MSD Insider 0:00
Welcome to MedShark Insider with Bill Fukui, your expert host on all things medical, marketing, and SEO.
Bill Fukui 0:08
Good morning, everybody. Bill Fukui here with another episode of MedShark Insider. And today I actually have the privilege of one of the more knowledgeable people that I’ve crossed paths with when it comes to business development. In the Med Spa space. I’ve got the Founder and CEO of the American Med Spa Association, otherwise known as AmSpa, Alex Thiersch with us today. And number one, I just want to welcome you, Alex.
Alex Thiersch 0:43
No, thank you. It’s it’s a privilege to be here. I really appreciate it. I love, I love doing these things, love talking about the industry. So and it’s it’s an honor to be here with you.
Bill Fukui 0:55
Super. Well, let’s go ahead and start. I’m going to jump right in. Give me a little bit of, for those that are not familiar with AmSpa. What is AmSpa?
Alex Thiersch 1:08
Yeah, no. And you know, it’s interesting, because I’ve thought as as I get more into the industry, even more than I am, and I see what the opportunity is out there. There’s a lot of folks who don’t know about AmSpa, which was, you know, we, so we are a membership of about 4000 members, and we’re basically a society of med spas. That are our main goal is to provide legal business and clinical resources for med spa owners and providers. And we started about, Gosh, over 10 years ago, and we’ve been growing ever since. And and you know, it’s an interesting kind of an interesting story how we got here, but but that’s our main value prop is we want to provide resources for the entire industry, including, including med spa owners and providers.
Bill Fukui 1:54
Oh, that sounds great. So what inspired that? 10 years ago, let’s go and reverse engineer here. What What were you doing prior? And when where did this come from?
Alex Thiersch 2:08
So I, I’m a lawyer, by training, I like to call myself a recovering lawyer. Because you know, not everyone likes lawyers. But, and that’s really how this all came about. I had my own practice. I was at a kind of a larger litigation firm doing all sorts of different employment litigation, discrimination cases, things like that. Opened my own firm, and one of the first clients I got through, through somebody who was working in my office was this RN, and she was a med spa owner, who was having difficulty with the state of Illinois, because of some of the ways that she was running her med spa, she was you know, operating somewhat illegally. In that she didn’t have proper supervision and things like that. But she was also making, she was just as brilliant kind of marketer and was making millions of dollars. And through that with the help of a regulatory attorney that I knew, we were able to help her but that was kind of the genesis of me learning about the industry. And then as a result of that, I think you know, what I learned in which is, it’s always interesting, because I feel like some of the these lessons are still apropo today, which is that I learned that number one, obviously the industry was very, very big and very quickly growing, had so many disparate pieces to it as far as you know, RNs, MDs, PAs, NPs. But most importantly, there wasn’t a resource for legal and compliance information. And a lot of folks in fact, most folks were doing things very, very well. But they were doing them largely illegally. They didn’t have the right ownership structure. They didn’t have the right supervision. They didn’t have the right delegation procedures. And so, selfishly, I started, what was first the Illinois Med Spa Association as a kind of a way to market my legal practice. And then along with another attorney that I hired, we, we started building out kind of resources and guidance on all 50 states. And that became the American Med Spa association. So this is going back. I mean, gosh, I started the industry probably 15 plus years ago as a lawyer student. And the other thing I did was I did a lot of speaking and I started speaking about compliance issues and delegation, supervision requirements and things like that, which, you know, all of this happened at a very, very fortuitous time because the industry was growing there was a huge, lot of growth with, with, with med spas and non physician providers, and there was a lot of gray area and confusion over who could do what and so that’s kind of the genesis of it. It was a it was selfishly a marketing ploy for my law firm at first. But then it very, we very quickly realized that the industry that we were in and the The the product that we were developing and pitching both in speeches and online was was something that was very, very needed. And it kind of morphed from there. And here we are 4000 members, 10 years later. And, you know, it’s it’s it’s hard to imagine that we are where we are, because that was never, it was never really the intent to grow in association this big.
