Price Transparency With Buildmybod - Shorr Solutions

On this episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast, we are so excited to welcome our special guest, Dr. Jonathan Kaplan also popularly known as @realdrbae! Proud practice owner and founder of BuildMyBod, a price transparency tool for cosmetic procedures, Dr. Kaplan discusses the beginnings of his practice, how he started BuildMyBod, and effective at-home marketing strategies to put to use during COVID-19. Tune in to gain insight from a successful practice owner on the importance of price transparency and how he has adjusted his advertising.

00:00:06:17 – 00:00:35:24

Welcome to Shorr Solutions: The Podcast. I’m your host, Mara Shorr. I’m a partner in the cosmetic and aesthetic medical practice management consulting company. Yes, Shorr Solutions. Listen up as I chat, converse, strategize and commiserate with special guests, influencers, friends and colleagues who are all in the cosmetic and aesthetic medical space too. It’s time to listen, learn and get inspired. Welcome to Shorr Solutions: The Podcast.

00:00:44:16 – 00:05:55:09

Mara Shorr        

So on this episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast, I am absolutely thrilled to be speaking with one of my really treasured colleagues, Dr. Jonathan Kaplan. Dr. Kaplan is a board certified plastic surgeon and medical director of Pacific Heights Plastic Surgery in San Francisco. But he’s also more commonly known as Dr. Bay. So he’s a founder of BuildMyBod.

The software is becoming a household name in the cosmetic and aesthetic industry. And like I said, he has been a colleague of mine for years and we see each other at countless industry conferences. And honestly, one of my favorite people to snag a bite with while we’re all in the same place, he’s genuine and down to earth. And quite honestly, once we’re all regularly dressed again and we’re all out in public, he has one of the best footwear collections that I have ever seen.

So when you see him in public, just look at his feet right away. So welcome. Dr. Jonathan Kaplan.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Thank you so much for having me. That was a great introduction. Nice shout out to Stubbs and Wootton, my footwear of choice, but I got to give a shout out also to my wife Kelsey, @Kelseykaplanfashion on Instagram. She was the one who found Stubbs in a way, and basically forced me to start wearing those slippers, and they’re so comfortable.

Mara Shorr

I love those though. They always have something really great on them too. So it always lightens up and adds some flair.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

I’ve got the martini and Manhattan slippers, I’ve got the margarita slippers, I’ve got the cigar and an old fashioned slippers. So, yeah, So it’s it’s a nice, nice collection, I think I also maybe there’s some of leopard print slippers, too, so. Yeah. Very metrosexual. Very metrosexual.

Mara Shorr

Well, thanks, Kelsey, you’ve done a great job! So, Dr. Kaplan, I want to start off by having you give a little bit of an introduction to our listeners and having you tell me and everybody that’s listening. How did you start your practice? and then tell me how starting your practice then morphed into creating BuildMyBod and tell us a little bit more about BuildMyBod?

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Sure. So I’ll try and make this a succinct as possible. Originally from Alexandria, Louisiana, the youngest of seven kids, I went to undergrad at UT-Austin and made my way back to Louisiana, went to med school at LSU in New Orleans, and shout out to the Tigers for one of the national championship this past year. But anyway, so then I did general surgery at LSU at New Orleans and plastic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic.

And then, actually after I finished my general surgery residency in New Orleans, that was in 2005, June of 2005. On August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the city of New Orleans, you know, flooded 80% of the city. At that point, I was already in Cleveland. But fast forward two years after I finished my plastic surgery fellowship because of Hurricane Katrina, it shifted a bunch of the population from New Orleans back to Baton Rouge.

And so the hospital in Baton Rouge was saying, you know what, we’re looking for a plastic surgeon. We’ve never hired a plastic surgeon before, but we have, you know, all these plastic surgery fellows from LSU and Tulane and New Orleans that are rotating in Baton Rouge. Now, we want to formalize that rotation so that this private hospital, this Catholic hospital in Baton Rouge, hired me in 2007, and I was employed by them for six years and helped run the Baton Rouge rotation for the LSU and Tulane Plastic Surgery Fellows.

I was the first one they hired and then… but it was interesting, over the course of the six years I was there, they ended up going from like having five employed physicians to over 200. So things quickly changed over those six years that I was there. And after, you know, over the course of six years, I was, you know, finished.

