You've stumbled upon the idea to build a dermatology business and now you're ready to take the next steps.
There's a lot to think about when building a business, so we put together a guide on how to get started, launch, grow and run your dermatology business.
We also provide you with real-life case studies and examples of founders running successful dermatology business (and how much💰 they're making today).
💡 Introduction To Starting A Dermatology Business
Is Starting A Dermatology Business Right For You?
There are many factors to consider when starting a dermatology business.
We put together the main pros and cons for you here:
Pros of starting a dermatology business
You can put as much time into the business as you'd like. If you like the work and have some initial experience, you can start small and manage all aspects of the business on your own.
• Rewarding work
Starting a dermatology business can be really rewarding work. After all, you are solving an immediate issue for your customer and you're working on something you truly care about.
• Meaningful business connections
You never know who you will meet as a dermatology business. This could be the start of an incredible business opportunity!
• High customer retention rates
Once a customer invests in your product, they've invested their time and energy to utilize your product/service which is highly valuable to them. Typically, your product or service becomes indispensable to your customer.
• Control of workload
With starting a dermatology business, you have the unique ability to choose how little or how much you want to work. You also have the freedom to decide which projects you want to work on, and can turn down the ones that do not interest you.
• Gain exposure and experience
This career allows you to gain experience working for multiple different businesses - which will benefit your resume and also keep things interesting for you!
• Unlimited income potential
With starting a dermatology business there is no cap as to how much income you can make. The stronger your business skills and the more energy/time you put into your career, the more you'll make.
• You are your own boss!
With starting a dermatology business, you are the one to make decisions for almost all of the operations. Calling the shots can be empowering and liberating!
• Predictable income stream
Your businesses income stream tends to be predictable based on the number of customers you have signed up. This makes financial planning and outlooks much more seamless!
• Higher likelihood of getting referrals
This business is all about referrals, which can be a a very impactful way to attract and retain customers. It's critical that you have a great referral program in place that incentivizes your customers to tell their friends about your product.
• Simple business model
A dermatology business has the advantage of a simple business model, which makes launching and building the business more seamless.
• Control your own destiny
Starting A Dermatology Business allows you to control every aspect of your life and make your own dreams come true every day.
• Greater Income Potential
With this business, the sky is the limit in regards to your income potential.
• Express your opinions
With starting a dermatology business, you can express your opinions and knowledge to your audience, which allows you to build your own reputation and identity.
• You get to inspire others
Your business is one that encourages and inspires others, which in itself, can be very fulfilling.
• You establish yourself as an expert
With starting a dermatology business, you establish yourself as an expert in your niche, which builds your credibility. In return, customers are more likely to trust you and refer you to other friends and family.
• Can build solid foundation of clients
It's unlikely you will have one-off customers as a dermatology business. Typically, you have a solid foundation of clients that use your product and services regularly.
• Low maintenance customers
In this industry, customers are known to be very appreciative and low maintenance. This can help with your stress levels and allow you to focus on growing your business.
• Results and revenue happen quickly!
Unlike other businesses, it can be relatively quick to start seeing results and revenue. As long as you follow all the steps to validate your idea before launch, you are likely to see quick results and ROI.
Cons of starting a dermatology business
• Motivation of employees
If you plan to have a sales/content team on board, finding creative ways to motivate them can be a challenge. It's important that you're able to offer great incentives and a good work environment for your employees.
• Low margins
The gross margins for your dermatology business are typically around 24%, which can make it more challenging to incur new expenses and maintain profitability.
• Niche Market
A niche business is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it can be the key to your success. However, it can be more challenging and time consuming to find the perfect niche market and target audience.
• High overhead expenses
With starting a dermatology business, there are overhead expenses that come with selling a physical product. You will want to make sure you strategically budget for these overhead costs. We discuss this more in the startup costs section below.
In this business, customers can cancel their membership or subscription for your services - which can make revenue forecasting challenging and unpredictable. It's important to focus on your churn rates and trends so that you can prevent this as much as possible.
• Time commitment
With starting a dermatology business, all responsibilities and decisions are in your hands. Although this is not necessarily a negative thing, work life can take over at times. This can place a strain on friends and family and add to the pressure of launching a new business.
• Difficult to build trust with your customer
With starting a dermatology business, there can be minimal face-to-face interaction, which means it can be a lot more difficult to establish trust with your customers. You'll need to go the extra mile with your customer to grab their attention and business.
• Impatient customers
You may offer an engaging user experience for your customer, but customers expect a lot and may be impatient if they aren't pleased with your product or service.
• You might struggle financially (at first)!
If you bootstrap your business or choose not to pay yourself (or pay yourself less than you were making at your corporate job), this can be financially taxing. It's important to adjust your lifestyle and set a plan for yourself so you don't find yourself in a stressful situation.
• Difficult to scale
With a dermatology business, it can be challenging to find ways to scale. Check out this article that discusses scaling your business and the challenges that come with it.
• Learning Curve
When you start your own business, you no longer have upper management to provide you with a playbook for your roles and responsibilities. You should know the ins and outs of every aspect of your business, as every decision will come down to you.
• Equipment Breakdowns
Over the years, your equipment can get damaged, break down, and may need repairs which can be expensive. It's important you prepare for these expenses and try to avoid damages/wear & tear as much as possible.
• Technical issues can be frustrating
Technical issues are common in this business. If you struggle with the technical side of things, you may want to consider outsourcing this responsibility to save yourself the time and frustration.
• More challenging to earn passive income
It can be more of a challenge to make passive income in this business. Often times, the amount of revenue you bring in is limited by the amount of time you have in the day.
- Columbia University (2.27K Alexa Ranking)
- American Academy of Dermatology (34.2K Alexa Ranking)
- Galderma (169K Alexa Ranking)
- Forefront Dermatology (274K Alexa Ranking)
- LEO Pharma (459K Alexa Ranking)
- ProMD Health - Revenue $1M/month
Let's take a look at the search trends for dermatology services over the last year:
How To Name Your Dermatology Business
It's important to find a catchy name for your dermatology business so that you can stand out in your space.
Here are some general tips to consider when naming your dermatology business
- Avoid hard to spell names: you want something easy to remember and easy to spell for your customers
- Conduct a search to see if others in the space have the same name
- Try not to pick a name that limits growth opportunities for your business (ie. if you decide to expand into other product lines)
- As soon as you have an idea (or ideas) of a few names that you love, register the domain name(s) as soon as possible!
Why is naming your dermatology business so important?
The name of your business will forever play a role in:
- Your customers first impression
- Your businesses identity
- The power behind the type of customer your brand attracts
- If you're memorable or not
It's important to verify that the domain name is available for your dermatology business.
You can search domain availability here:
Find a domain starting at $0.88
powered by Namecheap
Although .com names are the most common and easiest to remember, there are other options if your .com domain name is not available. Depending on your audience, it may not matter as much as you think.
It's also important to thoroughly check if social media handles are available.
As soon as you resonate with a name (or names), secure the domain and SM handles as soon as possible to ensure they don't get taken.
