Every clinic wants to offer their patients the best treatments. Why wouldn’t you?
Patients quite rightly want the closest thing to perfect results that they can get, and jumping onto treatment fads and trends may seem like a way to achieve this. The problem is, the voice in your head that tells you to “buy it, buy it, buy it!” can suddenly get a little overwhelmed by the amount of product options available in the aesthetic market, meaning you’re less likely to make good decisions for your clinic.
I agree that having the latest, ‘must have’ devices is exciting for everyone involved, but you must consider profitability with everyone’s investment. Unfortunately, as a business coach, I’ve seen the painful effects of clinic owners overstretching themselves to pay for a treatment device that was never going to cover its costs.
But it doesn’t need to be that way.
A new device should be a good thing.
It should enhance your treatment offerings and give you an edge over competitors. The right device can take a patients treatment result from good to outstanding.
…And with outstanding results comes recognition for your clinic, new customers, returning customers and that all important revenue increase.
So how do you decide whether an investment is the right one for your clinic?
Step One: Assess the Demand
Demand is more than just what you perceive to be the latest fad. It is all about patient demand.
Use your patients for instant feedback – ask them what they’d like to see. After all, they are the people who will decide whether or not this investment becomes profitable for your business.
Also ask yourself what gaps does this machinery fill in your treatment menu? Does it complement anything you’re already offering? Does the average treatment cost align with your current price point? A new machine won’t bring in hundreds of new clients overnight, it just doesn’t work that way. So focus on pleasing the patients you already have and your database will soon start to grow all on it’s own.
Step Two: Do Your Research
A new investment can be exciting, but take a moment to slow down and do some informed research.
First, think about space. On a practical level you need to make sure you have space for this new machine. Where will it live? Or is it mobile, can you move it between rooms? Do you need to?
Second, what is the reputation of this device? Is it safe, clinically-proven and used by other industry bodies that you know and respect? Does it have any FDA or CE markings? With any investment you need peace of mind that the device is going to complement your business and enhance it, not cause problems and shoddy results.
That said, any piece of technology can suddenly go wrong. So, make sure there is back-up support and parts available for any eventuality. What do the company offer in terms of servicing and training? Consider their incentives and Marketing too. Do they value your custom enough for exclusivity, or are they likely to sell it into the clinic next door too?
Step Three: Think Financial
Doing the sums is a must, so get your accountant involved if this isn’t your strong point.
As a general rule of thumb, a treatment machine needs to generate four times its value in income, to cover overheads, labour, marketing, and any other associated costs. You always have the option of leasing too, but you’ll still need to take into account any lease costs and overheads.
Work out the treatment cost, any packages and promotional offers you can put together and set targets and deadlines for achieving particular financial goals.
Ultimately, you need to ask yourself ‘how quickly can this device make a return’? If it’s not busy, it’s not generating an income and it’s just a drain on the clinic. No matter how much you ‘need’ the latest device, if the sums don’t add up then it shouldn’t be coming through the door.
Step Four: Value Your Teams Opinion
You need to imagine what would happen when this new device arrived in clinic.
Do your staff feel as passionately about this as you? After all, they will be the ones working with it.
If you can involve your team in the decision-making process, they are far more likely to be on-board with any new investment that comes through the door.
Get the team to think of this new machine as a new ‘team mate’ and offer training and incentives to increase its uptake whilst it settles into clinic.
If your staff are onboard, then they’ll promote the benefits and thus improve its sales, especially in the early days.
Step Five: Market Appropriately
Before your new device arrives, you should be shouting from the rooftops about it. It’s all about filling the diary up with appointments before it’s even arrived.
This is where the supplier support is important. How can they help you advertise your new investment? Can they provide literature, images and incentives on a consistent basis to ensure your ongoing promotions are a success?
Think about a launch event too. Having an event in-clinic is the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of a new machinery, introduce it to both existing and new clients and generate initial sales.
Update your social media to let your followers know it’s coming. The device manufacturers will often have content you can re-use until you get started, like before and afters and machine imagery.
Probably the most important tip of all is to keep your business head screwed firmly on. Remember not to follow the crowd. You need to make decisions that are right for your clinic. Don’t try to keep up with everyone else or portray a particular image online.
Pushy salesman and elaborate, shiny new devices can be tempting, but avoid making any leaps without reviewing all your options and finances. Ultimately, if things don’t work out there will be nobody else to blame!
For more help and advice with investing in new machinery for your business, contact email@example.com