2020 made something very clear: Efficiency in business is crucial, and we must be ready to pivot and make rapid-fire decisions to maintain the health of our businesses and our sanity as owners and managers.
The pandemic forced me to make quick changes in how I run my own business and forced me to come up with immediate solutions for the challenges that my clients face in a rapidly changing environment.
Coming off the American Medical Spa Show last January, things were going amazing for me. I had massive success at the show. I launched my new podcast In Touch with Terri. I launched an online sales training course to serve more people than I could serve at live sales training events. I spoke at Miami Cosmetic Surgery, for Environ, and completed two onsite sales training with practices. It was insane, but so much fun. Then, we got hit with COVID, and like all of you, I was flooded with several emotions. We all got knocked down, and then we had to pull ourselves back up by our bootstraps and figure out how to survive in a pandemic.
A Wake-Up Call
After the initial shock, a few interesting things happened. I had just brought on Robbi Grayson as a consultant and expanded my team. We created a financial foundations course to complement our sales training course. Then, we started getting lots of calls from practices around the country—both existing aesthetic practices and from people who were wanting to open up a medical spa or plastic surgery practice.
Practices were shut down and for the first time, I think it began to hit people in the face and the lightbulb went off that they didn’t really understand their numbers. They were losing money by being forced to shut down, and they didn’t know how they were going to make it up or keep their team in place. They started recognizing that their compensation plans were not right, their Cost of Goods and marketing spend was too high, and they were trying to figure out a way to course correct and fix things.
From March through July our consulting business almost quadrupled. We took on so many new clients that we were reaching capacity with 35 retainer clients--some of which were new practice developments. As a consulting firm, it is hard to scale as you run out of hours in the day to serve clients and can’t duplicate yourselves.
Knowing when to Pivot
Now, I’m not a tech girl, but I have been intricately involved in almost all of the Aesthetic Societies (such as AmSpa, American Society of Plastic Surgery, Vegas Cosmetic Surgery, The Aesthetic Show, etc. I have relationships with some of the major practice management software companies and helped them develop KPIs and provide the right reports to run. I signed an exclusive partnership with Ronan Solutions to utilize industry benchmarking data and be able to teach it. The same data that is provided to ASPS.
Robbie and I literally took every deficiency in the market we heard from our clients since 2011, and compiled it on a spreadsheet. Then we sat down and said, “What does the industry need? We know they need solutions, not just information. We do that with our private clients, but how can we take all of our knowledge and skills, and offer these solutions to reach and impact more people? ”
So, that’s how APX was born. That’s the story tied up in a neat little bow. Most people end there when they talk about launching a new business. What people rarely share is the pitfalls, fear, doubts, snafus and bumps along the road. If you know me, you know I like to keep it real. So, I wanted to pull back the curtain and give you a glimpse into what I was going through behind the scenes because the road to success rarely happens in a straight line.
With COVID everything was turned upside down so quickly that I knew I had to make a change. Successful entrepreneurs always look for opportunities. When the right timing meets a need in the market, you have to change course and take a new journey.
Honestly, I was scared as sh*t. I got really sick in March for two weeks and was unable to get out of bed. I’m a single mom and kept thinking what am I going to do? All the conferences were shut down. All the places I normally speak at and attract new clients are no longer happening.
Then in June, I met an investor who started other boutique tech companies. He took an interest in the aesthetic medicine niche. We told him about the solutions we were trying to provide on a larger scale, and he really thought our idea had legs. So much so that he asked if we were interested in launching a technology platform, which focused on business intelligence training and growth.
I thought, “No way. I don’t have the money to do that. I know nothing about technology. That’s not my wheelhouse. I made every excuse in the book that were all based in fear. Until I chose faith. I even got a tattoo on my arm to remind me of this. I chose faith in what I was passionate about—the lack of knowledge, training and the lack of SOLUTIONS in the industry.
I had faith in the results I could help clients achieve. One of our clients grew 2800% during COVID and hearing that achievement literally brought tears to my eyes and made me want to reach more people on a larger scale.
I had to shift my mindset and think of it this way: “It would be doing a disservice to the industry and the potential clients I could help if I let fear get in the way.”
So, we began fleshing the idea out, and worked with our investor. I took a HUGE risk. I invested more money than I’ve ever spent in my life. But I believed so deeply in my soul that this platform was a game changer. We did the due diligence. We beta tested all the tools with some of our key opinion leader clients, developed financial optimization calculators, added a financial foundation course to the existing sales training courses, incorporated a marketing & social analytics dashboard with more than 50+ API integrations, incorporated benchmarking data, and developed a community aspect with ongoing training and support with implementation. The testimonials were incredible, and I knew with every fiber of my being that this would create an impact and a ripple effect in the industry.
Finding Beauty in the Mess
Because of the time off from treating patients and not being able to work IN their businesses, people were actually able to take a look at their business and work ON them. If it were not for COVID, I guess we wouldn’t be here right now.
It was the scariest year of my life, but one of the most beautiful things came out of it. I would have never developed this business intelligence platform if it hadn’t been for COVID. Now, I can truly give back and provide solutions with my proven systems.
It was not all sunshine and roses. There were moments where I was ready to throw in the towel. There were technical glitches and coding issues. There were countless nights I was burning the midnight oil and barely got to see my daughter. I hustled. I did the work and witnessed the exponential growth my clients experienced.
Nothing worth having ever comes easy. If you want different results, you have to take different actions. You want to scale and see amazing results and increase your revenue? Then you’ve got to know your numbers, have the right data, know what to do with and MAKE the time to work ON your business.
Trust the Process
You know during COVID my life kind of flashed before my eyes, not because of the illness but because I was literally thinking what am I going to do? To borrow from Oprah, what I know for sure is as long as you keep pounding the pavement, keep your eyes open, listen to your gut, keep learning, do what you are good at, then you can usually find a way through the dark times.
You can hear the phrases, “Choose faith over fear and Risks vs. Rewards” but until you are actually pushed against the wall and feel like you have no way out, you are forced to make a choice. You can stay stuck in place and feel like a victim, or you can rise above and persevere. I’m from Detroit, so I’m a scrapper. I will always choose to persevere. I will always trust the process and trust in the work we’ve done to help our clients succeed. I’m all in, 100%.
I always had the mindset that this was too hard, too costly. That’s my biggest takeaway. Change is scary for everyone. As an MD, provider, practice owner or manager, you have had to deal with changes. You have had to sacrifice, make hard decisions, and decide. You are here to help people, but the bottom line is you are still running a business. The team you hire, the processes you go through, the training you provide, the expectations you have, the leadership you show, the patient experience--they all matter. People have the greatest opportunity to increase their business and level up with every method we teach. We really created APX to serve everyone: Plastic surgeons, medical spas, cosmetic derms, cosmetic dentists, every aesthetic practice. APX is for everybody at every stage of business from startups to scale ups.
If you want solutions to grow your practice with the resources to do so at your fingertips, in addition to “weekly” coaching; if you are not afraid of a little elbow grease and are willing to roll up your sleeve and do the work as we hold your hand through it, then APX was created just for you. Remember, success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently. Tough times never last, but tough people do!
To learn more or sign up for an APX Discovery Call, go to apxplatform.com.