Here's some inspiration for naming your dermatology business:
- My Aesthetics check availability
- Silk Touch check availability
- Feather Soft check availability
- Skin Flex check availability
- Evened check availability
- Derma Bright check availability
- Silk Texture check availability
- Gentle Touch check availability
- Perfect check availability
- Glow Reflect check availability
- T-Zone check availability
- Freckles check availability
- Thin Layer check availability
- Pampered check availability
- Pretty check availability
- DermaShine check availability
- Pleased check availability
- Oily Pore check availability
- Pink check availability
- Bright Blue check availability
- Glow check availability
- Luminous check availability
- Micro Beads check availability
- Royal check availability
- Lady Like check availability
- The Gentle check availability
- Harmonic check availability
- The Silky check availability
- Hyaluronic check availability
- The Usual check availability
- Mirrored check availability
- Soothed check availability
- Essential Vitamin check availability
- Valet check availability
- Derma Buttter check availability
- Glass check availability
- DermaTox check availability
- Simple check availability
- The Sleek check availability
- Silver Lining check availability
- Derma Dynamics check availability
- The Scrub check availability
- Facial Balm check availability
- Better Texture check availability
- Natural check availability
- Toned check availability
- Dewy Pleasure check availability
- Facial Wipe check availability
- Bare Face check availability
- Spotless check availability
- Developed check availability
- Skin Solution check availability
- Cosmo check availability
- Steam check availability
- Graceful check availability
- Ideal check availability
- Absolute check availability
- Unblemished check availability
- Pure Touch check availability
- Concealed check availability
- Better Pores check availability
- Picture Perfect check availability
- My Perfectionist check availability
- Untouched check availability
- Bye-Impurities check availability
- Identical check availability
- Heavenly check availability
- Beauteous check availability
- Perfect Absorber check availability
- Majestic check availability
- The Derma Genie check availability
- Clear Me check availability
- Perfect Glance check availability
- Glaze check availability
- Beautified check availability
- Medicament Co check availability
- Homeopathic Practice Of Medicine Group check availability
- Endocrinology Group check availability
- Oriental Doctor Pro check availability
- Physician Group check availability
- Genetic check availability
- BotanicalDermatology check availability
- Rheumatology Co check availability
- Beautiful check availability
- Clear Hide Trading Co check availability
- Clammy Stub Place check availability
- Endocrinology Spot check availability
- Mainstream Med check availability
- Sallow Scrape Trading Co check availability
- Brown check availability
- Cutis Spot check availability
- Cutis Pro check availability
- Geodesy Dermatology check availability
- Rough Hide Spot check availability
- Medication Collective check availability
- Hippocratic Medication Group check availability
- Rheumatology Place check availability
- Psychological Medication check availability
- The Ayurvedic check availability
- Medieval Medicinal Drug check availability
- DamagedSkin check availability
- Skin Spot check availability
- IntegrativeMedicine check availability
- The Occupational Neurology check availability
- Aesthetic Oncology Collective check availability
- Medicinal Drug Trading Co check availability
- Scrape Co check availability
- Paradoxically Dermatology check availability
- The Curative Doctors check availability
- Denison Medicine check availability
- Small Endocrinology Trading Co check availability
- Dried Cutis Place check availability
- Glabrous Scrape check availability
- The Complementary Medicament check availability
- The Based Neurology check availability
- The Industrial check availability
- ColdSkin check availability
- Sensitive Scalp check availability
- The Botanical Skin check availability
- Tropical Rheumatology check availability
- The Like check availability
- The General Doctors check availability
- The Tropical check availability
- AnimalSkin check availability
- Rind Collective check availability
- Psychosomatic check availability
- Investigative Gynecology check availability
- Genuine Medicine check availability
- The Reproductive check availability
- Shiny Scrape Place check availability
- Edible Medicine check availability
- Current Oncology Trading Co check availability
- Ancient Music check availability
- Scrotal Shinny check availability
- The Bitter check availability
- Apostrophe Dermatology check availability
- Hide Place check availability
- DiagnosticDermatology check availability
- Medieval Medical check availability
- The Behavioral Doctor check availability
- Spectroscopy Dermatology check availability
- Broken Pelt Spot check availability
- Smooth check availability
- Ayurvedic Medicate Pro check availability
- Medicate Place check availability
- Shiny Shinny check availability
- InvasiveDermatology check availability
- Herbal Medicinal Drug check availability
How To Create A Slogan For Your Dermatology Business:
Slogans are a critical piece of your marketing and advertising strategy.
The role of your slogan is to help your customer understand the benefits of your product/service - so it's important to find a catchy and effective slogan name.
Often times, your slogan can even be more important than the name of your brand.
Here are 6 tips for creating a catchy slogan for your dermatology business:
1. Keep it short, simple and avoid difficult words
A great rule of thumb is that your slogan should be under 10 words. This will make it easy for your customer to understand and remember.
2. Tell what you do and focus on what makes you different
There are a few different ways you can incorporate what makes your business special in your slogan:
- Explain the target customer you are catering your services towards
- What problem do you solve?
- How do you make other people, clients, or your employer look good?
- Do you make people more successful? How?
3. Be consistent
Chances are, if you're coming up with a slogan, you may already have your business name, logo, mission, branding etc.
It's important to create a slogan that is consistent with all of the above.
4. Ensure the longevity of your slogan
Times are changing quickly, and so are businesses.
When coming up with your slogan, you may want to consider creating something that is timeless and won't just fade with new trends.
5. Consider your audience
When finding a catchy slogan name, you'll want to make sure that this resonates across your entire audience.
It's possible that your slogan could make complete sense to your audience in Europe, but may not resonate with your US audience.
6. Get feedback!
This is one of the easiest ways to know if your slogan will be perceived well, and a step that a lot of brands drop the ball on.
Ask friends, family, strangers, and most importantly, those that are considered to be in your target market.
Here's some inspiration for coming up with a slogan for your dermatology business:
- Making your skin silky smooth
- For a better-looking skin
- The dermatologists that care
- More than just another derm clinic
- We make your skin superbly amazing
- Highly-trained and reliable dermatologists at your service
- Providing you with the best derm services
- The derm clinic that cares
- We live and breathe great skin
- For irresistibly smooth skin
- The best derm practices just for you
- Great skin that truly impresses
- You'll never be ashamed anymore of your skin
- Solving skin problems in the best way possible
- Skin problems no more
- The derm clinic that you can trust
- Count on us on making your skin better
- Amazing skin starts with us
- The best skin treatments made available for you
- We make great skin happen
- The best skin starts with us
- Your trusted derm clinic
- Perfect skin until the end of time
- Flawless skin is what matters
- Our advocacy is to give you a perfect skin
- The quest to have the best skin is here
- The epitome of having a great skin
- Flawless skin made possible
- Our mission is to give you a clear skin
- We promise you a clear skin
- Let your skin standout
- Beauty starts with the skin
- The road to a perfect skin
- The advocates for flawless skin
- Safe and effective methods to enhance your skin
- So Easy, No Wonder Skin Is #1.
- Biomedical Is What We Do
- Skin New And Improved.
- You Better Get Your Medicine Out.
- Schhh... You Know Medicine.
- We All Adore A Skin.
- There Is No Sore It Will Not Heal, No Medicine It Will Not Subdue.
- Direct Of The Stub
- What Is Dermatology?
- Call A Friend, Call Medicine.
- You'll Look A Little Lovelier Each Day With Fabulous Pink Dermatology.
- White Skin, Done Right
- Range Of The Bark
- Medicine Know-How.
- Complexion Is What We Do
- Drugmaker Is What We Do
- Lnvestigative Plastic Surgeons Are What We Do
- Medicine Will Live On Forever.
- Skin, Does The Job.
- Dermatology Makes Your Day.
- Base Of The Bark
- Skin Is Forever.
- Medicine, Not That Other Crap.
- Modern Medicament, Internal Medication
- You'll Look A Little Lovelier Each Day With Fabulous Pink Skin.
- Normal Cheats Are What We Do
- Skin's Like Heaven.
- Skins With Weather
- Skin The Best Of The Litter.
- From Untraditional To Time Honoured
- You Can On A Dermatology, Can Do!
- Something Special In The Medicine.
- Position Of The Bark
- Work Hard, Clamber Harder
- Dermatology Strikes Back.
- Medicine Strikes Back.
The Consulting Business Model
When implementing a consulting business model, you have a number of approaches to choose from:
Here are a few of the most common consulting business models:
1. The Time-Based Model
This is one of the more traditional consulting business models - where your rate, terms, and scope of work are outlined at the very beginning of the project.
Typically, with this model you would choose a day rate or an hourly rate.
2. The Project-Based Model
With a project-based model, you and your client agree on the scope of work you will be performing for a set amount of money.
There is typically a contract in place which covers the deliverables and expectations from both parties.
3. The Retainer-Based Model
The retainer model involves providing ongoing service for your clients over a specific period of time.
You may not provide a specific deliverable for your client, but instead, a broad scope of work over a set period.
4. The Consulting-Firm Model
This model is becoming more and more popular. The consulting firm model involves hiring freelancers or employees to complete work for your clients on your behalf.
Typically, in this situation, you still manage the relationship with the client, but you delegate some or all of the work to your team.
Which model should you choose?
The best way to determine which business model you will choose is to research other entrepreneurs or agencies in your space that are offering the same or similar service.
This will allow you to identify your competition, set your pricing, and determine your target audience.
🎬 How To Start A Dermatology Business
How Much Does It Cost To Start A Dermatology Business
If you are planning to start a dermatology business, the costs are relatively low. This, of course, depends on if you decide to start the business with lean expenses or bringing in a large team and spending more money.
