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8 Steps on How to Open a Med Spa

By: Nextech | June 17th, 2024

8 Steps on How to Open a Med Spa Blog Feature

Opening a med spa is a great way to deliver high-quality treatments in a relaxing environment. Given that med spa demand is expected to grow by 15.13% in the next six years, plenty of your potential customers recognize the unique benefits of med spas too. 

While the demand is clear, how to open a med spa, get rave reviews, and maintain regulatory compliance could be somewhat murky. To make it easier, our experts created this step-by-step guide on how to open a med spa and identify opportunities in your market

  1. Check Med Spa Licensure Requirements
  2. Create a Business Plan
  3. Invest in Necessary Insurance and Training
  4. Purchase Med Spa Equipment 
  5. Invest in Software 
  6. Hire a Team of Skilled Professionals
  7. Hire an Accountant and Bookkeeper
  8. Market Your Med Spa

What Is a Med Spa?

A med spa is a hybrid care environment offering the benefits of a traditional day spa and an aesthetic-focused medical center. Services are generally non-invasive and performed by a team of trained care experts under the supervision of a licensed physician. Common med spa treatments include chemical peels, injectable fillers, Botox, laser hair removal, and sometimes also wellness and weight loss programs.

Before Opening a Med Spa

Before opening a med spa, you should check that you meet all licensure requirements in your state. It’s also best to go into it with a business plan and insurance.  

1. Check Med Spa Licensure Requirements

Traditional day spas are easier to open since they don’t provide medical services. As the name suggests, a med spa does offer these services and is thus subject to additional legal requirements. To make matters more confusing, med spa licensure requirements differ from state to state.

In all 50 states, licensed medical providers must perform all services. In some states, the owner must also have a valid professional license, usually either as a physician or nurse practitioner. In some states, like Florida, anyone can own a med spa.

When non-medical personnel own a med spa, it’s often done through a management services organization (MSO). An MSO controls accounting, hiring, business operations, and payroll while agreeing that trained medical professionals will perform services.

Before starting a med spa, check you and/or your business partners possess the right licenses. If you live in a state where anyone can own one, hiring licensed professionals is vital to keeping your spa operational. 

2. Create a Business Plan

Once you’re sure you’re qualified to run a med spa in your state, it’s time to create a business plan. A business plan is the guiding star for your practice. It defines your vision and goals and outlines the steps to achieve them. 

Typically, a business plan includes:

  • Executive summary
  • Business description
  • Marketing + Promotion
  • Budgeting and start-up capital

When opening a med spa specifically, pay extra attention to what services you will offer and how they align with current aesthetic trends. The feel of your med spa is also important. Both the feel and services offered impact the equipment and required employees, two other important aspects to include in your business plan. 

3. Invest in Necessary Insurance and Training

To run a med spa, you’ll most likely need a few types of insurance to meet regulatory standards, ensure great services, and protect your med spa. 

These include:

  • general liability insurance
  • professional liability insurance
  • property insurance
  • workers’ comp if there are any employees

In many states, malpractice insurance is also required. Before opening a med spa, check with your state’s regulations and ensure you have all the required or recommended insurance types. 

The Logistics of Running a Med Spa

Now that you have written a business plan, it’s time to dive into the logistics. Running a med spa can be overwhelming, but if you take it step by step, your day-to-day operations will flow smoothly. 

4. Purchase Med Spa Equipment 

The first step is to purchase the necessary equipment. Essentials often include treatment beds, professional skincare products, and chairs for a waiting area.

Other equipment your med spa needs depends on the services provided. For example, a med spa that offers Botox, microdermabrasion, and laser hair removal will most likely need laser machines for hair removal or skin treatments, microdermabrasion machines, and injectables.

When purchasing equipment, research different suppliers and choose safe, high-quality options. Cutting corners leads to bad reviews, lawsuits, and a short run in the med spa business.

5. Invest in Software 

Having the right equipment is important, but it’s not the only tool required to run a successful med spa. You also want to ensure you have the right software to support your care provider(s) and your administrative staff.

Med Spa software essentials include:

  • An EHR
  • Practice management (PM) software 
  • Bookkeeping software
  • Marketing software
  • Payment processor

Ideally, the software should integrate to create a smooth workflow. When this happens, med spas save several hours a week, reduce administrative errors, and have a faster payment process. 

