Opening a Medical Spa: The Complete Guide

medical spa

What is a Medical Spa?

By definition, a medical spa is a combination of an aesthetic medical center and a day spa that provides non-surgical aesthetic medical services under supervision. Medical spas are considered a combination of an ordinary day spa and a medical clinic. It differ from traditional spas as they offer clinical services that are performed or supervised by a licensed doctor, usually a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Medical spas offer similar services that a traditional spa offers, including cosmetic treatments and non-surgical procedures. Examples of other services provided in medical spas include:

Injectables like Botox and Dermal Fillers procedures for wrinkles and fine lines

Laser hair removal

Laser treatment for tattoo removal and skin resurfacing

Hair restoration

Hormone replacement services

Micro-needling and microdermabrasion procedures

Medical weight loss management

IV therapies

Body contouring and non-invasive fat reduction treatments

Chemical peels

Medical-grade facials

Platelet-rich plasma therapies

The most popular services offered at medical spas are Botox injections, chemical peels, dermal fillers, microdermabrasion, and laser hair removal. The target audience for medical spas is primarily older men and women who want to maintain a younger appearance. When promoting your medical spa, your marketing plan should mainly target adults over the age of 30 that have a higher income.

Who Can Open a Medical Spa?

It varies among each state in terms of who can open a medical spa. Opening one involves a lot of legal processes to ensure that you are meeting the requirements needed for your spa. While some states have similar policies in terms of who can open such, it may not be true in other states. In 22 out of the 50 states, anyone is allowed to open such. To find more state requirements information, click here.

In these states, non-physicians can have their medical spa provided that they employ a licensed medical director and other licensed medical doctors to perform the services. The compensation varies among each of those states, but most require paying reasonable salary to all physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses. In most states, licensed physician who is qualified with an extensive background in aesthetic own medicine medical spas. In all 50 states, physician assistants are not allowed to practice independently. However, some states allow physician assistants that can start their medical spas, including Arizona, Florida, and Hawaii. However, for that to happen, it is required that the physician assistants hire a medical director or licensed doctor who will administer most of the spa’s procedures. Regardless, before opening a medical spa, it is important to research what your state requires and the legal obligations your practice must abide by.

Checklist for Opening a Medical Spa

As explained in the previous section, there is an extensive process to open a medical spa, but, in most cases, an efficient and practical business plan can help you succeed in opening your own medical spa. Listed below is an eight-step checklist to help open your own medical spa:

1.Establish your Medical Spa Concept
2.Write a business plan
3.Evaluate financials to secure funding
4.Obtain the necessary types of insurance1.
5.Ensure legal compliance with both state and industry requirements
6.Select a location for your spa
7.Determine who you want to hire
Create a Marketing Plan

Step 1: Establish your Concept

All business owners must first define their concept. Determine your spa’s services and target market. Your medical spa can specialize in plastic surgery and Botox injections. If your medical spa offers those services, it will likely attract adults between 20 and 60 who want to look younger by eliminating wrinkles and lines. You must also decide on the atmosphere and customer experience. Do you want to create a cozy, homey atmosphere or a luxurious, upscale one? It’s important to research consumer trends and competitors’ offerings to determine your medical spa’s target audience. Finally, choose the size of your medical spa. Your medical spa’s size can influence its atmosphere. For instance, a smaller medical spa may make customers feel more at home.

Step 2: Write a Business Plan

It is important to create a business plan for your medical spa to help ensure you stay on track with the goals of your business. This includes creating an executive summary that describes an overview of the main points of your overall business plan. Then you should describe your company, including the image you want to create and who you plan to target. Next, is to describe the services your medical spa will provide and the strategy behind your choice. Then, analyze the market, looking at competitors, consumer segments, and industry statistics. Next, is to describe the strategy you want to implement, such as a marketing plan and financial information. Then, you want to outline your medical spa’s organizational structure, identifying the owners, management team, shareholders, and stakeholders. Lastly, it is to look at financial data and make financial projections which are easier to do with a professional accountant that understands what to look for.

Step 3: Evaluate financials to secure funding

As mentioned above, a key step to opening a business is to secure funding. This is necessary as investors, banks, and loan officers need an extensive document to provide you with the capital to start your business. However, this does not apply if you plan to start your business with personal funds. Your financial plan must address forecasted income statements, cash flow statements, expenses, operating costs, and capital expenditure budgets for the next five years.

Step 4: Obtain the Necessary Types of Insurance

It is important to sign up for certain types of insurance that will protect your spa in the case of liabilities and lawsuits. The most common type of insurance for business is called General Liability Insurance which protects you and your business from lawsuits related to accidents and property damage. There is also Professional liability insurance that covers lawsuits relating to the services and procedures your spa performs. This will help if any customer claims to suffer an injury after using your spa’s services. Lastly, there is Worker’s compensation insurance that covers expenses due to a work-related accident. Most states require businesses to have this kind of insurance if your business has multiple employees.

From then on, you must conduct extensive research about any legal requirements concerning medical and employee regulations specific to the services you are offering. After ensuring your medical spa can operate legally and remain compliant with any state and industry regulations, it is time for you to create a business plan. It is best to get legal consultation, and for those who are not doctors, it is best to hire a management services organization that manages the non-medical aspects of your business.

Step 6: Select a Location for your Spa

Relating to step one, when selecting a location, it is important to consider how big you want your medical spa to be. This is also important to reach your target audience. If you aim to target older women, it may be smart to have your spa near wealthier suburbs. Factors to consider when selecting a location are zoning laws, parking space, accessibility, and where your competitors are located.

Step 7: Determine Who You Want to Hire

Next, determine who you want to employ at your spa. The most common hires for medical spas include registered nurses, physician assistances, licensed aestheticians, and other medical professionals. It is important to consider experience, personal values, and education when determining who to hire.

Step 8: Create a Marketing Plan

The final step is to create a marketing plan for your spa. This includes your plans for where, when, and how you want to promote your spa. When creating a marketing plan, it is best to conduct market research and determine your position within the market. This also includes defining your brand image, including the logo, target audience, and company mission. Within this step, you can decide what marketing materials you will use to help attract and retain customers. This can include customer rewards for referrals or repeated visits. The best way to have an efficient marketing plan is to hire a professional who has experience in creating successful marketing plans for start-up businesses.


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