We’ve outlined two common scenarios for “pre-opening” costs of starting a dermatology business and outline the costs you should expect for each:
- The estimated minimum starting cost = $62
- The estimated maximum starting cost = $43,547
|Startup Expenses: Average expenses incurred when starting a dermatology business.||Min Startup Costs: You plan to execute on your own. You’re able to work from home with minimal costs.||Max Startup Costs: You have started with 1+ other team members.|
|Office Space Expenses|
|Rent: This refers to the office space you use for your business and give money to the landlord. To minimize costs, you may want to consider starting your business from home or renting an office in a coworking space.||$0||$5,750|
|Utility Costs For Office Space: Utility costs are the expense for all the services you use in your office, including electricity, gas, fuels, telephone, water, sewerage, etc.||$0||$1,150|
|WiFi & Internet: Whether you work from home or in an office space, WiFi is essential. Although the cost is minimal in most cases, it should be appropriately budgeted for each month!||$0||$100|
|Total Office Space Expenses||$0 (min)||$7,000 (max)|
|Employee & Freelancer Expenses|
|Payroll Costs & Fees: Payroll cost means the expense of paying your employees, which includes salaries, wages, and other benefits. This number depends on if you decide to pay yourself a salary upfront and how many employees you have on payroll. At first, many founders take on all responsibilities until the business is up and running. You can always hire down the road when you understand where you need help. Keep in mind, if you do plan to pay yourself, the average salary founders make is $50K.||$150||$250|
|Employee Hiring Expenses: Apart from payroll and benefits, there are other hiring employees costs. This includes the cost to advertise the job, the time it takes to interview candidates, and any other turnover that may result from hiring the wrong candidate.||$1||$2|
|Employee Rewards: It's vital to acknowledge and reward workers, whether they hit their goals or do a great job. This does not have to be costly. In fact, simply taking workers out to a meal or giving a gift or bonus is among the many ways to show how the worker is valued!||$0||$100|
|Total Employee & Freelancer Expenses||$151 (min)||$352 (max)|
|Website Builder: The cost of your website will vary depending on which platform you choose. There are many website builders on the market, so it's important you choose the right one for your business and overall goals. To learn more about your options + how to build a great website, check out this article.||$10||$500|
|Web Designer: Web design includes several different aspects, including webpage layout, content creation, and design elements.If you have the skills and knowledge to design your website on your own, then outsourcing this to an expert may not be necessary. There are plenty of other ways you can design a beautiful website using design tools and software.||$200||$6,000|
|Domain Name: Your domain name is the URL and name of your website - this is how internet users find you and your website.Domain names are extremely important and should match your company name and brand. This makes it easier for customers to remember you and return to your website.||$12||$200|
|Business Email Hosting Service: An email hosting runs a dedicated email server. Once you have your domain name, you can set up email accounts for each user on your team. The most common email hosts are G Suite and Microsoft 365 Suite. The number of email accounts you set up will determine the monthly cost breakdown.||$1||$15|
|Website Hosting Costs: Server hosting is an IT service typically offered by a cloud service provider that hosts the website information and allows remote access through the internet. A hosted server can help you scale up and increase your business’s efficacy, relieving you from the hassles of on-premise operations.||$0||$300|
|Website & Live Chat Tool: If your business values high-end customer service, you must consider utilizing a website chatbot. Website chatbots play a pivotal role in converting site visitors into long-term customers. Typically, there are different tiers of pricing and features offered by Live Chat service providers.||$0||$200|
|Total Website Costs||$223 (min)||$7,215 (max)|
|Business Formation Fees|
|Small Business Insurance: Depending on which state you live in and the business you're operating, the costs and requirements for small business insurance vary. You can learn more here.||$500||$2,000|
|Permit and License Fees: Depending on your industry, there are certain licenses and permits you may need in order to comply with state, local, and federal regulations. Here is an article that goes over all the permits and licenses you may need for your dermatology business.||$50||$700|
|Trademark: Filing trademark registration will protect your brand and prevent other businesses from copying your name or product. USPTO has several different types of trademarks, so the cost to apply can vary (typically anywhere from $400-$700).||$0||$700|
|Lawyer Fees: Although you may want to avoid attorney fees, it's important that your business (and you) are covered at all costs. This comes into play when creating founder agreements, setting up your business legal structure, and of course, any unforeseen circumstances that may happen when dealing with customers or other businesses.||$0||$1,500|
|A Patent: Patents provide protection against others stealing or selling your idea.Securing a patent can be very valuable, but it's important that you are 100% sure this will be a smart business move for you, or if this is something to consider down the line.The process of securing a US patent can be both lengthy and pricey, and typically includes filing an application with the USPTO.||$5,000||$15,000|
|Set up business: LLC & Corporations: The first step in setting up your business is deciding whether your business is an LLC, S Corp or C Corp. The cost for this depends on which state you form your business and which structure you decide on. We put together an article that goes over the 10 Steps To Setting Up A Business.||$50||$500|
|Total Business Formation Fees||$5,600 (min)||$20,400 (max)|
|Equipment & Supply Expenses|
|Cleaning Supplies: Cleaning supplies are essential products we used daily at home and in almost all places worldwide. These items are used to effectively and safely remove dirt and germs to control allergens and prevent the spreading of contagious diseases, helping us stay healthy.||$63||$200|
|First-aid Equipment: First-aid kits can be bought as a set if not gathered one by one. These are vital in all places of work, homes, and even in cars, especially when you plan to travel or go camping. So, to protect your workers, clients, and kinsfolks, you must always keep a well-stocked first-aid kit handy.||$3||$500|
|Total Equipment & Supply Expenses||$66 (min)||$700 (max)|
|Design Programs & Software: These programs might include the Adobe family of design tools: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and others. This is typically a monthly subscription ranging from $10-$50/mo.||$0||$50|
|Email marketing tool: If you plan to grow your email list and email marketing efforts, you may want to consider investing in an email marketing platform (ie. Klaviyo, MailChimp). We put together a detailed guide on all of the email marketing tools out there + the pricing models for each one here.||$0||$100|
|IT Support: IT support installs and configures hardware and software and solves any technical issues that may arise.IT support can be used internally or for your customers experiencing issues with your product/service.There are a variety of tools and software you can use to help with any technical issues you or your customers are experiencing. This is a great option for businesses that do not have the means to hire a team of professionals.||$150||$2,000|
|Accounting & Invoicing Software: It's important to have an accounting system and process in place to manage financials, reporting, planning and tax preparation. Here are the 30 best accounting tools for small businesses.||$0||$50|
|CRM Software: CRM (customer relationship management) software system is used to track and analyze your company’s interactions with clients and prospects. Although this is not a necessary tool to have for your business, implementing this, in the beginning, may set your business up for success and save you valuable time.||$12||$300|
|Project Management Software: You may want to consider using a project management and collaboration tool to organize your day-to-day. This can also be very beneficial if you have a larger team and want to keep track of everyones tasks and productivity. For a full list of project management tools, check out this full list here.||$0||$25|
|Internal Communication Tool: If you plan to have multiple members on your team, you may want to consider an instant message tool such as Slack or Telegram. The cost is usually billed per month (approx $5/user/month) or there are freemium versions available on many platforms.||$0||$20|
|Social Media Management Tools: If you plan to do social media marketing for your dermatology business, you should consider investing in a social media automation or publishing tool. This will save you time and allow you to track performance and engagement for your posts. Here is a list of 28 best social media tools for your small business.||$0||$50|
|Payroll Software: The main purpose of payroll software is to help you pay your team and track each of those payments (so that you don't have to do it manually). If you do not have any employees or have a very small team, payroll software may not be necessary at this stage. Here are the 11 best payroll tools for small businesses!||$0||$200|
|File Hosting Service: It's important to make sure the information for your dermatology business is stored and protected should something happen to your computer or hard drive. The cost for this is affordable and depends on how much data you need to store. To learn more about the different options and pricing on the market, check out this article.||$0||$299|
|Total Software Expenses||$162 (min)||$3,094 (max)|
|Advertising & Marketing Costs|
|Business Cards: A dermatology business involves quite a bit of customer interaction, whether that is attending tradeshows, sales calls or simply having face to face interaction with prospective clients. Business cards are a great way to stay front of mind with your clients.||$0||$50|
|Customer Research & Surveys: Many dermatology business's conduct industry and consumer research prior to starting their business. Often times, you need to pay for this data or hire a market research firm to help you in this process.||$0||$300|
|Business Signage: Business signs let people know they're in the right place and are one of the first impressions your customer will have of your business.The cost for signage depends on a variety of elements:- material- size- number of colors- durability- installation and laborThere are plenty of design tools and software to create your own signs, or you can hire a sign business to do this for you.||$75||$2,486|
|Direct Campaigns, Printing and Mailing: Although it may sound old-school, traditional marketing methods can be a cost-effective way to drive awareness for your brand. This includes flyers, postcards, sales letters, coupons, special offers, catalogs and brochures.||$0||$300|
|Affiliate Marketing Commission & Fees: If you want to increase revenue for your dermatology business, affiliate marketing is a great way to promote your product to a new audience. When determining affiliate commission rates you will offer, you will want to take into account the price and margin for your product to ensure affiliate marketing is worth it for your business. According to Monitor Backlinks, the average affiliate commission rate should be somewhere between 5% to 30%. To learn more about how to set commission rates, check out this article..||$0||$250|
|Influencer Marketing: Partnering with like-minded influencers is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media presence. Many small businesses simply gift a free item in exchange for an influencer post, or pay the influencer directly.||$0||$750|
|Google Ads: With Google Ads you have the ability to control how much you spend by simply setting a monthly budget cap. Additionally, with these ads you only pay for results, such as clicks to your website or phone calls! It's okay to start with a small budget at first and make changes accordingly if you see valuable returns.||$0||$300|
|Facebook & Instagram Ads: With Facebook and Instagram ads, you set your budget and pay for the actions you want (whether that be impressions, conversions, etc).You can learn more about pricing based on your impressions here.||$0||$350|
|Total Advertising & Marketing Costs||$75 (min)||$4,786 (max)|
|Total Starting Costs||$62 (min)||$43,547 (max)|
Raising Money For Your Dermatology Business
Here are the most common ways to raise money for your dermatology business:
Accelerators are organizations that offer a range of support and funding opportunities for startups.
Typically, this means they help enroll startups in programs that offer mentorship, office space, and resources to grow the business.
These programs are typically 3-4 months and involve intense education and mentorship - most importantly, the startups also offered capital and investment in return for equity.
Here are some of the most popular and well-known startup accelerators in the U.S:
Here are some tips on how to get into an accelerator program:
- Have an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) in place
- Make sure you have actual customers and an overview of how your business is doing (revenue, site traffic, growth metrics)
- Build a team
- Crush your interview - this is a critical piece in the process. Know your business and metrics inside out and most importantly, be able to portray what makes it so unique.