Bill Fukui 5:21
You know, and I think Alex, the, the good news with, with what you just said there is, if you did it with that intent, it wouldn’t have the same value, right? The end of the day, it grows, because there’s value, it feeds on itself.
Alex Thiersch 5:38
Bill Fukui 5:39
But if you focus on that growth, or the attendance, or whatever, the membership as the goal, a lot of times you you miss out on, you know, what it is that that’s going to attract them, and not only attract them, but to keep them. To keep them, and attract them, but to keep them. You know, it’s got to have that and I feel I’ve actually been, you know, relatively new to the AmSpa community and started attending some of your events and such. And I will say you, you have a really good lineup of all the speakers, presentations, courses that I’ve seen. And I’ve been in the medical plastic surgery, cosmetic marketing space for the better part of 30 years.
Alex Thiersch 5:42
Bill Fukui 5:47
And I think some of the stuff that you, especially on the legal side, I think especially on because you’re right, this is new territory for a lot of businesses in even the more established like, you’re talking about a med spa practice that was already well established making millions of dollars. And yet there’s, there’s there’s gaps, there’s things that, you know, pitfalls that they gotta somewhat maneuver around.
Alex Thiersch 6:57
Yeah. I appreciate it.
Bill Fukui 6:58
So yeah, another another question is, you know, with that in mind, I found your association or you have an annual event, like an annual convention, right?
Alex Thiersch 7:15
Yes, we do. Yeah. So, we have we do a lot of events, but the the main one is the medical spa show, which is in Vegas at the Wynn hotel, and this year, it’s gonna be an April, I want to say it’s like April 1st through the 3rd. But it’s, it’s our big event where we kind of bring, try to bring the whole industry together and celebrate.
Bill Fukui 7:34
Yeah, well, and I, and I will say you guys do a really good job in terms of not only just promoting it, but I think because the substance is there, you get a lot of businesses, practices, and even vendors that are wanting to participate with you. So this last year, I was a Johnny Come Lately, honestly. Johnny Come Lately, and I’m like, and I was reaching out, and there’s, oh, no, we’ve been sold out for, for months.
Alex Thiersch 8:02
Yeah, no, I know. I know. I know. It’s, and people always think that we’re doing that as a marketing ploy. And we’re not like we’re legitimately sold out we have, we have no more room for vendors, which is, you know, not expected to be honest, it’s been it’s been, I mean, we’ve been very, very lucky and very fortunate to be in the position that we are, and honestly, one thing that you mentioned that I would love to comment on is like, you know, I think that there’s been folks who have even before I started, who had tried to do associations or societies of med spas, and it’s what’s interesting is, I think, because I’m not a provider, because I’m a lawyer, if that’s really the reason that we were able to do it, because before we came on, when folks would try to do it, it was either, you know, it was a plastic surgeon. And there was there was blowback from RNs and PAs and non core doctors, or it was a non core doctor, and there’s blowback from surgeons and derms. And so there’s kind of this, you know, this tension and the fact that we came on, and we were able to provide something that everybody needed, just because of the fact that my focus is, is on legal, is really what’s caused this. And that’s same thing for the events, I mean, our whole, you know, I have nothing to do with building the event. So I have to thank my team for that. They’re the ones who do the branding and marketing and put it all together. But you know, what, what I have always been involved in what we’ve always strived and striven to do is, is make sure that, that we’re providing information and content that people actually need, right. So it’s, it’s what are they? What are the pain points that they’re having right now? What are they facing? And then let’s put on not just consultants and you know, and other slick type speakers, but actual owners and providers who are going through it and are who have the same pains and are facing the same challenges, have overcome those challenges, and then share their information and that’s the one thing probably that you saw that I think a lot of folks see about the MedSpa show, and this is just kind of our industry, this is nothing I can take credit for, but it’s really a very collaborative like, family oriented event in that everybody’s sharing information. They’re all excited. There’s no competition, there’s no snarkiness it’s all just a big kind of wonderful celebration of everyone and what we’re doing, and that’s refreshing, I think, in some ways.
