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    The business of body contouring

    It’s a given that noninvasive body contouring is making big waves among patients and in the media. But whether dermatologists should add noninvasive body contouring to their practices and to what extent are not givens.

    Marguerite A. Germain, M.D.Dr. Germain“Generally speaking, any dermatology practice could introduce body contouring-fat reduction to their practices. Before doing so, they need to consider how big they want to make this part of their practice--as different levels of success will require  different levels of resource commitments,” Mount Pleasant, S.C., dermatologist Marguerite A. Germain, M.D., tells Dermatology Times.

    Dr. Germain was among the panel members presenting during today’s “Comprehensive Non-invasive Body Contouring” session at the 2016 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) annual meeting in New Orleans. Her topic: “The Business Aspects of Establishing and Maintaining a Body Contouring Practice.”

    According to Dr. Germain, there are other things for the dermatologist to consider from a business perspective, including: Do you have an area or room within the building that you can dedicate to these technologies? How stretched are your current human resources? Can you adequately cover a very important addition to their practice? And what is the scope of the investment?

    “The average price of these systems is $135,000,” Dr. Germain says. “If practices really want to make this a meaningful part of their practice revenue, they will ultimately want to dedicate resources to this area of their practice. This can mean the difference from making it a part of their practice and generating $200,000, or a meaningful part of their practice at $1 million in revenue.”

    Costs begin at the system purchase price. Other costs include marketing, according to Dr. Germain.

    “Internal marketing is a nominal expense and can generate a sizable amount of business,” she says. “External marketing can be a significant expense and should be measured regularly, as to its return on investment.”

    Dermatologists marketing noninvasive body contouring offerings should know which marketing strategies are working and which aren’t, in order to target and control marketing costs.

    Dr. Germain has these words of wisdom for dermatology practices that decide noninvasive body contouring is for them:

    “Find a company that is dedicated to taking care of the customer after the purchase of the equipment. This partnership will make all of the difference in the world to the growth of this business,” Dr. Germain says. “Leverage all of the resources that are made available to the practice by the company. While there are many resources provided by the companies, the service level will vary greatly. Find your true partner!”

    Dermatologists should create the focus for the practice, so their teams understand the importance of noninvasive body contouring to the practice’s success.

    “For the highest level of growth potential, dedicate a resource and develop a staff compensation method that is focused on growth,” she says.

    Noninvasive body contouring should have its place in the practice—a dedicated room, according to the dermatologist.

    And do what’s necessary, such as ample training, to make this work. Dr. Germain suggests dermatologists not only comprehensively train their providers, but also treat staff members who talk with patients and train the front desk about noninvasive body contouring.

    To get business in the door, Dr. Germain says dermatologists should start with internal marketing to access people that are already in the practice and create walking billboards in the community and, ultimately, practice referrals.

    Disclosures: Dr. Germain reports no relevant disclosures.

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is president of Words Come Alive, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

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