How to Scale Your Practice

By Catherine Maley, MBA

How do you grow a practice when you’re a solo practitioner? In other words, how to scale your practice?

Typically, you add more… More equipment. More service providers. More staff. More advertising and marketing and so on.

But with that comes more headaches. More frustration. More mistakes. Because the surgeon quickly becomes overwhelmed juggling the details. That busy work robs your focus, energy and good mood and you’re left feeling resentful and bitter because you’re working too hard for less.

You find yourself drowning in the minutia of running of a business rather than taking care of your patients because you have to manage more people and hold them accountable. That means more time spent on HR, training, management and payroll and less on what you do well—surgery!

To be competitive today, you must focus on what directly brings you money and that is great results; patient relations and excellent patient care before, during and after their surgery. You can’t do that when you are stretched thin and distracted with so many details.

The Secret to Scaling

Scale your practice without killing yourself in today’s world by doing ONLY what directly affects your bottom lime and outsource the rest.

Get rid of the busy work by outsourcing to outside parties to perform services that were performed in-house by your practice staff so they can focus on practice growth too.

For example, the key focus in a plastic surgery practice is patient relations. Cosmetic patients today have lots of choices so they will choose the practice that takes the best care of them, gives them a great experience and performs a result they are happy with.

The more you focus on patient care, the patient experience, patient retention and great results, the more your practice grows profitably. Your reputation as a caring surgeon grows and so do your referrals.

This is what gives you the competitive edge. You focus on your patients and their care to get more patients through referrals and great reviews and you delegate the rest. Makes sense, right?

Pros of Outsourcing

Outsourcing is not new to you. You most likely outsource your billing and payroll, as well as your website design and SEO. It’s time to expand that to give you room to focus on growth.

The biggest advantages to outsourcing are time, cost savings and hassle factor. In essence, you are getting your time back, paying less and delegating the headaches.

Outsourcing gives you a competitive edge. You gain services and skills that would be hard to develop yourself but you can outsource to experts who can get the job done faster using their expertise. They will also get better results than you would since they have the experience to know what works and what doesn’t.

Outsourcing also gives you flexibility of ramping up or winding down if your practice ebbs and flows. With employees, you can’t really tell them to take the summer off if you slow down.

The hassle-factor is greatly reduced when you outsource. You no longer have to deal with managing and training staff to ensure they do what they are being paid to do. You don’t have to deal with absenteeism, drama or hiring and firing.

Is it Cheaper or More Expensive to Outsource?

You are most likely saying you can hire someone to do what an outsider will do so let’s look at the true numbers to see if that’s true:


  • Salary $$
  • Benefits $$
  • Personal Time off $$
  • Sick Days $$
  • Vacation Days $$
  • Health Care $$
  • Bonuses $$
  • Manage and Train $$
  • Office Equipment $$


  • Monthly Rate $$
  • Benefits 0
  • Personal Time off 0
  • Sick Days 0
  • Vacation Days 0
  • Health Care 0
  • Bonuses 0
  • Manage and Train 0
  • Office Equipment 0

When you add up the real numbers, outsourcing wins out. Others are able to do the work for considerably less money and you don’t have to manage them.

Cons of Outsourcing

A lack of communication between you and the outsourced vendor will delay projects so be sure you work with a trusted group that is uber responsive. Regular communication keeps you in the loop.

A lack of control can make you uncomfortable so your outsourced vendors should provide detailed monthly reports of what they are doing for you and the results they’re getting so you know what you’re paying for and they are actually doing the work they agreed to do.

Out of sight – out of mind can also leave you feeling out of control. Hold them accountable by using project management software to give them tasks digitally that cannot be forgotten about since the platform is tracking deadline dates.

Tasks to outsource:

Outsource anything that is taking you and your staff away from patient relations such as:

  • Payroll
  • Accounting
  • Bookkeeping
  • Lead generation and follow up
  • Scheduling
  • Email Marketing
  • Social media (you still add personality posts)
  • Marketing and Graphic Design
  • Website design and management
  • Staff Training
  • Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blog
  • Article Writing
  • Admin support

Those who embrace the new world of outsourcing to scale win. When you get the hang of letting go of certain tasks that take up you and your staff’s valuable time and attention, it’s amazing how much time and space shows up for you to focus on what truly matters to grow your practice by learning how to scale your practice.

Catherine Maley, MBA is a cosmetic practice consultant, speaker, trainer, blogger and podcaster. Her popular book, “Your Aesthetic Practice/What Your Patients Are Saying” is read and studied by plastic surgeons and their staff all over the world. She and her team specialize in growing plastic surgery practices using creative patient attraction, conversion, follow up and retention strategies as well as staff training to turn team members into converting rock stars.

Visit Catherine for Free resources at or Instagram @catherinemaleymba.

Click below to read “Today’s Cosmetic Practice Growth Funnel ” in its original format in Aesthetic Society News, Winter 2019, volume 23, number 1