Bill Fukui 10:24
Yeah. You know, and a lot of these these national meetings you go to and such, it’s just that right there. They’re, they’re somewhat guarded in what they’re going to share, or, or whatnot, I would say the, you know, all the events that I’ve participated in, number one, the collaboration, I think that’s a key word.
Alex Thiersch 10:47
Bill Fukui 10:48
But but also just the, the energy level.
Alex Thiersch 10:52
Bill Fukui 10:53
This is, you know, there, there’s a chemistry, I think that that happens, when you put people, the right people in, you know, in a, in an environment or in a room, you sometimes can’t manufacture it, but there is a mystery that happens. But I’ve experienced that with with a lot of the not only the vendors that you you have at some of these, but also, you know, the attendees, etc.
Alex Thiersch 11:23
Yeah, I think it’s, you know, it really speaks to the med spa industry, which, which, and I think part of that Bill is that it’s, it’s really, it’s become an industry unto itself. And it didn’t start that way. So in many ways, a lot of the folks had, I mean, have had over the years a little bit of an inferiority complex, a little bit of a chip on their shoulder, because we started out you know, this was always surgeons and derms, who were doing this at first. But you know, once the secret kind of got out it’s it’s really become its own entity, and it’s, it’s largely run by. so non-core physicians, you know, so ER docs who quit their, their, their practice, internal medicine, and then a lot of RNs and NPs, PAs, and all by the way, it’s mostly women to is the other thing so it’s, it’s this, it’s become this, this, this kind of thing, where it’s almost like there was no place for them to go. They, they and they and the owners in people who worked in med spas didn’t feel comfortable going to the surgical society meetings, because they felt a little bit oppressed, they were kind of talked down to, it wasn’t, you know, a lot of the times even back then that the PAs and the MPs weren’t even really allowed to inject, certainly the RNs were kind of looked on. And so we just, you know, buy again, I hate to keep saying it’s, you know, kind of fortune and just luck, but like, we happen to hit this at the exact right time and put something on where they can all kind of come together. And it just, it’s built upon itself. So it’s been really exciting to watch, and I just can’t be happier for the people who like at the Med Spa show. And for those of you who haven’t been like, please, please, please come, it’s so much fun. It’s just that like you said that energy, it’s just everybody who, who it’s like you finally find that place where you can, where you belong, where you can meet people who are just like you who are core speaking your language, and it all just kind of happens over one long weekend. So I can’t wait, it’s gonna be exciting.
Bill Fukui 13:25
Yeah, and I think the other thing too, is, not only are they getting good information, I think you touched on it earlier, the goal is for them to take things that they can do themselves, right, how, we, as business owners, and entrepreneurs, a lot of the things, you know, we all try to do things ourselves, right. And when we go to these, you know, events and stuff, you know, if, we always say if you can walk away with two or three things that you can actually do, and, and actually make an impact, you know, then those types of events and investment in those kinds of things. It’s absolutely worth it, you’ll get ROI in spades. But, but you’ve got to go with the expectation. And I think as long as you guys can facilitate that, the information that it is more of a, it’s not just talk, you know, high level, this is this is getting down into the dirt. This is, you know, you know, what are we doing in terms of you know, intake, in terms of operation, in terms of personnel, in terms of, you know, even products and marketing, you know, those kinds of things.
