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2020 In Hindsight and 2021 Practice Planning Musts

To say that 2020 was out of the ordinary is an understatement.  As history is often our best teacher, Cartessa’s Director of Practice Development Kim Pezzetti compiled lessons learned by our customers from this challenging year and how you could be thinking differently about planning for 2021. 

  1. Nothing is certain. Make sure your business has a clear mission to steer you through challenging times. Even more importantly, ensure your team and staff understand that mission so it guides operations from the inside out and fosters a stable company culture.
  2. People – your customers, your team, community partners – are your most important asset. Recognize that relationships and retention and referrals go hand-in-hand. Loyalty & reward programs, payment plans and small conveniences go a long, long way.
  3. Make time to assess the health of your business on a regular basis.  Don’t wait for a shut-down to “trim the fat” whether it be expensive service contracts or under-performing staff. If you approach this from a quarterly perspective, it makes tough decisions more manageable. 
  4. Whether you love it or try to avoid it, social media is a powerful communication, promotion and customer acquisition tool, with low to no cost aside from your time (yes, paid advertising isn’t a necessity)!  Just try it and see what works. Social platforms like LinkedIn and TikTok are trending and could help you reach new audiences that you may be missing out on.

Marketing tip: Before considering an outside agency, tap a socially-minded member of your staff to take over your presence on key platforms.  People want an authentic picture of you and your practice – so if you don’t have the time or inclination to do it, chances are, someone internally would love to showcase what makes your business unique.

  1. Master the art of the virtual consultation and consider how it might help expand your reach and revenue for the long-term.  Also keep in mind that this may slightly increase staffing needs so having a solid plan in place on how you establish and manage a new service like this is key.
  2. Taking safety seriously builds confidence in patients – so talk about it! Both staff and patients want to know about new equipment like UVC disinfectant lamps and procedures you’ve put in place. It instills confidence in your staff and your patients.
  3. Combination and stackable treatments are a WIN-WIN-WIN.  One visit maximizes results, time with the patient, and provider revenue. If you are not taking advantage of complementary combinations, you will miss out on a BIG trend for 2021.
  4. All-in-one platform devices make a lot of sense for those who want a range of treatment options (that they can expand upon) without the expense of multiple technologies.  Sometimes expanding services comes in the shape of consolidating devices.
  5. Maskne is real. Educate patients on preventative and treatment protocols for today’s most relevant skin concerns.
  6. Inclusivity in aesthetics is an expectation.  Ensure you can offer cornerstone treatments to all skin tones and make it clearly visible in your go-to market strategies.  Inclusivity also means all genders!  Take this year to create specific packages and offerings geared toward men. 
  7. Events play an important role even if in a small or virtual forum.  Many practices were able to thrive in 2020 by having more intimate events.  They cashed in on the personal touch and focused attention that came with smaller forums.  In fact, pivoting events also taught many how to show up, however they could!  Virtual open houses, virtual consultations, virtual education – be prepared to offer a mix of event types in 2021.
  8. The power of visual marketing during idle time (waiting room, bathroom, treatment rooms) is ten-fold. We heard first-hand how using key point-of-care programs like treatment room monitors led to inquiries about procedures that weren’t under consideration when the patient first walked in the door.

Marketing tip: QR codes on marketing materials are a great way to encourage your patients to learn more.  Link to your website or treatment sites like CoolPeel so patients can browse and be prepared to ask you questions when its time for their consultant.

  1. The ZOOM effect is an unbelievable lead generator and has caused more individuals to consider non-invasive and invasive procedures than ever before!  ‘Zoom Ready’ promotions were a hit in 2020 and will continue to be in 2021.  Don’t take our word for it, read what FORTUNE had to say about this phenomenon HERE.
  2. People are investing more in skincare than make-up in an effort to ‘preserve and pre-juvenate’. Do your clients know what kind of skincare you offer and if its right for them?
  3. Selling without selling is the way to go.  Present a problem, educate and solve the problem with useful tips, tools and treatments. Patients look to you as an unbiased resource to learn, so don’t forget to share your knowledge.
  4. In times of uncertainty, people were drawn toward new things to make them feel and look better.  This simply confirms how fortunate we are to work in an industry that does just that! 

While 2020 is behind us, “uncertainty” will continue to be a theme in 2021.  However, with the right perspective and planning in place, 2020 showed us that uncertainty can help drive creative and thoughtful approaches for your practice and patients.   We leave you with the TOP 5 strategies that need to stay top of mind as you plan for 2021:

  • Bite Sized Planning.  We have seen that it is more impactful and beneficial to plan for a few months at a time rather than trying to anticipate a full 12 months of campaigns, events and overall planning.   Strategic & Creative Planning needs to be comprehensive, yet nimble.
  • Patients First, Lead Gen Second. It is incredibly simple but sometimes forgotten – always tend to existing customers as best you possibly can!  It is far easier to sell to existing patients than it is to acquire a new one.  And don’t forget, little rewards go much further than you realize!
  • Use An Empathetic Yet Authoritative Voice.  Patients want to know what you understand how they might be feeling and their potential hesitation with a treatment or mere expense.  Find channels and ways to leverage your expertise and experience to educate them on you, your services and how investing in themselves is well worth it- not to mention the financial benefits of prevention versus rejuvenation.
  • Work Smarter, Not Harder. Lean on key resources and tools at your disposal.  The trick is identifying which one will benefit your practice most AND are easy to implement and embraced by your staff and clientele.  If the juice isn’t worth the strength of the squeeze, then saying NO might be the strategy.  
  • Carve out time and money to test new approaches and strategies. Sometimes you just don’t know until you try…so set aside a small amount of resources this year to try something new for your business.

We are here to help you identify some key time and money savers that would work for your business.  Reach out to us today and we’ll be happy to help!  LEARN MORE


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