After talking to about 100 aspiring injectors over the last couple of years all over the country (and one in Canada!), there are certain injector misconceptions that keep coming up. Over and Over. Most of these I thought myself when I first started down this route and some of these things I made the mistake of trying out! If you have completed a free 30-minute mentoring call with me, then I can pretty much bet one million dollars we talked about one of these things.
1. I want to get a van and be mobile only
This is new injector misconception number one. This was 100% my plan. I even had my husband scoping out conversion vans. In my mind this was a great plan, I’ll put an injecting chair, great light, a refrigerator, and all the things and be an office on wheels! I can park in front of salons, boutiques, wherever! Here is the first flaw in the plan. Purchasing a conversion van, bus, etc., and adapting it is incredibly expensive. Like years upon years of sub-leasing a space expensive. Like $75,000 plus expensive. Save the investment for the expensive pharmaceutical orders you are about to be placing.
Next question, will you be driving this van all over town to do touch-ups?
Touch-up appointments to tweak any remaining wrinkles or asymmetries are a part of a complete treatment. There is a reason you don’t see established practices driving half the day to their clients. Think about your time and gas costs. If you can fill your day with people driving to you, it makes much more sense. You won’t be able to right out of the gate, but that’s the eventual goal.
This is not to say that offering mobile services is a bad idea! I built my business with Botox™ Parties. I love concierge tox. It will set you apart from the competition. But all you need is a chair, decent light, and a clean working environment to inject Botox™. Anyone hosting a party will hopefully have these elements. If not, I’d be concerned about them paying the bill!
There is a weird mental block on committing to a brick and mortar.
It feels overwhelming. And it doesn’t need to be! You can rent a room out of an established salon, doctor’s office, you name it. Even better if there is a built-in clientele there. In my first room, I sub-leased a handful of days a month for $250/month. And as I grew, I got my own single room. Then a second room. And now my own little building that I sublease to another small business. You don’t know where your business will take you and how big it can or will be.
Don’t limit yourself to a single van-room. If you grow to add an esthetician, laser services, multiple injectors, you have outgrown that million-dollar van. Which is likely not paid off yet. When you are in the growth phase, you are likely investing every dollar back into the business. That van could be a laser.
Getting saddled to a brick-and-mortar feels like a big decision. It feels like you’re choosing college all over again and deciding your whole future. But just like picking a college, most of us aren’t even doing what we went to school for the first time around. Plans change, lives change, markets change. You will be changing with it all. You don’t know what you don’t know. So, find a college, I mean space to rent, that makes sense for you at this time and then when you need to, pivot. PIVOT!
2. I’ll just work for a doctor (with or without injecting experience) and pay them a percentage of revenue/profit injector misconception
But they are providing a space…
Ok great, then rent the room for market value from them.
But they have a receptionist I can utilize…
Ok great, because you need so much help managing all 5 of your clients.
But I can be on his malpractice insurance…
Ok great, malpractice typically costs $2500 or less and will include coverage for your medical director.
I’ll just work there for a year and then start my own practice…
Such a common new injector misconception. Good luck getting around your crazy non-compete you will be required to sign. Even though non-competes are notoriously difficult to uphold, a lawsuit would be a stressor you don’t want a part of. Doing this, I also believe is bad karma. This plan of learning and dashing is not intended to be unfair to your employer. We all had this thought, and it’s a personal means to an end to achieve your goals. But, it takes a lot of time, money, and heartache to train a new injector to a point that they are beneficial to a practice. So, yea, you’re likely going to be expected to sign a non-compete. And rightfully so. There is a long line of providers trying to enter into aesthetics, and it’s not easy to get your foot in the door. So employers that are willing to take on injectors with zero experience, are going to want some assurance that their investment won’t just turn into the competition up the street.
Same goes for any partnership. If you do this you absolutely most have an exit buyout strategy in place
If you figure out this wasn’t a good deal, at least have a parachute. Now, if you don’t have the desire to run your own practice, working for a plastics, derm, med spa, etc. is a great option. Getting in isn’t easy, but it is nice to be able to come to work, do something you love and go home and check out! Go forth and enjoy. But, make sure you read your non-compete and non-solicitation agreements closely.
