It’s so easy to get caught up in life. You have to juggle staff, patients, family, and overhead as well as grow your practice at the same time.
Because the objective is to set up and grow a cosmetic practice as a business so it’s more profitable, more enjoyable to go to every day, and it frees up your valuable time, so you have more of it to spend doing what you like to do with the people you most enjoy being with.
The alternative is to ignore the business side, create a job for yourself and then walk away empty-handed when you can’t/don’t want to do it anymore.
You already mastered surgery so now let’s master the business side of surgery.
How to Grow a Cosmetic Practice You Are Proud Of
THAT is what catapults you to success and a more certain future.
Here are 4 strategies you want to focus on to grow a cosmetic practice you’re proud of….
Build a Business Mindset
As a surgeon, you were programmed to think in a certain fixed way. You had to think that way to become a great surgeon.
However, that thinking is the opposite of how a businessperson thinks.
For example, you most likely put more value on YOU as a surgeon vs. growing your staff and your systems and you work IN your practice rather than work ON your practice.
Michael Gerber explains it well in his excellent book “EMyth, Why Most Small Businesses don’t work and What to do About it”.
Basically, he says to run a successful business (practice), you need (3) key players:
- The Entrepreneur to come up with new ideas to keep up with the times.
- The Manager to set up the processes and people so things run smoothly.
- The Technician to actually do the key work that makes a profit.
So in a cosmetic practice, you, the surgeon are the technician but you’re also juggling the jobs of the entrepreneur and the manager and that takes different skill sets.
That’s not a good use of your time and it will not get you to your financial goals.
So, we’re going to change that up for you because when you set up systems, you and your staff get clarity. And when you remove the complexity, results happen because “Money is Made in the Processes”.
Here’s the first big mindset shift:
“Operate your practice like it’s for sale”.
This starts by regularly asking and answering these questions:
“If I wanted to sell my practice tomorrow, what would I need to improve to get the most value for it?” Or, “If I wanted to buy an existing practice, what would I be looking for and be willing to invest in?”
Build a Rock Solid Team
Hiring the right team for your practice will be your biggest challenge but also your greatest asset. Because it’s all about the WHO.
What typically happens is surgeons want to fix the staffing problem quickly so when a staff person leaves, you have a tendency to hire fast to fill the position but then you have to deal with bad hires who don’t fit your values or your culture.
And, you know all too well what bad hires cost you:
- You can’t rely on them.
- They are adding stress to your day and maybe even your nights when you’re trying to sleep.
- They have a negative impact on you, your other staff, and your reviews.
- And did you know a bad hire costs at least 15X their salary in lost productivity?
The solution is to hire slow and fire fast.
Take more time at the beginning to choose the right team players so you save a lot of time and grief at the end trying to deal with a toxic staff person who is just not cutting it.
And, be sure you have the right people doing the right jobs.
There is a saying in business, “Get the right people on the bus and then get them in the right seats.”
For example, certain staff should be on the front lines because they have excellent people skills and other staff have analytical skills and are better suited behind the scenes.
And here’s another mind shift change …
It’s time to view staff as an asset vs. a liability.
They ARE your secret practice-building weapon in an competitive marketplace when it comes to patient-relations since they spend more time with your patients than you do.
Staff can make or break your cosmetic practice so be sure you have the right people representing you.
They are your leverage.
You can’t do it all alone, nor should you want to. When you hire the right people, give them the right tools and hold them accountable, they handle the majority of the practice, so you don’t have to.
Regarding pay and perks, don’t overpay on the hire. They must prove themselves first.
Give them a 30-90 day probationary period so they can eliminate themselves if this is not a good fit after all or you can free them without much hassle if you don’t see them fitting in.
And be sure they understand all the perks they will get and list them in detail so they can see it’s not just their salary involved but all these other perks that really add up such as health insurance, profit sharing, half day Fridays, complimentary non-surgical treatments, free training and so on.
Regarding bonuses, your team should win as a team and celebrate as a team since you want to create an environment where they all work together to achieve your goals. So, define your goals for the week, month or year, attach a carrot, and then let your team work together to achieve the goal and share in the bonus.
By the way, staff doesn’t stay with you just for the money. They also need:
- Acknowledgement since 70% of employees leave a job because they don’t feel appreciated.
- Fun Work Environment
- Stress-Free Atmosphere
So, the goal is to build a culture of like-minded people who have your back, love aesthetics, and love coming to work and giving it their all for the good of the practice.
Strategically Market Your Practice
This quote says it all and should be your mantra from this day forward …
“The key to success is not doing more. It’s doing more of what works.”
Please don’t take that lightly. I watch so many practices go from one shiny object to the next, hoping that will solve their problems. They throw money at all sorts of Internet, advertising and marketing companies who promise them the world but then don’t deliver and now they don’t trust anybody and are skeptical.
Let me give you another easier way to figure this out…
Be strategic by focusing on the 7 key ways you grow a cosmetic practice and those are:
- Increase # of Leads
- Increase # of Appointments
- Increase # of Consultations
- Increase # of Conversions
- Increase # of Returns
- Increase # of Referrals
- Increase # of Reviews
Here’s the point… You may be focused on the wrong thing such as more new leads.
Please remember – leads are only 1 part of it.
That means a lead is just a lead until you get them through your processes to a YES. Otherwise, it’s a dead lead going nowhere. Which means you are just burning money on lead generation and NOT conversion and retention.
Before you invest in any more new patient-attraction shiny objects, plug up the holes in your systems that are costing you a silent fortune. That’s where you’ll see new profits more quickly and easily.
As Peter Drucker, the guru of business said quite succinctly:
“The Purpose of Business is To Create AND Keep a Customer”
It’s quality over quantity, which means you do less but get a better result because you slow down and get good at the fundamentals.
Leadership Concepts to Learn
You know you’re doing a good job leading when your practice is running smoothly and your staff is working well together. You have peace of mind it’s running like a well-oiled machine with or without you there.
However, if you feel frustrated like you have to do everything yourself or you feel the need to micro-manage to ensure what you think is getting done is actually getting done, that’s a red flag.
Because if you feel like nobody cares about your practice like you do, that could mean you did NOT:
- Hire the right people
- Give them the right tools they need to succeed
- And/or you’re not holding them accountable
The reality is you simply cannot build a successful practice by yourself.
You’ve got to have a team supporting you.
Become a student of leadership since a leader is not born. Like anything else in life, you become a great leader by learning, doing, practicing, and getting good at it. Just like you did to become a great surgeon.
Start with your vision. Know thyself.
Are you building an empire or a lifestyle?
Do you want to be the busiest, cheapest, highest-end, luxury boutique?
You need to know that because it will affect every decision you make.
Then be sure the staff knows your vision, so they perform at a high level because they have clarity and know the end result you’re striving for.
A good leader gives the staff solid goals they can work towards and have something to strive for that is concrete.
Good leaders meet with the team, listens and gets feedback from the team and let’s them brainstorm how they will meet the goals.
A good leader then holds them accountable without micromanaging.
If these topics resonate with you and you see that educating yourself on the business and marketing side of plastic surgery makes sense, please check out my Cosmetic Practice Vault. You will discover the details that will catapult your efforts to grow a cosmetic practice into one you are proud of now and when you exit.