. It speaks to the power of medical aesthetic treatments and helps to attract new customers to medical spas.

Youth

Again, the use of terms such as “youth,” “young” and “younger” reflects a desire on the part of medical spa patients to recover some of the vitality they’ve lost over the years. This is particularly true for Baby Boomers, who have the money to spend on procedures such as these and the time to become active again, since many are nearing or entering their retirement years. During this time in their lives, people encounter numerous milestones that suggest to them that their best years are behind them, and many are taking steps to combat that sentiment. Because of this, boomers are helping to drive the medical aesthetic industry revenues, and tapping into their desire to feel young again can help your practice develop new customers.

Repair

People want to believe that damage can be repaired. If you wreck your car, you keep telling yourself that it’s not that bad and that it can be fixed—at least until the mechanic tells you that it’s totaled. That sort of optimism can also be leveraged in medical aesthetics, even if the “damage” isn’t particularly severe. (Severe damage will probably require the skills of a plastic surgeon.) This term can be used to promote procedures such as tattoo removal and microdermabrasion, as well as a number of more conventional aesthetic treatments.

Market the Buzz

Language is a powerful tool in marketing, and learning how to leverage buzzwords such as these will help you maximize your medical aesthetic practice’s business. As you can see, a lot of this amounts to offering clients idealized versions of themselves, and as long as you can provide them a means to do that once you get them in the door, your practice stands to benefit from their patronage. Using these terms taps into people’s desires to recapture—or prolong—their glory days and to look as good as they feel, and this is something that medical spas can provide quickly, conveniently, and generally without complications. Understand who you are marketing to and what they want, and you’ll find yourself with a thriving medical aesthetic practice.

To learn more about legal and business best practices to keep your med spa compliant and profitable, attend one of AmSpa’s Medical Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps and become the next med spa success story.

Tags:  AmSpa's Med Spa & Aesthetic Boot Camps  Med Spa Trends  QP 

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QP Extra: Q&A with Chris Bailey of Ovation Med Spa

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 6, 2019

chis bailey

When Chris Bailey founded his medical spa in 2006, he was new to the industry. The practice was a franchise, though, so he felt he could count on the support of the franchisor. Six months after the practice opened, however, the franchisor went out of business, so Bailey picked up the phone and called every medical aesthetics professional he could track down, asking those who would talk to him about every aspect of the business. He developed a number of long-term relationships with highly respected members of the industry and, before long, his practice—renamed Ovation Med Spa—was thriving. Bailey spoke with AmSpa Content Writer/Editor Michael Meyer about how he and his practice rebounded from a rocky start to become one of the most successful medical spas in the Houston area.

Michael Meyer: What inspired you to open your practice?

Chris Bailey: I spent 15 or 16 years in corporate America and I was getting burned out. I was bored. Fourteen or 15 years ago, I was in LaGuardia Airport a couple of weeks before Christmas, coming home from a client meeting. I'm looking around the airport, and there are people 10 or 20 years older than me, and I'm just sitting there thinking, “I can't be doing the same thing in 10 years or 20 years.” And I remember standing at the magazine rack and flipping through Entrepreneur magazine—the Franchise 500 edition—thinking, “I don't want to make sandwiches, I don't want to be a janitor and I probably don't want to own a daycare.” And then I saw some medical spa franchises, and I'm like, “Huh—that's interesting. People are getting older, and they don't want to look older. Maybe I should look into this.” I started doing a bunch of research, and a year and all my money later, I opened our business. That's where it started.

MM: What would you say is different about your practice now versus when you opened it?

CB: We opened about 13 years ago, and at the time, you could categorize what we did as skin rejuvenation. We did injectables, we did IPL and different things for skin rejuvenation. Body contouring wasn't really even a category yet, because there were no devices that really did it. Today, we do everything from skin rejuvenation, body contouring, vaginal rejuvenation, erectile dysfunction, hormone replacement—it's really the gamut of anything you can do nonsurgically to someone to make them look or feel better.

MM: What is your most popular treatment, and what brings in the most revenue?

CB: The most popular treatment can vary by season. Certain times of the year, our Sciton Halo is very popular for skin rejuvenation; we get to the summer and that's not quite as popular. We do a lot of CoolSculpting. We do a lot of Emsculpt treatments—the new body contouring device. One of the fastest-growing segments has been vaginal rejuvenation, which has been kind of surprising to all of us.

What brings in the most revenue? We're pretty balanced. It's probably a fairly even mix between skin rejuvenation and body contouring. And things like vaginal rejuvenation and hormone replacement are smaller percentages but growing.

