How to open a medical spa: A 10-step guide
In the medical spa industry, it can be empowering and exciting to consider opening your own business. While this process is rewarding, it is essential to understand what you are getting into before diving in. You will find that this is not a linear process, and every owner’s experience is unique; however, here is a list of steps you can take when opening your new medical spa.
Step 1: Create your business plan
The first step to creating any new business (including medical spas) is a business plan.
A business plan is a formal document detailing your business goals and strategy for achieving them. It serves as a roadmap for business funding, development, execution, and growth.
You can write up a first draft on your own, but you may want to involve a professional to ensure you have your bases covered. This document can answer a few core questions, including:
What is your business concept? Describe the nature of your medspa, its mission, your key objectives, and a high-level executive summary.
How realistic is your business? You may need a specialist to help determine your market analysis, earning potential, information about competitors, a forecast of your financial performance, and projected expenses using current market data.
What do you need to start your medspa? From licenses and certifications to funding for upfront costs, it is essential to outline what you have and what you still need from investors to get started.
What makes your business unique? Include a description of your planned offerings, the benefits of these services, how you will leverage industry trends/projections, and distinct value propositions that will help secure your medical spa’s success.
Business plans are essential for guiding your new medical spa to success.
Step 2: Seek legal advice
You will need to keep your medspa compliant with all state, local, and federal laws, as well as medical regulations (like HIPAA compliance).
While you might feel ready to put your business plan into action, it is best to first consult a lawyer in your area. Ensure your business plan falls within striking distance of local laws — especially before presenting these details to investors. A change in plans could also impact your funding prospects.
One of the most common questions among spa business hopefuls is: who can own and operate a medical spa? Many states limit this to licensed physicians, as they regulate medical spas under the same laws as other medical practices. If your state allows unlicensed individuals to open medical spas, you may need to apply for a healthcare clinic license or medical board registration.
While high-quality legal support can be costly, it is vital in helping you navigate the legal complexities of starting your medical spa.
Step 3: Secure funding for your medical spa
Starting a business can be expensive. Before you dive in, you must secure the funding outlined in your business plan. You can turn to investors, take out a loan, or examine your savings.
Whether using your own money or taking out a formal loan, it is best to leave room for error. Opening a business can carry unpredictable challenges, making it impossible to plan every potential expense. Rather than risking financial stress, it is better to leave extra room in your budget for the unexpected.
Step 4: Find your business space
Now that you have the capital to get started, the first natural step is finding a space for your medical spa.
Your space can determine which tools and equipment you can accommodate, which potential hires are within driving distance, or how many booth renters you can support. There are pros and cons to renting vs. buying a commercial space:
Renting can be more flexible, making it easier to upgrade your medical spa as your needs evolve. This option also comes at a lower upfront cost. However, this option can be less predictable. If your rent increases after you settle into your medical spa, you could be forced to pay up or move your business anytime. Additionally, some landlords will restrict the changes you can make to your space, so it is vital to ensure you find the right property for your medical spa.
Buying is associated with higher upfront costs. You are also responsible for maintaining your space and liable for fixing any issues that arise (from HVAC repair and replacement to plumbing issues, pests, vandalism, and so much more). However, buying also gives you complete control over your space. This option will also put a portion of your monthly payments back into your business’s overhead value, which can pay off in the long term.
Depending on your capital, this decision may already be made for you. If not, consider comparing your mortgage and rent payments — and explore the options available in your area.
Once you find your space, you can make it your own by materializing your brand.
Step 5: Building your med spa brand
Somewhere along the way, you can sort out the finer details of your business. This includes your medical spa’s:
Name — You might have a spa name in mind, or you can click here for a list of spa name ideas.
Brand guidelines — From the colors and font to your core brand values, these can help your business stand out and guide you through various business decisions.
Logo — Design a logo for your spa and create your branded materials.
Website — You will need an online home base for your business details and online booking.
Contact details — Set up your business phone number and email address.
Social media — Build your social media pages to start sharing information about your business and connecting with your community.