Alex Thiersch 14:40
So, so, yeah, I mean, two kind of points on that because I think that’s, that’s, you know, you’re talking about what can make really a good meeting and I think what we’ve learned are really two things and I and you know this I’m sure from your time, is number one, a lot of the people who are running med spas and who are starting med spas just don’t have any have the technical or business expertise to do so. And this is not learned in nursing school or med school. So they kind of graduate, they open their own place, and they’re just kind of doing it, driving with the, you know, the windows painted over. That’s one thing. And then the other thing is that we’ve seen, you know, and you’ll know this from, from the years you’ve been in practice is that the way that events were constructed over the years has changed. And when we did the medical spa show, we modeled interesting- interestingly, after the original Vegas cosmetic surgery, VCS, as well as Dr. Steven Diane, who’s someone I know is had something called the mastering the business of esthetics program, we’re talking like, ’07, ’08, right. And what they had done in those programs is bring in the business side, the marketing, you know, all that stuff. And what we did is we just said, we just want to take that to another level and say, like, we know that folks don’t have the training, they don’t have any business acumen really at all, which I was in the same position when I started my business. And so it’s just like, what, what are the basics, so starting with, you know, P and Ls, and you talk about numbers, and you talk about brands, and you talk about the things that, that that were kind of uncomfortable to talk about in some of these other big society meetings, and it was like, no, like, this is stuff we’ve got to talk about. So it’s, it’s everything, and we just we dive in, there’s there’s no topic that’s off limits, we’re, it’s, it’s really, we’re trying to be as practical as possible.
Bill Fukui 16:27
Right. No, I think that’s great. You know, and, before we got on today, you know, I kind of shared with you, what I like about wanting, having you on the show, is rather than somebody that’s, you know, kind of just in their own little thing, you kind of see the whole the industry as a whole you’ve been, your position, the people that you network with and the people, you know, the vendors that, that you communicate with, etc, you have a much more broad vision of kind of what’s going on. So I’m just going to ask you, as the person that I respect, and I respect your opinion, where’s what do you see in the next year? And then after that, what do you see in the next five years with this industry?
Alex Thiersch 17:22
Yeah, boy, if I knew that, if I just had that crystal ball, this would be so much easier for both of us. But you’re I mean, you’re, you’re right, in that, like, I do have a very unique perspective, because I am, like, 80,000 feet, not even 30,000 feet, because I’m talking to the owners and industry. And, and, you know, we’re all, and worldwide even, and seeing these things. And I’m not like in the weeds, you know, doing injections or anything like that. So, you know, I think, first of all, the industry is on incredibly solid footing, and that we’ve seen explosive growth over the last couple of years, obviously, COVID had a little bit of a, something to do with that for a bit. Interestingly, though, this year in the summer has been the first time in a while where we’ve seen a bit of a, kind of a slowing. Some med spas have had been a little quieter this summer than they were in the past. Now that’s starting to pick up again. So I think that was literally just a seasonal thing. But I, the one thing I like to tell folks is well, there’s there’s there’s two things. One is that through the the last two kind of major economic calamities that the country has had in 2008-2009 recession, where where things went, were really turned sideways in the midst by industry, and then COVID. What we have seen is the medspa industry, grow and thrive and evolve through that. And we’ve proved the underlying concept that these these treatments, number one are here to stay, people are going to continue to pay for and seek treatments that make them look and feel better, right? I think that’s something that’s never going away. Number one, and number two, that we’re still building the infrastructure of the industry. So we’re still very much on the ground floor. So but I like to think of is, you know, it’s we can we can project out a year and say, well, you know, things are gonna grow 10 to 15%, which, which I think they will I think there’s gonna be a little bit of choppiness because the economy is definitely having an impact. I think, finally, interest rates and all this stuff are picking up a little bit, and they’re catching up with some of the consumer so we’re seeing it, we’ll probably see some some up and down, but overall, it’s going to continue to grow. But you look out five years from now, I mean, the average age of a person’s first treatment is now you know, early 20s and the, the, the the population of med spas in that early age group that 18 to 25 to 30. That’s the fastest growing segment of mostly all med spas, including including males, right, including males. So what I always tell folks is like, goodness, I mean, these, these people don’t need it. They don’t I mean, they’re 20 years old, they don’t need, they don’t need Botox, yet. They don’t need to, you know, they’re, they’re healthy. And they’re, they look, they look youthful already. Imagine what happens when that population cohort is 40, you know, in the next 10 years, and the Gen Zers, that are in the millennials who are now you know, in their upper in their 30s, and in their 40s. There’s that population, most of them have not tried treatments, because still, when you look at the overall the overall statistics, the main amount of the main group of people who come to med spas are in that 35 to 50 range, they’re in that older range. So we still haven’t hit millennial Gen Z to enter that group. So the folks who are doing it are just doing it preventatively and but there’s this whole massive area of group of people out there who have yet to actually get treatments. And as the treatments become more and more, you know, the efficacy is proven, the technology improves, the stigma, if there is even one anymore, is removed, which I think that’s been pretty much taken care of by the Kardashians and others. So that’s no longer an issue, but I just I can’t see how this industry is not going to be a massive global phenomenon for years to come. Specifically, when you start mixing in things like wellness and anti-aging, and, and, and, you know, weight loss and things like that.