MM: What would you say is the most important factor to your success?

CB: I think some of it is that we've continued to innovate. We have close to 40 different FDA-approved devices; I think the average medical spa might have three or four. We have always stayed on top of technology, and we have multiple options to do similar things. We've never wanted to be in the position where someone comes in and we have to tell them, “You need x, and y happens to be the only thing we have.” We're in a unique position where we can truly customize treatment plans for people based on their needs because we've got all kinds of different technology to accomplish that.

MM: What sets your medical spa apart from others?

CB: I think some of it is what I was just talking about—the continuous innovation and the technology that we have. No one has the technology we have, I don't think, anywhere in the country. And then you marry that with our outstanding service providers—we've got employees who've been with us since day one, for 13 years, and we've got very low turnover. Our staff is excellent. They get great training, and they do great treatments, and they provide great customer service. We have customers that we've literally had for 13 years, since we opened our doors. Our unique selling proposition is that we don't sell a one-size-fits-all solution—we can truly customize treatment plans for what people actually need.

MM: Who inspires you?

CB: My father has always inspired me. He is probably the person, from when I was a young child, who taught me to dream bigger dreams, think big and believe we can do things beyond what we are doing today. He's always been an inspiration my life.

MM: What do you love most about aesthetics?

CB: I think some of it is the opportunity—and this is always hard to say without offending someone—to help people become what they believe are better versions of themselves. It's just fun to have someone come in, unhappy with some aspect of how they feel or how they look, and be able to make a positive change and have them be happy that they were able to accomplish that. That's one of the most fun things about it.

MM: What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

CB: Some of it is the constant challenge and the constant change and the constant need to be creative and innovate. If we think about how the aesthetics market has changed in the 13 years we've been in it, it's so amazing. It's different this year than it was last year. It changes so rapidly, and it continues to change. That constant challenge is what keeps me engaged.

ovation med spa

MM: What was the goal with the spa design you chose?

CB: We don't want to look like a medical office, and, and we don't necessarily look like a real frou-frou spa. Our design is clean and efficient. We're not trying to look like the Taj Mahal, but we want an efficient, clean, visually appealing space. But we don't want you to think you're in your family practice doctor's office either.

MM: What advice would you give to medical spa owners?

CB: Keep your overhead low—as low as possible—and network with as many different people around the country as you can who do similar things as you. When I started this company, we actually had purchased a franchise. I spent all the money I had and borrowed more money than anyone should have let me, and we started this franchise. Six months after we opened our doors, the franchisor went out of business. And so here I am—I paid all this money for all this help, training and assistance I was promised, and it's now vanished. But I have no other choice—I have to make this work because I'm deeply in debt at that point and have no job. So, I literally got on the phone and called anyone in the country who would talk to me just to ask questions. Because of that, I've developed some great long-term relationships with some very top-end doctors in the aesthetics world that have really been beneficial to me.

What's interesting about that story is no one in Houston would talk to me, and I still find that fascinating—in the business world, we talked to our competitors, and we understood they're competitors, but we would talk and share ideas. Entering this medical space, it was, at least on a local level, a very closed community, especially to someone who wasn't a medical provider coming into it.

Because of all that pain and suffering I had to go through in the beginning to survive and make relationships, we've had some opportunities that just never would have come along otherwise. As an example, as a non-doctor, I was the first person in the country to have the Emsculpt device. I had developed a relationship with the people at BTL, and they knew we were innovative, and they loaned us one in the very beginning to try to help figure out what it did. And so, I'm the only non-medical person listed on some of these published studies for the Emsculpt. Those kinds of opportunities really stem back to those early days of networking with people around the country and building our reputation through asking for and sharing ideas with people. My business wouldn't exist had I not been able to network and do those things early on.

I get calls all the time, and I'm always willing to talk to anyone who wants to call and ask questions, because I did the same thing. It's surprising to me how many people either are afraid to reach out and ask questions or assume that they won't help you because you’re a competitor. I laugh at that. I'm in Houston, Texas, right? If every aesthetic facility in the city was running at full capacity, we couldn't serve everyone who wants treatment. It's just not even possible. It's millions of people, and I just laugh sometimes when people are so worried about competition. Just do a better job. If you do a great job, there's plenty of business for everyone. As an industry, we can make the entire industry better if we actually talk to each other and help each other.