I was doing a lot of reconstruction. But then as most plastic surgeons started doing more and more cosmetics, and I really wanted to have my own operating room office, that’s kind of what I was looking for. And the hospital wasn’t going to build my own operating room, they had over 200 physicians. Now they’re employed and like they couldn’t just build an operating room for everybody.

So I started looking around for another practice where I could have my own operating room. And so I was thinking about, you know, should I just stay in Baton Rouge and just go into private practice? But my wife and I, at that point, we didn’t feel like we wanted to really throw in the towel and just stay in Baton Rouge the rest of our lives.

So I started looking around and I actually found a job listing on the ASPS website, American Society of Plastic Surgeons website for a practice in San Francisco. The doctor had his own operating room that was accredited and he was retiring, and so that was 2013. We came out here, looked at the practice. It was legit, had its own operating room, and so I ended up purchasing that practice, which is like a whole other discussion  I’m happy to have if you want.

Mara Shorr

Yes. No, I would. I’d love to have that conversation too, and learn a little bit more because with that, we have a lot of clients come to us because as you know, Shorr Solutions, we also have a consulting company and so we work with clients across the country. But a lot of times clients will come to us in that same stage that you’re in and they say, Should I open something up on my very own?

Should I go into practice with a partner? Should I buy an existing practice? What makes the most sense?

00:05:55:14 – 00:11:08:13

Mara Shorr

So what made you actually decide to purchase that practice and go into an existing practice versus starting something completely from scratch?

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Right. So you bring up a good point. It’s like, you know, it’s kind of what you’re thinking. Like, do you play well with others? And plastic surgeons typically don’t play well with others. So going on to a practice with like a senior doctor, I didn’t want to do that because I felt like I was just going to be starting all over, like when I was employed by the hospital.

You know, the hospital was the big brother. If I go on with another plastic surgery group, then I’m starting like low man on the totem pole again. After doing six years. That’s not really what I wanted. So as far as buying, I mean, starting my own practice, we considered it for us for a short second in Baton Rouge.

But again, I didn’t really want to stay there. And then just finding an already turnkey practice in San Francisco, it was sort of a no brainer. So I’m not saying I set out to buy a practice that had its own operating room in San Francisco, but when that situation presented itself, that seemed like a very obvious thing to do.

And at that point it was just a matter of valuation versus, you know, how much does this guy want me to buy the practice for that has its own accredited operating room versus me starting my own practice and building an operating room in San Francisco. And like, you know, you can imagine everything in San Francisco is so expensive.

So the way he valued it, which ended up being a third of the price of what if I had to build my own operating room? The way he valued it was very honest. He said, You know what? I’m not going to charge. I’m not going to base it on the the surgery patients because they’re probably not going to come back to see the people that I’ve already operated on.

But the patients who I’ve done injectables on, that’s what I’ll base it on. And so what he did is he looked at the net injectables like he took all the Botox and filler patients over the course of a year, contracted out the cost of the Botox and fillers. And what that number he did a multiple of two. That’s like a thing people do in business.

They just multiply things just to get it to a bigger number. So he did a multiple of two and ended up being $191,000 was the purchase price. And so you’re thinking like, well, what do you get? $191,000? Well, if you’re just getting like a bunch of charts of people that may never come back to see, then I don’t think it’s worth it.

But in this case, I was getting an accredited, fully functional operating room so I could start making money, you know, vertically integrated in my office right off the bat. So getting an accredited operating room or building one in San Francisco, which I’ve talked to different people who are doing it themselves, it’s about $600,000. So from $191,000.

Mara Shorr

And and in any market, that’s something incredibly expensive to do. So is anybody that’s ever built out an OR of their own, They know that it is not a cheap project. It’s on an easy project and it is time consuming. It’s incredibly stressful. And I mean, even the accreditation, even just when you switch over and switch hands, there’s a lot that goes into that.

But there’s we also know that if you can have something that’s turnkey and we have clients that have gone that route, we have clients that have built something out completely from scratch, and we have clients that have bought something that already exists. So I think it becomes a very personal choice as far as what it is that you’re looking for and how turnkey turnkey really is, Because looking at a practice like that, it’s like when you go into buying a home that you’re actually going to live in like your own home.

