Starting a Botox practice can feel as risky and unfamiliar as starting a new business, even if you are a seasoned aesthetic medical practitioner. While you can’t anticipate every problem you will encounter, here are 6 common mistakes we see practitioners make when starting a new Botox practice, and how to avoid them.
Hiring Too Quickly
For all practices, new or experienced, physicians shouldn’t try to do everything by themselves, but they should weigh the costs of adding staff and the value-add new staff will be to the practice. So take your time during the hiring process, and only hire when needed. It will be much easier to hire more people later on than to deal with the alternative of insufficient funds or inexperienced staff. As you search for nurses, medical assistants, receptionists, scribes, and other positions you may need, keep in mind that it is easy to recruit more than are actually required. This can set your practice back financially, and cause headaches down the line.
Start slowly and evaluate the open position’s demand; think about why you need to hire someone and try to anticipate the number of employees you will need to fill that demand. Don’t rush into it. Make sure to fully vet all employees so that you remain aware of their experience and background in aesthetic training. If you feel hesitant about someone, trust your gut and wait for a better candidate to come along.
Growing Too Quickly
Similar to hiring too quickly, growth should be managed steadily. A private practice takes time, energy, and commitment. New ideas and ventures are exciting, and opening a Botox practice is certainly a great next step, but it’s easy to get carried away and grow beyond your means. This idea may seem paradoxical at first, but rapid growth can result in a few additional mistakes:
- You may make financial mistakes.
- Your practice can lose productivity because you cannot serve the number of customers you have with a limited number of employees.
- Employees may become mismanaged and thus make mistakes, which can affect how your practice is perceived by clients.
While it may seem good to grow quickly, you need to ensure that your Botox practice is prepared to manage the growth. Review your practice’s financial health regularly, assess the ratio of clients to employees, and adjust as needed—this way, you will grow steadily with fewer issues.
Do not neglect marketing because it is the most powerful tool at your disposal for gaining new patients. Review your website to ensure it looks professional, clean, and accessible. It also helps to hire professionals who can help structure your website for search engine optimization (SEO), a process that helps your Botox practice reach more people online.
Don’t forget internal marketing, which will include your staff, front counter, and anything else a potential patient will see after walking through your doors. For example, you will need to enact policies for front of staff to ensure a professional demeanor, such as no cell phone usage while patients are in the lobby, or something as simple as not chewing gum. Think about the feeling you would like to convey to patients as they walk in: what should your staff be doing, how should the front desk be organized, and what posters and botox certifications should fill the walls for decor or information?
Much like with marketing, an important factor that can help you acquire new patients is networking. However, many physicians starting new Botox practices neglect this because they are focused on their business. This can result in missed growth opportunities. Keep in contact with hospitals, facilities, and other physicians in your area because they can help provide publicity and referrals, and host events that you can attend for further networking.
Related Post: Top 5 Benefits of Joining the AAAMS Aesthetic Network
Investing In The Wrong Tech
When starting, it can be easy to overdo, or even underestimate, your tech investments. Ensure you stock up on vital supplies and relative equipment like laser therapy equipment or high-frequency desiccators. Liposuction equipment can be beneficial to your practice, but you are not likely to need something like life-support equipment. Start slowly and add more equipment as their demand increases because you don’t want to invest in expensive equipment that you never use.
If you’re worried about spending too much, or not enough, one of the best ways to ensure that you’re spending is on point is through proper management of your budgets and finances, and by consulting an expert.
Some financial issues must be dealt with before the Botox practice opens. Your taxes may change depending on your practice. For example, a 501(a) Corporation may qualify for certain tax benefits, like no income tax, that a Professional Limited Liability Company (LLC) wouldn’t. While your practice won’t be a nonprofit organization, it is worth reviewing the different tax expectations for each type of practice.
When your initial finances are sorted, don’t fall into the trap of neglecting continued financial management. Medical coding, translating medical documents, patient diagnosis, prescriptions, and other patient-related costs will be your responsibility as the physician. Many physicians may over or under code, both of which negatively impact a practice’s financials. Under coding equals lost revenue, while overcoming may attract an audit from the government.
Starting new practices is never easy but can be extremely rewarding to those who persevere through the mistakes and growing pains. For help with finances, employee management, technology suggestions, or helpful answers to other questions, remember to check out the forums provided by AAAMS Aesthetic Network. We’re all here to help each other grow.