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MAX Your Practice Worth — with Catherine Maley, MBA (Ep. 249)

Hello, and welcome to Beauty and the Biz where we’ll talk about how to max your practice worth. To be sure, we’ll also discuss the business and marketing side of plastic surgery, in general

Indeed, I’m your host, Catherine Maley, author of “Your Aesthetic Practice – What your patients are saying”. Also, I’m a consultant to plastic surgeons, to get them more patients and more profits.

Presenting today’s episode titled, “MAX Your Practice Worth — with Catherine Maley, MBA ”.

This podcast is for you if you’ve been in practice for a few decades or only a few months and everyone in between because if you don’t figure out the ever-changing business landscape, you’ve only created a job for yourself.

That’s not a bad thing if that’s what you want. But the goal is to be sure you’re clear what you’re working towards, so you’re satisfied with the outcome now and when it’s time to grow and/or exit.

I would think your overall objective is to set up your cosmetic surgical practice 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, with the people you most enjoy being with.

⬇️ Click below to hear “MAX Your Practice Worth — with Catherine Maley, MBA”.

I’ll start with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said:

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”.

You already mastered surgery so the next step is to master the business and marketing side of surgery.

THAT is what catapults you to success and a more certain future.

However, that is the very thing that holds you back….the surgery. You went through hell to become a surgeon and you’re good at it. But you soon realize being a good surgeon isn’t enough.

It takes business and marketing finesse to build a busy surgical practice.

But in a cosmetic practice, you, the surgeon are the technician performing the surgery, but you’re also juggling the jobs of the business owner, visionary, and manager and that takes different skill sets. It’s also 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”.

So, here are the main success principles to focus on to get your practice off the ground, grow it year after year and weather the storms along the way:

Success Principle #1 on how to max your practice worth:

Build a Team of Rock Stars

Hiring the right team for your practice will be your biggest challenge but also your greatest asset. Because it’s all about the WHO.

Jim Collins, Author of Good to Great) says:

“The most important decisions that businesspeople make are not
“what” decisions, but “who” decisions.
  

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 bottom line; and
  • And did you know a bad hire costs at least 15X their salary in lost productivity?

That is a problem that is not going away so do everyone a favor and take care of it sooner rather than later.

So your new motto is…..  Hire Slow – Fire Fast

The point is to 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, It’s time to view staff as an asset vs. a liability.

They ARE your secret practice-building weapons 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.

So what about Pay and Perks?

The rule is, Don’t overpay on the hire. They must prove themselves first, since you can always add to but not take a way from their pay. 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 rather than overpay,  list all the perks they get 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, ½ day Fridays, attend industry conferences, free training, complementary services and so on…

Regarding bonuses, I realize there are all sorts of fee-splitting issues within our industry; however, I’m a huge believer in bonusing staff when they go above and beyond what’s expected of them.

So, rather than pay direct commission (which could be seen as fee-splitting), 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. And today’s staff doesn’t stay with you just for the money, so include:

  • Acknowledgement since 70% of employees leave a job because
    they don’t feel appreciated.
  • Fun Work Environment
  • Camaraderie
  • Clarity
  • 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.

Success Principle #2 on how to hax your practice worth:

Build a smooth-running operation

Streamlined operations increase the value and marketability of your practice for several reasons. Well-defined processes add consistency and reliability to patient care. Now your cosmetic patients have a consistent patient experience every time and that leads to not only patient satisfaction but also long-term loyalty.

Smooth operations increase efficiency and reduces waste of resources and overhead costs. You’re eliminating unnecessary steps and bottlenecks, as well as preventable mistakes costing you time, money, and aggravation. This clarity also attracts and retains the best team players because they enjoy working for a practice that has well thought-out systems that allow them to do their job most efficiently.

To make this happen, document every step in the patient experience. Details count so take your time. Now brainstorm with your team how to improve it. Get it in writing so any team member can reference the document. The time you spend on this will pay off handsomely in time and money savings later.

Then, there is Success Principle #3 on how to max your practice worth:

Automated Marketing Systems

The objective is to have a strategic marketing plan that uses technology and creative strategies to attract more cosmetic patients to your practice and convert them into paid procedures AND do it profitably.

In today’s uber competitive market, finding and nurturing prospective cosmetic patients can be a daunting task that can’t be ignored. Because leads are the lifeblood of a cosmetic practice. When they stop – you stop and so do your consultations, surgeries and revenues.

The secret is to have many “poles in the pond” so you have leads coming in from all fronts. So, if one marketing channel flops or closes on you, you still have the other marketing channels working.

Because  “The key to success is not doing more it’s doing more of what works”

When you know how to leverage technology and the latest marketing strategies to attract a steady stream of cosmetic patients, while keeping your lead generation costs down, that increases your practice’s profitability and transferability to a buyer.

But please keep in mind – 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. It’s quality over quantity, which means you do less but get a better result because you slow down and go deeper.

So, yes, Increase the # of Leads by setting up automatic assets that get you more leads.

For example,

Organic content on your website that google ranks

Google adwords for key words

Social media so would-be patients follow and interact with you
opt-in form on your website for visitors to book a consult to name a few

Then Follow your successes.

