One wrong move with a scalpel can end your career as a plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, that’s true about your business plan, too. If you want to start your new practice on the right foot and get it growing fast, then you can’t afford to cut corners or take the wrong path early on.
This article will cover the five smartest slices for starting a plastic surgery practice for better profit and sustainability.
5 Steps for Starting Your Plastic Surgery Practice
Prospective plastic surgeons might find launching a private practice daunting. After all, the process of establishing a business from the ground up is not for the faint of heart. However, you can launch a successful plastic surgery practice with proper preparation and practice. Here’s how to get started:
1. Create a Realistic Business Plan that Accounts for Financial Needs
One of the most important steps to starting a private practice is creating a business plan that accounts for all your financial needs. A successful business plan will help you account for start-up costs, operating expenses, and resources needed to keep the business running.
Avoid rushing things. Instead, take time to calculate risks and map a realistic business plan outline. It’ll act as your framework as you slowly fill in the details.
Here are the essential factors you need to consider when making a business plan outline:
Operations Plan: Managing Your Plastic Surgery Clinic
You’ll have to decide on the location and office hours when thinking about business operations. For example, is the clinic in an accessible place? What will be your business hours, and how many days will you be open?
Ultimately, your rent will depend on the area you choose to set up your practice. For instance, commercial rent per square foot in California is significantly more than in other regions in the nation. Nevertheless, estimate spending around $3,000 for a 2,000-square-foot office.
Staffing is also critical for operations, as you need certified employees to assist you. On average, you should account for $3,000 monthly to pay for employees, such as receptionists. However, Certified Physician Practice Specialists will likely cost you more, at around $6,000 per month.
Marketing Plan: How Will You Acquire Customers
Thinking of reaching your patients can be challenging. Therefore, you may want to create effective strategies to boost your visibility and acquire more customers.
You can use various tools to reach your customers, for instance, hosting an event or utilizing social media platforms.
2. Obtain Financing for Your Plastic Surgery Practice
Now that you’ve established a plan, it’s time to consider how you’ll obtain enough funds to run the business while covering your operational costs.
Operational Costs and Equipment Costs
The operation cost includes the cost of utilities, legal documents, and the leasing fee of your practice. You also need to determine equipment costs. Keep in mind that all this will likely cost more than planned.
Bank Loans and Business Loans
After you figure out how much you need to borrow, you are ready to look for financing. Bank loans and business loans are the most common way to obtain funds. However, even with excellent credit, getting approved can still be challenging.
If approved, you need to consider the interest rate before signing that dotted line. Forbes.com says that interest for business loans typically starts at 2%, but it could be more than 10%, depending on the bank and financial institution.
Return to your business plan, and check whether your expected income can cover the fees and monthly payments.
Fundraising, Crowdfunding, Partners, and Investors
You can also get funds through fundraising activities or crowdfunding. Getting some partners and investors can also help. They can fund your clinic as long as they see that your business is profitable. So, create a presentation based on your business plan and show them how they can profit from funding your business.
This approach means you’ll take full responsibility for the costs. You’ll use your personal funds to run your clinic. You won’t need to consider paying interest rates on loans or looking for partners, but you’ll undoubtedly feel the impact of spending your money.
3. Execute Your Marketing Plan
While you don’t want to dive headfirst into marketing your plastic surgery practice without taking certain precautions, it’s important to start marketing your practice as soon as possible. Start by figuring out the proper channels.
Effective Marketing Channels for Plastic Surgery Practices
Marketing channels such as websites, PPC advertisements, and social media can help you reach your target audience effectively. Of course, traditional marketing campaigns can work, too, but if you’re aiming for an efficient way to reach a larger audience with less overhead, using digital marketing channels can be an excellent way to start.
Build a Website for Your Plastic Surgery Practice
Building a website will boost your credibility in the industry and help you capture more people’s attention. When making a website for your plastic surgery practice, always include your business’s mission and vision.