VC funding is a traditional and long process, but an effective way to raise money for your business.
The term "VC funding" refers to venture capital firms investing in businesses in exchange for equity.
The VC's (venture capitalists) are an individual or small group investing in your business and typically require substantial ownership of the business, with the hope of seeing a return on their investment.
VC's are typically the best approach for businesses with high startup costs - where it would be very difficult to raise the money on your own or through a loan.
When deciding whether to take this approach, it's important that you have a few things in place first, and know what you're getting yourself into:
Determine if your business is ready
Having an idea is not enough to get VC funding.
Typically, VC's will check to make sure you have these things in place prior to closing any deal:
- An MVP (Minimal Viable Product)
- A founding team with all proper documents in place (articles of organization, business formation)
- A validated idea with actual customers buying your product/service
Get everything in place and build a pitch deck
A VC individual or firm will be expecting a fine-tuned presentation that gives an overview of your business.
Here's what you should consider including in your pitch deck:
- Management team, their previous experience + current roles in the business
- Market challenge and solution
- Company financials - including a P&L statement, cash flow statement, and projections
- Company progress
- Investment amount - how much do you need and why?
Research the right VC to fund your business
Research the types of VC investors out there and what niche they focus on.
Then, put together a list of target VC's you want to approach and your strategy around setting up meetings.
Be sure you have everything in place (as discussed above) before setting up any meeting!
Make sure the terms and expectations are right for your business
Committing to VC funding is a big deal and a decision that should not be made lightly.
Although the money and experience from VC's can help your business quickly grow, you are also giving away a stake in the company, and the money comes with strings attached.
Be sure you do your due diligence in finding the right investor - one that truly believes in the growth and success of your business.
For your dermatology business, a common way to raise money is through crowdfunding.
So, what does it mean to crowdfund your small business?
Crowdfunding refers to funding a project through many individual investors.
Here are some items to keep in mind when planning your campaign:
- Sell more than just your product. Sell your passion, your vision, and your story.
- Be real. Give your community honest details about your product.
- Treat your audience as your friends (not just potential customers)
- Put together a great presentation - it will attract people quicker.
To launch a successful crowdfunding campaign, you first need to select the type of crowdfunding platform to host your campaign.
Here are the most popular crowdfunding platforms to raise money on:
Funding platform for creative projects.
Businesses using Kickstarter:
Crowdfunding platform for innovations in tech and design.
Businesses using Indiegogo:
Crowdfunding platform that has helped more than 350 companies raise $175M+ from a community of over 250,000 prospective investors.
Businesses using StartEngine:
We connected with one of the most successful Kickstarter campaigns, Photobooth Supply Co, and asked founder, Brandon Wong to give us some insight on his strategy:
Product first, campaign second
So with all of those positive benefits of the platform figured out, we wanted to make sure we had the product itself in the right place before we launched.
We’ve been working on Salsa for a long time now and wouldn’t have felt comfortable revealing the ability to pay for it until we hit a very important milestone. We had a final prototype.
Doing all of the sourcing and actual production is secondary—there was absolutely no way we could have gone public without people being able to see real photos (and touch in person) a functioning prototype.
This meant that we had to do all of the development before we ever saw a cent.
Finding backers in the real world
We launched the product at our annual Booth Summit, which is a convention for photobooth owners to get together and learn from experts in the field. Launching a product in a receptive environment is generally considered to be a good idea. The same was definitely true for us!
We had a crowd of people who had just told us they were dedicated to growing their business… and we had the chance to offer them a way to do just that. I really can’t emphasize enough how important it is to make products that matter for people who will care about them.
This opportunity to see the product in real life was an essential component for our launch, but it might not be the same for you. I think it just shows how essential having a great prototype is. People love to touch and feel what they’re buying, if you’re talking about something physical… you should be able to show a prototype before you ask for money.
Building excitement with even the smallest backers.
We knew that we wanted to have a ton of incentives for early backers so that they’d be rewarded for taking a leap of faith on a new photobooth.
We’re obviously not making a whole lot of money on that first $1999 tier. But it enabled people to be part of something fun.
Every $1999 backer is always going to be able to say, not just that they got a great deal, but that they were one of the first to get on board. It means a lot more than a discount code expiring—just look at how frustrated people are on Twitter when a limited stock of rewards is secretly gobbled up.
Kickstarter doesn’t reveal the names of backers, but it humanizes them. And it just adds to the fun of getting your own spot! Even for someone backing now, they’re able to say that they were an early adopter.
Delivering on our promise
One of the most common critiques of Kickstarter items is that they either never show up or that they take years. I wanted to make sure that our timeline was easy to deliver and also reasonable.
Nobody deserves to wait two years for your product after they pay for it. I felt like we needed to offer a much quicker turnaround than that. We launched on Black Friday 2018 with an estimated delivery of April 2019.
That’s under 6 months and much lower than the average Kickstarter! The most important thing is that we will be able to meet that timeline. You can’t go around promising delivery dates and missing them, this isn’t a consumer product.
Anytime you’re working with the events industry you have to be very transparent and up front about timelines. A bride who books a photobooth needs it to show up on her wedding day. It’s non-negotiable!
What Skills Do I Need To Succeed In Starting A Dermatology Business?
As a dermatology business, there are several essential skills and characteristics that are important to identify prior to starting your business.
Let’s look at these skills in more detail so you can identify what you need to succeed in your day-to-day business operations:
Self Motivation Skills
Self motivation and discipline skills are critical in order to become successful in this field.
It's likely that you will find yourself starting and running your dermatology business from home, which could mean there are more distractions for you.
Here are the basic skills needed for self motivation & discipline:
- Becoming a self starter: It's important that you are capable of independently completing a task without the help or direction of anyone else
- Listening and following directions: When you are given direction by others, it's critical that you are able to follow directions and ask the right questions in order to get your job done
- Taking the initiative in problem solving: Instead of taking the easy route, you'll need to learn to troubleshoot issues on your own as much as possible.
Customer Service Skills
Friendly communication with customers and the ability to address service issues is a critical part of the job.
Here are some customer service skills you may want to consider prior to starting a dermatology business:
- Professionalism: The way you act, present yourself, and respond to situations all leave an impression on your customer. It's important to stay professional at all times when handling customer requests or issues.
- Problem-solving: When issues arise, it's important that you are able to think quick on your feet and address the situation with a calm and clear solution
- Friendly-manner: This is an obvious one, but customers truly appreciate someone that can respond in a quick, efficient, and friendly manner.
- Proficient in writing: These skills include the ability to write well-crafted emails, service tickets, and any other programs used by the business (ie. chat functions, SMS texting)
Business Savvy Skills
When starting a dermatology business, there are a few fundamental business skills you will want to learn in order to be successful:
- Leadership and training skills: A great team starts with YOU. Make sure you have all company policies and training procedures in place prior to hiring your team
- Decisive and self-confident: Over the course of your career, you will need decisions that could impact your business significantly. It's important you are able to think clearly and rationally about these decisions.
- Ability to understand the financials: You don't need to be an accountant, but it is important that you are able to clearly understand and define metrics such as expenses, revenue, profit, margins, COGS, etc.
- Strategic Thinking: Setting clear goals and benchmarks, identifying opportunities, risks. Ability to effectively communicate these insights to your team.
These are a few of many business savvy skills you should have (or work on) when starting a dermatology business.
For a full list, check out this article here.
Advice For Starting A Dermatology Business
We've interviewed thousands of successful founders at Starter Story and asked what advice they would give to entrepreneurs who are just getting started.
Here's the best advice we discovered for starting a dermatology business:
Scott R. Melamed, founder of ProMD Health ($1M/month):
Be a person who people want to do well and run a business that people want to see succeed.
Read the full interview ➜
Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan from the start is critical for the success of your dermatology business.
Because this allows you to roadmap exactly what you do, what your overall structure will look like, and where you want to be in the future.
For many entrepreneurs, writing out the business plan helps validate their idea and decide whether or not they should move forward with starting the business.
You may want to consider expanding upon these sections in your business plan:
- Executive Summary: Brief outline of your product, the market, and growth opportunities
- Overviews and Objectives: Overview of your business, target customers, and what you need to run your business
- Products and Services: Specifics on the products and services your business will provide
- Market Opportunities: Analysis of customer demographics, buyer habits and if your product is in demand
- Marketing: Outline of your marketing plan and how you plan to differentiate yourself from other customers
- Competitive analysis: Analysis of your competition and the strengths and weaknesses therein
- Operations: Hierarchal structure of the company and what it will take to run the business on the day-to-day
- Leadership Team: Detailing roles and responsibilities of each manager based on their specific skill-set
- Financial Analysis Understanding of all expenses, operating budgets, and projections for the future.
Learn more about how to write a business plan here
Determine Which Business Bank Account You Need
There are hundreds of banks out there, and it can be overwhelming to find one that's right for your business.
Here are some factors you may want to consider:
- Location - Is your bank close enough that you can easily make deposits or get cash?
- Low Fees - Make sure to understand any and all fees associated with setting up and maintaining your bank account. Ask for a list - banks usually try to keep this hidden and in the fine print.
