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Medical Spa Interviews & Answers: Your help needed.

botox%20postcardI've had a couple of phone conversations with some of the physicians who regularly post on this site and have come away with some thoughts for a series of interviews with doctors and professionals running successful medical spas. It seems that there's an insatiable desire for more information on treatments, marketing, operations, and almost everything else that goes into organizing and running a successful cosmetic practice.

I'm going to be contacting a number of clinics and physicians around the country (or outside) that run what I deem to be successful practices and interview them. I have a tentative list of questions but I'd like to enlist you, my dear readers, to help me make sure I'm not missing anything that's relevant.

So, I'm asking for some help in formulating the questions, the more detailed the better.

Please post your list of questions as comments. If the repeat, great. We'll know that lots of people are interested in that information.

I plan on generating a report that will be organized around the questions rather than inline, so you can see what all the answers are to the question rather than collating that information from separate interviews.

Reader Comments (22)

How long have you owned or worked in a MedSpa?
What Lasers and Light Devices do you have?
What conferences have you been to?
How did you get your training?
How do you stay up to date?
Do you have any mentors or networking relationships?
Are you happy with the results you are getting?
Are you happy with the lasers and light devices you have?
Are you thinking about getting any new lasers or light devices?
Are you interested in working with other providers to share best practice protocols?

06.21 | Unregistered CommenterCHMD

What procedures have you found are oversold and difficult to get satisfied patients? (ie hair removal, resurfacing, etc)

What creative financing options have you developed for equipment or overhead/working capital?

With the rapidly evolving technology in the industry, what do you expect for a useful life of a laser to make it a good investment? (probably breaking down by procedure would make sense) What rationale do you apply to the 'used versus new' laser discussion?

What procedures, if any, have you simply stopped offering because the results were inadequate? And what did you do with the equipment?

A few off the wall questions, but I wanted to go beyond 'how do you become a successful MedSpa?'

06.21 | Unregistered CommenterDermaDoc

I'm kinda with Dermadoc on this but I would like to get some thoughts on:

How is physician oversight is practiced in your medical spa?
How are your medical spa technicians and/or estheticians compensated?
Who handles your medical spas marketing?
What is your competition like and how do you handle them?
How have you handled getting larger?
What technologies do you use and what suppliers?
What is your treatment menu?
How do you price and how do you handle consultations?
What IPL's and Lasers have you tried but stopped using?
How do you hire? How are you interviewing? Who's in charge of that?
I"ve probably got more but I'll have to think.

BTW: This is an excellent idea. Fantastic. I cant wait to read it.

06.21 | Unregistered CommenterGrumpy MD

This is good. Everyone is thinking like a Doctor though. You can get the greatest results and have the best equipment but no one is coming. We are over the "hang your shingle" days.

Business stand point. You can have a flashlight and a hyfrecator, if marketing is good = full

What works?
Press release?
Open house?
- Do you own website?
- Can you make real time changes?
- Pay per click? (adwords)
- IT team
Direct mail?
Out of home? (billboards...)
Street teams?
Name recognition/Branding?
Target market?
Cost/benefit ratio?

06.22 | Unregistered CommenterFlorida PA

Point of differentiation/ Competitive advantage?

06.22 | Unregistered CommenterFlorida PA

Yes. Yes. Yes. Now I'm excited. This is the kind of information that I really want to know. The info that you generally can't get or is so biased that it's really just a sales pitch. I would also suggest that this may be ongoing. (I'm wondering if docs will be hesitant to use their medspa's name or their own for that matter. It does seem that there could be ramifications.) Here's my short list:

What plug-n-play resources are readily available for an overworked doc that I would be able to use in my own busy clinic.

I'm going to think more about this but that's my first question. Fantastic resource. Thanks LH, Dermadoc, and Jeff for such great info.

06.22 | Unregistered CommenterDermgal

The hardest part about giving our names and names of our companies is that some of the information we give can be used against us from our competition.

Although, it is my firm belief to not worry about what everyone else is doing. Focus on what you do and do it very well. This will keep your patients coming back and they will tell others. These patients are worth a lot more than any advertising will ever get you.

I had one of the huge health sytems in my area set up a medspa within a mile of my clinic and it has not affected me as I had very good growth last year and I am looking at at least 20 to 25% growth this year.

06.22 | Unregistered CommenterLH

What do you think the laws should be for education requirements for laser technicians and do you think they should vary state to state or be the same across the board?

What is the pay/salary a laser tech should expect?

What kind of marketing is normally done? What is that expense?

What benefits should a medspa offer its employees?

06.23 | Unregistered Commenterlaser tech

Giving names and companies is a bad idea. Why? Let me get my list.

