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Essentials for a Thriving Practice

By: Richard Linder
Posted: November 2, 2010, from the November 2010 issue of
Physicians talking at a conference room table

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When determining what product lines to represent, you are putting your reputation and credibility at stake. Be sure to invest the time and energy necessary to make the best decision for your practice. It will impact the quality of care you can give, not to mention the overall profitability you can achieve.

First and foremost, investigate a line’s reputation among other medical professionals, particularly those that have experience with multiple lines. The key things to look for as you do this include how effective the line is at achieving desired results, the level of customer service you can expect, the technical expertise among the line’s representatives, and what opportunities exist for training and education. You also will want to consider what up-front and ongoing commitments you will have to make to a line, such as required opening orders and minimum order quantities. These often can be considerable cash outlays that may negatively impact your ability to invest in other areas of your practice. They also may prevent you from carrying just the inventory you need to treat your patients’ specific skin needs.

Products that work

There’s no overemphasizing the need to use products that work to achieve the results your patients desire in treating their skin conditions, even if that is just in maintaining their current level of skin health. Having products with proven, demonstrated results documented in reputable peer-reviewed journals only increases your team’s confidence and credibility in dispensing products for in-office treatments, as well as for patients’ home care needs.

You also have a much greater sense of predictability in terms of the expected outcomes for your patients when using well-researched products. You can better anticipate potential complications or avoid them altogether because of the depth of resources available about particular ingredients and their uses.

Showing results

It is one thing to achieve great results with your patients; it is quite another to show them. The proper use of before-and-after photos, particularly in the form of case studies, not only helps your patients better understand the results they are seeing, but they also serve as a great teaching and marketing tool when reaching out to prospective patients. Operationally, this is a straightforward process, but you must be diligent in your follow-through to maximize the power.