Bill Fukui 21:45
Yeah, no, and you kind of you know, you hit on something that I was hoping you did, is there’s a segment of our consumer population that is still underserved. Right?
Alex Thiersch 22:00
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
Bill Fukui 22:01
No, it is completely underserved. And that demographic is now you know, the young families. And, you know, I’m, I’m glad to hear you kind of share that, you know, the the population that is the fastest growing are people that don’t necessarily need it. Like you said, this is not a need based business. This is want based business, right?
Alex Thiersch 22:25
Bill Fukui 22:25
It is, it is people that want to look, feel better, and it affects them. And they’re around. So, you know, the good news with this business is, I always said, very similar to orthodontics, like 20-30 years ago, you have walking billboards out there, they (inaudible) market a lot of times, they got so much word of mouth, because their results were so good. And somebody’s in, they see that you can visually see a difference, right? That’s-
Alex Thiersch 22:55
Absolutely, that’s a huge point. And especially now with social media, and we’re such an (inaudible), and you know, what we’re doing, we’re doing it, you know, we couldn’t do a podcast 10 years ago, like this, you know, and now we’re able to do it, face to face over, over zoom. And it’s, I think it’s really interesting, this confluence of factors all came together at the same time, you know, social media, kind of the social media, celebrities, like now you’ve got some of these folks who are social media stars, on TikTok, who are more well known than the biggest, you know, sports star in the world, but I don’t even know who they are. And those folks have such an influence and such an impact. And all of that is happening at the same time, these treatments are being developed, you have folks who, and some of the results are truly extraordinary when you see how it impacts people. And it changed, really, it’s life changing for some folks, you know, when you have these, and that, and that can’t be understated. And it’s all you know, I think there’s obviously, you know, there’s the other side of it, where people get over treated. And that’s a little bit, you know, that has to be has to be addressed as well. But But I think the trajectory that we’re on with the confluence of things that have come together, technology, social media, celebrity, you know, we’re such a visual culture right now. So everything is, is done on camera with our phones, and I just, I mean, we are we are in the perfect place at the perfect time. And there’s still time for folks who want to get in like we’re still, we’re still, there’s nothing but like, growth ahead. For for the foreseeable future worldwide.
Bill Fukui 22:55
Yeah. And I’m, and I love, I love the fact that you’re talking about the things that are, you know, if, even if you’re not in this yet, you need to. If you’re interested in this, man, there’s plenty of room at the table, right? It’s
Alex Thiersch 24:51
Plenty of room, it’s not even close.
Bill Fukui 24:55
It’s not even close. I would agree with you. So for those practices, let’s kind of go from up here, tot down here. So what would you say for somebody that is that new person that’s really looking into doing this? What would your advice be? What would you say would be? I don’t know, the the most important, I don’t know if there’s such a thing. But the things that comes to mind, what would you tell a new practice, so somebody that’s, you know, in the early stage of this? What advice would you give them? That they can walk away even with this, you know, from this program, that they can walk away with?