Don’t skimp on the design. And to boost its organic traffic, fill the website with compelling content, such as blogs.
Technical SEO, Link Building, and Content Marketing
Technical SEO, link building, and content marketing can and should play a huge role in reaching your target patients through plastic surgery SEO.
Technical SEO involves improving your website to increase the ranking of its pages on search engine results. You must ensure that your website is easy for search engines to understand and appreciate. It also needs to load quickly.
Equally important is making your content trustworthy. How? Start by including expert sources (and linking to their articles). Then, start growing your reputation as an expert.
Creating relevant articles, blogs, videos, and other forms of media is an excellent way to reach your target audience and show you know the industry. In addition, it promotes brand awareness, demonstrates your knowledge and expertise regarding plastic surgery, and helps your clinic to be the first choice for your target patients.
All these elements are critical to getting online leads and converting them into new patients. Visitors to your website will find your content engaging, reliable, and fast, trusting your business more.
PPC Advertising, Social Media, and Paid Search
Ideally, you would generate all the online leads you need organically. Sometimes, though, you have to pay for those clicks.
You can use PPC for plastic surgeons to invite people to visit your website. For instance, you can create visual advertisements of your top services and pay to place them on the first page of Google.
At the same time, using various social media platforms can boost your clinic’s performance. For example, plastic surgery social media marketing can help you reach the right audience, as these PPC tools include filtering tools. Popular social media marketing campaigns include before and after photos of top cosmetic procedures.
Traditional marketing uses TV, print ads, posters, and radio commercials. Despite being outdated, it is still an effective way to reach your target patients.
For instance, you can include an advertisement that you offer financing for your patients on the posters or print ads. Then, when people read that you provide plastic surgery patient financing, they may be more interested in your practice.
Patients are sometimes more comfortable undergoing plastic surgery procedures when they don’t have to worry about paying immediately. According to a survey from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, some surgeries could cost more than $3,000, which is quite expensive for many people to pay in full and upfront.
4. Get Licensing, Inspections, and Other Items Started ASAP
Inspections, licenses, and filling out paperwork take time to finish. So, it’s best to get started ahead of time.
Licensing and Regulatory Approval
Before opening your practice, you must receive state approval and licensing. Depending on the state, you will need to submit an application with the following information:
- Proof of completed residency program
- At least ten operative reports from procedures or residency training
- Letter from a program director of an accredited residency or fellowship program
However, some states may have a longer list of requirements that are not limited to the information above.
This process alone can take three to four months to complete. In rare cases, it could take longer if additional requirements exist. Be aware that it could take a year or so in some states, such as Florida.
How To Get a Plastic Surgery License
Assuming you’ve already finished your education and six years of training, you’ll still need to take more exams. After you’re done with the tests, you’ll get your certification, which allows you to get a state license and perform plastic surgeries.
Plastic Surgery License Inspections
Public officials will check whether you are licensed to perform the procedures you offer. They’ll also review the clinic for emergency equipment, drugs, and other elements that follow the standards of plastic surgery clinics.
Renewing a Plastic Surgery License
The American Board of Plastic Surgery states that certifications need to be renewed every ten years. This regulation started in 1995. Participation in Certification and the Continuous Certification program helps plastic surgeons maintain high service quality.
5. Hire Your Staff in Advance and Plan Small (At First)
Make sure your staff is ready six weeks before you open the clinic. This will give you enough time to train them.
Don’t hire too many people right at the start. It’s better to scale as needed. Otherwise, you may have too much overhead and insufficient profit to cover your yearly expenses.
If you want to hire the best candidates for your practice, it’s recommended that you post your open positions on a job board that’s specific to your field. This will allow you to receive applications from qualified candidates.
Starting a private practice from scratch is challenging but well worth it. However, getting your private practice off the ground with a business plan that accounts for your financial needs and incorporates marketing strategies is possible with the right amount of tact and effort.
Then, once you’ve launched your business, hire the best employees, and start small at first. These steps will help you grow your private practice into a successful business.