- Online Banking Services - Make sure you can easily navigate through your online portal and you have easy access to everything you need.
- Line of Credit - What do your options look like (even if you don't need this now, you may need this down the road).
- Every bank has something that differentiates them from the rest, so make sure whatever that is applied to your needs and values.
Check out this list of the 13 Best Banks for Small Business in 2020 and what makes them so unique.
Setting Up Your Dermatology Business (Formation and Legal)
When it comes to setting up your business, you may find yourself in a place where you have to make some financial and legal decisions.
The first thing you'll want to decide on is whether you want to be an LLC, S-Corp, or C-Corp.
These three options are found to be the most common when starting a small business, and all serve to protect your personal assets and also provide you with certain tax benefits.
- LLC: All income and expenses from the business are reported on the LLC personal income tax return.
- S corp: Owners pay themselves salaries + receive dividends from profits.
- C Corp: C Corps are separately taxable entities that file a corporate tax return (Form 1120). No income tax is paid at the corporate level and any tax due is paid at the owners individual expense.
Depending on where you're conducting business, you'll also want to consider securing the proper permits, licenses and liability insurance.
Need to start an LLC? Create an LLC in minutes with ZenBusiness.
How Do I Pay Myself As A Small Business Owner?
Most entrepreneurs start a business to do something they love- but at the end of the day, you still have bills to pay (maybe now more than ever).
But it's important to strike the right balance - if you pay yourself too much, you could be putting your business at risk.
There are two common ways to pay yourself as a business owner:
1. Owner's Draw
Many entrepreneurs pay themselves through an owner's draw. This means that you are technically sean as "self-employed" through the eyes of the IRS and are not paid through regular wages.
At the point that you collect money from the draw, taxes typically are not taken out - so make sure you are prepared to pay these taxes once you file your individual return.
As an owner who takes a draw, you can legally take out as much as you want from your equity.
This type of compensation is suited for Sole props, LLCs, and partnerships. If you’re an S corp, you can pay yourself through both a salary and draw if you choose.
If you decide to pay yourself a salary, you will receive a set and recurring amount. This will be taxed by the federal government and the state you reside in.
The reality is that it can be really complicated to set your own salary, so we have some tips for you to consider:
- Take out a reasonable amount that allows you to live comfortably but also sets your business up for success
- Consider the number of hours you are working weekly + the type of duties you are performing.
- Set your salary based on your industry-standard, location, and profits (or projected profits)
- Look at your P&L statement: Deduct your own pay from that amount. This is important so you can first tackle important business expenses, and then pay yourself from the amount leftover.
- Pick a payroll schedule (and stick to it)! In the US, it's most common to pay yourself and employees twice a month.
To learn more about how to pay yourself and what is a reasonable amount, check out this article.
How To Price Your Dermatology Services
One of the most challenging aspects to starting a dermatology business is determining how much to charge for your dermatology services.
When businesses under-price their product, this can be extremely detrimental to their bottom line and reputation.
Often times, businesses under-price their products to drive demand and volume, but that last thing you want is for customers to view your product/service as "cheap." Additionally, this can have a big impact on the type of customer you attract, which can be difficult to recover from.
On the other hand, when businesses over-price, this tends to be just as damaging to the business.
When customers buy, it's likely that they will explore the internet and look at other competitors to ensure they're getting the best value + deal. This is why it's so important that you research your competition and understand where you land in the marketplace.
Here are some factors to consider when pricing your product:
Understand your customer
It's important that out of the gates, you identify the type of customer you want to attract and how much they're willing to pay for your service. One great way to do this is by surveying your customers. Here are some important items you'll want to takeaway:
- Customer demographic: Age, gender, location, etc.
- Buying habits of your customer: What they buy + when they buy
- Level of price sensitivity with your customer
All of these segments will help you identify the type of customer you're attracting and how to price your product accordingly.
Understand your costs
When pricing your dermatology services, it's critical that you first identify all of your costs and consequently mark up your dermatology services so you can factor in a profit.
The actual cost of your dermatology services may include things like:
- The actual cost to make the product (ie. raw materials, supplies, manufacturer).
- Shipping + overhead fees
- Operating costs to run your business
You may want to consider creating a spreadsheet with every single expense involved in operating/owning your business. This will give you an idea as to what you need to generate in order to at the very least, break-even and will help you price your products to factor in a profit.
Create revenue goals
When determining the price of your dermatology services, you'll want to create goals for revenue + how much profit you want your dermatology business to make.
This process is simpler than you may think:
- Think about your breakeven cost (by completing the above step).
- Create a revenue goal based on your break-even cost
- Evaluate the # of items you plan to sell in a given period (make sure this is a realistic number)
- Divide your revenue goal by the number of items you plan to sell
This figure will help determine your estimated price per product in order to meet your revenue goals.
Evaluate your competition
The last piece in determining how to price your dermatology services is by simply looking at your competition.
The best way to do this is by finding like-minded businesses that offer product(s) with similar perceived value. Then, you can compare prices of the different businesses and determine where your dermatology services fits best in the marketplace.
All of these factors play an equal part in pricing your dermatology services, so it's important you evaluate each one individually to come up with an accurate price that will help optimize your business from the start.
Rate Calculator: How to Calculate The Price For Your Dermatology Services Services
Our calculator is designed to be simple and easy to use.
The goal is to help you set realistic expectations and understand the hourly rate you should be charging to make your desired profit.
Please input below:
What Type Of Customers Will Buy Your Dermatology Services
It's important to first establish who you will be selling to, whether it's to businesses or consumers.
Typically, in this industry, products are sold to B2C markets (business-to-consumer).
Let's take a look at what this means for your dermatology business:
B2C (or business to consumer) is a transaction where businesses sell their products or services to the consumer directly.
In this market, consumer behavior is the primary driver for your business decisions - so it's important that you truly identify who your customer is, and what their buyer habits are when building your product/service.
B2C is that you are able to cast a very wide net when targeting your customers. Your product may interest a large number of consumers or a specific niche.
B2C is that consumers hold all the power - so if your website is not the most user friendly, or does not rank in the top search results on Google, chances are, your customer is going to shop elsewhere.
When building your dermatology business, it's critical that you hone in on who your target audience is, and why they need your product over your competition.
Here are some items to consider when identifying your buyer persona:
Identify Target Customer
A very critical piece in building dermatology business is to identify your ideal target customer.
- Develop a niche and create a consistent brand that reflects your target customer.
- The colors, logo, content, and overall website should resonate with your target customer and should draw them in by helping them solve their specific "need".
Building an MVP (Minimal Viable Product)
When building a dermatology business, it's critical that you first validate your product/service rather than rushing to build it right away.
This could save you months, if not years of building the wrong product/service.
If you're hoping to decrease any sort of risk that comes with launching your dermatology business, designing a prototype can be a great way to de-risk your situation.
The point of your dermatology services prototype is that it doesn't have to be perfect.
In the beginning stages, it doesn't matter how rough V1 of your prototype is, it's more important to just get started and you can always refine from there based on feedback from your network and most importantly your customers.
How To Build A MVP
Here are several different ways of building a prototype/MVP:
- Start by building a landing page to see if customers actually need your product and if they are willing to pay for it
- Build a very basic version of your idea and ask for immediate feedback from potential customers
- Present a problem and solution via Facebook/Instagram Ads and see what the response is like
Scott R. Melamed, founder of ProMD Health dives deep into the process of designing and prototyping their product:
As a management consultant and through the process of starting my own companies as well as touring practices under my old aesthetic dermatology venture I had seen a breadth of different ways of doing things. So step one was to examine the current business and “trim fat” where needed while implementing the sound business practices that would lead us into the future.
ProMD Health was designed from the ground up to operate like a Fortune 100 company, even though at the time we were very and I mean very small. I created operating models, organizational charts, core values, mission statements, vision statements, implemented employee benefit and retention programs, service awards, you name it.
Looking back at some of our old documents is pretty amusing as we had several people wearing so many hats, filling positions we knew we would need as we grew. I believe this is what led greatly to our success. Take the time to build your business right from day one. It is much easier to scale and grow into already developed processes than it is to go back and try to retrofit your business into things as it grows. Plus as your employees mature and want to grow with you, you already have positions for them. There is nothing worse than losing a great employee because they’ve outgrown their entry-level position and you have nothing left to offer them.
We set out to do things that few else in the industry were doing. Starting first with vendor relationships. I examined the industry and recognized that while it was growing year over year it was lacking in key business practices. Largely due to the fact that most physicians, for better or worse, are more concerned with medicine and never took the time to learn about business.
The simple adages heard in the halls of major firms went simply missed such as “never eat alone” and “take every meeting”. Vendors were often shooed out of offices without being given the time of day. ProMD Health changed that, by developing close-knit relationships with every vendor, even those who sold products we weren’t interested in. This put us at the top of the list for vendors when they acquired new products or services, made sure we were always in the know and gave us access to the best pricing. The pricing we would use not only to improve our bottom line but would enable us to spin up corporate giving campaigns and improve access to our more cost-prohibitive services later. Treat everyone with respect and take every meeting, you never know who will be pivotable to your success down the road.
