How To Get To The Moon (And Back)

Space Shuttle Landing

I’ve heard it said that, if you want to go to the moon, all you need to do is to plan how to get there and how to get back.

كيف يمكنني ربح المال السهل The trick is to plan both before you leave.

The problem with many doctors with a successful private practice is that they believe that it is worth something when they want to retire or stop operating.

Unfortunately go this is not the case.

If you are running any business, you need to accept that at some point, you will want to افضل شركة فوركس عالميا للتداول عبر الانترنت retire or stop doing it.

This may not be for many years, but you need to start thinking about it early.

If you start thinking about selling your practice when you want to sell your practice, you are toast.

Why would someone pay you for your practice?

What would they be buying?

Think of it from their point of view.

You may have a very successful practice with busy outpatient clinics and theatre lists, but سوق الاسهم السعودية تداول why are people coming to see you?

Is it because you are a nice person and well known in the region and you produce good results for your patients?

If so, what is your practice worth to me?

استراتيجية الخيارات الثنائية لمدة 60 ثانية Answer: not much!

If you want your practice to be an follow site asset that is worth something when you retire, rather than a كم تكلفة عملية بيع الاسهم في البنك الاهلي liability (because you are worried about who will look after your patients), then you need to start thinking about your trip back from the moon now, not when you are up there.

You need to develop a وسطاء فوركس ecn brand.

You need to build assets in to your practice that sets you apart from others.

Of course you need to be a nice person and deliver good outcomes, but there is so much more.

This is what my next الخيارات الثنائية للنوبي ‘How To Grow Your Private Practice’ Meeting is all about.

How to خيار ثنائي قانونيا build a brand that will differentiate you from your competitors.

How to run a practice that delivers fantastic outcomes and that people want to come to go whether or not you are a nice person and well known locally.

How to deliver a كيفية استخدام إشارات الخيارات الثنائية consistently good service to your patients that is independent of how you are feeling that day or whether they happened to enquire in the school holidays or when your secretary was off sick.

The meeting will be dedicated to helping you to build your own personal brand and to develop assets in your practice that will have value and be worth something when you retire.

This stuff is not easy and it takes follow url commitment and dedication.

But it will payoff in the short-term and in the long-term.

In the طرق مشروعة لكسب المال من المنزل short-term, more patients will want to come to see you and you will be able to treat them better and give them better outcomes.

…and in theاÙ ضل-موقع-تداول-الذهب long-term, you will have a system that you can pass on and allow someone else to gain value from, so that you will be investing in your own personal pension.

افضل شركة فوركس عالميا للتداول عبر الانترنت Click here for more details about the next meeting, but remember, places are limited, so register today.

You Drive For Show, But You Putt For Dough

drive for show but putt for dough

I have just been to the 2017 BAAPS Conference (British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) held at Kensington Olympia every year.

I was lucky enough to be on the faculty and was presenting about my experience of running my own clinic.

It is interesting talking to friends and colleagues because they like to talk about Google AdWords or Internet Marketing.  Whilst I talk about the coffee in my waiting room and sending out text reminders for appointments.

I am happy to talk about the more advanced stuff, but I do not think most doctors need to worry about this.

There were some good talks on PR, managing your online reputation and using social media, but I think a lot of this is people trying to run before they can walk and spending time on the drive rather than worrying about the putt.

“You Drive For Show, But You Putt For Dough”

My talk was a lot more basic and revolved around the steps that I have put in place in my clinic and the message is very simple:

design processes around every step of the patient’s experience and make sure that you follow-up.

You can get a copy of the 5 steps that I have built my practice on below:

5 Steps To Building A Valuable Practice

Download my FREE guide where I share the lessons that I have learned while setting up and building my own clinic.

Check out your inbox for a copy of my guide.

In fact, I would go further because I think if doctors are spending time, money and energy trying to promote their practice but have not got robust systems to deal with patients who are already in their practice, then they are wasting their time.

If you have not got a robust system for dealing with enquiries as well as a process for following up on those enquiries, then there is no point in trying to encourage more people to enquire.

You should be sending out information demonstrating your values and ethics and explaining to patients what sets you apart from others providing a similar service.

These systems are very basic but, you need to spend time and careful thought to discover what your values are and then communicate these to potential patients .

The problem with most doctors is that we are so terrified of looking like we are using hard-sell tactics that we tend to ignore patients altogether.

How many patients have made an enquiry through your website but have not heard from you following your initial response?

