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Ep.115: 3 Common Mistakes Plastic Surgeons Make

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Beauty and the Biz

3 Common Mistakes Plastic Surgeons Make

3 common mistakes plastic surgeons make in their practice are often overlooked. However, they affect your bottom line more than you realize.

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

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

See if you are making any of these common mistakes that plastic surgeons make 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 for you are vital to your success.

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

While working as a business and marketing consultant to cosmetic practices for decades, 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, getting consents, but you find out
    it’s not happening;
  • The receptionist is not the right fit for the front desk and is losing callers, 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.

Daily Duties Exercise

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 actually perform throughout the day and record the amount of time that it takes for them to complete each task.

They’ll do this real-time so you get an accurate accounting of what they actually do. NOT what you think they do. 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 also shows you those who rushed through the assignment and carelessly completed 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.

It will also indicate who does what. So many times, a certain team member was doing certain tasks and when they left the practice, nobody picked up where they left off.

Or, you have 2 or 3 different team members ordering inventory with no one person responsible. So, they either order too much or not at all since they assumed someone else would handle it.

Here’s 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 in their circle of influence. That includes friends, family members, colleagues, neighbors, hair stylists, gym buddies, etc.

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 word-of-mouth referrals is to set up systems that happen automatically as part of your processes so your patients know you value them and their referrals.

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 their before/after photos and here’s what they said:

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

But to succeed with this, it’s all in the presentation.

The best time to provide a patient with their photos is at their post-op appointment when they are healed and happy. This is the time when they will be most excited about their results.

Presented them with 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 in the notecard so their friends can contact you to book their own consultation with you.

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

Another simple, yet effective process to grow your practice is with 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 an eye-catching gorgeous display and customized gift bags.

A sign that reads “Need a Quick Gift?” is sure to grab the attention of those busy patients 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 and it’s convenient for patients needing a quick gift their family and friends will love. 

And common MISTAKE #3 is Not having a clear patient attraction plan in place

The last of the 3 Common Mistakes Plastic Surgeons Make is not having a marketing plan.

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 your current patients, as well as new perspective patients online looking for cosmetic rejuvenation.

Because in today’s noisy world, you need up to 31 points of contact to get someone’s attention so you need to be everywhere your preferred prospective cosmetic patients are.

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:

  • Themed emails
  • Fun social media posts
  • Website banners leading to opt-in pages to collect their name, email & cell phone
  • In-house signage and
  • Texting

And, once you create your new patient attraction plan, be sure to assign tasks to each team member to ensure things get 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.

Example of Monthly Marketing Plan

Here’s an 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”

Now make a list of tasks and who is responsible. For example:

  • Google ads for Tummy Tuck and Mommy Makeover (Web Company)
  • Website spotlights with videos explaining Tummy Tuck and Mommy Makeover (Surgeon)
  • Email to Patient List with January tummy tuck special (assigned to Karen)
  • Social Media Posts – 2x per week (assigned to Sandy)
  • In-house Signage (assigned to Sue)
  • Add more MM 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 3 common mistakes that plastic surgeons make, 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.

Just leave me a message at and I’ll get back to you.

Ok, that’s it for this week and I hope you got a lot of value from this.

If so, please subscribe to Beautyy and the biz and share it with your staff and colleagues.

If you want to talk more about your specific situation, just leave me a message at or DM me on Instagram.

And, if you haven’t done so already, please subscribe to Beauty and the Biz and leave me a review since that helps me reach a larger audience.

Thanks so much and talk soon!

📖 Get a Copy of Catherine’s FREE Book
​📲 Schedule a FREE 30-Minute Strategy Call with Catherine


​➡️ Robert Singer, MD FACS – Former President, The Aesthetic Society
​➡️ Grant Stevens, MD FACS – Former President, ASAPS
➡️ E. Gaylon McCollough, MD FACS – Former President, AAFPRS, ABFPRS, AACS

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Picture of 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.


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.



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