5 Reasons Why Growing Your Medical Spa Business Is FAR More Powerful Than Cutting Expenses


Think about it this way; It's much easier to grow your clinic's revenues than it is to cost-cut your way to profitability.

Let's face it. You can't cut your way to long-term wealth or success.

While you'll hear a lot about how to minimize costs and maximize efficiencies and productivity in your clinic (and I'm a big fan of that too), that's only one part of having a successful clinic or medspa that's throwing off mountains of excess cash and expanding multiple revenue streams. Growing your revenue is the most powerful strategy you can use and the only one that will give you the resources to build a business that supports the lifestyle you want, rather than building a soul-crushing hamster-wheel job.

Here are 5 reasons why growing your clinic's business and revenue is more effective than simply cutting costs:

Most businesses, especially clinical physicians, can't simply turn on a switch and earn more. Your medical spa can.

If you're a clinical physician you're trading time for money — a 'job' business model — you can't just start seeing more patients or cram more hours in a work day. (Few physicians ever try to actually earn more money except by working more hours.)

One of the reasons that you opened a cosmetic practice or medical spa is that you're able to leverage technology and secondary providers (physician extenders) to deliver your services. In most palaces you can hire others to perform the actual IPL or laser hair removal treatments under your license and you don't have to push the button on every treatment. That model allows you to extend your license and 'scale yourself' using technology and labor.

There's a catch of course. You have some pretty high fixed costs that are in the tens of thousands of dollars with laser leases, rent, financed equipment and salaries. Those expenses are something that you can mitigate if you're smart (group buy filler injections, used cosmetic lasers, etc. ), but the hard truth is that those costs are part of the business model. Scaling back too far is actually dangerous to your business - cut too deep and you're into the muscle that powers your clinic operations, customer service and employee motivation.

Many docs first thought is to keep monthly costs low and move to commission-based compensation, room rental, or add other low-level services like massage or aroma therapy to try to gain patient flow while not spending anything. While it may look like it's a low risk strategy it's a fools errand because of the distractions and opportunity costs.

Other mistakes like cutting the cost of your Botox treatments as a 'loss leader' (total B.S.) or relying on discounted Groupon traffic... simplistic tactics that waste your time at best, and can cripple you if things go wrong.

The revenue streams I'm talking about may actually involve real business decisions and create an asset that you own - permanent makeup, massage and 'aroma therapy' provided by someone who rents a room in your clinic doesn't.

If you're frugal and want to be sensible, great! Combine earning more with the automation strategy for implementing systems into your clinic, and you have a powerful financial combination. Start by setting sensible short term revenue goals, buy your next IPL or cosmetic laser usedstart implementing systems in your clinic, and cut costs mercilessly on commoditized products like taking advantage of group buy injectibles if you can. Do these things and you’ll be ahead of 99% of other cosmetic physicians.

But that's only the savings and productivity part. To be successful you're also going to have to grow.

When you focus on growing your medical spa and creating a bigger pie, you'll benefit from disproportionate and compounding rewards that most other physicians and clinics can't match.

Here's why:

1: There's a limit to how much you can save, but no limit to how much you can earn. Ok, there may be some theoretical limit somewhere but for how big an profitable a cosmetic clinic can be, but it's far easier to add another $10,000 a month in gross revenues than it is to cut $5,000 from the spend. And it's much more fun.

2: The effects compound. If you're bumping along the bottom and have cut all of the fat from your budget, where do you go? You've starved yourself of the ability to grow.

As your medical spa's business grows you gain access to a larger patient network, and the network works harder for you. It's like compounding interest and gives you scale to reach an ever larger audience that's limited only by your ability to execute and lead. You'll also find it's a better message to patients and staff to be able to tell a growth story. Once you learn how to turn the dials and grow your first $10,000 monthly bonus, it’s relatively easy to turn the dial to make $15,000, or $20,000.

In every market the top 3 or 4 clinics take 90% of the revenue. Everyone else fights for scraps.

3: It improves your teams morale and your patient experience. Have you ever seen a clinic that is just barely getting buy? It's a bummer.

Growing your income let's you provide your patients with a much better experience, and moves your clientele upstream and away from bargain hunters that come with headaches and no profit margins.  Moreover, since payroll is the biggest cost you have it's a target for clinics that are cutting costs and novice business leaders often try to skimp on staff.

Growing revenues means that you can attract and pay for a skilled staff that can be trusted to help build the business, not just see you as a stepping stone to the next gig.

4: It allows you to focus on big wins rather than minutia. As a clinic owner you should be focusing on the big wins instead of trying to save money by eliminating what doesn't matter. Earning more is one of the biggest wins you can have. And by reducing the number of things to focus on — and picking major, important items like increasing revenue — you don’t need to worry about trying to keep your staff working at minimum wage. If you’re handling your major goals, the minor details fall out of that. Whether it’s taking a CME course with polar bears, putting your clinic on autopilot, or building other lifestyle businesses on the side, you can manage your lifestyle the way that you want.

5: It forces you to compete on price, which will kill you. If you're competing on price you're in a losing battle. A patient who comes to you for price will leave you for a lower price just as quickly, and there can be only one lowest price. It's a downward spiral which leads to a miserable existence.

6: It gives you options. Growing your sales lets you move from what you have to do to survive, to what you want to do. It gives you options, and opportunity. Personally, I want to live a rich life, and that means spending money on the things I love. Ask yourself whether you'd rather bump along the edge of going out of business and grinding out another payroll, or spend some time earning money so you could live the lifestyle you want. I'm betting you'll answer earn more 100% of the time.

The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.
— Walt Disney

So what actions should you take right now?