Directory listings — Claim your Google Business Profile, Bing Places Profile, Apple Business Connect listing, Yelp profile, and free Nextdoor App listing.
Hours of operation — You may change your hours over time, but this first step can be essential in building your schedule.
Step 6: Gather your tools and equipment
You will need the proper medical spa equipment to support all your services.
Plenty of online communities are dedicated to the used med spa equipment marketplace. However, it is vital to ensure your purchases are high-quality and reputable. Consider asking sellers why they are parting with their products. Additionally, you should thoroughly test and inspect any used items before buying.
You can also invest in new equipment directly from the manufacturers. Be sure to research your equipment carefully, explore warranty options, and ensure you are getting equipment that is not going out of date.
Step 7: Find the right med spa software for your business
Once you have your hardware in place, it is essential to meet your software needs. There are a few management systems vital for medical spas, but you can also find an all-in-one tool (like Mangomint) that performs all your necessary functions, including:
For more information, you can view a detailed list of essential medical spa software features here.
Step 8: Creating and engaging your processes
Now, it is time to iron out the finer details of your business’s daily processes.
How will you collect client information and documentation? While you likely considered this when selecting your software, now is the time to actually build out your forms and contracts — including your booth renter’s agreements, employee contracts, client disclaimers, liability waivers, and formal documentation. Be sure to run it all by your lawyer to ensure you are covered.
What services will you offer, and how much will you charge? This step is vital in preparing to hire your staff. Consider your options, and be willing to hear about additional specialties and services your new hires might offer. You can find more information about popular services and pricing in our guide to medical spa service menus.
Will you accept tips for non-medical staff and services? Note: this can impact your staffing options. Restricted payment options can be a deal breaker for non-medical staff or require higher upfront compensation to stay competitive. You can find more information in our guide to medical spa tipping etiquette.
What amenities will you offer in your medical spa? In addition to your services, some medical spas offer amenities that clients can take advantage of.
How will you stay within compliance? While upfront compliance is essential, this ongoing process will require frequent consideration in your medical spa. It is crucial to meet industry standards — from cleaning processes to ongoing certifications, licenses, and more.
Step 9: Hiring your medical spa staff
Finally, you will need to find the right staff members for your brand and services.
Your staff will determine the quality and reputation of your business performance. The team can also make or break your medical spa’s atmosphere. As such, you will need staff with both cultural and skill fit:
Send out detailed job descriptions to attract the right interview audience.
Complete thorough interviews, background checks, and reference checks.
Consider having prospective staff members perform paid trial appointments to evaluate their skills firsthand and gauge how they interact with clients.
Once you find the right team members, your hard work in the hiring process will pay off.
In addition to your service staff, you must also decide whether or not you need assistance at your front desk. With comprehensive software support, check-in and check-out processes are manageable without a receptionist.
Step 10: Growing and marketing your medical spa
The most essential part of your new medical spa’s growth is earning new clients. From community events to online advertising and social media campaigns — there are countless ways to create buzz around your business. You can explore a complete list of 33 spa marketing ideas here.
While new clients are essential to the early stages of your business, loyal customers will be the backbone of your ongoing success. As you grow your client base, email marketing is an especially helpful tool in keeping your customers coming back.
A spa-focused email marketing tool will help streamline this process for you. With professionally built templates customized to your business model, you can make new email campaigns in minutes. By integrating with your software’s client information, a built-in tool can also help you personalize your campaigns for extra effectiveness. For example, rather than email blasting a botox promotion to all your clients, simply filter for clients due for another botox appointment and send them a booking reminder.
This process helps save you money while maximizing your marketing efforts. For extra inspiration, you can explore seasonal email marketing templates for spas here.
Mangomint’s medical spa management software
When you are ready to open or reopen your medical spa, Mangomint’s med spa management software can help. You can unlock all the features you need to launch and grow your business, including payroll processing, email marketing, staff management, client management, online booking, and so much more.
These industry-leading features, paired with our top-tier customer support, make it easy to understand why Mangomint is the highest-rated medical spa management software. We invite you to launch your free trial or book a live demo to get started today!