Yesterday, I was an invited speaker at Boston University’s School of Hospitality. It was inspirational!
I had the honor to speak with almost 100 students and then enjoy a roundtable discussion with 20 seniors. I was inspired by their excitement, interest, understanding and passion for business. My topic was “The Spa Industry, a Historical Perspective”. In addition to providing them insight into the spa industry I was able to discuss many aspects of an entrepreneurial career.
I was also very impressed with the new Hospitality School building with state of the art facilities. If you know of someone considering a career in hospitality they certainly should spend some time looking at Boston University.
I have to admit that each time I speak at one of our country’s universities I long to go back to school and/or be a university professor. Well that’s not happening anytime soon…I have my oldest Alex in college and his younger brother, Zach entering his freshman year next fall. I guess I’ll have to wait a few years for my turn.
I owe all my faithful blog readers of the past 4 years an apology. For the past 6 months or so I’ve been somewhat quiet going from posting a few times a week to barely once per month.
I’m on a flight to visit one of Acara’s clients in Texas and I just made my first New Years Resolution (wow, only took me the entire month of January to figure one out) and that is to once again post on a regular basis. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to post or my well of business thoughts went dry it’s just been incredibly busy for the past 6 months at Acara. We almost doubled the number of clients in the second 1/2 of 2012.
Many of our clients have already reaped the many benefits of our additional programs. If your interested in discussing how Acara can work with your Medical Spa or Aesthetic Practice please feel free to reach out to us by calling Colleen at 203-488-0028 x 305.
Planning… boring, unsophisticated, nerdy, so yesterday – right? . . . Wrong! Without a plan how do you know where you’re going. Without a plan you are very likely to waste valuable time, energy and money.
It’s almost 2009 and if you don’t have a marketing and promotions plan yet – WAKE UP! Get going, because this is no time for snoozing on the job. Speaking of jobs, with the economy still in a tenuous situation, this is no time to be asleep while your competition sneaks up and whispers in your client’s ears. Work harder than you ever have – if not, there’s someone else ready to take your place; actually there are probably 2 or 3 people ready and able to take your place.
Back to the planning — if you need some guidance, then follow these steps for medical spa / aesthetic practice marketing success:
Vision & Mission – Why, What, Who, How and Where?
Brand – What do your stakeholders say, think and believe about your med spa or practice?
Customer – Who Your Primary Target Audience? Age, Sex, Geography, Income, etc…
Competition – Perform a Competitive Analysis and Secret Shop Your Top Competitors
Trends – Uncover Service and Product Trends and Decide what to Incorporate and what to Drop.
SWOT – Understand your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats
USP – Unique Selling Position – What makes you better than your competition? If you only work on one thing – this would be it! You have to know why your med spa or aesthetic practice over your competitors.
Marketing Strategy – Positioning, Pricing, Promotions and Advertising
Marketing Budget – Determine what you need to accomplish your sales goals
This is a lot of work – but it’s worth it. It may be the difference between ringing in 2010 or not.
The American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has released the results of their recent poll that identifies a drop off in consumers purchasing cosmetic surgery but clearly points to the fact that consumers still remain bullish on minimally invasive procedures that are customary at most Medspas.
I believe the results of this survey point to my position that the market for Medical Spa services continues to expand and the better medical spas with a strong focus on consistent marketing and effective management will succeed even during this tough economic times.
Acara held its first Marketing and Sales Seminar this past Monday, October 27th in Branford, CT.The event was a great success with over 40 people in attendance.Deb Roberts, Acara’s VP Marketing presented the morning session on Marketing your Medical Spa.I presented the afternoon session which focused on Selling Medical Spa Services supported by Sandi Unkrur our Medspa Operations Director and Sales Guru.
Each attendee received a 100 page workbook including numerous handouts and worksheets to help them organize and coordinate their Medspa Marketing and Sales program once back at their spa or practice.In addition, our gold sponsors filled everyone’s duffle bag (Acara’s gift to each attendee) with Benev skin care products and a New Beauty Magazine.Our Platinum Sponsors: Sciton Laser, Robard Corporation and Canfield Imaging Systems presented to the group during lunch and had their technology and products on display throughout the event at their presentation tables. The education sponsors were the Medical Spa Society and the International Medical Spa Association.
We spent over 7 hours sharing our knowledge and expertise.The group had numerous questions that added to the discussion and provided a great networking environment where attendees learned from each other as well as the Acara experts.