In fact, I have performed ‘mystery shopping’ of many doctor’s practices and there are a huge proportion of us who do not respond to enquiries at all and so this in itself needs to be looked at and processes put in place to ensure that these are not missed.

If you have not followed up on your initial response you are ignoring patients who have asked you for help.

You have to realise that most patients make enquiries to several practitioners at the same time they are enquiring to you.

It may be that your email gets lost in the sea of emails that we all get.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with sending another email a few days later saying:

I hope you got my email, here are some further details about me and my training

.. or

…here is some more information that other patients have found helpful who are considering the same procedure.

Similarly, after people have been to the clinic, do you follow-up with them?

How about sending an email saying:

I hope you got the quote we sent to you, it was nice to see you in the clinic and I hope I answered all your questions.  If you have any more questions I would be very happy for you to contact me directly, or you can visit me on my social channels.

It is all about follow-up

  • before patients come to clinic
  • after they have been to clinic
  • and after they have had the procedure

Follow-up, keep in touch and show that you care.

Forget marketing, PR or any other fancy and expensive techniques you might hear about. 

Get the basics right first before you start worrying about trying to get more patients to know about you.

You Don’t Need Doors On A Go-Kart!

I was reflecting on the ‘How to Grow Your Private Practice’ meeting that we had recently and thinking about how I could improve things.

We spent the morning talking about the most cost-effective way to get more patients and then in the afternoon we went through the importance of setting goals and having brand values and priorities that encapsulate what your practice stands for.

I thought that I could perhaps tone down the part about the goals and values.

You see, this is an area that I have spent a lot of time working on in my own practice, but that is because I want to develop a national brand and to grow my practice in to something that is bigger than myself.

However, I realise that this is not for everybody.

There are many surgeons who just want a more efficient and slightly busier private practice so that they can perhaps drop some sessions in the NHS, or maybe pay off the mortgage or send the children to private school.

Whatever the reason, they are quite happy to continue to be a sole practitioner and have no intention of having a significant number of staff or being in charge of a large team.

So, I though that perhaps my time spent on goals and values could be cut short and we could spend more time on the getting more patients bit.

However, my brother made a good point.

He said

it is like building a car

You can show people how to make wheels and doors and an engine, but you need to start off by deciding what sort of car you want to build.

Do you want a family saloon or a racing car?.  Because the parts necessary to build each of these are very different.

I mean, you don’t need to bother with doors if you are building a go-kart!

You need to decide what sort of practice you are trying to build.

If you are happy being an individual surgeon and are comfortable with what you are doing at the moment but just want a little more, then maybe you do not need to think too much about engaging in social media or developing referral partnerships with allied services.

However, if you want to leave the NHS and focus solely on building your private practice, then you might need to think more carefully about how you can develop and open up these other referral sources and avenues.

You reap what you sow

And the more time and effort that you put in to building your car, the more it will be worth when you sell it.

If you have the chassis of a mini with the body of a 4×4 and a motorcycle engine, don’t be surprised if no one wants to give you much money for it when you come to sell.

If you are interested in coming to the next meeting where will talk about how to go about systemising and streamline your private practice, then click here to join the Priority List and I will make sure that you know the details before anyone else and get the opportunity to take advantage of priority registration.

Does Your Name Matter?

Should I call myself Birmingham Plastic Surgery or Staiano Plastic Surgery?

This is a question that I thought long and hard about before I set up my own company (staianoplasticsurgery) and I still reflect on it now.

Whenever I go back and think about changing the name, I always come back to keeping it as it is.

I have had a few conversations with potential consulting clients about this recently.

I can see how you may want to call your company a different name to your own name.

There are several distinct advantages.

  1. If you want to attract other surgeons to work with you, it will be easier.
  2. If you want to exit the company at any time, it will be easier to sell.
  3. If you want to attract a large number of patients and don’t want to be the one who is treating them all, this may be easier.
  4. If you call yourself a generic name, like ‘Perfect Cosmetic Surgery’ it can look like a big company and some patients may prefer the perceived stability associated with a bigger company.

In fact, if you look at the plastic surgeons who have set up their own clinics, many of them have chosen generic names, such as Aurora Clinics, La Belle Forme and Purity Bridge.

So why use your own name?

Well, I see two major advantages:

  1. You don’t have to think of a generic name (this may sound frivolous but it is actually quite hard coming up with a good name that hasn’t been used by someone somewhere already)
  2.  People like to buy from people.

