What makes a great plastic surgery practice? When I was in business school, a required reading was “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.
It’s a management book that explains why some companies make the leap from good to great…and others don’t.
The professor spent weeks dissecting that book with us students, but there’s one chapter that is so apropos to in our industry that I wanted to share it with you.
Good to Great – How it Applies to a Great Plastic Surgery Practice
Flywheels vs. Doom Loops
I’ve condensed it a lot but here is the gist of it:
Good to great transformations often look like dramatic events to those observing from the outside, but are really organic, cumulative processes on the inside that work over the long haul.
Meaning, there was no single defining action, advertising campaign, or luck that built a great company.
Instead, the good to great companies followed a predictable pattern of buildup and breakthrough that takes effort to get going, like a heavy flywheel; however, once it’s going, it builds momentum and hits a point of breakthrough that becomes unstoppable and produces dramatic results without added effort.
But most companies follow a different pattern….the doom loop.
What is the Doom Loop?
Rather than accumulating momentum, they try to skip buildup and jump immediately to breakthrough with one-off tactics that give them immediate but short-term results.
Instead, they get disappointing results because they fail to maintain a consistent direction, so they try another short-term tactic to get immediate results and more disappointing results happen for further disappointment, and now they are in the doom loop and heading for disaster.
The same thing happens in plastic surgery practices.
The naïve or average practices chase after the short-term gain by throwing time, money, and resources at all types of shiny objects promising the world.
Maybe it’s a website company redesigning your website…again. Or Google AdWords that need a budget of many thousands of dollars per month, or directories, or social media.
They try something for a month or two, don’t like the results, so they jump from that to another strategy promising to be the holy grail.
But they never stay long enough to get any traction.
And, same is true for patient selection in a great plastic surgery practice.
Many practices go after the one-hit-wonder patient versus the cosmetic patient who would be worth 10x their initial investment if they would put a plan in place to nurture them, so they literally become the practices’ unpaid sales ambassadors.
So, going back to the “good to great” concept, here is what the successful practice does to become great:
- Map out a cosmetic patient attraction, conversion, and retention plan.
- Prioritize in terms of budgeting money and manpower towards the most effective long-term strategies, proven to work.
- Monitor their results and fine-tune as they go.
- Stay the course and do NOT change direction for short-term gains.
- See results that continue to build on themselves.
Said another way, successful practices define who their preferred and most profitable cosmetic patients are; then, they determine the best ways to attract those cosmetic patients to them. A great plastic surgery practice bonds, educates and builds trust with that patient before meeting them. Perfect the patient’s experience with the practice from the initial call they make to schedule an appointment, to the visit and the consult and the followup. Then give the patient a WOW experience before, during, after their procedure. Encourage that patient to return, review, refer and share on their own social platforms so other prospective patients discover you and go through your processes and they, too, return, review, refer and share on social so more patients do the same and so on and so on.
So now you have a process and blueprint that builds momentum, so you have a steady stream of cosmetic patients on autopilot.
It has never been more important than right now to get your practice running like a well-oiled machine that can weather the storms of competition and COVID and whatever else comes our way.
Please reach out to me if you could use some help with this. I’ve been working with plastic surgeons for 20 years and can save you a bunch of time, money and hassle.