Business Principles of Running a Successful Practice
Imagine for a minute you owned the perfect plastic surgery practice. How would you achieve the following?
Transform Your Staff into a Team of Rock Stars.
Strategic Marketing and Planning.
Set Standards so You Don’t Compete on Price.
Create A Practice You Can Sell for Millions.
Learn about these core principles and more on this episode of Beauty and the Biz!
The Business Principles of Running a Successful Practice
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:
Core principle #1: Transform Your Staff into a Team of Rock Stars
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.
Core Success Principle #2: Strategic Marketing and Planning
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 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.
Core Success Principle #3: Set Standards so You Don’t Compete on Price
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 “one and done”.
Core Success Principle #4: Create A Practice You Can Sell for Millions
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:
Almost 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.
If you would like assistance setting up your cosmetic practice to be a sellable asset when it comes time to exit, let’s talk.
Beauty and the Biz
Ep.71: Business Principles of Running a Successful Practice
Catherine Maley, MBA: Hello and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we talk about the business and marketing side of plastic surgery. I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of Your Aesthetic Practice and consultant to plastic surgeons to get them more patients and more profits. There’s a topic that has become increasingly more important as this world heats up with more competition, more choice for patients and all that good stuff. So, let’s go over the Business Principles of Running a Successful Practice.
Here’s what I’ve learned after 20 years of working with plastic surgeons, the most successful ones get it and they do these just automatically. And quite frankly, I don’t know if they’re doing them unconsciously or if they had really good mentors. My guess is they had really good mentors, which is a clue. You can’t do this on your own, you’ve got to get some help. If you don’t innately know how to run a practice because most don’t. None of us were born business people. So, you actually were very trained to be an excellent surgeon but not an excellent businessman or businesswoman. So that’s where people like me come in. But anyway, I just want to go over the business principles. Because you have to have them, you’ve always had to have them. But now you really need to have them to be on your game. So, in order for you to run your practice like a profitable business versus just a job you’ve created for yourself, there are these four core principles that take you from pain to profit in a lot less time and with a lot less headache. So, the first one is you’ve got to transform your staff into a team of rock stars. Now one of the most important abilities to master is to transform your staff into your dream team of rock stars. The Dream Team is not just for OJ Simpson, I just realize that, it’s your own dream team. And you can’t do this on your own. So, it all starts with a really strong vision of leadership. However, most surgeons are really only managers. And there’s an important difference between leadership and management. So, management is a bottom-line focus, is how can I best accomplish certain things? Whereas leadership deals with the top line, what are the things I want to accomplish? And how do I get my team to help me do that? Or how do I support my team so they do it for me? So, if you’re only managing your team, then you only have staff. But if you provide leadership and vision, then your team gets aligned with your purpose. Now they’re going to love working for you and making you money because they know where you’re going. And they want to be part of it because it affects their lives as well. That’s such a big one, you have got to tell the team what is your vision and what’s your plan because otherwise they’re just floating.
Another principle is strategic marketing and planning. The most successful plastic surgeons I know are not looking for a hot opportunity or a silver bullet to change their practice. Because they try that already, been there done that how many mistakes have you made. And quite frankly, I’m not worried about making mistakes, that’s how we learn. But you have to keep making them over and over. So, I’ve watched so many just go after every shiny object as possible. And those are okay but not as your plan. So, instead of chasing these shiny objects that turn out– I’ve got to tell you, they usually turn out to be distractions and time wasters. Instead, you want to create a strategic business plan and a well thought out marketing machine that focuses on what really brings in patients and revenues. And it’s always the boring bread and butter, that’s the secret. You can do all the fun stuff after you have this regular system set up. Everybody’s got to have an automatic patient attraction marketing system. And that’s more than just your one PPC ad in more than just your website, there’s a lot more to that. So, you need to set up that plan but then use patients to stick to the plan. Rather than jumping around from one opportunity to another or one vendor to another or one strategy to another, they let their plan work for them to bring in a steady stream of patients. And this one’s so tough because I think you get so bored. There’s a saying in marketing that we get bored of our own marketing before our audience does. And there’s really a lot of truth to that too. Never let your emotions tell you what’s working or not just please always look at the numbers instead.
Another principle is to set standards so you don’t compete on price. And this has never been more important than now because price shopping is getting absolutely brutal out there. So rather than compete on price with [inaudible 04:59] successful practices set new standards for the patient experience that strategically attracts the right patients. Now who are the right patients? They’re the ones who are more than happy to pay a premium price for your skill, your expertise and the connection they have with you and your staff and the experience you offer. By the way, you can charge a lot more, here’s another secret, you can charge a lot more when your service is better and when it’s more consistent. I have watched so many practices really get it, like let’s say like they worked with me, they’re on their game for about a week then they go back to their old ways. And there’s no consistency there so they never got any traction. It’s the consistency that allows you to attract a better patient because they know who you are, they know what to expect, they know your values and they’re looking for that kind of service and they’ll pay for it. So, it’s the patients who keep coming back for more cosmetic procedures because they do consider you to be the best choice and they rave about you to their friends and family because you have set a standard that they appreciate, they pay more for and they brag about to their friends and family. So, the secret is to change your focus to how much that one procedure is worth you versus what is the lifetime value of not only that procedure but the countless other procedures you get when that patient returns again and again in refers their friends and family. So, it’s the long-term practice growth through relationships versus short term transactions that leads to that one and done phase. So, I can’t stress this more.
