Pearls of managing an aesthetic clinic

VIVACY Laboratoires speak with Rahena Aktar about running a busy London Clinic

What are the biggest challenges you believe aesthetics clinics are currently facing?
The market is saturated, and many clinics are offering similar services, making it difficult to attract and retain clients. Clinics are currently experiencing lower foot traffic, which could be due to various factors, including economic conditions and increased competition. Given the competitive landscape, retaining existing patients is challenging.
Clients may be enticed to switch to other clinics that offer better prices, promotions, or perceived higher quality of service. Staying up-to-date with the latest treatments and technologies is crucial for competitiveness but requires significant investment. Building and maintaining trust is crucial, especially when dealing with procedures that can have significant effects on a person’s appearance and well-being.

Everyone wants repeat clients— what is your secret to ensuring patients return time and time again?
Staying in touch with your patients is a key part of ensuring they return. For example,having a dedicated telephone number for regulars and reaching out with check-up messages can make them feel valued.
Personalising your communication based on their needs and preferences further enhances this feeling. Ensuring that every interaction, from the initial consultation to the follow-up, is of the highest quality. A positive experience will make patients more likely to return.
Keeping your patients and staff informed about new treatments, technologies, or promotions also helps. This will show that your clinic is keeping up with latest trends and innovations. Offering educational content or workshops on skincare, health, or aesthetic treatments positions your clinic as a thought leader and keeps patients engaged. I have to give credit to VIVACY, as the team have been incredibly helpful in providing comprehensive training for my staff. Their expertise has been instrumental in keeping the team upto-date with the latest industry practices, ensuring that everyone is well-equipped to provide the best services to clients
One of my top secrets to patient retention is building a relationship with your patients that goes beyond the clinic. Engage with them on social media, share updates and tips, and celebrate their milestones. Provide excellent follow-up care to ensure patients are satisfied with their treatment outcomes. Regular follow-ups also demonstrate your clinic’s commitment to their well-being.

Attracting the right people, creating a supportive work environment, and fostering loyalty will contribute to the success of your clinic
Staff can make or break the success of a clinic. How do you ensure you get the right people and that they stay in the business?
Absolutely, having the right staff is crucial for the success of a clinic. Start by creating clear and realistic job descriptions that outline the responsibilities, expectations, and requirements of the role. This helps attract candidates who are a good fit for your clinic. Bringing in candidates for trial days is an excellent way to assess their skills, work ethic, and fit with your team. It also gives candidates a sense of the work environment.
Clearly communicate your expectations and the realities of the role during the hiring process. This helps avoid discrepancies between what was promised and the actual work environment.
Offer opportunities for continuous learning and career growth. Encourage and support staff in pursuing certifications, training, or further education.
A positive culture is a key factor in retaining staff. Foster a positive and inclusive work environment where staff feel valued, supported, and respected, by regularly recognising and appreciating the hard work and contributions of your staff. This can be through awards, shout-outs, or small tokens of appreciation.
Maintain open lines of communication where staff feel comfortable voicing their concerns, suggestions, or feedback. Address any issues promptly and constructively. Regular performance reviews and feedback sessions also helps staff understand their strengths, areas for improvement, and the potential for growth within the clinic.
Attracting the right people, creating a supportive work environment, and fostering loyalty among your staff will contribute to the success and growth of your clinic.

Let’s talk money. What are your key tips into making sure the clinic is profitable and you stay within budget?
Absolutely, managing finances is crucial for the profitability and sustainability of a clinic. To ensure your clinic stays
profitable it’s essential to have a monthly budget. This should include all expenses, such as salaries, rent, utilities, supplies, marketing, and equipment. Regularly track your spending against your budget to ensure you are not overspending in any category. This helps you identify areas where you can cut costs or allocate funds more effectively.
Be mindful of your purchases and avoid ordering things that you don’t need. Regularly review your inventory to ensure you are not overstocking on supplies.
When investing in new equipment or technologies, carefully evaluate the return on investment. Ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs and contribute to the clinic’s profitability. Explore opportunities to increase revenue, such as expanding your services, offering package deals, or running promotions. Attracting new clients and retaining existing ones is key to boosting revenue.
Optimise the use of resources, such as equipment and staff, to maximize productivity and reduce costs. Periodically review your pricing strategy to ensure it aligns with the market and covers your costs while remaining competitive. Carry out regular financial reviews to assess your clinic’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your budget and strategies accordingly.
By inputting these tips and being mindful of your spending, you can ensure your clinic remains profitable and stays within budget. This will contribute to the long-term success and sustainability of your clinic.

Finally, what are your takeaway pearls to ensuring all business operations run smoothly?
Absolutely, avoiding micromanagement and creating a positive work environment are key to smooth business operations.
Here are some additional takeaways to ensure everything runs smoothly:
As I’ve mentioned above avoid micromanaging. Instead, empower your staff by giving them autonomy and responsibility. Trust your team and delegate tasks effectively.
Start the day with a motivational morning brief to boost morale and energise the team. Make these briefs engaging and positive to set a good tone for the day. Recognise and reward the efforts and achievements of your staff. This could be through awards, bonuses, or simple shout-outs.
Have a crisis management plan in place to handle unexpected situations. This should include clear protocols and guidelines for dealing with various types of crises.

Rahena Aktar is the Clinic Manager at The London Cosmetic Clinic on Harley Street, London.
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