Success is not easy in today’s competitive business climate. The medical aesthetic industry continues to grow significantly along with the number of competitors in the marketplace. For this reason, it is important to follow tried-and-true principles to help your practice remain consistent and successful.

Timeless Principles

Although every practice is unique, most successful practices share similar characteristics that enable them to rise above their competitors. To increase your chances of achieving success, emulate these key characteristics that are shared among thriving practices.

Follow a meaningful vision/mission statement.

Every great achievement starts with a vision. Creating an impactful mission statement allows your practice to communicate its desired identity to external customers and your internal team. When you and your team have a clear understanding of your vision/mission, it can be used as a guiding principle in strategic planning and everyday decision-making. Think about the core values and guiding principles you would like your business to represent, and then ask yourself: What are we great at? How are we different/better at what we do? What value do we provide our patients and community? Take the time to answer these questions, and you will be well on your way to forming an impactful mission statement.

Embrace a lead-by-example philosophy.

Leadership is a critical pillar of success in every thriving practice. As the leader, you must recognize that everybody is watching everything you do, including your patients and staff. It is critical to demonstrate a strong work ethic, punctuality, and a calm demeanor when faced with challenges. The example you set will be followed by your employees, so make sure you are putting your best foot forward every single day.

Hire the right people.

Every time you hire a new employee, it impacts the work environment and the company culture. When searching for the right candidate, it is important that you do not solely focus on specific skills and experience. While skills and experience are important, so is finding employees who have values and beliefs similar to those of the practice. To find people who are the best fit for your practice, be sure to include questions during the recruiting and interviewing process that help determine if your goals are aligned.

Have a detailed onboarding process in place.

Having a seamless onboarding process is critical in helping new employees start off on the right foot, allowing them to work quickly toward independence. Begin by building a checklist of the different items that must be taught or completed before an employee can work independently. Use the checklist to create a training calendar that allows you to keep your new employees on track while allowing them to hold themselves accountable for their education.

Encourage personal and professional growth.

Your best employees will likely be looking for a career path that offers personal and professional growth opportunities. Creating an environment of learning and development starts by offering educational opportunities whenever possible. Make detailed job descriptions—which outline essential skills and responsibilities—available for all practice positions. This helps your employees visualize their career path and understand what developments they need to make to get there. Great people are always looking for new challenges and ways to develop—be the kind of employer that cultivates that desire.

Recognize and reward employees.

Building a culture of recognition in your practice can positively impact company culture and employee morale. Having a system in place that regularly evaluates each employee’s performance based on his or her role and responsibilities is a critical first step in creating a culture of recognition. It is also critically important that you do not wait until the annual review to give feedback and recognition. Feedback should be a regular part of your conversations with employees, and positive feedback on a job well done is a great form of recognition that motivates employees.

Understand “marketing” is more than ads.

Many medical aesthetic practices limit their marketing to a list of monthly specials that is sent via email blast to customers, posted on all social media platforms, and displayed on a sign in their office. Unfortunately, simply picking products to discount does not drive new patients into your practice as much as it benefits current patients. It is critical you set a marketing budget and build a strategic marketing plan around that budget to attract new patients to your practice.

Adopt a patient-centric approach.

Patient interactions are not interruptions to your day—they are the only reason you are in business. To be successful, it is critical that you run an efficient practice that has systems and processes in place that enable your team to handle daily challenges. It is equally critical that these systems and processes benefit your patients by improving their quality of care and overall experience. When patients are dissatisfied with their experience at your practice, it is generally because they feel a staff member was rude or indifferent toward them. Sometimes these perceptions occur when we are trying to work efficiently and are not giving patients the level of attention they expect. Remember that trying to be efficient with your time when dealing with patients should not manifest in the form of being abrupt. Take the time to listen to patient needs and concerns, then adapt your systems or processes if they are not patient-centric enough.

Embrace the community.

The more active and visible you are in the community, the more you become a part of it. Show that you are a pillar in the business community by getting involved in local initiatives and frequenting other local establishments. As you become more entrenched in the local culture, opportunities will develop to partner and co-market with businesses that service similar demographics.

Demonstrate fiscal responsibility.

Delivering the best possible patient experience, embodying a desirable company culture, and attracting the right employees requires your medical aesthetic practice have a strong financial standing. Consider monitoring your operating expense ratio on a regular basis to ensure your expenses are appropriately allocated based on revenue production. Calculate this ratio by dividing your total expenses by your total practice revenue. Understanding your financial health will help you make informed decisions when considering expanding your practice.

Sustainable Success

Keeping your practice relevant, respected, and successful is a challenge, especially when considering the ever-growing and increasingly competitive business environment. It is critical to the long-term success of your practice to continue finding new ways to improve the patient experience and employee satisfaction. Use the 10 characteristics of successful practices listed above to thrive in today’s competitive business landscape and achieve sustainable success!

Matt Moskowitz is a management consultant with the Allergan Practice Consulting Group of Allergan, PLC, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

Mr. Moskowitz consults with medical aesthetic practices in areas of financial analysis, practice valuations, practice management issues, internal and external marketing, leadership training and team building, sales training, compensation methodology, and aesthetic practice development.

Mr. Moskowitz has more than 15 years of successful field-based sales, sales training, and sales management experience across the entire Western region of the United States. Prior to joining the Allergan Practice Consulting Group, he served as an area sales manager in the eye care division of Allergan.