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Medical Spa Success Series: Start with a Plan!

February 16, 2009 |

Jeff Russell, IAPAM  For the last couple of months, I’ve been working on creating the “7 Keys to a Successful Aesthetic Practice / Medical Spa” guidebook for owners of aesthetic practices and medical spas. This guidebook has the latest information on how many of the IAPAM‘s physician members, faculty, and industry experts are successfully competing in today’s economy. For the next several weeks, I’m going to be sharing those findings with you. In this first installment, I want you to understand the importance of having a game plan or business plan when operating an aesthetic practice.

Ultimately, in today’s economy, and given the growth in accessibility and acceptance of aesthetic medicine procedures, it is very important that physicians understand: “what is working” and “what is not” in medical spas and aesthetic practices.

A business plan is a written document that describes all aspects of your business: your service, your prospective customers, the competition, your marketing plan, your management team, how the business will be financed, and anything else that is needed to implement the business. It can be called the “Road Map” for your aesthetic practice.

A business plan is critical for business success, and it is especially important when adding aesthetic medical procedures to your practice. Not only is it necessary if you are going to require financing, but it will act as a blueprint for building a successful aesthetic medical practice.

You should have a clear strategy of what services, procedures and products you will offer. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. An aesthetic medical practice typically combines medical and aesthetic procedures along with complementary skin care products. When you start any business, you’ll soon encounter challenges you didn’t expect, or things that didn’t work out the way you expected. This happens to everyone, but what is important is that everyone encounters challenges and you need to be prepared.

When dealing with these challenges, it’s important you don’t loose sight of the big picture. The big picture is always the focus of the business and the business plan.

For example, what are you going to do if the nail and hair salon around the corner starts offering “laser hair removal” at half your price? If you are not getting many referrals from existing patients, what are you going to do about it? These are the types of questions that are answered at the IAPAM’s aesthetic practice startup workshop.

Jeff Russell

Executive-Director, IAPAM

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