Devin Haman is the CEO and Co-Founder of Beverly Hills Rejuvenation Center, the nation’s leading medical spa franchise.
The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly forced businesses in every industry to reconsider their value proposition and realign things for whatever the new normal is going to be. It’s been especially hard on industries that rely on in-person service delivery, as the lockdowns have taken their toll in a big way. But for those who have been able to adapt and innovate, these sorts of constraints can also force new ways of doing things and other opportunities can arise from that.
The med spa industry is an interesting case study. It’s an industry that should have been very negatively affected because of the rolling lockdowns, and some spas certainly have been. However, there are others that have found a way to thrive during this difficult time, and companies in the industry can learn from them to succeed.
What does the med spa industry look like?
The med spa industry developed as a combination of a medical clinic and a traditional spa, providing soothing and relaxing spa treatments, as well as more specialized medical treatment. The focus is on the holistic health and beauty of a client.
The industry globally was valued at $13.82 billion in 2019 and is moving toward an anticipated value of $47.14 billion by 2030. The market is dominated by the U.S. and has quickly become an industry that is attracting investors’ attention because of the strong profit margins and the loyal clients who come back again and again. The average medical spa brings in more than $1 million per year, according to the AmSpa 2019 Medical Spa State of the Industry Report, and top practices are around $4 million to $5 million.
Of course, these predictions were all made in a pre-Covid-19 world, and many thought that the pandemic would seriously damage the industry. However, that hasn’t been the case for all providers, as they’ve used some societal changes to their advantage.
How have some med spas thrived during Covid-19?
The first tailwind for the industry has been the rising demand because of a general increase in stress. The emotional impact of this pandemic and all its related effects have brought a lot of new customers into the fold as people tried to invest in themselves through relaxation, beauty treatments and lifestyle advice. I’ve observed that the stigma around self-care has been significantly diminished, and it’s becoming a bigger part of our cultural conversations. There’s a general understanding that your holistic health and the way that you feel about yourself are crucially important to living a good life. The sorts of treatments that med spas provide are no longer seen as mere luxuries but as an investment into yourself that will pay off mentally and emotionally, not to mention the actual physical improvements.
The next key thing is more superficial but still a very powerful lever, and that is the proliferation of video calling. As we’ve all shifted to Zoom calls and the like to do business and to connect with friends and family, we’ve been confronted with our own face for hours every day. For some of us, it’s the first time we’ve actually paid serious attention to what we present to others and the associated wear and tear of life. This mirror to society has been an epiphany for so many and has encouraged a whole new generation to take their health and beauty seriously. Med spas are perfectly suited to benefit from this surge of demand and should alter their marketing with this in mind.
As we’ve started to take holistic health seriously, corporations have also realized that taking care of their employees is a worthwhile investment and can be a competitive advantage in heavily saturated industries. As a result, some have turned to med spas. In 2018, the Global Wellness Economy Monitor estimated that wellness had become a $4.2 trillion industry.
The final piece of the puzzle has been a change in thinking around how this care can be delivered. Obviously, many of the in-person treatments that required physical touch were throttled by lockdowns across various states, but a lot of the nutritional, skincare and general well-being advice could be just as effectively communicated virtually. Healthcare practitioners were able to form connections to help their clients and disperse individualized knowledge at a scale that never would have been possible with the old paradigm. This goes for initial consultations as well. A new client might feel a bit overwhelmed by how many different options are available, and the ability to speak to a professional and gather the required information before coming into a med spa is incredibly valuable.
How can med spas move forward successfully?
In addition to learning from some of these benefits that have allowed companies to flourish at this time, there are a few other actions that med spas can take to thrive. For example, with the addition of telehealth, med spas should offer consultations for people at home who are curious about cosmetic treatments from the comfort of their couches.
The anticipation quickly sprung for the return of cosmetic treatments, since consumers have spent months in their homes due to quarantine. Med spas should cater to these patients and help them decide what treatments are best for them from a clean, safe environment. The sheer volume of income from cosmetic treatments also brings in investors due to the repetition. If someone regularly receives Botox (for example), they will come in every three to five months. These are very steady treatments that bring in a great income. This income can be used to innovate and expand to give patients even better machines, treatments, more technicians, etc.
All in all, the med spa industry is one that is set to emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever before, having weathered the storm of this pandemic better than most. I’ve seen many companies exhibit resilience and skill to reinvent how things are done for a digital-first world. And because society is taking things like quality care more seriously, I believe the profitability of these centers will continue to rise.