And they say, Oh, it’s move in ready. Well, we thought that our home was move in ready, but once we actually got in, there’s, you know, we’re we’re renovating five years later so it’s sometimes about same instance. So but it’s all about what to do.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

They meant that was move in ready for hobos right?

Mara Shorr

You know it was move in ready if you wanted to move in in like 1999. So, our house was built in 1960. So there is, there are a lot of things that we wanted to change.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Your comments just made me think of something is that when people are trying to decide whether to, you know, get something turnkey or whether to build something and you talk about the stress of dealing with building something is that we always assume that whenever we’re making a business decision, we always look at it at it in terms of the best case scenarios.

But now I think if anything, we need to start thinking of things like what am I going to feel like having this land that I have to build something on and dealing with the contractors, dealing with the bank in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic? Sure, that’s I mean, it’s not always going to be that bad, of course, but you do need to think of things like, okay, worst case scenario, is this something I’m going to be able to handle the cash flow associated with this project.

And if it’s turnkey, if it’s truly turnkey, then, you know, I mean, look at my situation. Let’s say this this pandemic happened right after I bought it. Well, you know, rent I could have asked that to be pushed off with the landlords of this medical office building. So I wouldn’t have had to pay that. So it’s a pretty good situation even in the middle of a pandemic, looking back on it, it probably would have been fine.

I would have just like kind of, you know, shelter or hunkered down, not had any employees. I wouldn’t have been paying a mortgage. I wouldn’t have been paying you know, I wouldn’t have even had to pay rent because I could have gotten that deferred for a while. So you definitely want to put everything in perspective, like not the absolute worst case scenario, but like if things aren’t going great, are you going to be okay?

Mara Shorr

Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, and one last thing on the buildout side, and then I want to I want to talk a little bit more about what’s happened since then and the success you’ve built, not only with the practice, but how you created BuildMyBod. And I think that’s a good a good place to transition.

00:11:09:06 – 00:30:00:14

Mara Shorr

So you move from, you purchased this accredited, you know, your turnkey practice and so you would then what went completely as expected what did not go is expected and then how did you and at what point did you decide to not only be a be the medical director, to be a plastic surgeon who is fully operating as a plastic surgeon?

So you’re not somebody that says, oh, no, I don’t operate anymore, I just own some entities, and then and then also decide, hey, I’m going to launch this amazing piece of software, too.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Yeah. So I guess just a quick point as far as the timeline and the BuildMyBod idea that came up when I was still in Baton Rouge employed by that hospital that we had patients always calling the practice during those first six years. I was in Baton Rouge. At some point along the way, patients were always calling, asking how much the procedures cost.

And I was thinking, you know, so frustrating that because, you know, if you tell the patient, oh, we can’t tell you how much that cost, you have to come in for a consultation. I could tell that just irritated the patient. And then it was also a waste of time for me because they’d come in for a consultation, having no idea how much things cost.

And then it was like it would just end in sticker shock. And so the other alternative was to have the front desk person go over all the pricing, but then that took forever, and then maybe they’d forget the garment fees, maybe they’d forget the cosmetic insurance, which we include. So I just knew that I said, you know, there’s got to be a better way.

There’s got to be a great website where people can go and find out how much things cost. And then I realized there was not a good website for that. There were some websites that maybe showed like the average price of a breast augmentation. ASPS and ASAPS, they both have pricing on their website for different procedures. But if you look at it, they clarify that the prices only include the surgeons fee.

It doesn’t include the O.R. fees, the anesthesia fees or the implants, which can be over 50% of the cost of the procedure. So I found that the information online was just terrible, is completely inadequate, not not actionable at all.

They weren’t giving you the global fee. Exactly. So that’s when I realized, like, you know, there’s got to be a better way. It’s not available out there, so I’m going to develop it myself. So the idea was BuildMyBod. Like you can go online and you can build a better body from a cosmetic perspective. And so we developed it first as an app, then a website.

Now it’s a process to make a widget that’s embedded into individual doctors websites. And even though it started out just plastic surgery, we’ve expanded outside of cosmetics, you know, obviously dermatology, but also bariatric surgery, general surgery, even surgery centers now, because the thing is that it’s not just about cash pay, cosmetic procedures, but now even medically necessary services that can be covered by insurance, people still have high deductible health plans.

And so they’re still paying out of pocket for a portion of it. So in a sense, the person getting the MRI who’s got to pay out of pocket because they haven’t met their deductible, they’re no different than the person getting a breast aug. They still want to know how much it cost ahead of time. And so that’s what the BuildMyBod platform does.