AmSpa members receive QP every quarter. Click here to learn how to become a member and make your med spa the next aesthetic success story.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Ownership  Med Spa Trends  QP 

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QP Extra: Q&A with Terri Ross of Lasky Aesthetics and Laser Center

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 30, 2019

terri ross

When Lasky Aesthetics and Laser Center opened in 2010, it was a much different business than the $3-million-per-year Beverly Hills fixture it has become. In fact, it struggled mightily until medical spa professional Terri Ross joined the practice as managing partner. AmSpa Content Writer/Editor Michael Meyer spoke with Ross—who now operates Terri Ross Consulting—about her role in turning Lasky Aesthetics into one of the most successful medical aesthetic practices in this beauty-obsessed city.

Michael Meyer: What's different about the practice now versus when you started working there?

Terri Ross: All of the owners are physicians who practice offsite and in different specialties—cosmetic dermatology to facial plastic surgeons and a general plastic. They opened the business in 2010 to keep everything in house and refer their patients to the nonsurgical aspect of the business, but it was poorly run. It was a grassroots operation at the time with two employees, no website, no system, no infrastructure—no nothing, which was why they hired me. They invested a lot of money, and at the time it was only generating under a half a million. So, I basically came in and treated it like a startup. I think the takeaway is that there's so much opportunity to grow, but you have to have the proper structure internally to do that.

MM: What do you think is the most important factor to your success?

TR: I think you need to have an operational savvy business. You have to train your providers, train your staff, which is an investment, and which is what I see not happening. You have to have the proper software to track and measure your data. You have to have a high-performing website—it’s your virtual brochure on the outside. And then when patients come in the door, you really need five-star customer service to be different.

MM: What is your unique service proposition?

TR: Aside from the physicians and their pedigree and their background, which has credibility, I would say it's our protocols. You can't come into our center without a consultation. We charge for the consultation. You can't get a treatment without prepping beforehand. We have a very systematic approach, which ultimately retains the patients, and they have better outcomes.

MM: What specific metrics do you use to determine success?

TR: We look at the number of new leads coming in. We measure conversion ratios. We measure revenue per hour per provider. We measure no-show rates. We measure retention. Those are the top KPIs.

MM: What's the metric that you look at more than any other?

TR: At the end of the day, revenue. I look at what our goals are for the month, and I look at revenue, new patient acquisition and conversion.

MM: Who Inspires you and why?

TR: Brené Brown. Tony Robbins. I think that it's all about gratitude. It's all about living your best life. It's all about determination. It's all about how failing is okay. Making mistakes is how you grow. And this is a very competitive environment. It's a very commoditized environment, especially where I'm located in Beverly Hills, and it's the ability to seize opportunity.

MM: What do you love most about aesthetics?

TR: I love that it's an area of medicine that can be looked at two ways. It can be looked at as superficial, and it can be looked at as people want to stay youthful and invest in looking healthy. And if we're able to provide such services with quality care and make a person feel better about themselves, that's what inspires me. And that's what makes me feel good about wanting to run a successful operation.

MM: What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?

TR: I love that I can make an impact. I spent 20 years in corporate, and I think it's the ability to make change and to make a difference. I'm humbled that I've had an opportunity to be in corporate, and I've had an opportunity to run a practice and have a case study that's successful, and now I want to be able to give back the things that I've learned and the successes I've had to other practices.

MM: What advice would you give to med spa owners?

TR: I would say that if you don't know something, it's imperative that you ask or seek professionals to help you so you are not making costly mistakes, and do not try to pinch pennies. And you really need to have the proper infrastructure and the proper team in place to have a successful business and to be different and stand out.

MM: What was the goal of the design that you chose?

TR: I think Beverly Hills is the Mecca of beauty, so it's very contemporary. It's very white, very open, very airy. People who are spending their own disposable income don't want to come and have it feel like a doctor's office, so it's very warm. It's very warm and welcoming—not cold. I think it’s important to have a place where they feel very comfortable and that’s aesthetically pleasing since, this is the environment that we're in.

MM: What was your inspiration for that design?

TR: I don't know that I had an inspiration. I hired a phenomenal designer and I had been around other practices to see what that was all about. The inspiration was to make people feel like they’re walking into this warm and inviting place, but yet kind of having that feeling of, “Wow,” right? This is a really, really well-designed, beautiful place. It makes them feel like that's going to equate to the kind of service that we provide.

AmSpa members receive QP every quarter. Click here to learn how to become a member and make your med spa the next aesthetic success story.

Tags:  Business and Financials  Med Spa Trends  QP 

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