First, you have to be convinced that it's possible. You need to adjust your mindset from one of scarcity, to one of opportunity. You need to be convinced that you can step forward in a slightly different direction than you're headed, but with dramatically better results. You're going to need to educate yourself.

The good news is that you're in a fantastic market. Most businesses, especially clinical physicians, can't simply turn on a switch and earn more. With a cosmetic practice you can.

There are three main areas where you can take immediate action to begin increasing your sales and income; getting more patients in the front door (marketing), raising your conversion rates (consultations), and streamlining your clinic operations (systems). Increase any of these and your revenue will increase. Ignore them and your opportunities will slowly be throttled, wither and die.

While we don't yet (as of this post) have our training course on marketing available, we can immediately address the other two areas where you can increase your conversions and streamline your operations.

Whatever you do, take action right now and begin.

The Use Of Strategic Vendors

Price isn't the only thing that you should be looking at when choosing a technology or product vendor.

So what is a strategic vendor?  I’ll get to that a bit later…   I’ve been in the business world now over 30 years with the last 8 in the medical aesthetics field.    In those 8 years, I’ve been mystified why so few vendors in this sector understand the importance of staying close to the customer.  How so few  really take the time to understand my business which although is similar to many others is uniquely mine with its own challenges.

Most vendors only come around when they have a new product, service, promotion or are on a ride along exercise with their boss and need some place to go…  Most vendors never care to ask what my goals are and very few know what I’m planning for my business this year and next 5 years.  Most only care about making the sale today and then move on to the next buyer.

Most vendors also carry with them a planned obsolesce strategy for the equipment they sell.

Read More

Improving Your Laser Clinics Marketing Funnel

Web users are, for the most part, used to giving out personal information online, especially in exchange for content they want. But certain kinds of information are more sensitive than others.

If you're capturing leads for your laser clinic or medical spa, here's some info from Hubspot that show how asking for certain type of information can reduce the number of contacts or leads that you're able to capture.

Here are some of the findings.

Forms asking for any type of geographic location have lower converstion rates than forms that do not, but mailing addresses seem to be much more sensitive since the perception is that visitors filling out the form will receive mail.

Asking for a telephone number has much the same impact as asking for a mailing address... a decrease in the number of completed forms.

Oddly, at least to me, it seems that asking a visitors age is also sensitive enough to prevent form completions.

So what should you do?

First, don't try to swallow the entire apple, just take a bite and begin to add value. Remember that they're filling out your form in order to receive value from you. If you don't provide any value at all and just spam them with offers, your relationship will sour quickly.

Personal Branding For Medical Spa Physicians

By Ashley Wendel

Only if you want to stand out from the crowd, and successfully build your reputation and patient base.

I have the pleasure of going to Chicago in few weeks to attend the Society of Interventional Radiology's annual scientific sessions, and to help facilitate a workshop for physicians on marketing.  While I know that "marketing" is not a new concept to most, the point I'm going to be making about how they, the physician, are the most integral part of the marketing equation, may be.  Shifting their perspective from only looking at what they do, to who they are and how they do things, may be a challenge.  But for docs who (perhaps for the first time) are recognizing the increased competition in the marketplace and the need for marketing to "keep up", it is a message they need to hear.

And why should they care?  Why worry about "brand"?  If you think about your overall goal as a professional, it truly is about growth.  For my IR crowd the bottom line is about leveling the playing field with other docs/specialties that have been marketing themselves longer and have a much higher comfort level with it.  It is about increasing referrals, increasing the number of desireable procedures that the IR docs perform, and establishing a solid patient base for future referrals and procedures.  For anyone, it is about developing a reputation that makes people want to work with you, that allows them to trust you, and gives them an expectation of quality and delivery that meets their unique needs. Creating your brand helps you do this.  And I'll tell you why.

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Medical Spa Newsletters & Strategic Marketing

I'm guessing that about 40% of medical spas, laser clinics and skin clinics do some form of email marketing or newsletter. Perhaps I'm wrong but that number seems about right to me.

Of course I'd say that about 1% are really using newsletters or email effectively since there's something of a learning cure, it takes a while to create the content, and there's some dilligence involved to actualy take the time to send a consistant strategic marketing message and accelerate sales.

At Medical Spa MD we're about to start publishing something that looks and feels pretty much like a 'medical spa marketing newsletter', but behaves much differently. We'll be using the Sendside Platform to create and distribute what amounts to an interactive, multi-dimensional message.

If you're a Medical Spa MD Member you'll be receiving one of these in the next few days and you'll see immediately what I mean. If you haven't yet joined Medical Spa MD you can do that now. It's free, and there are some really nice downloads in the members only area of the site that you'll have access to. Not convinced? See what Medical Spa MD Members say about us.

As we increase our offerings to Members we'll also be posting about how we're doing, and how we're doing it. We'll be writing about our successes in communication for our partners and advertisers, and when we're not doing so hot. The benefit for Medical Spa MD is that we'll be using our existing Members as well as new visitors as something of an ongoing focus group. (Usually I retch at the use of focus groups to define what you should do, but this one's actually going to work since it will be anonymous, live, and we'll have real numbers to show.)

If you're a Member you'll be able to both see what we're doing, and we'll be showing you how we're doing it. If you wish, you'll be able to replicate it. For our members who are vendors this is particularly interesting since there are a few things that are of particular interest. We'll be posting all of these in the Medical Spa Marketing & Advertising category so you'll be able to read all of the posts there.

We'll all be able to see where this goes.

Medical Spa MD Members get a Podium patient review marketing account and save $1,257

Protect your reputation. Get new patients. Medical Spa MD Members receive a special, full service Podium account that includes: no setup fee (save $300), a 10% discount forever (save $330/year) and on-demand patient review marketing training for your entire staff ($597 value).  This offer is not available anywhere else.