MAR 2014

MedEsthetics—business education for medical practitioners—provides the latest noninvasive cosmetic procedures, treatment trends, product and equipment reviews, legal issues and medical aesthetics industry news.

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BUSINESS CONSULT 20 MARCH 2014 | Med Esthetics were spent—and no one showed up. When the outraged practice owner went searching for a reason for this failure, the answer wasn't hard to fi nd. In the middle of a stack of "action" documents on the offi ce manager's desk was a four-week-old purchase order for engraved invitations. The PO was never signed. The savvy practice owner decided to consider this a "dry run." She brought in an outside team and pulled off the same event three months later. A savvy manager leverages her contacts. Another practice, this time in the South Beach area of Miami, came up with a project built around the practice's care of local public fi gures, including local TV stars and B-Level celebri- ties who were on the verge of "breaking out." Once again, the project was assigned to the offi ce manager, but this time, with outstanding results. First, the offi ce manager intimately knew the skills and abilities of her staff, including their workloads, so she effectively assigned and managed her in-house resources. Next, she brought in short-term outside help to fi ll in the blanks of the in-house team's skill sets and time limitations. Because the offi ce manager had, for years, made a point of getting to know the practice's patients, she was able to use that familiarity to encourage them to attend and partici- pate in the red carpet event, which drew a large crowd and was covered by the local media. The moral: Before delegating any new project to the offi ce manager, make sure she has the skills, the enthusiasm and the time to pull it off. CREATE A PLAN FOR SUCCESS Once the leader has been named, her fi rst task is to cre- ate clear strategic goals and measurable objectives for the project. This includes building a realistic timeline, along with a workable budget. Timeline. Each project should be stand-alone, not competing with any of the practice's other projects. If the project is an event, make sure that it does not confl ict with a pre-existing calendar event or holiday. Budget and Deadlines. The planning phase includes setting a timeline for the project—an easy-to-follow road map from the very start of the project to its successful completion. Budget elements should be tied into the time- line, indicating when required purchases will be ordered and paid for. The budget should cover all of the costs, including staffi ng costs for those re-assigned from other duties to work on the project. In addition, the budget should refl ect a healthy and realistic return-on-investment. While some choose to look at short-term returns, such as how many new patients are booked as a result of the new initiative, more strategic planners will look at the long-term return, by calculating the potential lifetime value of each new contact. BUILD A DREAM TEAM It is unlikely that one individual will be able to develop and execute an entire project. Therefore, success depends on selecting the right "dream team" for any given project. Because projects vary, one project's dream team may not be right for other initiatives. For each project, create a spe- cifi c team made up of existing staff plus outsiders with the skills needed to aid in the project. For in-house members assigned to the team, make sure they have enough time to handle the added duties while still performing their current responsibilities within the practice. MOTIVATE YOUR TEAM Once the project has been identifi ed, the leader brought onboard and the team assembled, it's time to start putting together the project. This is the least glamorous yet most essential part of any project. The project manager must make sure that team mem- bers understand the goals and objectives, timeline and budget of the project, as well as their own vital-but-narrow roles within it. Communication is essential. Key members of the team should meet regularly and with increasing frequency as the deadline for the project approaches. These meetings should be factored into the project's timeline before the team is formed. Project management skills are essential to the growth and continued success of a medical aesthetic practice. Fortu- nately, these skills can be learned and honed. Taking the time to plan ahead and build a solid team that is motivated to accomplish their objectives will result in practice growth and increased profi tability. That makes "doing it right" well worth the effort involved. Cheryl Whitman is the CEO of Beautiful Forever, a national aesthetic business consulting fi rm that helps physicians develop new profi t centers for practice growth. Contact her at Building invoice and payment deadlines into your timeline helps to keep your project on a budget. © THINKSTOCK B u s i n e s s C o n s u l t M E D 3 1 4 . i n d d 2 0 Business Consult MED314.indd 20 2 / 1 1 / 1 4 3 : 4 9 P M 2/11/14 3:49 PM

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