I went to a meeting last year all about how to become a ‘Key Person of Influence’ in your field.  It was run by Daniel Priestley who has written several books on the subject and I highly recommend them.

At the meeting, he said that he had googled the people who were attending the meeting and was disappointed to see a lot of corporate looking websites where it wasn’t clear who was behind the company.

He knew we were all small business owners as this is who the meeting was aimed at.  But many were trying to look like a large corporation.

He felt that this was a mistake.

If you look at the large successful companies in the world, they will often have an individual behind them.

Apple had Steve Jobs

Virgin has Richard Branson

Tesla has Elon Musk

Microsoft has Bill Gates

These individuals are the ‘faces’ of the brands.

I don’t actually think that it matters too much whether you call yourself by your name or if you use a generic name like Birmingham Plastic Surgery or Perfect Plastic Surgery.

Like most things in life, there are pros and cons for each and there is no ‘right’ answer.

But I do think that either way, you need to make it clear in the message that you put out, who you are and what you stand for.

You need to be the ‘face’ of your brand.

In this day and age, people are more accessible than ever.

You just have to look at the Government of the United States being conducted through the President’s Twitter account!

People like to talk to and feel understood by a human being, especially for something as personal as their medical treatment.

I think it is good to have a vision to grow and become something bigger than yourself.

I encourage this and it is something we spend time on in my Private Consulting Class provided, that is, that growing and scaling your business is one of your goals.

However, no matter how big you grow, you need to have solid foundations grounded in what you believe in and how you personally treat your patients.

This needs to be set up at the beginning and I encourage people to write this down and have formal company values (even if it is only them that are treating patients) from an early stage.

You can read my company values here.

This all goes towards the development of your practice as an asset that is worth something when you retire, but it also serves as an exercise to focus your priorities and provides a means by which you can communicate your ethos.

So don’t spent too much time worrying about your name – spend time on developing your practice and building it in to something that people will actively seek out, regardless of what it is called.

How do I create a brand when I am just an individual surgeon?


One of the key things that I have learned about developing a successful private practice is that it is important to differentiate yourself from others – you need to make patients want to come and see you over and above everybody else.

Obviously, word of mouth referral is a core source of patients for most of us.

This is a great way to get patients to request to see you personally.

But what about those patients who do not have personal experience of your service?

In order to attract these patients, you need to develop yourself as a brand.

You may think that as an individual surgeon you are unable to develop a brand, but in fact you can.

Most major companies started with an individual and many of the largest brands in the world are backed by an individual.

People like to relate and engage with individuals as this gives credibility to any brand.

In fact, I think that a major problem with many of the cosmetic surgery companies is that they do not have an individual identity behind them and so it is difficult for them to build trust and loyalty around their brand.

It is a competitive world out there and if you do not develop your own brand then you will need to rely on getting patients from the hospitals or other companies who are busy building their own brands.

They say that you should:

build your dream or someone else will hire you to help build theirs

(Tony Gaskins)

Why do people come to see you?

  • Is it because they have been treated by you in the past or they know someone who has been treated by you in the past?
  • Is it because the hospital have put the patient in your clinic because you can offer a clinic slot at a convenient day and time for the patient?

If so, then you do not have a brand that people are seeking out.

Don’t worry, because most doctors don’t have a brand and you can build a busy and successful practice on word of mouth referrals and the patients that the private hospitals point your way.

However, do not be surprised if one day the hospital decides that they want to pay you less or they want to give the work to someone else.

You should also be aware that if you don’t have a brand, then you don’t really have anything to sell or pass on when you retire.

Don’t be fooled in to thinking that because you have a successful private practice, it will be worth something to someone else when you decide to stop working, because it won’t.

Word of mouth referrals will only go so far after you have gone and patients coming through the hospital will have no problem seeing the next available consultant, particularly if the hospital chooses to promote them.

The obvious example of this is the NHS, which has a very strong brand and will always have a constant stream of patients coming to it.

No matter how popular or successful you are in the NHS, when you leave, there will be a seamless transition to the next doctor who takes your place because patients are coming to the brand that is the NHS, not you (your existing patients may love you and follow you out to the private sector, but new patients will have no qualms about seeing whoever takes your place).

It is by no means easy to develop a brand otherwise everyone would have done it, but at the same time, even in your own small individual way you can take steps to develop and nurture your own identity and give patients a reason to want to have you as their surgeon.

So how do I develop my brand?

The first thing is to take some time to step back and consider what it is that you are offering. I do not mean facelifts, Botox or breast implants, because everyone is offering that.