In today’s world, I really don’t believe you’ve got the time, the money, the effort or the energy to put into one and done anymore. You really do need to make the most out of every single patient interaction and get to know all their friends, get them talking about you online, get them talking about you on social media. I really think that’s how you have to play it in today’s world. And then the other principle is to create a practice that you can sell for millions. Now imagine for a minute you own the perfect plastic surgery practice. And what would that look like? Well, if you’re like most surgeons, your perfect business model would be almost completely run by your team. So, you’re not the only revenue generator, you’re actually more managing the people who are making the money for you. They’re organized and systemized. It’s a great place to work that attracts top talent, your practice is built on satisfying loyal patients and turning them into raving fans. You rake in at least double the average industry profit, growing in size and consistently growing your personal wealth, gives you complete freedom and flexibility. And it’s fun to own without the headaches that often come with being a business owner.
Now, basically, you would have a practice that you enjoy going to every day and or that is attractive to other searches to buy if they want to exit. So, I’ve worked a lot with the surgeons who are looking to exit. Here’s one secret, you don’t think about this a year before you’re exiting, you think about it 10 years before you’re exiting. And that’s when you put all these principles in place because who wants to buy your practice? It’s somebody who can see that they’re going to make money the minute you give the keys to them. And how’s that going to happen? Well, it’s going to happen if you set up these principles and you set up these automatic plans, processes, procedures that automatically have turned your practice into a money-making machine. That’s how you sell your practice to somebody who cares. But if you’re like most surgeons, your current reality isn’t at all like you dreamed it would be the average surgeons overworked stressed out underpaid, and they’ve got little life outside their practice because they feel out of control. And they worry about their practice 24 seven. I mean, how many times have you woken up at two in the morning, just worrying about something and it’s always something, isn’t it? When you run your own business or practice, business and practice go together, there’s always something going on, you’ve got some kind of toxic situation going with the staff or a patient’s giving you trouble or you drop the ball on the paperwork and it just never ends. That’s the whole point, you’re trying to fix those problems now with systems. So, that means surgeons most of the time, they’re not happy with their practice or their staff or their patients or the money they’re making. But they stay in business doing what they know how to do because they don’t know how to fix their problems. And 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 formally systems inside your practice, you’re going to be able to show anyone you bring in to your practice exactly what is expected. So, they can expect revenues because you have systems set up to make them happen and then you’ll be able to trust them to do the job properly. This is if you brought in some kind of associate or partner that you want to take over the reins when you’re ready to walk out. They’ve got to trust that you have a nice system set up, yeah? And then you’ll be free from that constant full-time supervision, micromanaging and continuously having to give direction which frees up your time to grow your practice. So, the net result with systems means you’re going to make more money, you’re going to have more fun with less stress, your practice is going to be more efficient, more productive, more problems free and more profitable. I shouldn’t say problem free because quite frankly, this really helped me a lot. One of my mentors said, business is solving problems. That really helped me a lot because I thought God did these problems ever end, like every day, it’s something and you know what? The more you change your attitude about problems and you turn them into just– you know what, that’s what you do, you’re a solution maker or you’re a problem solver, like that’s what you do. And you just handle them, you know, it’s just like you do now, you handle them but with a better attitude. That’s how to run that thing. So, the right patients are going to notice your quick execution of details, your consistent reliability and the congruency between what you say and what you do. That one’s so important because I’ve watched so many of you put a ton of money into new websites, I mean, 10s of 1000s of dollars into new websites, yet your phone staff sounds like Bertha in the boiler room and it’s so incongruent with the image you’re trying to portray, please know that every other detail is representing you good or bad.
So, if you want any assistance on this, to get your cosmetic Practice set up just as a well-run machine that you enjoy going to every day, and that you could exit down the road because you set up your systems now and they’re in place. So, you can keep the practice. Frankly, you won’t want to exit as quickly when you have a smooth-running practice. And when you’ve got that peace of mind knowing that you do have a well-oiled machine, you do have the right team in place representing you and supporting you, you do have your processes down. And then you can tell when something’s off. You know it ahead of time, you don’t have to know it when the sky is falling. You know what ahead of time because you can see it in your system. Anyway, if you need help with that please let me know, I’m always here to help.
Okay, so I know this was quick. I hope that was helpful to you. Please subscribe to Beauty and the Biz. And give me a good review if you feel so inclined. And then of course, give me a shout out. You can always leave me a message at catherinemaley.com, we can chat and figure out what’s going on with you and how I can help. And you can also DM me on Instagram at catherinemaleymba. I do have an MBA for business because I realized I wanted to help plastic surgeons because I love the industry. And I love Botox and fillers and I wanted some but now that I’m older, I need more than just Botox and fillers. But I thought, wait a second, how can I be a value to this industry and I thought wait a second, they don’t know anything about business. Like they don’t know anything about customer service or staff or training staff or setting up business systems. And so that’s why I entered the market. I thought that would be a good place for me to work with you on the business side, you work on the surgical side and that’s how we conquer the world. So, I hope that’s helpful and we will talk again soon.