Some med spa software may include many of the essentials within one solution. Dr. Eugene Nowak of Nowak Aesthetics was complimentary of how Nextech’s EHR and PM software made his practice more efficient. “This is something that helps me probably 100 times every day, anywhere from the consultation process, the education process, having patients be able to look at their before-and-after pictures, and being able to capture reviews,” Nowak said. 

6. Hire a Team of Skilled Professionals

Med spas are not typically a one-person show. They require a team of licensed professionals who are skilled in specific services. 

Common hires include:

  • Estheticians
  • Nurses
  • APRNs
  • Receptionists
  • A medical director, either now or as your practice grows

Before hiring, check if an applicant is licensed. Med spa employees should also have experience with the specific service they will provide and a passion for customer service. 

If curious about how much payroll will cost, the American Medical Spa Association estimates salaries ranging from an average of $80,348 for an RN to $120,691 for a medical director.

7. Hire an Accountant and Bookkeeper

Good bookkeeping software is a must for almost any business. As a med spa, you may want to hire an accountant and perhaps a bookkeeper. Accountants ensure your med spa pays the right amount in taxes, and a bookkeeper tracks day-to-day spending, providing valuable insight into how to improve your practice.

Note: When selecting any administrative software for your practice, make sure it’s intuitive so any finance hires or other employees can easily access med spa data.

8. Market Your Med Spa

To succeed, your med spa needs repetitive, happy customers. The best way to get these customers? Get the word out through consistent, effective marketing efforts.  

Some of the best marketing channels for med spas in 2024 include:

  • Social media
  • Website + investing in local SEO
  • Email or SMS marketing
  • Word-of-mouth marketing

When looking at the website in particular, there is one feature that can have a big impact on your bookings: Make sure people can schedule an appointment in as few clicks as possible. 

To achieve this, invest in PM software with an easy-to-use patient portal. The business manager at Perfectly Bare Laser Christine Stafford saw an increase in bookings once they switched to Nextech and its user-friendly patient portal. 

She reflected, “With our prior platform, it took 15 clicks to just book a new patient vs. two now with Nextech. We book a lot of appointments, so it is a big deal.” 

Your PM and EHR software should also integrate with any marketing software you invest in. The best software also offers data analytics and reports that are easy to access (and understand). 

Med Spa FAQs

As you tally up the equipment, software, and payroll, you’ll probably notice starting a med spa takes a significant financial investment. For many med spa owners, the payoff and serving clients is worth the upfront investment. Still, there are a few tips to ease financial stress. 

How much money do med spa owners make?

There isn’t a set salary expectation for owners, though the American Medical Spa Association has collected stats on med spa revenue, most recently in 2022:

  • For a single-location spa, the average monthly revenue was $121,632
  • Average revenue for the entire year was $1,982,896

How profitable are med spas?

Those numbers are quite generous, but they are revenue, not take-home profit. Fortunately, med spas have wider profit margins than many other business types, with the average being about 20%-25%.

What spa services make the most money?

Sometimes, the services with the highest cost also have the lowest profit margins. Instead of focusing on expensive services, focus on services with high-profit margins such as laser treatments and injectables. 

Other ideas to boost income include:

  • Offering popular services in your area
  • Creating add-ons to complement popular services
  • Starting a monthly membership program

Opening a Medical Spa Checklist

Researching everything required to start a med spa can be overwhelming, which is why it’s best to take it one step at a time. To keep you on track as you set up your med spa, we’ve created a free checklist on how to open a med spa.

How to Open a Med Spa Checklist

  • Check all licensure requirements for owners, medical directors, and staff
  • Create a business plan
  • Invest in the right insurance and training for your staff
  • Purchase any necessary equipment for the services you want to provide
  • Hire skilled professionals for each service
  • Add intuitive, easy-to-use administrative software to your workflow
  • Research accounting and bookkeeping options
  • Market your med spa through social media, email, an SEO-optimized website, and referrals

Nextech Med Spa is an all-in-one software solution designed to help med spa entrepreneurs get a successful start and scale to match growth through every phase of business. Our platform offers end-to-end visibility and management capabilities to streamline workflows, enhance client/patient experiences, and empower business growth. Schedule a short demo and experience it for yourself!