We began capturing, analyzing, and utilizing data to drive our business in new and unique ways. We did lean six-sigma implementations which I had learned while working at Johns Hopkins Hospital, we examined the patient base and potential patient base in our area to determine where the low hanging fruit that our competitors had missed was. As a small example, due to my time in the public service world as a firefighter, I recognized that with overtime police officers and firefighters were bringing home pay well above the average for the area. In addition, I was aware of how often these valued members of our community and their spouses meet for union events, fire department dinners, police balls, etc. Yet not one of our competitors was advertising to this group. So we partnered with their unions and began offering a fire-police-ems & military discount to show our appreciation.
Once we identified all the consumer bases we wanted to target, refined our internal processes, got the vendors on board, built our team, and created a truly reproducible business system we were ready to launch and grow in accordance with our Core Values.
Donation Based Funding
You may want to consider raising money through donations for your dermatology business.
This type of funding is common for disaster relief, charities, non-profits, and medical bills.
Donation-based funding is a way to raise money by asking a large group of people to donate, with no financial return to investors or contributors.
Often times, backers donate money in exchange for perks or rewards.
🚀 How To Launch Your Dermatology Business
Build A Website
Building a website is imperative when launching your business, and with the right tools in place, this can be a simple task to check off the list (without having to hire someone).
- Pick a domain name that's easy to remember and easy to type
- Choose a Web Hosting Plan (ie. Shopify, Squarespace)
- Make sure you choose the right theme and design
- Implement the proper page structure (ie. about page, contact page, pricing etc)
To learn more about how to build a stellar website with little stress, we give you all the details on this step-by-step guide.
Best Website Platforms To Use For Your Dermatology Business:
There are a variety of websites platforms out there, and it's important to choose the right one that will set you up for success.
Here's everything you need to know about the two most common platforms for your dermatology business:
Free and open-source content management system based on PHP and MySQL.
Free to use/open source but you will need to pay for the hosting.
Businesses using WordPress:
The all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website.
- Personal Plan: $12/month
- Business Plan: $18/month
- Basic: $26/month
Businesses using Squarespace:
Once you have chosen the domain, web hosting, and platform, it's time to get started with the design phase.
Themes are a great way to produce the fundamental style and identity of your website - this includes everything from your font design to your blog post styles.
One of the best ways to get started is to simply explore the various themes (free or paid depending on what you're looking for) and test them on your site.
If web-design really isn't in the cards for you, you may want to consider outsourcing a web designer to help bring your vision and brand to life.
Traditional Launch Strategies For Your Dermatology Business:
There are various different ways you can launch your dermatology business successfully.
Here are a few different strategies to get customers excited about your dermatology business:
- Set up a Facebook page for your business. This is a great way to establish an online presence
- Host an event in a fun location with drinks & food. This is a great way to get exposure in the local community.
- Get Press! Pitch your story to the media and you may just land in an amazing publication
- Live sales to get customers excited
- Send a hand-written letter in the mail with a discount on your services to the local community/neighborhoods.
Scott R. Melamed, founder of ProMD Health dives deep into the process of launching the business:
For the purposes of this article, I will define “Launch” as the process and eventual launch of the ProMD Development Group, which gave physicians the ability to own their own ProMD Health location as that process involved first refining and essentially relaunching the ProMD Health corporate brand and locations and I think this group will get more out of it as it is more directly applicable to any business trying to scale.
In order to prepare any business to launch to the scale, you must first begin a ramp-up phase. We did a SWOT analysis, identified skill gaps, established our core team, and made sure that everyone involved understood the mission and vision.
Without clear direction and bottom-up buy-in of your mission and vision, there is no pad to launch from. A quick note on staffing and teams. There is not a single member of my team that I wouldn’t grab a beer with or mind being stuck at the office in a snowstorm with. In consulting, we called this “the airport test”. I would rather be surrounded by a team of mid-range performers who care about the mission and vision and bring the collective team-up than be surrounded by high performers who kill our culture. I strongly advise you to build a team full of members who bring the who business up overall rather than seeking out a team full of people who are great at bringing up some key metrics but bring the overall team down.
After the ramp-up phase, we began to further hone the system. Making sure everything was easily repeatable and reproducible and getting ready to expand to test it for ourselves. We examined every area of the business to see where we could improve. We partnered with vendors to see about training opportunities and speaking opportunities to grow and establish our credibility. We took a look at our marketing and laid out a plan, more on this in the next section. Honestly, fully explaining how and why our marketing would have to be its own story, but I will do my best in the appropriate section later.
We identified and opened a new location in a test market and began to test our methods to see if they could be reproduced by our existing team in a new location.
The next step was to truly burn in the model. Here we really started to get creative with our data capture and analysis. Looking at things like how consumers behave during certain times of the year, on certain days, around the holidays, what items they were purchasing together that could be bundled to drive sales, etc.
We became a data-driven business. As an example, we studied how our consumers were acting around holidays. Were they coming in more since they had free time? Were they coming in less because they were traveling or with their families? We identified gaps and took proactive steps to modulate their behavior in order to get them to come in when the data told us the schedule was historically light and we ran promotions to get them to make the most of their appointment during holiday weeks when the data told us appointment counts were historically low.
With a burned in and proven system backed by reliable data we opened our next location with new staff to see if the model could be reproduced by “newbies”. Here we learned a tremendous amount.
The key takeaway was that living and breathing inside a model everyday makes things seem routine that isn’t. When we were teaching new staff we left out key explanations because we assumed they were known since they were routine to us. As an easily understandable parody when a friend asks you for directions to your house you probably wouldn’t start with “Step 1: Walk out of your house and get into your car.” We would assume that if they are asking for directions they inherently know all the steps before getting on the nearest interstate. But we learned that if we wanted to make this work with true reproducibility we had to get very granular in our explanations.
We also learned what in my opinion was the most valuable lesson: People remember “how” to do things better when they understand “why” they are doing them. Taking the few extra minutes to explain how and why we came to the conclusion that what we're telling them to do is the best way does 2 important things: 1. It gets their buy-in and prevents re-training later. 2. It allows them to truly understand the thinking behind things and more importantly gets them thinking themselves about ways to improve upon our “best practices”. We have an open-door policy when it comes to doing things better, many of the processes we use today were created by team members recognizing ways to do the task they were given in a way that is better than what was in their initial training.
After we were comfortable that our system worked, could be reproduced by those other than members of the core team, and was safe and effective to both the patients and the brand, we began to expand regionally and launched the independently owned and operated growth model.
🌱 How To Grow Your Dermatology Business
Consider Working With Instagram Influencers
Partnering with like-minded influencers (within your industry) is one of the most effective ways to grow your social media organically.
Industry influencers already have an established and loyal following. With one post, your product immediately establishes a connection with a brand new audience. It's that powerful.
When finding influencers to promote your product, do your research and make sure that their following will actually be interested in your product.
It's easy to be blinded by any influencer with a huge following, but if those followers don't resonate with your product, there may not be any value there... so make sure you do your research!
Evan Marshall, founder of Plain Jane discusses how "micro-influencers" have impacted his business:
Influencer marketing has been huge for us. Our approach is pretty simple. We give out samples of our products and ask people to post about us on social media aka a micro-influencer strategy.
We really like this approach because we get authentic stories and content. We cannot really control the messaging so the product has to speak for itself. We don’t really take product photos at all. Our customers take the photos and we ask to reuse them.
With any influencer strategy, you have to be very sure you’re targeting the right people and engaging with them. You can make sure you’re targeting the right influencers by looking through their posts and then looking through the profiles of their engaged followers.
It takes more time per influencer but the payoff is certainly worth it. Make sure their followers look like your existing customers.
It takes a ton of time and work to grow a social media following this way but it’s worth it. Other accounts have tried to grow themselves through botting or other manipulations. As a CBD company, we didn’t want to give Instagram any reason to shutdown our account so we’ve done everything through content and real engagement. It’s not magic to make this happen. You just have to post consistently and then reply or like every single comment you get. It takes months but it works
Improve your SEO
SEO is not just about driving traffic to your site, it's about driving the RIGHT traffic to your site, and ultimately, converting leads into customers.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is understanding what your customers are searching for, otherwise known as "keyword research."
Here are some tools that can help you choose the right keywords for your dermatology business.
- Google Ads Keyword Planner invaluable for discovering search trends.
- Google Search Console is very helpful once your website is up as it shows you what words/phrases are generating traffic.
- Ahrefs and SEMRush are paid tools that allow you to look at results of your competitor's website.
Publish Great Content
Finding keywords is an important piece of the puzzle, but Google also ranks your site based on the actual content you produce, as this is what your customers are reading and engaging with.
There are various different "forms" of content that you may want to consider diversifying on your sites, such as blog posts, articles, studies, and videos.
So let's discuss what google considers "good content:"
- Length - This will vary depending on the page, however, generally having a sufficient amount of content helps search engines recognize that your site is a good source for a specific topic
- Engagement - The longer people stay on your website to read your content, the higher Google will rank your website. It's important to have informative and "thick" content that keeps people reading
- Avoid Duplicating Content - Google will recognize this and may consider your content to have low value
- Ensure pages load quickly - This will also help with engagement and time spent on your website
- Shareability - Create content that people want to share, and is easy for them to share, especially to their social media accounts (ie. "click to tweet" is a great example of this).
