In August 2015, nurse practitioners Alexa Nicholls Costa and Alexandra Rogers launched LexRx to meet the growing demand for non-invasive cosmetic procedures. Since the Great Recession, the market has swelled, and attitudes towards medical aesthetic procedures have changed. Once considered a vanity of the wealthy and famous, cosmetic procedures, in many quarters, are now seen as career and lifestyle necessities.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of nonsurgical cosmetic procedures performed in the United States increased 22 percent from 2014 to 2015. Americans spent more than $5 billion last year on Botox injections and other aesthetic enhancements. With the opening of LexRx, Costa and Rogers brought their expertise in the industry to Boston.
They faced strong competition. Plastic surgeons, dermatologists and even dental offices offer these services. Most clients turn to larger practices when seeking Botox or dermal fillers. To be successful, Costa and Rogers needed to add value to their services. What could they offer that would make them stand out and above the larger and better-known practices?
“Plastic surgeons may focus the majority of their practice on major surgical procedures where a larger profit can be made, and are therefore not injecting Botox/dermal fillers as the majority of their day,” says Costa. “The same goes for a dermatologist that may be more interested in procedures they can bill through insurance for a greater payout.” Additionally, clients seeking non-surgical procedures at larger clinics have limited options for appointment times. They often must be sandwiched in between wellness visits and surgeries.
To attract clients and provide better service, Costa and Rogers went with a boutique concept for LexRx. They limit their services to injectable procedures. “We do not offer an array of services like MedSpas. These types of practices often employ a range of clinicians, such as RNs, estheticians, etc. and have hundreds of services in addition to Botox/dermal fillers,” says Rogers. By narrowing their offerings, they have put Botox/dermal fillers at the forefront, making them the experts with these procedures.
“We like to differentiate ourselves from many other practices that employ RN injectors,” says Rogers, “Most RNs have a bachelor’s degree. Alex and I both have two bachelor’s degrees and are master’s-prepared nurse practitioners. We also maintain our own prescriptive authority, which sets us above RNs that inject. We purchase all of our own product through pharmaceutical distributors.”
Their model has been a success. “We launched in August 2015,” says Costa, “and have grown organically with little marketing investment in the first 12 months. Word-of-mouth and direct referrals have been the forefront of our client growth. In our second quarter, sales jumped almost 300 percent. They have normalized to 30-plus percent growth quarter to quarter.”
Going into their second year, they have geared up their marketing efforts by collaborating with Natalie Denyse of In Good Company PR, and they have formed a partnership with Ani Collum, a business consultant through Boston University’s Alumni entrepreneur group, the BU Buzz. “We look to expand LexRx into a global-scale boutique practice and lifestyle,” says Rogers.
This article was written by Gillian Burdett of Examiner.com for CBS Small Business Pulse.