Have you noticed that some clinics seem to do things a bit more easily than others? Their owners and managers seem less stressed and comfortable with their decisions. The staff are happy, busy and engaged. Customer service is excellent, and clients tend to be more loyal.
These things are not an accident. Here are five habits of highly successful clinics.
Habit 1 – Systems and Processes
Do you know why the big franchise groups are so successful? Sure, they have great branding and they grow their group by having everyone be part of something bigger, but at the core of this are systems and processes. These are important because they ensure a consistent client experience and a predictable series of actions for everyone in the clinic.
Systems should include everything from how clients are welcomed to the clinic to the process of selling them products.
The big argument against systems is that they stifle creativity, make people feel trapped and don’t allow people to think for themselves. In fact, the opposite is true. By giving your team members a framework within which to operate, you also give them the freedom to make the system their own – as long as it isn’t too prescriptive. For example, acknowledging a client within 5 seconds of them entering the clinic is a framework, but telling team members what they must say is restrictive and prevents people from using their initiative.
Habit 2 – Staying Close to the Money
Being close to the money means more than just being aware of daily and weekly totals – it’s understanding which treatments are profitable, why those treatments are doing well and when the best times for those treatments are. This habit means knowing where your strengths are so you can capitalise on them and being aware of weak spots so you can make adjustments and improvements where required.
As the old saying goes, “you can only manage what you can measure.” It’s not enough to be able to say monthly revenues have gone up or down; you should know why. After this, your plans for the following month, quarter and year become scientific rather than based on assumptions.
Habit 3 – Business Brain vs Beauty Brain
Sometimes, being an expert in the beauty and aesthetic field is a disadvantage. Usually, it’s when there are decisions to be made around staffing, treatments performance and growth strategies. Interestingly, this isn’t just about firing underperformers; it also relates to having the courage (and awareness) to grow when appropriate. Many clinic owners fail to grow because they don’t have growth triggers in place and so give opportunities to their competition to steal market share.
Habit 4 – Protect Your Culture
We should all hope that when our team members get home, they tell their significant other they love their job because of the people, the positive vibes, and the great boss. A great culture is an unbelievably powerful tool for attracting and retaining staff and delighting customers, and it should never be taken for granted.
Look closely at your business and work out the things that make it such a great place to work. Ask your team, share your findings with them and make everyone protective of the behaviours and actions you all cherish. This becomes especially important when new people enter the business. Before they start, tell them about the culture and the expectations you all have when it comes to protecting it. If people don’t respect the culture and you allow them to hang around, expect a slow rot to set in. Cultures are destroyed when nobody is protecting them.
Habit 5 – Be Curious
Kodak was the leader in cameras and film. Established in 1888, the business revolutionised photography by making it more available to ordinary people rather than only professional photographers.
The advent of digital photography destroyed Kodak. Not because they ignored digital, as many believe (in fact, a Kodak engineer invented digital photography in 1975), but because they failed to evolve as phone cameras improved. At the same time, scrappy upstarts such as Nikon and Canon destroyed their market share by innovating faster by listening to what people wanted.
Don’t be Kodak.
Listen to your audience. Don’t brush off a new treatment as a ‘flash in the pan.’ Do your research and talk to your advisors. Decide, unemotionally, if taking on a new treatment is a good business decision. Remember, people tend to go with the lower-risk options, sometimes to the detriment of their business.