This is a follow up story for ProMD Health. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 3 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Welcome back! I am Scott Melamed, President of the ProMD Health Development group. We are an 8 figure Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetics practice group focused on helping people to look and feel their best. We provide services directly to consumers as well as franchise opportunities for people looking to get into the aesthetics business by owning their own ProMD Health location.
As a general check-in, since our initial feature, we have grown 25% despite COVID and are seeing a large boom as the country continues to open up even on a small scale. We also began to focus more on social media and have increased our following by 275%.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
2020 was an interesting year for all entrepreneurs to say the least. Our keys to success have been good forecasting, flexibility, and most of all calmness. During times of uncertainty, many people panic and downsize or give up on pieces of their business that are no longer viable in the short term. However, this leaves you seriously exposed when the market recovers as you essentially have to rebuild your business. Our strategy was to repurpose every asset and all employees to be able to generate as much revenue as possible given the circumstances, while still being ready to fully capitalize on re-opening.
Be a person who people want to do well and run a business that people want to see succeed.
We created essentially two versions of our business model. Version A - BAU (Business as Usual) and Version B - Remote. This included two distinct yet clearly defined operating models, org charts, and marketing plans. We ensured that every employee knew their role in version A vs version B and made sure to communicate clearly with our partners and vendors so that we could move between version A and version B at essentially the flip of a switch. This allowed us to survive the multiple waves of rules and regulations as they related to various waves of COVID-19.
In version B our website, marketing, and staff roles all pivoted to direct consumer product sales and telemarketing so that we could serve our clients to the best of our ability even though we couldn’t provide in-person services, which before COVID was our main business. COVID is forced to adapt and we are now seeing substantial growth in our online sales and virtual programs, which I expect to continue even as we return to a normal baseline of in-person activities.
From a marketing perspective, while COVID kept us apart it provided many opportunities for brands and consumers to come closer. By repurposing some of our old assets into COVID-related content, providing helpful tips, updates, and new information instead of direct ads allowed us to still stay engaged and relevant to our customers even when we couldn’t serve them directly via our core service offerings. We were also able to have a little fun with our customers by changing one of our slogans from “Who Does Your Botox?” to “Who Did Your Botox?”
From the outset our business has about more than just business, it's about being a tool to serve the community either through our services, our philanthropy, or our expertise and it felt good to be able to prove that to people, put our money where our mouth is and build goodwill and advocacy with our clients.
Post Covid Ads:
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
This year brought with it so many lessons that it is hard to just pick a few. The biggest thought is clear though. Get to know your customers. While we were closed and everyone was staying safe at home we were able to conduct a massive survey of our customer database and hundreds of people were more than happy to take the survey.
We learned things like what industry our customers work in, what services they like and don’t like, how the pandemic affected them, what they love about us and what they’d change. Many left comments of overflowing support and thankfulness for our engagement with them even when they couldn’t benefit us directly by purchasing. Knowing about our customers enabled us to better understand the impacts the current situation may have on them based on their industry as well as where our customers can be reached in the future. People in the financial services industry absorb information and advertisements in different ways than people in say the emergency services industry.
For me personally, the biggest lesson that I learned about leadership was that the decision isn’t always tied to the outcome. You can make all the right decisions with the data you have at the time and there can still be a bad outcome. That isn’t a reflection on your leadership or your abilities. What is a reflection on your leadership and ability is how you handle the outcome and what decisions you make next. As long as you are making the best decisions you can at the time there will always eventually be a good outcome, but it isn’t a straight line.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Every year we undertake a major initiative. Prior years have focused on Operations, Employee Satisfaction, Philanthropy, and Performance. This year’s initiative is focused on Harmony. Making sure that all offices and all facets of the business are in harmony, working together, and communicating with each other to provide the best possible outcomes for our customers.
With the data, we gathered from our customers during the pandemic we are focused on finding new ways to grow the industry as a whole by targeting consumer segments that are underserved in our space. We will be working closely with teachers, first responders, and front-line workers to make sure that they have access to our service offerings at affordable prices and through thank you programs.
We are also seeking to grow our footprint and help new people join us in our mission to help more communities to look and feel their best by expanding our corporate office footprint as well as actively seeking and interviewing new franchisees.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
I really enjoyed Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss. It provided a lot of interesting stories and strategies around how to negotiate in both your business and personal life.
I also paged through Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty. Sometimes it is important to take a minute to breathe. Being an entrepreneur can be a taxing grind and sometimes you just want to hang it all up and move to the beach. Jay Shetty has some interesting insights into how you can hang it all up for a few minutes and relax before getting back to your everyday life.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
The best advice that I can give you is to take care of yourself and the people around you. Whether they’re customers, employees, vendors, or the community at large. Be a person who people want to do well and run a business that people want to see succeed.
My absolute favorite thing about running a business is the freedom it offers to make changes in the world that you think will make the world a better place, even if it's a small change that just affects your business. As business owners we can run a business that takes care of its employees, we can contribute to charity, or provide pro-bono service, there is always a way to help no matter how small. Be a good example for other business owners and you’ll go far.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are always hiring good people whether we need them immediately or not. If you’re a medical provider looking to get into the space feel free to reach out. If you’re a business person looking to grow with a company feel free to reach out. If you’re just starting in your career and want to start at the bottom while you learn the skills you need to grow, feel free to reach out. In general, always feel free to reach out. What is the worst that can happen?
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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