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Medical Spa Management

By: Joy Thompson
Posted: June 25, 2008, from the January 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Due to practical knowledge and technological advancements, the delivery of medical procedures and services is quicker and less intrusive than what was possible previously. This is especially true in the area of minimally invasive cosmetic procedures that use Botox1 and Restylane2 injections, microdermabrasion and intense pulsed light (IPL) to provide beautiful, healthy skin to clients on their lunch breaks.

Meanwhile, many medical practices are beginning to adopt a more client-friendly approach. Offerings such as drive-through prescription pickups and outpatient treatment services are designed to meet the practical needs of the client, whose view of health has evolved to encompass much more than what traditional medicine provides, particularly in the field of cosmetic medicine.

Many view beauty and health as complementary areas that create a new sense of wellness—a blend of physical vigor and mental relaxation. Thus, there is a new belief that a trip to the doctor’s office can, and should, accomplish more than just fixing a malady. It should provide a feeling of overall well-being.

The medical spa industry is dedicated to delivering a medical practice in a spa setting. In the simplest of terms, managing the business affairs of this type of spa is all about creating and reinforcing a service-oriented dimension in an established medical practice.

Targeting your clientele

The medical spa owner has to identify the business’ core clientele based on the demographics of the surrounding area, and then must design its marketing and business operations around that type of client. Will the establishment cater to a wealthier, high-end clientele? If so, the focus may not be on maximizing the number of appointments booked, but providing fewer clients with longer, more relaxing experiences that are laden with luxury amenities, such as lounge chairs, tea and massages. If the core client is budget-conscious and value-oriented, it may make sense to invest in sophisticated technology that enables faster procedures. This allows a business to serve more clients at a lower cost per appointment.

Planning elements