I mean what is it that sets you apart from all the others?

Why should patients want to come to see you?

Take a step back and think about this.

What do you want your brand to stand for?

Picture yourself as the head of a large chain of cosmetic clinics – what would you want your company to be known for?

What standards would you want your employees to work towards?

The best brands have these standards well defined:

  • Virgin is known for fun
  • Apple is known for innovation
  • Volvo is known for safety
  • VW for reliability
  • British Airways for luxury
  • Ryanair for value

You might want to be known as the expert in a particularly area, such as large breast implants or natural results or non-surgical treatments or rhinoplasty, or you might want to be known as the surgeon who can fix anything and provide a solution to problems of any part of the body.

They each have their benefits and will attract certain sub-sets of patients.

Your brand has to be directed at a sub-set of people.

You cannot expect to have a brand that appeals to everybody all of the time.

If you try this you will end up appealing to no one.

Do not think of what is best in terms of business, but think of what you would actually want to do and want to stand for.

Do you want to be known as someone who gives the best value for money and the best pricing for non-surgical procedures or breast implants?

Or do you want to be known as someone who has the most comprehensive aftercare?

Ideally your brand will not be limited to a particular procedure, because that makes it difficult to scale.

If you look at the list above of successful brands – their brand values do not stand for the thing that they do.

The Virgin brand does not stand for record shops and the Apple brand does not stand for computers. This allows the brand to branch out in to other areas and does not limit the growth of the company – this has been demonstrated clearly with Virgin, who can sell anything from trains to credit cards to mobile phones and the brand identity is still relevant and valued.

You have to picture yourself in a room with five or six other people who work in your area, all of whom can perform the same procedure that you can and you have to describe to a patient what you are offering.

You cannot just say ‘breast implants’ because everyone is offering that.

You have to help the patient to make a decision and give them something to differentiate you from the others so that they can make a decision as to whether or not you would be right for them.

If you do not give them anything then it is a lottery as to who they choose.

You need to give yourself a competitive edge but do not worry, it does not have to be too spectacular because you can rest assured that your other colleagues in the room probably have not thought about this either, so even a small edge or advantage will go a long way!

Once you have got your edge, or brand identity, then you need to go about promoting this.

Now you might think that you have not got a big budget to put billboards or television adverts on to promote your brand and actually, when you think about it you have to consider how any company promotes their brand.

The way to promote your brand is in every contact you have with your prospects or patients.

Once you have your edge you need this to show every time a patient comes in to contact with your practice, whether that be visiting your website, Facebook page, phoning you up, or coming to the clinic – this is why you need to control these things as much as possible.

It is difficult if you are working from one of the private hospitals because much of the contact will be dictated by the brand values of the hospital.

If the patient rings to book a consultation or to change an appointment, then unfortunately you are limited as to how much you can control that conversation although you can let the teams who deal with these enquiries know what your brand values are.

For instance, if you are very amenable to changing appointments at short notice (or not), or very open to performing revision surgery if necessary.

Outside of these areas you need to examine what points of contact you do control and look at how these appear to a patient.

Mystery shopping is a great technique and I would encourage you to ask your friends or family to have a look at your website and put in an enquiry to see what sort of response they get.

You can try phoning the hospital yourself to book an appointment, or get your secretary to do it.

You may be surprised at the response.

If you do use social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram then you need to think about each of your posts to try and make sure they are aligned with your brand identity and your brand values.

All the documentation you send out (I recommend that you send out documentation), whether that be after someone has booked an appointment, or if they have booked for a procedure, or a post-operative instruction sheet after surgery, this should all reflect the tone and ethos of your brand.

People like to be able to differentiate and you will be doing them a favour if you are able to set yourself apart from everybody else.

Obviously, in doing this you will alienate or push away some potential customers but do not be afraid of this because there will be plenty of others who will be attracted to your brand.

Just look at what happened when Jeremy Clarkson lost his job at Top Gear, he made it quite clear what he stood for and there were certainly a lot of people who did not agree with him and hated his style, however, when you polarise opinion you can also encourage a deep and strong following in those who do agree with you.

A brand is everything and will also go towards developing your practice as an asset.

It will also be worth something because you can sell a brand, just look at Jo Malone, who sold her business to Estee Lauder in 1999 and the brand is still going strong.

If you want to set up some time to talk about building your brand or if you would like me to help you to develop your private practice, click here and we can see if you would be a good fit for the Private Consulting Class.