Opening an aesthetic practice involves a lot of research and decisions, regardless of whether you are starting from the ground up or extending your existing practice. Key factors to consider include determining how you will generate income from this practice, how to market your services, and how to decide the pricing you will charge for your services.
What types of procedures you will offer and how you will charge for these procedures? Do you want to be a specialty division of the industry, offering niche procedures such as cellulite treatments only? Or will you be offering a wide range of procedures, from Botox® to Laser to dermal fillers?
Regardless of all these factors, it is important to remember that all these treatments are perceived as a medical luxury. With the right marketing to the correct clientele, you will find that customers will pay a premium to receive the best service.
Consider the following criteria when deciding your costs and promoting your practice:
Aesthetic Equipment & Supplies
How much will the cost of equipment and medicine used be? Botox®, Juvederm, a laser or body shaping machine – they all cost money. Items that can be bought in units, such as Botox®, can often be reduced in price if you bulk buy. Larger machines will be a large purchase up front, but will often pay for themselves in short time.
Again, it is important to have a concrete business plan in place, because you don’t want to waste money on a machine that won’t ever get used, so ensure you know what types of treatments you offer before you start buying equipment.
Time Requirements of Aesthetic Procedures
The time required for the physician or specialist to perform the procedure is a consideration that needs a measured approach. Treatments such as Botox® are an obvious winner in aesthetic practices, as they cost very little and can generate significant revenue and cross-selling opportunities. It’s a good idea to employ a licensed nurse to perform the injections, who will be able to do up to 10 treatments in a day. The most lucrative procedures can be the ones that cost the least and take the least time to perform.
Your Aesthetic Client Base
Where will your clientele come from? This is an important factor to understand and maximize for the success of your practice. Before you begin pricing and purchasing equipment and supplies for your practice, ensure that there is sufficient demand for these services in your specific market. If you are a medical doctor that is making the jump from a standard practice, consider educating your existing patients about your new venture and the treatments you offer. If you are starting up, consider the services of a consultant to help get your marketing off the ground.
Specialized Staffing Needs
Consider the skill set and experience of the physician or staff that are performing the procedures: If you will be specializing in treatments that don’t require licensing, such as microdermabrasion or peels, you will likely be able to reduce payroll costs by paying an esthetician’s wage. If you are employing someone with a more unique skill set, such as someone that can perform laser hair removal or more invasive treatments, it will impact your overall payroll.
Overhead and Planning
How much your general overhead and operating costs will be includes factors such as heating and powering your building, rent costs, payroll, supplies and anything else conducive to the everyday function of the business. Location is a factor here as well. If you are in a high profile area, such as a busy urban center, your building rental costs will be more.
When planning and developing your practice, ensure that a solid business plan is in place. Get to know the clientele you will be reaching out to, and what services they are interested in. Don’t waste time or money on services that are not catering to your niche market.
Social Media posting is very important in a practice but it is very time consuming therefore you will want to invest in a Social Media service to post to your platforms. Outsourcing your Social Media Marketing will help with your practice engagement and is a great ROI.
Ensure that you hire trained professionals, and although it may be tempting to offer specialty pricing during the initial setup of your business, make sure you charge the appropriate price later for sustainable profits. After all, aesthetic treatments are considered a luxury item, and the right clients will pay the premium price.
Use Google and Bing SEO to bring in patients. People use search engines to look up everything, whether it is a product they want or a service they require. A clinic’s potential patients are also Google and Bing Users and to get the attention of these users you need SEO marketing. SEO helps generate traffic and offers a high rate of conversion because the people who open your website by looking up SEO keywords are those who actually need your services. A practice can significantly benefit from using keywords targeted at the local audience and attract more patients to their clinic.
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