How about if we give state, and just describe area....major metro, metro, suburb, rural. This way when the data is collected and analyzed, it may be useful on a self comparison.

06.23 | Unregistered CommenterFlorida PA

I am in a rural area,total pull of about 174K people. My competitors: One left the area after a marriage. Another,their license is being suspended. A local multi-speciality clinic recently started offering hair removal by a 1064 Nd:Yag laser at much cheaper prices than I & promising hair removal in 2-3 sessions. My prices were fairly low already! I have a Dermatologist 30 miles away and another business drives 1 1/2 hour to that same city to do vein and photo-facial treatments. More comments later.

My questions:
1. What lasers/brands are the best for the task at hand?
2. With the latest fractionated ablative lasers, how many clients are opting to purchase this treatment say per month?
3. How are the SmartLipo/CoolLipo procedures selling around the country?
4. I use to do all treatments. Now all the laser treatments are done by my trained technician. She did hair removal first and now is doing photo-facials, PDT and assisteing me with threadlifts/CoolLipo procedures. I have found that the laser work is not challenging anymore. I am available for the technician for any questions that she has. I am enjoying the surgery procedures that I am doing now.
How do you get your email newsletters from going in clients junk mail?
I haven't found that newspaper gets many in the door, Radio is expensive, but gets a little more through the door. Where do you find a PR person? There is only marketing business where I am located.

1. What is the average clinic doing in revenue per month on lasers, botox, filler as a total?
2. What is the average net per month as a percentage of revenue?
3. What percentage of revenue is being spent on marketing?
4. What is the most effective marketing tool?
5. What percentage of revenue is salaries?
6. Are people doing SEO and Pay per click on their website?

06.23 | Unregistered Commenterdexter

I did excell in spelling in grade school, really....

My questions:

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently.

Best and worst decisions

What was more difficult than you expected, what (if anything) was not as difficult as you anticipated

If anonymous, best and worst marketing strategies from other medspas in the area

What do you do to find and keep great staff

Did you use a medspa consultant? A PR firm? If so what did they bring to the table?

Great idea, I look forward to learning more

Having worked for 3 large med spa's (one the largest in the country) I can tell you what not to do.

Do not have poor equipment, do not have poor customer service issues, do not have staff that are not knowledgeable about services, do not have employee's who can not sell, manage, and relate to the type of clientele that you will have in a med-spa!!! and that's just a start

I'm with DermGal - this is exciting!

Jeff - how can we set up links to threads on different topics to save lots of random browsing. I expect these threads could surpass even the Dermacare thread in length! By topics such as 'marketing', hair removal', injectable techniques', 'fixing the occasional Oops', etc.

Not to digress, but I would love to NOT give Cutera more of my money to go to a thinly veiled sales pitch which they market as their User Forum in Chicago in August.

06.24 | Unregistered CommenterDermaDoc

I would have to say the worst marketing was with newspaper, radio and TV which are expensive for one and for the cost didn't bring in that many people, only paid for the ad, sometimes. The best marketing strategy I am doing; I provide bottled water for all my clients when they come in, the first visit they get a welcome letter. I put all receipts in a nice envelope with my name on it for them to take home every time they come in. The initial envelope has coupons, explains my discounts, incentive programs for Botox, etc. I send a thank you card for signing up for a package or trying a new service. I schedule an hour or two for each client to do their procedure, except for Botox appts.which are much shorter. I call the patient within the next several days after a procedure to see how they are doing. I suppose that I am trying to make that client feel they are the most important person that we take care of and that we truly care about them. My word of mouth advertising is probably the best because we work hard at treating the client like we would like to be treated, pampered.

Allergan did a round table that discussed what the top accounts did to be the top accounts. The major ingredient was cross selling successfully. Botox always did hair, hair would do botox, every one on skin care and microes. Everyone. This was a national meeting thing.

What qualities were you looking for in a aesthetician for your medspa. What are the best credentials you have found for the Medical Aesthetics Program.
Could every one of your staff speak effectively of your mission and why your spa was different.
Did you send your aestheticians and nurses to all the same training programs that did not endorse one product over another.
Did you create business plan for up to 5 years.
Did you bring in Skin Care Experts ( Facial Aesthetics ) in the Business/Clinical On Site Training?

We worked our ass for a long time to figure all this out, why would we just turn this information over to you? It sounds like you're trying to put together a "how to" manaul.

09.11 | Unregistered CommenterMitas

Mitas, the name fits case you haven't figured it out, er, Mitas, this spot is for the collaboration of Medical Spa professionals to dialogue and blog about what works, what doesn't, share information, etc. If you don't want to play with the others, get the hell out of the sandbox, ....Mitas.

These were interesting questions and I think this is something I might refer back to. Thanks for t he info!

09.28 | Unregistered CommenterNeem King

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