While there are very few green spas in the United States, there are even fewer Green Medical Spas. As with the spa industry, the medical spa industry is beginning to realize the impact it has on the environment due to the high use of energy, water and waste. It makes sense that medical spa operators are now concerned about taking care of the environment as well as their client’s bodies.
But what is green?
As defined by Wikipedia ~ Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings use resources — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building’s lifecycle, through better , design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal.
I have a super simple tip for increasing the leads for your medical spa or aesthetic practice – your phone number.
Having a website is a given for any business – I’m sure we would all agree on that. What may be up for debate is the top priority for your site. The ultimate goal for your medical spa practice website isn’t branding, it isn’t promotions or coupons or even building your email list… it’s getting your phone to ring with interested prospective clients.
If you agree – (and if you are responsible for paying the bills I’m willing to bet you do) then make sure your phone number is front and center on each and every page. Not in the footer in a color that is close to the background. The upper right is very valuable visual real estate – an ideal spot for your phone number. Website statistics or analytics showing page views and visitors is exciting, but the phone ringing with prospective clients booking appointments for consultations is even better!
Acara recently spoke, exhibited and walked the tradeshow floor at the Medical Aesthetics show in NY. I have to say I was very pleased with the event. The show was well promoted and organized – the turnout on the show floor was great on Sunday and ok on Monday.
From an attendee standpoint, the quality of the booths were good, the medical spa and spa education was smaller than in previous years, but the quality of the speakers didn’t falter (including our own CEO and excellent speaker, Francis Acunzo, who spoke (and conducted a roundtable – shameless plug) on timely and substantive subjects. The business track included a good number of sessions related to recession proofing for medical spas and spas.
The medical spa section of the floor had good representation from some of the top vendors. The major med spa laser companies were there: Sciton, Cutera, Cynosure, Palomar, Candela, etc… Spa Finder, Universal, Iredale Cosmetics, Clarisonic and more. A few newer medical spa products that caught my eye were: MesoDerm and Canfield Scientific’s Reveal. So, if you are looking to add to your knowledge base or prospect list – the Medical Aesthetics Show in NY is definitely worth your consideration.
Keep your med spa email list clean and stay out of trouble.
A new client recently had the unfortunate experience of receiving a high SPAM complaint % for an email broadcast. The spam report rate was just over 1%, while industry average is around 1 in every 5,000 recipients or 0.05%. The CAN-SPAM act is a law which became effective January 1, 2004, covering email whose primary purpose is advertising or promoting a commercial product or service, including content on a web site.
In this med spa’s situation, their list contained emails that went back 3 years and they did not keep their list clean by maintaining up to date unsubscribe and suppression lists. In addition, they did not send regularly to their database; so a recent email broadcast produced undesirable results. A good med spa marketing plan includes regular email communication that contains both education and promotions – information that is of value to clients and potential clients.
Med Spa’s should only send email broadcasts to clients and prospective clients who have opted-in to their list, by requesting to receive emails from the medical spa or aesthetic practice. Opt-in collection methods may include: website, in-location or events. In addition, med spas must scrub their lists by using working unsubscribe links and permission reminders in every email broadcast that is sent. Permission reminders are a statement, usually found at the top of an email broadcast, that reminds subscribers why they are receiving the email.
Moral of this story – Keep a squeaky clean list and you won’t get hung out to dry!
The number 1 question that Medical Spa investors, owners and managers are asking right now is “how do the recent events on Wall Street effect me and my business”. Needless to say, as small business owners we will be impacted by the downturn in the economy and to some degree the volatility of Wall Street.
Clearly the credit crunch is having a negative impact on those seeking to add or increase credit lines or secure a loan. There is no money available right now for small business. Thus growth and expansion along with new developments have slowed to almost a standstill.
The silver lining for Medspa investors, owners and managers is that the consumer demand for our services seems to have remained strong due to market expansion. People have less money to spend but every day there are more people becoming educated and knowledgeable about the results and benefits of Medical Spa services. This market expansion seems to be maintaining and growing sales at the well run Medspa operations, locations that understand the necessity for a consistent dose of efficient marketing and effective management every day, every month, every quarter.
In addition, since there is no money to open new or shore-up failing Medspas, the well run operation is in a great competitive place. Weather the storm, steadily maintain or grow sales over the next 12 months and the outcome will be an opportunity to capture the expanding market along with the renewed energy of spending once past these difficult economic times.
We have successfully worked with Medspas across the country in the past 12 months, to help them continue their sales growth and based on our observations of the industry we continue to remain positive for the successful future of the Medical Spa Industry.