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How to Run a Cosmetic Practice | 5 Ingredients Needed to Succeed

Knowing how to run a cosmetic practice is similar to following a recipe. You need a foundation of key ingredients. Without them, the whole thing comes crashing down. 

When you focus on these 5 key areas to run a cosmetic practice, you’ll easily grow, scale and win.

1. Retaining and Maintaining

No practice can grow and succeed if it can’t retain patients. If I asked, could you tell me the percentage of patients and the number of dollars you lose each month in patient churn? If you could, you’re among just 10% of all practices. That’s a big issue and a major reason why cosmetic practices don’t scale. 

When you reduce patient churn, you increase your revenue, boost your referrals, have more opportunities to upsell and achieve a higher lifetime value for each patient. 

If you have a churn problem, now is the time to address it before you lose more. 

A few ways to help include improving your pre-consult education, improving your customer service response rate, focusing on relationships more than transactions, and cross-promoting your services with combined therapies for a WOW result.

2. Marketing and Advertising

You need both to generate quality leads, as well as a sales process that converts those leads to paying patients. This isn’t easy, but it’s vital to your success. Invest in the channels that give you the best quality leads, use a customer relationship management (CRM) system that allows you to keep track of, nurture, and follow up with leads, and train your staff to professionally convert callers and consults to paid procedures.

3. Systems and Processes

When consulting with practices, I find most of them can’t scale because they don’t have systems and processes in place for things like hiring A-Players, meeting regularly, or focusing on a great patient experience. 

That means their team is often “winging it” to get things done, with no clear direction or scripts, and running to you for the answers. This is an inefficient, disorganized way of doing business and it kills your bottom line in several ways:

  • It diverts your attention from your primary focus on patient care.
  • It holds you back from scaling because new hires must be trained from scratch.
  • It makes your practice virtually unsellable because it can’t operate without you.
  • It causes burn out for you and your best staff who have to soldier the brunt of the responsibilities.

I suggest hiring a competent person to oversee this side of your practice or at least hire a consultant to put systems in place and increase your efficiencies. 

4. Happy Staff 

One of the smartest things you can do in business is seeing your staff as your revenue-generating team. They spend more time with your patients than you do, so, if they are happy, they will do a better job taking care of your patients. 

That will, in turn, inspire your patients to return more often, refer more, and stay with you longer. 

So how do you keep your staff happy? Hire A-Players who share your values and vision and pay them well. Meet with them often and get their feedback. That shows you respect and appreciate them. And mix in fun events to keep them happy and engaged.

Why bother? Because keeping your team happy is much cheaper than employee churn which costs at least 3X more. And, Forbes reported in one study, “Happy Staff are up to 20% more productive than unhappy staff”.

run a cosmetic practice

5. Be the CEO of Your Practice

If you want to win, then you must think, act, and be the CEO of your practice. That means being adaptable to change and leading your team. 

This industry is changing constantly and so is technology, digital marketing, and patient tastes, so your job is to invest in yourself. Rather than chase the next shiny object; instead, focus on the leadership and business skills required to be an effective CEO. 

Once you get that your success is based on these fundamentals run a cosmetic practice that grow and scale your practice, your revenues will increase, your staff drama will decrease, and you’ll enjoy your practice more because you’re progressing. Nice, huh?


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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 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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