But if you do have aspirations to run your own practice, and you decide to make some sort of formal partnership that includes a percentage pay, ownership, profit sharing, make sure you have a lawyer draw up very clear documents on how to part ways.
Again, I know it all seems daunting and it seems safer to work for a doctor and learn the ropes. Or even just to be under the umbrella of a physician practice even if that doc doesn’t bring any aesthetic experience to the table. But ask yourself what exactly is this business relationship bringing to the table besides being a security blanket?
3. Thinking $800 is too expensive for AmSpa membership and reather pay an attorney locally
I want to preface this by saying I’m not an affiliate for AmSpa. Full disclosure, I’ve never been a member of AmSpa. However, they do offer a very valuable service to new injectors. AmSpa is the expert voice when it comes to who can do what when it comes to aesthetics on a state-by-state basis. When you join their premium membership, you can access one state’s Medical Aesthetics Legal Summary. Now note that I said the premium membership which is the $795 option. If you get the basic membership, significant parts of the Legal Summary will be redacted. When you deal with lawyers, always read the fine print!
I went the route of hiring a local lawyer who had experience working with Med Spas and has represented injectors in malpractice cases to help me navigate my state’s laws. It got expensive quite quickly. Much more expensive the $795 and I wasn’t left with much in the way of black and white answers. Ultimately, I think the price point on getting the authority in medical aesthetics black and white answers is worth the price.
Are you wondering if you are wondering if you need a medical director?
Who can be your medical director? Does a physician need to be any part owner of the practice? Who can fire a laser? These questions should be answered in your state’s Legal Summary.
Another benefit to membership is that you get a free call with the lawyers affiliated with AmSpa. If you are left with a question or two that is specific to your situation, then this could be an opportunity to get this answered if it is straightforward. Which it seems to rarely be in aesthetics!
4. Not prioritizing the business side of injections injector misconception
The actual injecting and making clients look and feel better is the flashy part of running an aesthetics practice. But the behind-the-scenes work that makes that work possible is a huge time investment. As a business owner, you absolutely cannot neglect the business financials of your practice. You have to understand your cost of goods. You have to understand your profit. We have a great post and video with more details on this. Expect multiple hours doing administrative work to every one hour of injecting when you are getting started.
As clinicians, typically our strength and focus are inclined to be on the actual needles and technique. This certainly cannot be neglected. But, I would make a case it’s just as important (maybe even more) to really dive into learning about small businesses. This is an area in which we typically have very little experience. So there is more ground to cover. Injecting is adding one more skill to an already stacked clinical toolbox. I received zero practice management or business didactic in all of my years of schooling up to a Doctorate level degree. Just don’t assume the business will do well solely based on being a strong injector.
5. Wanting to buy a piece of expensive equipment right away
The reps will find you! Investing in equipment will likely be something you do want to invest in as you grow. Not as you begin. any equipment should be bringing you in 5X your monthly payment on it. When you don’t have many clients, you will be drowning in an expensive payment. Also if you are paying the full retail price for the equipment you are overpaying. Let yourself learn the ropes a bit before you make that level of investment. If you’re not sure if you are getting a deal, you’re not! Getting into a bad laser, body contouring, etc. deals will sink your practice before it has a chance. Until you have hundreds of clients, don’t purchase any equipment more than 10k as a conservative marker. Some early add-on services that have a low barrier to entry are microneedling, chemical peels, vitamin shots, and dermaplaning.
Stay tuned for the top 10 new injector misconceptions numbers 6-10
We will be releasing them soon. In the meantime check out other great info to get you rolling on your business! And when you are ready to take a class, we highly recommend the Injectables EDU online and in-person introductory classes and resources. We offer in-depth clinical and business information and ongoing mentorship. All classes are not created equally and it’s worth it to travel for a foundational course. Make your free 30-minute mentoring call with Cassie to have your specific questions addressed.