Add Tattoo Removal to Your Practice?

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Ask Catherine

This Week’s Question: Add Tattoo Removal to Your Practice?

Dear Catherine,

We are considering adding a new type of laser that removes tattoos in about half as many sessions as the previous laser tattoo removal technologies. Any thoughts about adding this tattoo removal service to our cosmetic practice?  If so, how should we market it before we actually buy it so we have patients lined up?

Dr. F

Catherine’s Answer:

Hello Dr. F,

I am so glad you asked that….especially before you laid out $100K+ or signed up for hefty monthly payments for years from now.

When adding a new service, such as laser tattoo removal, to your practice, clarity is needed. You must answer the WHY before you ask the HOW.

What I mean by that is why do you want to add this service? Is it to get new patients through the door? Is it to offer additional services to your existing patients? Is it because your competitor offers it so you should to?

Because if it’s to attract new patients to your practice, you should know that adding tattoo removal to a cosmetic practice has not proven to be profitable in most practices I’ve worked with for several reasons that I outline below:

#1: It’s a Different Market

Tattoo removal, is a completely different, random market. You need mass advertising to find the needles in a haystack that want their tattoos removed and then you have to hope they now want Botox and cosmetic surgery. That’ s a big jump that takes a huge cash outlay month after month.

It’s also a one-hit wonder kind of procedure which is why you would have to invest heavily in mass advertising. Think about it. Can you build a loyal following of raving fans of people who no longer want their tattoos so they refer their friends? Do they have friends who also have tattoos that don’t want them anymore? It’s more typical to market to people who “like tattoos” than it is to market to folks who “liked tattoos but don’t any longer”.

#2: It confuses Your “Brand” 

This type of tattoo removal procedure can lead to all sorts of new and different demographics now coming through your door. That is not bad – just different. So if you typically attract certain cosmetic patient demographics and the tattoo removal demographics are polar opposite, that can make all parties uncomfortable. That, in turn, can hurt your image.

#3: Do Your Cosmetic Patients Want Tattoo Removal?

There is definitely a minority of your cosmetic patients who would want tattoo removal if you offered it to them. However, the cosmetic patient who wants to look great is much more interested in skin rejuvenation such as tightening and reversing sun damage. Or in fat removal or body sculpting. These are more logical additional procedures to market to your hungry vanity patients and would fit in nicely with your current promotional efforts.

I hope this helps you make a good business decision and I would love to hear what you end up doing.

Why would you add/not add Tattoo Removal to your practice?

If you added Tattoo Removal to your cosmetic practice, has it been a money-maker or another coat hanger?