By including aesthetic medicine in your practice, you will be adding a fierce edge to put your business ahead of the competition. But starting a medical aesthetics practice can feel as risky and unfamiliar as starting a new business, even if you are a seasoned aesthetic medical practitioner.
The aesthetics medicine world is very competitive, so learning as much as you can guarantees your long-term success. It’s hard to avoid a mistake you don’t know about. While you can’t anticipate every problem you will encounter, educating yourself and actively avoiding mistakes other practitioners have made can go a long way.
Treating All Of Your Patients The Same
Every patient you have will be different from the last. Your patients shouldn’t be treated like cookie-cutter versions of one another. There is no one fix-all solution; and a treatment that works for one patient could be useless for another.
Your patients should always feel special when they come to you for their aesthetic needs. Offer your customers an exceptional experience from the time they reach out to you until they have completed their treatment and aftercare. The most successful practitioners treat every patient as if they are the only patient. Get to know each individual to create a stronger relationship. Recognizing each patient’s unique needs and providing solutions to meet those needs will create a good reputation and return customers.
Only Thinking About The Money
You should not be an aesthetic practitioner—or frankly, any type of medical professional—if you are only in it for the money. This field is about helping people and boosting their confidence through their appearance. Performing treatments based on the price tag without truly knowing and investing in your patients’ wellbeing can create a lot of risks and cause serious health issues for patients. Not to mention legal problems that will tarnish your image. If they can afford an expensive treatment, they can probably afford a good lawyer.
Performing Treatment You Should Have Denied
When you’re starting a practice or a new service, it’s natural to want to accept everyone who comes through the door. Seasoned professionals know that this could hurt, rather than help you, in the long run.
Listen to yourself when your mind is telling you to not treat a patient. You have the necessary certifications to make that professional decision. Remain confident in your knowledge and trust that you can make that decision. The best way to prevent an angry or unpleasant scenario with a client to whom you deny treatment is to explain your professional medical reasoning behind your decision.
It is very important to always do what’s in the best interest of your patients, even if it’s not what they want to hear or what will be the most lucrative. Safely putting their needs first will help them trust you for additional treatments and inspire good recommendations to others.
Treating Difficult Areas as a Beginner
Becoming an aesthetic practitioner is exciting, but it is important to ease into it. An overabundance of ambition can negatively affect new practitioners in the long run. Popular treatments are desirable to perform but some are much more difficult to complete successfully than others. Botox injections in the cheeks, for example, are more forgiving than lip fillers.
Begin to build your confidence and perfect your own techniques with dermal filler training and Botox training. As you increase your knowledge and perfect your technique, you’ll be able to move on to more complicated and challenging procedures.
Cutting Your In-Depth Clinical Consultation Short
As a beginning aesthetic practitioner, you need to understand the value of conducting a thorough clinical consultation. This should take a minimum of 45 minutes to complete. Why? The reason is both simple and essential: a good aesthetic practitioner will not perform a treatment simply because a patient asks for it.
It’s important to evaluate a wide range of patient details, both clinical (age, sex, previous treatments, medical or psychological concerns), and subjective. Those subjective details include the patient’s goal for the treatment: do they want to look younger? To feel more confident at work? To maintain or improve upon the results of a previous treatment?
By learning as much as you can about your patient, you’ll be able to formulate a treatment plan that will give them the best possible outcomes.
Injecting too Quickly
The quicker you inject, the more likely you’ll receive bad results. You want your patients to be satisfied and pleasantly surprised by the end product.
When you inject slowly, you will:
- Create a smooth finish rather than unevenness
- Avoid injecting into a blood vessel
- Avoid filling with large volume
- Reduce painfulness for your client
Eliminating the Massage after Performing Lip Fillers
Including a massage to follow every lip filler procedure is necessary to create smoothness. Without massaging post-procedure you risk the presence of lumps and creating an undesirable result. This massage aids in shaping the lips and distributing the product evenly following the procedure.
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.
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.
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.
Not Rewarding Loyalty
Growing your aesthetic practice isn’t just about bringing in new patients. You should continue to focus on current patients as well. And the best way to do that is by creating a loyalty program. A loyalty program is a great way to show existing patients that you appreciate their business. You will incentivize them to share their positive experiences with you and even get them to come back for more services.
Forgetting To Market Yourself
Being able to market yourself is crucial for the growth of your practice. Define what your practice offers and how you want it to be perceived. Digital media is how some of your patients will research treatments and providers, so make sure they find you and not your competitors when they begin their search. If your practice can provide great offers that patients can trust, you will succeed in the long term.
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, the 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?
Doing It All On Your Own
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.
Sharing expertise and experiences is invaluable for aesthetic medical professionals. A community can help you sharpen your skills and add new ones that will improve your practice as well. If you don’t already have a professional network in the aesthetics field, consider how you might find some or choose a training provider that offers opportunities to meet peers. AAAMS offers three different memberships to their Aesthetics Network where you can connect with other aesthetic professionals near you, receive discounts on aesthetic training, and much more.
It is important to have others to relate to as you begin your career in aesthetics. Having a group to communicate and share procedures with can help you grow your own knowledge and develop a sense of camaraderie that makes the work much more enjoyable. Find out more about the AAAMS Aesthetics Network.
Join the AAAMS for Support from Fellow Practitioners
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.
Expanding your aesthetic practice takes some time, but the end result will definitely be worth it when you put in the work. Visit the AAAMS website to enroll in the aesthetic courses or learn about Aesthetic Network memberships to meet and learn from other aesthetic professionals.