In the film, Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, the ghost would whisper, “Build it and they will come.” Meaning all Kevin Costner needed to do was build the baseball stadium and the ghostly baseball players would come to play ball and people from all over would visit his farm and pay to watch them play. Doctors often have the same mentality when it comes to buying laser equipment. The idea, “Buy it and they will come,” is derivative of the Field of Dreams concept, that all you need to do is buy the laser and patients will ask for the treatment and you will make a lot of money with this device.
The reason most doctors don’t think about this is because they have not had to traditionally. Most practices receive the great majority of their revenue from insurance companies, not from advertising their services. The idea that they would need to spend a lot of money on advertising to bring patients through their door is a foreign concept in most cases for a lot of medical specialties. This all changes when trying to generate aesthetic revenue because these procedures are not covered by insurance and the doctor needs to spend money on advertising to bring cosmetic clients through their door.
The smooth talking, good-looking, laser sales rep will show you some impressive numbers about the revenue you can generate with his/her laser, however they fail to mention exactly how you will get your telephone to ring, how your receptionist will effectively book those aesthetic consultations, and how you will close your consultations and sell thousands of dollars worth of aesthetic treatments.
The successful operation of an aesthetic practice does not happen by chance. It requires careful planning, marketing, training and resource allocation. Quite frankly, it requires a lot more work than most doctors are willing to put forth if they only knew of the work involved before they began the process.
Careful thought needs to be taken in creating a basic business plan and a realistic cash flow proforma of the first 12 months of operation. You should project ultra-conservative numbers and determine if your investment will pay you the Return on Investment that you are expecting. After you have done this, the LAST step in setting up an aesthetic practice is buying the laser equipment.
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