Easy Strategies to Help Your Aesthetic Practice Survive & Thrive During the Holiday Season
Holiday season in Aesthetics is upon us- just like clockwork, every October 1st, it’s like the start of the Hunger Games for injectors across America. You’ve got more patients than appointments and event after event to sell through that inventory and finish the year. While some may claim “only the strong survive,” we’ve got a bit of a different mindset. Practical planning and smart decision making can set you up for a busy yet profitable, fun but sometimes exhausting, killer 4th quarter. Here are a few easy strategies to get you through the next few months:
A Successful Event is Only the Beginning
Successful practice events are like a wedding- much like a marriage, the real work begins AFTER you execute a big event. How can you make it easier on yourself from a financial accountability and tracking standpoint? Your Inventory & Point-of-Sale systems simply MUST be able to account for various discount packages, charge the right amounts to each patient, and track those discounts through to the actual patient appointment. The good news is, you’ll be collecting a lot of revenue during an event which will feel amazing! But don’t forget, that revenue is a short-term liability. Those patients will be in over the coming weeks to complete their procedures, and on those days, unless your staff can up sell and cross sell, those will be $0 revenue appointments. Plan your cash flow accordingly!
ProTip #1: Aesthetic Record’s Discount Packages Features allows you to create unlimited packages directly tied to your inventory and EMR functions so that you can not only sell event packages with ease, but you can set expiration dates, assign purchased packages to a patient’s wallet, and then apply those credits when they come in for treatments. Nothing gets lost in the shuffle- never a dollar misplaced or left on the table!
Organization Creates Speed & Efficiency
Adding additional syringes or treatments to an appointment is great for revenue, but as you get behind to accommodate longer appointments, patient wait times begin to stack up. How can you speed up without sacrificing potential up sells? So many parts of the patient experience can be automated and simplified while still creating a concierge atmosphere. A few recommendations include:
- Make sure providers know exactly what promotions are running and when. Those are an easy up sell! If the providers are unsure of packages or specials, they may inadvertently offer something to a patient that you must honor. On the flip side, they may forget to offer a great option and lose out on adding additional items.
- Look at your promotions and daily booked appointments regularly. Make sure the corresponding inventory is in-stock, reconstituted, assembled, easily accessible, and accompanying supplies are pre-kitted when possible. For products with long reconstitution lead times, mix several vials at once. You WILL sell through them! It’s holiday season after all.
- Organize your providers’ schedule so they maximize their time onsite. That may mean they are back to back without much of a break, but it keeps the waits short and the patients happy. Stock the fridge with take-n-go snacks and drinks so they can stay fueled and happy all day. Other options (to keep you from having a nervous breakdown as the patients pile up) may include extending the clinic schedule for an extra hour a few days a week or opening on a Saturday. The key is to avoid constantly feeling behind and making things seem rushed, so open the schedules and seize the opportunity for more appointments! Take turns, do a round robin, whatever works for your practice, but chances are a few extra appointments here and there will relieve some pressure.
- Send pre-treatment instructions and questionnaires to educate patients and reduce time in the room. Patient education prior to the procedure can eliminate some of the onsite Q&A. Cosmetic questionnaires take additional time to complete and review, so allowing patients to access them prior to the appointment is a great time saving strategy.
- Keep the no-shows, late arrivals and cancellations at a minimum. With packed schedules, it’s critical to make sure every appointment shows and starts on time. Put a system in place for reminders and if you don’t have it yet, have patients put a credit card on file to hold their time slot. You can also institute a late arrival policy so that patients who come late either have to reschedule or can still be seen but must be worked in as the schedule allows. Regardless what you choose, putting a formal policy in place makes people feel as if coming late will have consequences.
ProTip #2: Aesthetic Record’s “POS Quick Buttons” allow you to organize your various holiday promotions and packages into a single click on the POS. As providers prepare a quote or patients check-out, the office has quick access to organized, active promotions all in one spot! And, once the provider has completed their procedure, you have options to check them out in the room right from an iPad or move them to the front desk to finalize. Flexible options are the best weapon against unpredictable days!
ProTip #3: For faster consults and treatment, patients can access your pre-treatment instructions and questionnaires via the Aesthetic Record Patient Portal. You can communicate any necessary information prior to the appointment and send consecutive reminders to reduce no shows and cancellations.
Protip #4: By utilizing the Online Booking functionality at Aesthetic Record, you can be sure your schedule is never double booked. Most importantly, you can utilize a campaign of SMS and Email reminders for every appointment booked. You can set the frequency and the message, so patients are reminded in plenty of time in case they need to cancel or reschedule. Lastly, you have the option to require a credit card at the time of booking. Your cancellation policy is certainly up to you, but our users find adding a credit card and an acknowledgment of the potential cancellation fees greatly reduces their churn.
Holiday Season is one of the most fun times in Aesthetic Medicine, and too often we get so busy and bogged down with chaotic clinic schedules that we forget to take a moment to enjoy the festivities. Take the necessary time to strategize, organize, and align your Q4 goals with every member of your staff, and the chances you survive and THRIVE this season are exponentially greater! A few key changes to your typical operating rhythm can truly make it the most wonderful time of year for all involved.
To learn more about implementing these ProTips into your practice, open a quick chat on our website to connect immediately with an Aesthetic Record Coach. They’ll have you up to speed in record time!