It allows the consumer to go to that surgery centers website of that radiology facility’s website of that plastic surgeons website. Check out the pricing. But the difference is it’s not just a menu of prices. The distinction is that the consumer chooses whatever they’re interested in and then has to add all of their contact information, submit their wish list, and then they receive an instant automated email with a breakdown of pricing.

So there’s that instant gratification. The consumer finds out how much it costs, but that email the consumer gets, that also goes to the doctor’s office or the facilities of our front desk, and then they can follow up with that patient. They can follow up with that patient. So it’s a lead generation. So we just combine price transparency with lead generation.

That’s what BuildMyBod does. And we started that in in Baton Rouge. And because I was employed by the hospital, this is an interesting point. Anybody that’s ever employed and is coming up with an idea, because I was an employee all the intellectual property I came up with belonged to the hospital. So I had to say to them, Do y’all want to take this and run with it?

You want to like, how about we develop this together? And this was like 2011. And you can imagine how uninterested hospitals are in price transparency. Now, you can imagine nine years ago, ten years ago, they were even less interested in price transparency. They’re like, No, we want nothing to do with this. So I got them to sign over their intellectual property to me and a contract that I still have that piece of paper showing that they gave me rights to BuildMyBod.

Mara Shorr

Do you have It framed up on your wall? at this point just to say, look what could have been. It’s the one that got away, guys. So to have that brand up on the wall.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Now, I’m so thankful that I went out, I kind of kept pushing them on the issue and like I said, no, no, you can’t just give me verbal approval. You’ve got to sign something. And thank God they did. And so anyway, so I developed that and then we moved here to San Francisco. And I realize that this was like the absolute best testing ground.

Like, here I am new in a city, nobody knows me. I don’t really have the money to do a lot of marketing because I’m paying for rent everywhere. So we implemented the price estimate and my new website here and this practice, and we followed the results over a year and I came up with all these great data points that I got published in a peer reviewed journal.

Like, I don’t want to go over all the data points right now, but just kind of like some simple ones we found is that people that came in for a consultation that were aware of pricing ahead of time because they had used our price estimator compared to those people who came in for a consult that did not use the price estimator, so they were not price aware.

We found that price-aware patients were 41% more likely to book a procedure than non-price-aware patients, which is not maybe so surprising, but until you have it in a paper and you’ve documented and you show data, nobody’s going to believe you. So by coming here and basically implementing it fresh in a new city, I was able to get some great data, which is really been kind of like, quite frankly, some of the best selling points of the BuildMyBod platform to new doctors.

But things that I was surprised by you going back to your other question, things I was surprised by when I came here versus the things that were disappointing. And I was surprised that the doctor kept his word because one of the things I’ve always heard about with buying a practice is that when you go and join at the doctor and there’s like, there’s a transition forever long, for us, it was only four and a half months.

But sometimes the doctor will decide, Oh, I really like having this junior colleague here. He’s taken all the call and I’m still getting to do all the cosmetic cases. Maybe I’ll stay on longer. But luckily he did not stay on longer. He left after the four and a half months. So that was one of the things I was surprised about.

I was also pleasantly surprised that the way he valued the practice was actually very honest. It’s he just based on non-surgical treatments of people that are more likely to come back. So I was happy about that. But one of the things I was really disappointed in… Go ahead. Go ahead.

Mara Shorr

I’ve even seen too, I guess, a couple of things. Number one is that often when somebody is selling their practice, so this is somebody that they’ve they really they’ve built this this has been their world, their life. They’ve put their blood, sweat and tears into this. And so then it comes time for them to sell their practice.

And they have a very skewed vision and a very skewed version of what they think that price would be. And we’ve seen, which is why we always recommend getting a second opinion. Don’t just take the seller’s word for it, but get a second opinion, get a true valuation on that practice, because otherwise there’s no true way of knowing.

So you want somebody that can really look at what what is the website traffic, How many of those patients are still active patients? So don’t just take their word for it that they have 15,000 patients, like you said, break it out. Surgical, nonsurgical, active patients, patients that haven’t been seen back in the practice in two years. If they haven’t been seen back in the practice in two years, why is that?