Alex Thiersch 25:37
Yeah, no, I mean, it’s, it’s a great question. And I’ll kind of repeat what I say at the beginning of all of our our boot camps, which you mentioned before we do these, you know, these, what we like to think of as intensive business training for people who want to run a successful Med Spa. And we do them all over the country, we’re doing one in Miami, in I think, a couple, maybe a week and a half. And the first thing I always say is, you have to treat this as a business. And not solely as like a doctor’s office, meaninf if you’re, and this is changing, but in the past, we would see plastic surgeons and some derms, who had their own practices, they would try to open med spas, and they would run it the same way that they ran their practice. And they would fail almost every time. And it’s a very, very distinct industry. You have to, it mixes, you know, retail concepts, obviously, the practice of medicine, you know, hospitality issues and things that come in from running beauty salons. Like it’s, it’s not to mention, it’s a confluence of five or six different medical licenses, all in one, all trying to operate. So you really have to treat it seriously. Treat it like a business and make sure that you do the basic things really well and go slow. I think the thing that I see people get tripped up on as they try to buy every last piece of equipment under the sun. They get totally stretched. But you know, the one thing I always say to people is just answer the phone. Like when you open the door, the number one thing answer the phone you I can’t tell you how many practices are out there. The phone is ringing, it goes to voicemail, it’s never returned. Like there’s so much opportunity out there. You don’t have to steal patients, you don’t have to badmouth anybody, open your doors, answer the phone, do things, right be circumspect with how you operate, and you’re gonna be fine. I don’t care where you’re located. I don’t care what your what’s your name is I don’t care what type of real estate you have. I’ve seen these these places be successful in the smallest towns in Idaho, to Iowa to LA. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s unbelievable. But you have to make sure you treat it seriously and take those initial business structure steps. Take that seriously and get those done. Otherwise, it’s a competitive business and you can run out of money. It’s an expensive business. So that’s the main thing, that
Bill Fukui 28:09
That’s really, really good advice, because a lot of business and even clients of mine have started to do med spas, just thinking oh, well, which is, you know, I’ll hire an esthetician and we’ll just we’ll start marketing it and, and, and really not look at it as a separate entity. So a question to you, for the practice an established dermatology practice or an established plastic surgery practice, but highly successful, right?
Alex Thiersch 28:10
Bill Fukui 28:12
Does it make sense as, as you as a business, you know, consultant, as an attorney, does it make sense to set up a separate entity?
Alex Thiersch 28:55
Well, so are you talking about like an actual legal entity or so?
Bill Fukui 28:59
Well, I’m just saying, so does it make sense? I’ve got XYZ plastic surgery, do I need to create an entire does it make sense? I’m asking you.
Alex Thiersch 29:09
Bill Fukui 29:09
Does it makes sense to create a separate entity just for the Med Spa?
Alex Thiersch 29:12
Yeah. So it’s the one thing that we lawyers like to say is it depends, and it really depends. But what I will say is, I think the concept, in concept you’re correct, it needs to be treated like a separate entity, it needs to be treated like its own business has its own, have its own business plan, its own books, its own marketing plan, because and the reason is especially as related to I mean, derm and plastic are very different but taking plastic as an example, the mark the margins in a med spa are much smaller. The you know, the the price of upkeep, when you’re talking about machines can be greater. You need a much more patient flow you need your return patients are something that is incredibly important. And so it becomes, you know, what, what’s your, what you end up developing is the the most important thing becomes the experience. So who’s answering the phone? Who’s sitting at the front desk? All of those things matter, 100% more in a med spa than they do in other places. So. So I mean, yes, you have to, you know, conceptually, you have to treat it as a separate entity. I always like to advise people to create a separate entity, particularly if you’re a plastic surgeon, there are some, there’s some benefits there. What I will say is this, though, for plastic surg-, the best med spas we’ve ever seen, have, have been affiliated with plastic surgery offices. And when I say best, I mean largest. Right? So there’s, we’re talking 20, 25 million dollars in revenue from a single location. And the reason is, is they have everything right. So they can kind of combine everything, but, but if you run it, like a plastic surgery office, you’ll go out of business, because that’s just not, it’s not going to work. I mean, you know, if you’re not, if you’re if you don’t have those processes in place, to, to, to create an experience, a memorable experience for a patient where they want to come back, and you’re the only one they’re going to go to, because they have to come back 23456 times a year. And that’s not how it works with with surgery or with derm. So it’s like, you really have to shift your thinking. And that’s why I do like treating it as a separate business, whether you do legally or not is a whole nother question that you need to discuss with your lawyer.
