Cold, Hard Facts and Stats: How to Slay in the Aesthetic Space

Posted By Madilyn Moeller, Wednesday, July 28, 2021

image of light bulb against blackboard with six connected idea circles

By Terri Ross, CEO, APX by Terri Ross

If you'e been around my tribe for a while now, you probably have heard me talk multiple times about knowing your "why." Your "why," according to Simon Sinek in his famous Ted Talk, is the purpose, cause or belief that drives every one of us.

My "why" is to shed light and provide truths about the aesthetics industry and to use my real-world experience to educate and provide solutions for as many providers and practices as possible. In other words, my "why" is to serve, support and truly create an impact on your practice, people and experience to patients.

That's why I wanted to share some cold, hard facts—the latest medical aesthetic industry statistics—as well as the top concerns, requests for help and traits of the most successful practices I'e uncovered as I'e been traveling and speaking at conferences around the country.

Top Four Areas of Concerns/Gaps

The global aesthetic market is currently valued at $13.8 billion. Let that sink in a second. It's crazy, right? It's expected to reach $47 billion by the year 2030. With insurance reimbursements so low and everyone wanting to look good and feel good coming off the pandemic, so many providers want to switch gears from traditional medical practices and get into the aesthetic space.

I have found that there is a significant gap and lack of business acumen in the industry when it comes to understanding finances. There are all kinds of clinical training courses out there, and I know you all strive to be the best medical providers you can be. However, there is no MBA program on the business side of aesthetic medicine. That's why I'm even more committed to my "why" and providing the tools and solutions you need to launch, grow or scale your practice. I'm the bridge to get you to where you want to be, faster and more efficiently, so you can increase profitability.

According to the American Med Spa Association's (AmSpa's) 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report:

  • 60% of practices cannot calculate their total expenses.
  • 30% cannot estimate their revenue.
  • 21% can't determine their revenue sources.
  • 50% can't calculate expenses as part of their total revenue.

So, why am I sharing these statistics with you? It's because I am so humbled and honored to have developed APX, our new growth and training platform that provides solutions to every pain point and gap in the aesthetic industry. APX was the result of my 20 years of managing and leading sales teams, along with my team's real-world experience launching and scaling medical spas in Beverly Hills and around the country, and more than 12 years of private consulting with individual aesthetic practices.

APX's training modules, financial optimization calculators, marketing analytics dashboard and industry benchmarking data components address the top four requested needs for both plastic surgery and medical spa practices.

Sales training. Sales is the lifeblood of any business. We need to get people in the door, but that is a moot point unless your team:

  • is highly trained in how to convert phone and web leads;
  • has the knowledge of what services and procedures you offer and can discuss the features and benefits;
  • can articulate your unique value proposition (UVP) in 20 seconds;
  • has honed their communication methods and tactics to listen, ask the right questions, qualify, overcome objections and convert consultations;
  • can build long-term treatment plans; can nurture your existing patients; and
  • has mastered the art of following up.

APX features a robust, self-paced, sales training curriculum for your entire team with built-in accountability and talk tracks.

Understanding financial data. So many practices have their practice management software (PMS) and have no idea of what reports to run, what key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure or how to analyze their data to make informed decisions. Our finance course within APX teaches you, step by step, how to use the data from your PMS and determine which reports to run, how to budget and forecast, how to calculate your costs of goods and services, how to determine your profit per treatment and your revenue per hour so you can determine which services yield the highest profit, and how to create aesthetically pleasing profit and loss statements.

Compliance. The laws are changing so rapidly, and every state has different regulations for which provider can perform which service and how to compensate your team. You can't pay commission, so you must carefully structure your compensation. The financial training course within APX includes a module on compensation structure and strategies. AmSpa has taken the lead on developing awareness and creating legal education on compliance. ByrdAdatto, the law firm associated with AmSpa, can help make sure your practice is set up for success and ensure you have the right standard operating procedures, contracts and structure in place.

Marketing. Marketing is vitally important in this industry. To allocate your marketing dollars appropriately and make sure they are well-spent, you must have a strategy in place. You must know which verticals make the most sense for your practice. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok, email marketing, LinkedIn—it can be overwhelming and tempting to do them all. Where are your ideal clients hanging out? If you don't know this, you should spend some time researching and cultivating your client avatar. Consistency with posting is key, as you can't just post something once or twice. (Marketing spend should be a 3 to 1 ratio.)

Marketing spend on average should be 10% of your total revenue. If you have a new practice, it can go as high as 20%. However, you must know where your marketing dollars are best spent; otherwise, you are just throwing spaghetti against the wall and wasting money. Again, this is where knowing your profit per treatment and your revenue per hour come into play, and the financial optimization calculators within APX become invaluable. You want to spend your marketing budget on the treatments and services that are going to yield you the highest return on investment. APX's social analytics dashboard allows you to connect and monitor and analyze your practice's performance on up to 50 channels at once.

Top Six Things Successful Practices Do

The highest-performing athletes in the world don't rise to the top by accident. It takes years and years of training, dedication, mindset and practice to be the best. The same holds true in our industry. Being in the top 1% of aesthetic medicine practices doesn't happen by chance. Here are the top six things that successful practices do.

Have a plan. I don't mean a goal like, "I want to grow 20% this year"—I mean a detailed plan with a forecast, budget and clarity on their most profitable treatments or services. Then, follow that plan like it is a bible and make tweaks and adjustments if necessary.

Understand their value proposition. Could every member of your team communicate your UVP and why people should come to you instead of the practice down the street? If not, that is an area of opportunity you should work on right now.

Offer the right mix of services. The most successful practices offer the right mix of services and treatments that their market demands and that yield a high return on investment (ROI).

Invest in training. Invest in sales and finance training for your team. A team is a collective group of people with the same vision and mission as you. Create a positive team culture that focuses on catering to client needs—not just a bunch of clock punchers. Set them up for success and give them the tools and resources they need—the ROI will be worth it, I promise.

Understand, track and measure data. I know it sounds a bit scary because most of us don't know what to do. Taking the time to learn these skills will give you the ultimate freedom and set you up for success.

Maximize consultations and focus on patient retention. At times you're in a hurry and tend to rush the consultation process to see the next patient. Oftentimes, providers take a symptomatic approach, meaning they only talk to patients about the one thing that they came in for. The top practices prioritize the consultation as time to educate, listen, overcome objections and, ultimately, convert the prospect to a client. They focus on educating patients on what other options are possible to achieve the best possible outcome and develop long-term treatment plans to increase the lifetime value of the patient.

Did you know that the average patient spend is only $459? This number comes directly from statistical validated benchmarking data from the American Society of Plastic Surgery, available through APX, and from the AmSpa Industry Report. That's not a lot of money, so you can see how creating a long-term treatment plan is vital to the overall lifetime value of a patient and retention rates.

So how does your practice measure up? Do you want to train like an athlete?

Terri Ross is a renowned practice management consultant, international speaker in the aesthetic industry, and founder and CEO of Terri Ross Consulting and APX by Terri Ross. APX is an integrative, solutions-based platform for the medical aesthetics industry focused on sales, finance and operations, along with web-based software that features proprietary financial optimization calculators and analytical tools to keep a pulse on the most critical elements of a growing practice that has proven to increase efficiency and profitability. Ross has more than 15 years of experience working with Fortune 500 medical device companies, leading sales teams to peak performance, consistently ranking in the top 10%. In addition, she has more than 12 years of experience and a track record of success working with hundreds of aesthetic practices across the country to launch, grow and scale to upwards of 600% growth.

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