Another element of creating good content is creating consistent content.
If (and hopefully you are) publishing content frequently, it's important to stick to a schedule - this helps build brand trust and easy user experience with your customers.
Planning out your content with a content calendar is key to staying consistent.
Here are a few great content calendar tools that can help you:
Backlinks are an important piece to SEO, as they allow for other websites to link to your content.
Search engines recognize that other sites are essentially "verifying" your content and essentially rank you higher because of this.
Of course, some links are more valuable than others and can affect your site in different ways.
For example, if a highly valuable and credible site like the New York Times links to a page on your website, this could be remarkable from an SEO perspective.
Aside from organically getting mentioned from other sites, there are other ways that you can increase and earn backlinks:
- Create infographics with relevant data that people want to share
- Promote your content on different sites/look into "guest blogging"
- Contact influencers/journalists/bloggers and ask them to mention you!
- Write testimonials for other sites in exchange for a backlink
- Leverage existing business relationships
Build A Blog
One of the most effective ways to build brand awareness and grow your business is through consistently blogging.
We've outlined some useful tips for you to consider when creating content:
Consistency and Quantity
Quality is important, but it should be the standard for any content you publish.
What’s more important is consistency and quantity.
Consistency is as simple as committing to publishing and sharing a certain number of posts per week. For me, that’s three per week right now.
This kind of commitment is key, because one day, a random post will blow up, and you will have never expected it.
The easiest mind trap is to think "I’m posting too much", and “I need to give my readers/audience/this platform a break”.
This is nonsense.
There is no such thing as oversaturation. Well, there is, but it is just someone else’s opinion.
For every person that tells you you are posting too much, there is another person that wants even more of your content.
You should ignore people’s opinions on how much you post.
Patience & Persistence
Keep posting, keep trying, and keep putting out good content on the regular. Your time will come, and when it does, it will change everything.
The only thing you have control over is your content.
You can’t control how people will react to it. You can’t control pageviews, likes, or shares.
So the only metric you should focus on is how much content you can put out in a week, month, etc.
Where to share your blog content
I know it sounds obvious, but the best places to share your content is on your mailing list. It is guaranteed traffic and it is a great way to get rapid feedback from your most loyal readers.
Send newsletters often. I have done once a week since starting, and I’m moving to twice a week soon.
Work on increasing your mailing list as well. Look into ways to increase your conversion rate to your mailing list. I added a flyout popup thing to my site and now I’m collecting ~30 emails per day.
An email newsletter is one of the most powerful assets you can have and it is worth its weight in gold.
Reddit is one of my favorite places to promote content.
It is a very scary place because you will often get banned or heckled, but it can really pay off.
Create social media accounts for your blog, the main ones I use:
Twitter Facebook Instagram LinkedIn
Set up Buffer and share all of your blog posts to all of your accounts. All of these little shares really do add up.
Automate this as much as possible. I automated all of my social media for Starter Story.
When I started out, I put together a spreadsheet of relevant Facebook groups for my niche, and I would post to these groups whenever I had a big story I wanted to share.
Grow Your Email List
The more engaged list of emails, the more engaged customers, which ultimately leads to more sales.
One of the best ways to start growing your list is by providing your customer with something free (or discounted) in return.
This could also be anything from:
- Fascinating case study
- Video series
- Free week of the product
- Discount on the product
Learn more about how to grow your email list and improve email marketing ➜ here.
Dylan Jacob, founder of Brumate states their email collection tactic that is proven to work:
We use Spin-a-Sale for this (you spin a wheel for a discount code in exchange for subscribing to our email list). This has been the best email-collecting tool we have found because the customer truly feels like they won a prize rather than just a coupon code.
Even if a customer doesn’t convert right away, if we have their email we have a 19% chance of converting them into a future customer whether that is through future promotions, new releases, or simply just sending an email at the right time for a purchase to finally make sense for them.
We also have a return customer rate of over 14%, so one out of every 6 people we convert will end up buying from us again with an average order value of over $60.00.
Add an exit-intent popup to your online store
A great way to double, or even triple, your email opt-in rate and to grow your list is to add an exit-intent popup to your site, and offering a discount or content upgrade for subscribers.
Here's an example of what that might look like:
One thing that I spent years NOT doing, that I now kick myself about, is adding an "exit intent pop-up" to our site, which lets people enter a sweepstakes to win a Xero Shoes gift certificate.
That one idea has added over 100,000 subscribers to our email list, which is one of our most effective marketing channels.
Improve Your Email Marketing
Different types of emails
Here are the most common types of email campaigns you can send to your customers and their benefits:
- Welcome emails - the perfect way to provide information from the start with a clear CTA. Make sure to tell your customer everything they need to know about your product or service.
- Newsletters - a great way to give customers updates or send out your latest content
- Product launch emails - the quickest (and easiest) way to increase sales is by selling to current customers. Make sure they're the first on the list to know about your new product
- Promotional emails - promote discounts, deals coupons etc. Try and make this feel exclusive and for a limited time only
- Abandoned cart emails - give your customers a reason to complete their purchase!
Here's a great resource for finding curated email designs, for all types of email campaigns!
Abandonded Cart Flow
The abandoned cart workflow is one of the most effective strategies for turning your lead into a customer, and a powerful tool to have if you're an e-commerce business.
Think about all the times that you went on a shopping frenzy only to add items to your cart and then either forget or realize nows not the right time to pull the trigger.
Then, minutes later you receive an email saying "Hurry up! Your cart is waiting - and we want to provide you with 20% off your order."
Maybe that's the special touch (and discount) you needed to pull that trigger.
Implementing this workflow can automatically trigger this for your business every time a customer abandons their cart.
Here's a great example of an abandoned cart email from Brooklinen:
Things they do well:
- Showcase 5-star reviews from other customers
- Offer a small discount + free shipping
- Great design + clear call to actions!
Experiment With Pay Per Click Ads (PPC)
Pay-per-click (PPC) is a performance-based marketing method that allows you to show specific ads for services or products oriented to a very defined target, with the goal that the user visits your website or landing page.
Here are some tips to consider:
- Consider connecting the ad to your corresponding landing page so that the audience receives the necessary information after clicking on the ad.
- Conversion Tracking: When running PPC campaigns, be sure to run the ads with conversion tracking.
- Focus on quality keywords, even if there are few as this will save you time and money. When assessing the performance of a keyword, it's important to track the expense, conversion, and cost per conversion, as well as the ROI.
PPC advertising can be a very important lead generator as long as it's done properly. Your PPC campaign is intended to drive traffic to your website and help the business scale.
Additionally, if the campaign is not having the desired results, you can make the necessary changes immediately to improve them.
Ryan Schortmann, founder of Display Pros talks about their investment in PPC Ads:
My name is Ryan Schortmann and I’m the founder of Display Pros. We are a custom trade show display booth company offering easy to use portable display “kits” for small and medium businesses wanting to get into the trade show game.
It did not take long to come to the realization that to compete at any reasonable level, we were going to need to take the plunge and invest in Pay Per Click ads and display.
From experience, I know that it is important to give Google’s hivemind some time to settle in before each campaign starts seeing consistent results (this is largely dependent on budget).
A certain amount of PPC budget must be viewed as a “marketing research” expense and then you can look at the analytics data and make informed decisions on where to refine, tweak or plain scrap an idea.
Google Shopping was an entirely new concept for me. You can’t assign keywords to products so at first, I was asking myself “How the hell do you refine these?”. Then I found some good reading material and courses and learned of some advanced methods that the pros are using. It turns out you can utilize negative keyword lists combined with the priority setting on each shopping campaign to “shape” the keywords that are coming in and how much you are spending on them.
To learn more about PPC Ads and Google Shopping, check out this video to learn everything you need to know!
Social Media Advertising
Social Media Advertising is one of the leading ways to get the word out when it comes to dermatology business.
There are various different Social Media platforms available to you. Some may be more critical for your marketing efforts than others, however, it's important to have an understanding of what's out there and available to you.
Let's talk about a few of the main platforms and what makes them unique:
- Facebook Advertising - more than 2 billion monthly users. Facebook is the best for lead generation + capturing email addresses for e-commerce businesses.
- Instagram Advertising - approximately 500 million monthly users and has a higher audience engagement rate than any other platform. Instagram ads are best for linking to a product page or landing page and reaches the 18-29 age group most effectively.
- Twitter Advertising- Small businesses typically use twitter ads to drive brand awareness, but the platform is meant more for organic engagement (and is not as heavily used for paid advertising)
- Pinterest Advertising - 175 million monthly users and most effectively reaches the female audience. Pinterest is great for promoting products without "promoted". The promoted pins have a way of blending right in.
- LinkedIn Advertising - 227 million monthly users and is geared towards the B2B market and generates the highest quality leads. Great platform for recruiters, high-end products and services that will help businesses
It's important to first define your goal/objective so that you don't waste time and money into the wrong platform:
Here are some different questions to ask yourself as it relates to your goals:
- Do I want to simply drive brand awareness?
