How to Grow a Cosmetic Practice into a Sellable Asset

By Catherine Maley, MBA

How to grow a cosmetic practice into a sellable asset.

A typical plastic surgeon is frustrated regularly because the responsibilities they have for being a great surgeon are not enough anymore.

You must become a good leader and manager and business owner. Yikes!

In order for you to run your practice like a profitable business versus just a job you’ve created for yourself, there are 4 core principles that take you from pain to profits in a lot less time and with a lot less headaches:


One of the most important abilities to master is to transform your staff into your dream team of rock stars.

It all starts with a strong vision of leadership…

However, most surgeons are only managers, and there’s an important difference between “leadership” and “management.”

Management is a bottom-line focus: How can I best accomplish certain things?

Leadership deals with the top line: What are the things I want to accomplish?

If you are only “managing” your team, then you only have “staff.” But if you provide leadership and vision, then your team gets aligned with YOUR purpose.

They will LOVE working for you and making you money, because they know where you are going and they want to be a part of it because it’ll affect their lives as well.


The most successful plastic surgeons I know aren’t looking for a hot opportunity to change their practice. They are STRATEGIC.

Instead of chasing shiny objects that turn out to be distractions and timewasters, they create a strategic business plan and a well thought out marketing machine that focuses on what REALLY brings in patients and revenues.

Then, they use patience to stick to the plan. Rather than jump from one opportunity to another, they let their plan work for them to bring in a steady stream of patients.


Rather than compete with price-slashers, successful practices set new standards for the patient experience that strategically attracts “the right patients.”

The “right patients” who are more than happy to pay premium price for the skills, expertise, connection and the experience you offer.

It’s the patients who keep coming back for more cosmetic procedures because they consider you to be the BEST choice and rave about you to their friends and family.

The secret is to change your focus to how much that one procedure is worth to you vs. what is the LIFETIME value of NOT ONLY that procedure but the countless OTHER procedures you get when that patient returns again and again and refers their friends and family.

It’s long term practice growth through relationships versus short term transactions that lead to nowhere.


Imagine for a minute you owned the perfect plastic surgery practice.

What would it look like?

If you’re like most surgeons, your perfect business model would be:

  • Completely run by your team
  • Organized and systemized
  • A great place to work that attracts top talent
  • Built on satisfying loyal patients and turning them into raving fans
  • Rake in at least double the average industry profit
  • Growing in size and consistently growing your personal wealth
  • Give you complete freedom and flexibility
  • Be fun to own without the headaches that often come with being the business owner

Basically, you would have a practice that you enjoy going to every day AND/OR that is attractive to other surgeons to buy if you want to exit.

But if you’re like most surgeons, your current reality isn’t at all like you dreamed it would be.

The average surgeon is overworked. Stressed out. Underpaid. They have little life outside their practice because they feel out of control and worry about their practice 24/7.

That means surgeons are not happy with their practice, staff, patients, or the money they are making. But they stay in business, doing what they know how to do because they don’t know how to fix their problems. They don’t know how to make their practice work for them as opposed to them working for their practice.

But here’s the good news…. once you install formalized systems inside your practice, you’ll be able to show anyone you bring on in your practice exactly what is expected.

You’ll be able to trust them to do their job properly.

You will be free from constant, full-time supervision, micromanaging, and continuously having to give directions which frees up your time to grow your practice.

The net result, with systems, means you’ll make more money and have more fun with less stress. Your practice will be efficient, fast, productive, problem-free, and profitable.

The “right” patients will notice your quick execution of detail, your consistent reliability, and the congruency between what you say and what you do.

And that’s how you go from merely surviving the stresses of running your practice to peace of mind knowing you are have a well-oiled machine that allows you to enjoy your own interests and spend quality time with your family. And that’s how to grow a cosmetic practice into a sellable asset

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 2020, volume 24, number 1