Surface Clinics in the South East: Gettin our groove on.

Midwest sent me an email calling out these other Surface clinics in Nashville who are opening clinics in the South East. Turns out that they are us and we are them. If you're a physician and think that you'd like to work in/on/with Surface in the new SE clinics, drop me an email. But be warned, if you're a doc just looking for a job don't bother. The docs we're looking for are smart and motivated. This is not a franchise.

Getting the Wrinkle Out...Of the Business Plan


M10.jpgaren Scoggins is the vice president of strategic development at Surface Skin and Facial Rejuvenation, a new medical clinic in Nashville specializing in non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Founded in November 2006, the facility functions as Surface's beta site where the business plan can be modified to accommodate an aggressive expansion plan that calls for five to 10 new sites to be developed throughout the Southeast within the next five years. Plans are already underway to acquire real estate in Naples, Fla., with further expansion planned in Orlando, Fla., Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C.

While this may seem like an ambitious business plan, the market for Surface's products and procedures is expanding rapidly, especially as a result of an entire generation of aging Baby Boomers that wants to continue to feel - and look - young.

Improvements in technology are also helping to draw customers who might otherwise be intimidated by invasive surgical procedures that usually involve a lengthy recovery period.

"People are going for things that are minimally invasive and more natural," says Scoggins. "The products in aesthetic medicine are growing very fast. Aesthetic procedures have grown by about 500 percent in the last five years."

Scoggins estimates the initial investment necessary to start a clinic at around $1 million, adding Surface hopes to balance its budget in its first fiscal year. The beta site in Nashville has 10 employees, but future facilities will be staffed with about half a dozen - including physicians, aestheticians and administrative personnel.

"Most medical spas don't have physicians on site," explains Scoggins, "We differentiate ourselves by offering services that other spas don't have."

The services include Botox, Thermage, facials, chemical peels, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photo facials and hair removal and the Natural Lift, a nonsurgical face lift that is reversible, involves only local anesthetics and leaves no visible scarring.

Pricing for the procedures varies from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars - no single procedure offered by Surface is listed at more than $5,000 - with financing options available. Costs are kept to a minimum by avoiding expensive hospital stays and anesthesia.

"Youth is hard to hang on to, but beauty you can have at any age," says Dr. Deborah Kondis, a Surface physician. "What we're after here are natural looking results."

Surface's office at 2020 21st Ave. S. appears and even smells more like a day spa than a state-of-the-art medical facility. A scented candle burns while soothing music plays from a flat-screen TV with ambient lighting. The walls are painted in gentle pastels meant to create a calm and inviting atmosphere.

The staff and the environment are not the only features meant to distinguish Surface from the competition. To educate and attract customers, the facility maintains a detailed Web site with frequently asked questions and comprehensive information about each procedure.

The site's goal - along with e-mail updates, educational seminars and free consultations - is to keep clients informed. Surface also offers gift certificates, which are helping to develop new business trends.

"In fact, a lot of people do this together," Scoggins says. "They want to stay young together. That's becoming more popular."

Scoggins, who developed the operational plan for Surface, was formerly senior operations analyst at BH1 - Private Equity Healthcare, Surface's parent company. Aside from Surface, BH1 owns and operates Baptist Women's Treatment Centers and Middle Tennessee Medical Center, located in Nashville and Murfreesboro respectively.

Aside from being a graduate of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, Scoggins studied in the pharmacology research graduate program at the University of Virginia, has an undergraduate degree in engineering from Vanderbilt and was previously a professional golfer.

In addition to marketing, advertising and staffing Surface, Scoggins is responsible for the real estate acquisitions for the planned out-of-state locations and for fine tuning the business plan as problems arise at the beta site.

"She impresses me every day," says Theresa Fletcher, a Surface aesthetician. "She's on top of it. I think she hardly sleeps."