Efficiency strategies for a medspa
Whether yours is a standalone or located within your cosmetic surgery practice, the hallmark of a successful medspa is dynamic staffing.
That’s according to Matt Taranto, president of Mint Aesthetics, which specializes in training and consulting, and AesthetiCare MedSpa, both in Leawood, Kansas.
“But you have to be willing to invest a lot of time and a lot of money in putting together a staff that is amazingly well trained,” he says. “After consulting with over 1,000 clinics in North America, over 80% of this industry is poorly trained.”
Taranto tells The Aesthetic Channel it is also crucial to have compensation plans that reward productivity.
“You want your staff to love the absolute busiest days, while being really upset during a slow day,” Taranto says. “On a slow day, each staff member should look at themselves in the mirror and personally ask, ‘What can I do to change the situation for the better?’ Each member of your staff should consider themselves part of the marketing team.”
Taranto, who shared efficiency strategies at The Medical Spa Show in February in Las Vegas, embraces the chain retailer Nordstrom’s motto: Hire the smile and train the skill.
“Hire, based on what you cannot teach,” Taranto explains. “We can teach any intelligent person to operate lasers and to perform treatments well. However, we cannot teach someone how to be happy, ethical, passionate and hard-working. As an adult, we either have those attributes or we do not.”
As an example, the last full-time nurse hired by Taranto had no aesthetic experience. “Still, she is dynamic, she is personable, she is smart and she is assertive,” he says. “Although it took me more money and time to bring her up to speed, she is now a superstar.”
Taranto advises practices to interview several candidates for any one position. “Sometimes we need to turn over a lot of stones before we find that gem,” he says.
Once hired, extensive employee training is desirable. “I spend $60,000 every year on advanced training for my staff, despite already have one of the most experienced staffs in the country,” Taranto states.
Training on equipment, products, customer service, consultation and marketing takes place both in and out of Kansas, including flying trainers in from out of state. “I look for every opportunity to expose my employees to new protocols and new techniques,” Taranto says.
Because employee turnover is so expensive, retention is key. “If you are not willing to pay fairly and treat them well, you lose good people,” notes Taranto, who is a 23-year veteran of the aesthetic industry. “You also need to create a work environment that employees feel privileged to work in. This is aesthetics… It should be fun.”
All Mint Aesthetics and AesthetiCare MedSpa employees receive monthly and yearly bonuses when practice financial goals are met.
Efficiently managing inventory like Botox, fillers, retail products and medical supplies is also important to maximize profitability.
“A clinic needs to understand when to buy large quantities for a better price or when not to,” Taranto says. “You do not want too many items sitting on the shelf — that costs you money.”
As for pursuing traditional marketing through a magazine, TV or radio ad, “this is a crowded and expensive marketplace,” Taranto says. “We do virtually none of that. Almost everything is grassroots, face-to-face, community-involvement marketing, which is less expensive and far more effective.”
For instance, Taranto’s clinic hosts evening educational seminars on trends in nonsurgical aesthetics, on average once a week, for which existing clients are encouraged to invite friends and family.
“We make it fun,” Taranto says. “We serve good food and wine, do live demonstrations, offer on-the-spot incentives for services and products, and truly educate the attendees about the nonsurgical aesthetic industry.”