Medical spas are the fastest growing sector of the spa market and they are the place many people go for botox, fillers, laser hair removal, skin tightening treatments and more. Physicians and practitioners all over the world are setting up spas in addition or in place of their clinical practices in order to generate revenue. However, a medical spa cannot be run like a doctor’s office and leading spa consultants stress the importance of understanding that this is a business. The spa can either haemorrhage on payroll or execute a strong marketing strategy that generates traffic, promotes services and sells products.
Sarah Noble, a UK-based spa consultant, spoke about the ‘art and science of spa success’ during the opening day of the International Congress in Aesthetic, Anti-Aging Medicine & Medical Spa Middle East (ICAAM) currently being held at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Dubai from 19 to 21 November 2009. For the second year, IIR Middle East will be hosting a Medical Spa program in association with the International Medical Spa Association which will run along side the exhibition, offering a number of lectures and a conference addressing what every professional wants to know about this new business opportunity in the anti-aging field.
“Physicians or doctors looking into extending their practice to include a medical spa must realise that although they have certain responsibilities to their patients, they also need to make money for their investors or for themselves,” said Ms Noble, speaking during the Medical Spa programme at ICAAM Middle East. “In order to create a profitable medical spa business they must “soften” the medical environment by taking a step away from clinical medicine and broadening their treatment delivery options to include alternative and holistic treatments that cater to the patients emotional as well a physical well-being. They will soon find themselves leaders in the global healthcare transformation.”
Modern patients are well informed consumers and their expectations are high for choice of supplementary services. In addition to western medicine, a true ‘wellness’ centre should now include anti-aging treatments and full diagnostic screening for patients. Bespoke, tailor-made treatments should be made available for the individual and a personal touch is just as important as using the latest-technology.
Ms Noble explains: “In order to develop their medical spa business doctors must increase their per capita per client revenue which can be done by creating a wider range of revenue streams. By carrying out market analysis and uplifting on their PR leverage, strong foundations for a profitable medical spa business will be set. Doctor’s may also want to consider taking on a management company to run their business rather than keeping the management in-house. While there are many advantages to this set-up they need to consider whether they are happy to share a large portion of their profit and to relinquish operational control.”
The medical spa industry is expanding rapidly and Ms Noble advises anyone looking to set up a business in the field to move quickly as they run the risk of missing out on capitalising on this new market segment. By streamlining the approvals process for investors and getting them on board as soon as possible, a support network will be established that will assist you through the creation of your business. “If you align the expectations of the investors with the capabilities of the physician, you should not run into problems when it comes to measuring payback and desired return on investment,” Ms Noble adds.
Once developed correctly, a medical spa is an extremely rewarding and lucrative business. The possibilities are endless for adding healing services to western medicine and by keeping your mind open and your focus on client care, spa services will be an inevitable addition to all medical environments of the future.
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