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3 Common Mistakes Plastic Surgeons Make

Oftentimes the simplest of things become those that are overlooked the most frequently yet affect your bottom line more than you realize, so this blog post will cover 3 common mistakes plastic surgeons make in their practice.

Mistakes in easy, day-to-day tasks can lead to confusion, chaos, and frustration throughout your office, and impact your plastic surgery practice in a huge way. 

It’s easy to miss what’s not working when you are focused on your patients’ needs, as well as managing staff and performing surgeries. 

See if you are making any of these common mistakes and then address them so your practice and profits flow better.

MISTAKE #1: Not Having an A-Team Supporting You

Surrounding yourself with an outstanding team may seem like a daunting task, but ultimately those working among you are vital to your success. 

You may need to evaluate your workplace and ask yourself; Are the people on your staff helping or hurting your practice? 

A common mistake like having the wrong team can easily make or break your practice. 

While working as a business and marketing consultant to cosmetic practices, I have seen a wide variety of behaviors that go unchecked and hurt your image. For example: 

  • Staff is charming to the surgeon and disagreeable to everyone else; 
  • You think the staff is following up, taking photos, asking for referrals, but you found out
    it’s not happening;
  • The receptionist sends the patients to the internet to buy products since they’re cheaper than those sold in their office, and it goes on and on.

If you have experienced any of these common scenarios, it may be clear that you do not have the right team in place. 

If you have your doubts about who has your back and are questioning their value to your practice, try out the simple exercise of a “Daily Duties” form for one week. 

Beginning on Monday, the members of your team will write down every task they perform throughout the day and record the amount of time that it takes for them to complete. On Friday, they will submit the completed form to you. 

By evaluating these forms, you will be able to see who on your team values their time and work by thoroughly filling out their form.  It will also show you those who rush through the assignment and carelessly complete the form. You will also see which team members don’t complete it at all, and therefore do not value their work, or you. 

This exercise will give you a better idea of which staff members take their jobs seriously and care about the practice as a whole, as well as those who don’t.

MISTAKE #2: Not using the resources you already have to attract more patients 

Let’s consider the value of just one of your patients and how they can grow your practice for you.

On average, a typical cosmetic patient has approximately 200 people such as friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, hairstylists, gym buddies, etc. in their circle of influence. 

Now imagine that your patient refers them to you, and in turn, these new patients refer those in their circle of influence and so on.  Your patient database and revenues would grow exponentially with the compounding effect.

The way to get these referrals is to set up systems that happen automatically as part of your processes so your patients know you value them and their referrals that grow your practice. 

A great example of this process can be as easy as taking photos of your patients once they are healed and making them readily available to them so they can show off your work to their friends. 

In my book “Your Aesthetic Practice/What Your Patients are Saying“, I asked patients about it, and here’s what they said:

  • 82% stated that they wanted their before/after photos 
  • 76% stated that they would have shown them to others, if only they were made available to them

While taking photos is easy, you must remember that it’s all in the presentation. 


The best time to provide a patient with their photos is at their post-op appointment. This is the time when they will be at their happiest and will be the most excited about their results. A handwritten note thanking them for their trust in you along with their photos can speak volumes! 

Be sure to include your name, telephone number, and website so their friends can contact you to book their own appointment to consult with you. 

This simple process can be used for both surgical and non-surgical procedures alike. 

Another simple, yet effective process is the use of gift certificates. 

So many practices offer them, but it seems to be an unspoken secret in your office. How do you change that?

The best way to market your gift certificates is at checkout with a gorgeous display and customized gift bags. 

A sign that reads “Need a Quick Gift?” is sure to grab the attention of those standing with their wallets out and credit cards in hand. 

Not only does this increase your revenue for the day, but it also introduces a new patient to your practice. 

MISTAKE #3:  Not having a clear patient attraction plan in place

Something to always remember is “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” By failing to plan how you acquire new patients, you are setting yourself up to lose would-be patients to your competition. 

Acquiring these new patients is so much more than just one email, one social media post, one Google ad. It requires a persistent plan that keeps your name in front of consumers looking for cosmetic rejuvenation. 

By keeping your name in front of your current patients, in addition to continuously reaching out to new prospective patients online, they are more likely to choose you. 

But in today’s noisy world, you need up to 31 points of contact to get someone’s attention.

Basically, you need to be everywhere and use all marketing channels available that prospective cosmetic patients could be using. 

You need lots of poles in the pond working together. So, in addition to your Website, SEO and google ads, put together a plan that includes lots of other strategies such as:

And, once you create your new patient attraction plan, be sure to assign tasks to each team member to ensure its executed. This way, you allow your staff to focus on practice-building in a fun and engaging way, so they feel more part of your success.

For example, choose a theme for each month, as well as a marketing plan like this:

January’s Theme – “Show Off a New You This Year”

  • Google ads for Tummy Tuck and Mommy Makeover (Web Company)
  • Website spotlights with videos explaining Tummy Tuck ad Mommy Makeover
    (Web Company)
  • Email to Patient List with January tummy tuck special (assigned to Karen) 
  • Social Media Posts – 3x per week (Assigned to Sandy) 
  • In-house Signage 
  • Add more B/A Photos and testimonials to Website (Assigned to Ken) 
  • Write a blog post (Assigned to Sophia) 
  • Text certain patients your tummy tuck special (Assigned to Karen) 

Now everyone on your team has clarity and focus for January. Just do that every month and see how much better your results are when the plan is clear. 

Once you fix these all-too-common mistakes that are seen throughout plastic surgery offices, you will find that your practice is running more smoothly and effectively. 

If you could use some help fine-tuning your practice to run on all cylinders, let’s talk. I can show you how other successful practices handled the roadblocks in their way and are now set up to succeed.

BEAUTY AND THE BIZ

Beauty and the Biz is for Plastic Surgeons who know they don’t know everything and are open to discovering the pearls to grow and scale a sellable asset when they’re ready to exit.

Listen in as Catherine interviews surgeons who talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery and listen to Catherine’s pearls from consulting with plastic surgeons since Year 2000.

ORDER MY BOOK

A Complete Guide to Understanding Your Aesthetic Patient and Growing Your Aesthetic Practice. Catherine Maley, MBA went straight to the aesthetic patient to get the answers you need to succeed with your patients.

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Catherine Maley

Catherine Maley

Catherine is a business/marketing consultant to plastic surgeons. She speaks at medical conferences all over the world on practice building, marketing and the business side of plastic surgery. Get a Free Copy of her popular book, Your Aesthetic Practice: What Your Patients Are Saying View Author Profile.

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