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Monday
Oct162006

Medspa Consultants writing business & marketing plans.

The infamous Medical Spa Business Consulting Plan: The emperor has no clothes.


chart.gifI've received a few emails lately castigating a number of medspa consultants by name. (Since I have no other information those names will not be mentioned.) You might first read my view of most medspa consulting and/or franchises here.

The physicians/owners feel that they were over-promised and under-delivered. One doc referred numerous times to the 'medspa business plan' that his medical spa consultant wrote for him. I thought I'd weigh in on this business and marketing plan issue.

First, I have written numerous business plans and read many, many more. (My startup entrepreneur blog.) They are time intensive labors that require a huge amount of energy and time. This is not the type of business plan you'll receive from a consultant. So when you read 'medical spa business plan'  on a medspa consultants site think; excell spreadsheet with useless numbers. The purpose of promising a business plan is to wow you with numbers and give you a sense that all will be well because now you're not just winging it and can follow 'the plan'. Of course the consultant can always point to failures as your inability to live up to the forecasts of the plan.

If there's any writing of business plans, you should be the one doing it. Medspa gurus will list demographics, location, market size and competition. These are good numbers to know and be aware of but they are not, in themselves, a business plan. They are just numbers. A business plan is written to 'get everyone on the same page' and to spell out 'how' you're going to accomplish your goal. "Sell lots of product to everyone who walks through the door" is not part of any real business plan I've ever read. (although I've seen it in a medspa business plan.)

If a business plan is going to be worth anything at all, you're going to have to be the one writing it. Not nice I know, but there it is.

One of the greatest benefits of having a plan is that it forces you to think about the problems you have and how you're going to address them. If you find yourself sitting in a stupor when trying to write down why a patient should choose your business, or how you're going to advertise (other than wait for salesmen to slide through the door), you have an opportunity that won't be solved by someone handing you a business plan template with your logo on the top. 

Don't be duped just because you don't know enough to make an informed decision. Know this; The emperor has no clothes. Any consultant worth hiring will already own and run their own operations. If they're not, the reason they're consulting in the first place is that they couldn't make a success of their own business. Be careful. Go slow. Ask questions. You may well need advice but make sure it's advice you trust from someone who's actually in the trenches every day.

You'd be better off sitting down over a weekend with a business plan template and just writing it out for yourself. Understanding is learned not given. After all, you'll be the one writing the checks.

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