Let me start by saying congratulations for making it through the past six months. What a journey of change! As a practice manager, when the mandated closures of nonessential businesses were announced during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, I realized that we needed to make some decisions quickly if our practice was to survive. First, we had to analyze our spending and cut back on every expense possible. Second, we had to learn how to accommodate our patients during the shutdowns. Third, as the shutdowns came to an end, we needed to develop strategies to make up for lost revenue.
Technically, businesses cannot make up lost revenue unless they have a time machine. But we can—and must—revisit our monthly goals and look for ways to generate additional income in the coming months.
Before we discuss ways to do that, a quick warning: Do NOT seek to increase bookings or acquire new patients by becoming the low-price leader in your region. It is natural to consider discounting services as you seek to generate more revenue and welcome patients back into the office. But being the low-price leader will lead to failure, even without a pandemic. It is simply more difficult to bring cost-conscious patients up to viable pricing. You are better off maintaining your current prices, which you need to cover your costs, and seek other ways to encourage existing patients to frequent your practice or medspa and refer others.
This can be difficult, because industry standards have proved that when patients are searching for an aesthetic provider or practice, price is a primary consideration. But that does not mean they will embrace only the lowest cost option. It means they want to get the best and safest outcome without overpaying or stepping outside of their budgets.
With that in mind, following are six steps you can take to help bring patients back to your facility and bring your earnings back to where they need to be for a successful 2021.
Credential Your Practice
Now is the perfect time to reintroduce your team and their expertise on your website, social media pages and marketing materials. Make the differential of your providers and practice clear. Define your team’s clinical experience, years in business, how many treatments they perform a year, areas of specialty and any awards of recognition your practice or individual providers have received. People want to know that you are skilled and authentic. And they want to know that they are safe in your hands. Make your practice’s story, purpose and passion known.
Lora Kassaros is the practice manager for Dermatique Laser and Skin in Geneva, Illinois, which was named on the top 5000 fastest growing companies in America in 2020 by Inc. magazine.