Bill Fukui 31:35
You know, and I do like the idea of, and from a legal or, or financial standpoint, having a separate entity. I mean, there’s, as you said, it depends, right. But the one thing you touched on, I think, is probably the biggest factor in that isn’t that. It is ownership. It is the people in those entities. Look, eat, sleep drink, think differently , as an entity, as opposed to just being oh, that’s just something that we offer. Right?
Alex Thiersch 32:07
Bill Fukui 32:09
When they own it, it is ownership, that that element of taking ownership. And vision is very different. You know, when they separate, whether it’s legally or not, you’ve got a separation. Up here, right.
Alex Thiersch 32:27
That’s exactly right, you said it better than I did, yeah. It’s when you’re, when a surgeon or a derm, runs it as either like an afterthought or an extension of their current practice. Just because they want, they think it’s going to lead to more patients or whatever, it just doesn’t work. It’s, it’s, you’re creating a whole separate living and breathing being that needs to be fed and nourished in a way that’s very, very different than what they’re used to. And the ones who figure that out, the ones who can separate. Oftentimes, it’s getting somebody totally separate to own and run it, right. So even though maybe you’re there, they’re owning it, they’re not running it, they’re not the ones who are in charge of running the marketing or handling the the patient experience. And they shouldn’t be, they should be doing what they do best, which is, you know, practicing surgery or derm. So when those that figure it out, really, really crush it. And it’s, it’s kind of exciting to see. And we’re seeing that more and more.
Bill Fukui 33:26
Yeah, no, I, I love the insights, Alex. We’ve had some very good conversations. And I always, every time I talk to you, I feel like oh, I never thought about that.
Alex Thiersch 33:37
Same, same, I mean, it’s such a cool industry to be in and you know, obviously with you know, you’re in kind of multiple industries that are tangential to what to what med spas are, but I mean, you know, I mean, you’ve been in these industries when they start- have you ever seen anything like this med spa industry? I mean, it’s a totally,
Bill Fukui 33:56
You know, I’ve been in, you know, everything from dentistry, ortho-orthopods, I’ve worked in ophthalmology. We saw a boom of LASIK. And, obviously, plastic surgery, even back when, you know, reimbursements for breast reductions was really good. I mean, we were advertising the heck out of that. Because the reimbursements were really good. You know, but but I have not seen anything that is purely fee for service. Purely fee for service, right. A lot of medical stuff is especially on the derm side. It’s very tied to you know, reimbursements right? This is purely cash. This is what doctors and medical practices love is, is is that you can start making money on this stuff fairly easily. Right? If you’ve already got a business that already is tapped into these demographics, you’ve already developed a brand, it’s a easy way to start a whole nother, you know, business. But I’ve not seen anything that. And I’ll just use examples of I use Google, as a way of helping me identify consumer, you know, and everybody can use Google Trends, just Google “Google Trends” and go there. You can see the consumer interest. In med spas and even how people search for a med spa, do they search for medical spa or medspa as one word or med spa as two words, I mean, right? But you’ll see a consistency amongst all the, whether it’s micro needling, whether it’s you know, dermal fillers, or just medspa, in general, that the volume of searches over the course of time, it’s reached the consumer. Consumers, and that, that drives everything, consumers. drive. everything. So it, it is unique in the medical world to have an entity that is fee for service, can be hugely profitable. Even more profitable than the actual, original practice. Some of these med spas are actually more profitable than the surgical side of the business.
Alex Thiersch 36:25
A lot of them are.
Bill Fukui 36:26
A lot of them are! So all those things are very, very unique to this business. And I would love to maybe delve a little bit deeper into that on a on another, you know, podcast.
Alex Thiersch 36:41
Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s do it. I would love that.
Bill Fukui 36:44
There’s so many more things and trends that are happening. And that’s what I you know, maybe we can start talking about that what we could be doing on our next one?