- Do I want to drive users to my website to gather information?
- Do I want to increase sales and get my customer to take action?
From there, choose the platform that targets your audience best and start experimenting!
Learn more about social media advertising ➜ here.
Founder Andy Hayes talks about mastering FB ads and the pixel:
The biggest bang for your buck will likely be mastering Facebook and it’s platform - which we all know is pay for play, so you’ll have to come up with a small amount of budget to start for marketing.
We’ve spent countless hours (and paid numerous coaches) before we cracked the code that works for us on Facebook, but it is working really well for us now.
Some of the most important things to know when it comes to FB Ads:
- Start with retargeting (that’s showing ads to people who already know you but did not purchase). Master this - and start building information on your Facebook Pixel - before you do anything else
- Once you have that down, try working with the 1% “Lookalike” audience to prospect for new customers. This may take awhile because your pixel audience is small, so try layering on interests - 1% Lookalike and your largest competitor, for example. Don’t use interest-only targeting until you master this.
- Great photography and videography is key, as is smart copy. Research what’s out there in your industry and constantly test - what works for one company may not work for other people.
- Make sure you have good offers. For example, we have a $5 trial for our subscription, which converts affordably - if we promoted our subscription with the standard $30 front charge, it wouldn’t be as cost-effective.
🏃🏼♀️ How To Run Your Dermatology Business
How To Retain Customers For Your Dermatology Business
Retaining customers is one of the most effective ways to grow your dermatology business.
Oftentimes, it's easy to find yourself focusing on generating new customers, vs retaining your current ones.
Look at it this way - you are 60-70% more likely to sell a new product to an existing customer than you are a new customer.
That's not to say that finding new customers and revenue streams is not important, however, the easiest (and most inexpensive) source of new revenue is right there in front of you.
Here are some ways you can retain customers for your dermatology business:
- Responding to comments on social media
- Send discounts (or freebies) to loyal customers
- Provide valuable content, for free
- Write a hand written thank you note
- Provide awesome customer service and build relationships with customers
To find out more tips and tricks on retaining customers, check out this article ➜ here
Scott R. Melamed, founder of ProMD Health dives deep into the process of attracting and retaining customers:
The ability to acquire and retain quality customers is becoming more important every day. I often jest that in order to succeed in today’s business world every company has to be a marketing company in addition to its main line of business.
I think what has worked well for us is our ability to step away from the traditional marketing philosophies and instead try to open the kimono and really share with the potential consumer who we are what we are about. But before we talk about what works from a marketing perspective it is important to lay the proper foundation.
The absolute best things any business can do for their marketing efforts is to set proper expectations when it comes to their product and service, deliver consistent and excellent products/results as promised, and manage any issues as they arise. If you aren’t doing those three things then you can bring in all the new business in the world, but the bad reviews and opinions of you in the marketplace will quickly outshine your marketing efforts. I often say that “I would rather have 10 happy customers who will come back and bring friends than 100 unhappy customers who are indifferent or worse when it comes to my success.”
If you set proper expectations your customer won’t be upset when you don’t deliver the impossible. If you deliver what they were expecting as you promised you will gain their trust. If you manage issues that arise whether in your control or not you will gain lasting repeat customers for life. See the service recovery paradox:
Now onto the fun part.
We began marketing, like most companies, in the traditional fashion. I.e. Talk about what you’re offering, why it’s so great, and why the value received outweighs the cash outlay. We hit the traditional channels, just like our competitors, etc etc. It worked, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.
We challenged ourselves to go deeper, to study great advertisements in the marketplace across all industries, and to see if we could improve our efforts and do things outside of the box that our competitors weren’t doing. We began to shift away from the traditional advertisements showing product features or before/afters of our services and instead tried to connect with the consumer in a way that showed who we are and showed them that we understood their needs. This allowed us to be a little more playful in our marketing and hit new channels.
We began to focus more on associating positive feelings with the brand and making people want to check us out to learn more about who we are what we do. Capture their attention, make them feel a positive emotion, and then direct them to the good stuff on our website where they could learn about our services and see the excellent work that we do. It is of important note that this philosophy aligns perfectly in Facebook/Instagram’s advertising world where before/after photos aren’t permitted.
One particularly successful campaign was “Who does your Botox?” For this campaign, we micro-targeted segments of our consumer base, made a list of their core wants/needs, and then picked one to highlight to show that we “get it”. We then ask the question “Who does your Botox?” to make the consumer reflect and ask themselves “Should I be getting my Botox done by my current provider or by someone who understands what I am really after?”
The above is an advertisement we ran both on social media (with geo targets for water surrounding communities) and in print in a community-focused around life on the water. The underlying message of the advertisement is that we understand the activities you would rather be doing (not getting Botox) and that you’d rather spend time with family (and not us). We understand that you want excellent results in a little time as possible so that you can get back to your life and your family. We also included the dog, because frankly, dogs are great for advertising.
With that in mind, we decided to have a little fun and make an unofficial mascot “Winston”.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love this ad and that was done very intentionally. We’ve seen competitors try to copy this ad but make huge follies. One such folly was to change the tagline to “Does your face look this wrinkly?” Hearing that still makes me cringe. Why shame the poor dog like that? His wrinkles look great on him! Some people don’t mind their wrinkles or even like them and that’s great! The message of this ad isn’t to say the wrinkles look bad on him, its to say Botox looks good on you. Clearly our competition missed the point. Associate good vibes only with your brand and customers will seek to learn more about you, once they’re already in the funnel wow them with an excellent website that showcases your work!
In line with our good vibes marketing philosophy, we also contribute heavily to school fundraisers, charity events, and fun events like concerts and shows that our customer base attends. Donating products or services to charity functions or PTA events works wonders for this and it is in line with our win-win-win-win philosophy. The person asking for the donation wins, the customer receiving our excellent service wins, the vendors who sell the products win, and we win by gaining a new client and getting our name out there.
I am sure some of you reading this are cost-conscious. What if I told you that all of our latest advertisements, even social media shorts cost us less than $250 to create? It’s true! There are great sites out there like Pond5 and Unsplash that have incredibly high-quality content with little or no licensing fees. Work a little Photoshop magic and you can quickly create low-cost high impact targeted content for any consumer segment.
Diversify Your Product Line
Adding new products to your business is a great way to expand into new markets and grow your business.
It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.
Here are some reasons you may want to considering adding/diversifying your product
- Meeting the needs of your customers
- Establish yourself as a top provider in your industry and stay ahead of the game with competition
- Resistance to downturns/trends fading
- Create new revenue streams
Provide Great Customer Service
Providing exceptional care and creating relationships with clients is a great way to build your reputation and retain customers.
Whether you are an online business or a physical business, it's highly important to communicate with customers and make them feel like they are the priority.
Just remember: customer service represents your brand, values, vision and YOU as a person.
As a brand, you want to deliver an experience that authentic, honest and transparent.
Don't make the mistake of giving your audience less credit than they deserve.
If you go around chasing every trend and only focused on yourself and money, you’re going to lose very quickly.
There have been many times where we have been tempted to do this but stayed true.
Sure we sacrificed sales, but we kept our integrity, played the long game and people saw and appreciated that, and really began emotionally investing in the brand.
Build a Referral Program
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get the word out about your business and acquire new customers. Especially when you are starting out, it’s important to build a solid referral program to encourage existing customers to help you find new ones.
A great way to do that is by offering a reward (ie. credit on your service or cash) to customers that refer you to their friends and family.
A fantastic referral program will help with clout, credibility, and establishing yourself in the space.
Word of Mouth
The most tried and true way to grow a dermatology business is through word of mouth - some entrepreneurs would say it's more important than all social media.
Why you should focus on word of mouth:
- Consumers trust word of mouth above all other forms of marketing
- 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising
- 64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe it is the most effective form of marketing
Learn more about word of mouth in our guide: 30 Ways Founders Grow Their Business ➜
How To Crush The Sales Process For Your Dermatology Business
You may find yourself in a spot where you're ready to hire a few (or many) salespeople to support the sales conversion process.
Regardless if you have one or thirty salespeople, it's critical that you assign them specific roles and responsibilities to nurture the client and provide excellent support.
Mike Korba, co-founder of User.Com walks us through the entire sales process and which teams are responsible for what:
User.com Sales Process
Each user and account is qualified with a specialist. For business leads, they are handled by the sales team, and if they are qualified we give them a demo, more than often at the end of their fourteen-day trial. If they’re happy they’ll add a payment, and get an account manager, so a customer support and success team who will help implement the solution and to use the technology.
Sometimes, users will convert naturally on their own, after using the freemium product and finding it to be something that they will find beneficial.
After they convert, we help with onboarding, give them some personalized tips for their specific business or industry to grow plus all kinds of support, for whatever they need - something we take huge pride in.
The team is right now more than 30 people, with more than half working on the IT and product side, and the rest are in three teams: Support, Marketing, and Sales who all work together very closely.
We put together the best resources on the internet to help you start your dermatology business.
- Social media tools such as Instagram or Twitter
- Design tools such as Canva
- Productivity tools such as Slack or Trello
- Email tools such as Constant Contact
- Stock images tools such as Unsplash
- The Business Of Dermatology
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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