This is so obvious; it’s easily missed. You monitor the particulars of who gave you money. Pull reports called Revenues by referral source because you want to track how they heard about you.

You also want to note the procedure they had as well as the demographics such as age and zip code because you will see trends that you’ll want to capitalize on and budget proportionately to those successes. Now you map out a Marketing Mix plan to reach more of those demographics that have proven to be a profitable target market.

Doesn’t that make more sense?

Now that you have leads coming in, you want to Increase the # of Appointments scheduled.

You can get leads all day but can your receptionist convert them to a scheduled consultation with you? In a nutshell, here are the 5 phone fixes that make all the difference in your receptionist being able to book a caller to an appointment:

  • Answer the phone within 2 rings with a warm, friendly human
  • Ask How They Heard About You
  • Promote you, the Surgeon, as the best choice
  • ASK for the Appointment
  • Collect Contact Info 

Please be sure you have the right person representing you on the phones or let me know if you need help with that.

Then you want to increase the # of Consultations by Decreasing the No-Shows

How many of the prospective patients who book an appointment actually show up? You block time for a consultation, and if your prospective patients are not showing up for their appointments, your valuable time is wasted, so here’s what you do.

First, you establish a cancellation policy and then live by it. For example, you get their credit card upfront and either a charge a consultation fee or at least get a credit card to reserve time and the reservation is only charged if they do not cancel within 24 hours. Then call/email and text reminders. Keep in mind, nobody needs cosmetic rejuvenation so you want to help prospective patients make this a priority on their schedule.

Now you want to Increase # of Converted Consultations

How well do you and your patient coordinator convert consultations into procedures? Everything that happened until this point is just “pre-marketing”. You don’t get paid for consultations. You only get paid if you can successfully convert a consultation into a paid procedure. Therefore, THIS step has the biggest impact on your bottom line. The better you convert consultations into procedures, the more revenues you’ll make for your practice.

I have been training coordinators to convert consultations for years, so if you need help with that, check out www.convertingacademy.com.

Then you want to Increase # of Returning Patients

If your patients are NOT returning, they most likely are still getting aesthetic rejuvenation. They are just not getting it FROM YOU. Sorry!

You cater to a very hungry audience with endless needs. The patients who care about how they look and feel have all sorts of concerns you can address NOW AND for years to come thanks to the relentless aging process.

So, you want to Cross Promote Your Services

Cosmetic Patients enter your practice through many doors. That means a patient who came in for Botox will often work their up the ladder to surgery or other big-ticket procedures and those who came in for surgery are much more likely to now be open to your minimally-invasive procedures and skin care treatments to stay looking good and feeling great.

You have so much leverage here because you already did the hard part, which was spending time, money, and effort attracting this patient to you. Now it takes only minimal effort to keep them coming back. This is how you max your practice worth. You set up a cosmetic patient attraction and conversion blueprint that keeps money flowing through your practice.

And last but not least is Success Principle #4 on how to max your practice worth:

Is to Set Standards so You Don’t Compete on Price

If you believe cosmetic patients believe there is no difference between you and your competitors, all they have to go on is price as their determining factor. But we know there’s way more to it.

If aesthetic rejuvenation was based solely on price, this would always be about the lowest price and that would turn into a race to the bottom and then nobody wins. It’s only about price until YOU add in other determining factors to help the prospective patient consider the VALUE they get.

Patients Weigh Their Options

When a cosmetic patient questions your price, they are really doing a cost-benefit analysis in their heads and asking:

“What am I getting from you that I’m NOT getting  from your competitor for that higher price?”

Patients select their surgeon based on the perception they are getting “better”. Better really equals more benefits, less risks and/or less hassle and that equals peace of mind, certainty and reassurance.

Actually, contrary to popular belief, the majority of cosmetic patients rarely decide based on price alone. Affordability – yes but price alone – rarely.

Pricing Starts with Your Own Mindset

Get very clear about your value and what you stand for. Have conviction and believe in yourself and your prices. If you believe you deserve top dollar because you do great work, then price your services for your “preferred” patients. Those are the patients who see you as a skilled, reputable plastic surgeon and they are glad to pay more for your expertise so they can be confident they’ll get a great result safely.  

So, determine what’s most important to your preferred patients and give it to them. For example, is it price, procedures, technology, innovation, expertise, credibility, status, convenience, quality and/or 5-star customer service?

Once you have clarity about your preferred patients, you attract more of them and deter everyone else. Now you and your staff have more time and energy to focus on the serious prospective patients who are looking for quality and service more than saving a few dollars.

So, to recap, the success principles on how to max your practice worth to focus on are:

Build a team of rock stars

With smooth-running processes that keep your office running smoothly and your staff on their game.

And you have an automated marketing system for attracting AND converting new cosmetic patients, that generates cashflow predictably

While Setting Standards so You Don’t Compete on Price

And, of course, If you could use some help to max the worth of your practice, let’s do a strategy call to ensure you are building a worthy asset….

Visit www.Catherinealey.com to set it up and we’ll talk soon.

That’s it for this episode of beauty and the biz Please feel free to share this with your colleagues and staff, and check out more free resources on my website at www.Catherinealey.com.

And you can always DM me on Instagram @CatherineMaleyMBA.

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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

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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