Alex Thiersch 36:53
Yeah, yeah, no, I mean, it’s, it’s, I mean, as I’ve said, the, you know, the sky’s the limit here. And I just, you know, it what’s interesting to me, too, is just, like, what is this industry going to look like in five years from now, it’s, because five years ago, it’s completely different. And it’s just every, it just continues to build on itself and evolve and mature and, and now we’re seeing all these private equity companies come in, and they’re trying to get into it. And you know, it’s but it’s still it’s like, this is like the little engine that could, it just keeps chugging along, except it’s no longer a little engine, it’s a big engine.
Bill Fukui 37:26
No, and it’s, it’s going to be a bigger engine, in five years from now, I don’t think you can just go in to this business haphazardly, and have success anymore. Five years from now, those days will be gone.
Alex Thiersch 37:44
I think so. I think so. I think so.
Bill Fukui 37:45
The days of just, you know, being successful in spite of yourself. That doesn’t is not going to happen in five years from now.
Alex Thiersch 37:53
No, I think you’re, I think you’re right. And that’s really, but I think there’s, there’s, there’s, time. You know, you don’t have to do it tomorrow. There’s a there’s a window, but I agree that the window is going to close at some point, it’s going to close. And when it does, you know, it’s, you know, this industry is going to become as competitive as any other. I think the other thing that’s interesting is we just don’t right now, for those of you who are listening and may be looking to get into it, but there’s just not enough. Right now we don’t have enough providers to meet the demand. So there’s just not enough there’s not enough med spas, isn’t enough injectors, not enough laser techs, there’s not enough. I mean, it’s like we just don’t have enough. And so there’s a need, there’s a need, you know, ans it’s a great industry to be in, come to a boot camp, we’ll, we’ll show you the ropes.
And that’s, that’s all, you know what I’m going to end the show with this, if you are interested in, or really wanting to take your practice to the next level, if you are really serious about finding gaps in what what my business is what’s in our marketing services that we’re offer, or even people I’ve sat in on some courses, talking about personnel recruitment, how to mananage, you know, manage people. I mean, if those are gaps or things in your practice, you feel like you can improve, and we can always improve, you really should be looking into leveraging the resources of organizations like your guys, the boot camps, I’ve been to a couple of those. The courses are phenomenal. So-
I appreciate that.
Bill Fukui 38:42
So cudos to you, and I encourage people to participate in those.
Alex Thiersch 39:33
Yeah, check us out. We would love to we’d love to have you and again, don’t forget about the medical spa show, which you can learn about at medicalspashow.com I think is the special website.
Bill Fukui 39:43
That sounds great. And I I did get in this time.
Alex Thiersch 39:47
Yeah, we had to pull some strings for ya, Bill.
Bill Fukui 39:52
I pull some strings. I had to really work to get in there. But-
Alex Thiersch 39:55
I’m glad you did because you’re you’re a great addition and you need to be there I think we still actually have a couple spots left for exhibitors, but we’re talking less than five
Bill Fukui 40:08
And I was gonna say it’s gonna closed off me last time and there, there, there’s a demand so, hey thank you again Alex.
Alex Thiersch 40:16
Bill Fukui 40:16
This was really helpful, insightful. I know our audience will you know, get a lot of benefit out of it.
Alex Thiersch 40:24
Anytime happy, happy to talk. I can talk all day about this stuff.
Bill Fukui 40:27
That sounds great. So we will get on another one. And we’re going to do a little more of a deeper dive and really more of the hands all kinds of stuff because I think you you’re a wealth of information there.
Alex Thiersch 40:40
I appreciate it, sounds good. Anytime let me know. It was great being here, Bill.
Bill Fukui 40:43
Okay. Take care Alex. Have a great day.
Alex Thiersch 40:46
MSD Insider 40:47
Thanks for joining us for The MedShark Insider with Bill Fukui. Join us next week for another dive into all things medical marketing. All episodes can be streamed at www.medsharkdigital.com/medshark/insider
Transcribed by https://otter.ai