Is it because nobody’s actually putting any effort into it, or is it because it’s a very transient population. Here in Florida, there’s a lot of people that come and go, so people come. They stay here for a little while and then they they’ll move back to go be with their families, for instance. So.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Right. And that’s the thing with the value, you know, for me, I knew I was getting an accredited operating room, so I was like, I felt like I was golden $191,000 for an operating room. That’s the way I looked at it.

Mara Shorr

Of course

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

But $191,000 for just a phone number or for a bunch of patients who you have no idea if they’re coming in or not. That’s probably not worth it. The other thing I’ve found is that when I got here, he only had 200 email addresses in his database, even though he had, like, you know, a couple thousand patients, but he only had 200 email addresses.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

And so that’s another thing is that I feel like because I’ve been able to generate so many leads with the price estimate on our website, because again, everybody wants to how much something cost that I will have more leverage if I ever decide to sell the practice in the future, that it’s not just going to be about how many surgical patients, how many nonsurgical patients.

And then other thing is, if you’re selling all these patients files, you know, when you transfer from one practice to another, you know, in the past it was like you had their name, you had their home address and you had their home phone number. Well, all that’s worthless now because they don’t live there anymore and they don’t have a home phone anymore.

Mara Shorr

Right. Right. What’s a land line again?

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

That’s not the data that I have, I’ve got over 9800 email addresses which emails are forever. I’ve got cell phone numbers which you can forward now since 2003 2004. So I have. So the point being is that when you’re buying something in your value in the past names, home phone and home address, we’re not that useful anymore.

But now this database I’ve got, this is good stuff. These are real people with real email addresses, real phone numbers. So you can then add that into your valuation in the future. So that’s why it’s so important to generate leads while you’re in practice, obviously to have your practice stay afloat, but also for that future potential of selling it.

And one other thing that we did that’ll be interesting is that, you know, as far as I get my money’s worth, 191,000. I’ve already made it clear that I felt with the operating room alone, I thought it was worth it. But what I did do is after being here for five years, I did a little research with all of our data, and I found that after five years I looked at how many patients of that he left me, how many of them were still with me, or even came to see me at least once.

And not to make you guess what percentage of people, because I want you to guess a number that doesn’t make the same as shocking. But the percentage of people that came that stuck with me, that just came to see me at least once of the patients that he handed over, it was only 8.6%. That was that. You know, that was how many patients I retained.

Mara Shorr

So because they were loyal to him

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Exactly. Again, another reason why you can’t spend a bunch of money just for goodwill, just for names and everything, because you don’t know if they’re coming back to you. But it was 8.6% of the patients that he left me came back to me. But then at the five year mark, we looked at how many of them were still with us, how many of them spent, how much money did they spend and end up being a 312% return on investment just with that 8.6%.

So it was totally worth it. Within a plastic surgery practice where each procedure is a high dollar figure, whereas if you’re a primary care doctor, 8.6% won’t do it.

Mara Shorr

Right, You know, and I love a couple of things in that. Number one is that we always say you’re investments into your practice. They should yield you a 3 to 3 and a half to one ratio. And so you fit without me prompting that perfect perfectly in there. Write that perfectly in there. But also it’s listening to you is such a great example because one thing that I see a lot of practices struggle with is they don’t run their practice by the data.

They don’t run the numbers. And it’s wonderful and great that you run your practice by what you think is good, what you want to try all of that good stuff. But really what you need to always look back and see what worked and why, and so that you can do more of what’s working, less of what’s not. Tweak your strategy along the way.

But the data that goes along with this is just as important as the what you’re actually doing. It’s the data behind it. So I love that. You know, one of the things you and I were talking about a little bit earlier that I wanted to make a note so we can come back and include everyone in the conversation.

Is that, so for those of you listening, we are recording this particular episode in April of 2020. And so we are right in the thick of COVID 19 and so it’s basically at this point what everybody is talking about. And we’re hoping at some point that won’t be the case. But at this point, one of the things that you and I were talking about, Dr. Kaplan, is why BuildMyBod still makes sense when practices are even closed right now because of the COVID shutdowns and stay at home orders, etc..

So we were talking a little bit about how even in a time of shutdown that BuildMyBod in a practice either continuing to utilize or choosing now to implement BuildMyBod is a good idea. So can you give me a really great analogy and even brought in a little bit of Aesop’s Fables in there. So can you talk to me a little bit about that?

Absolutely. So with Aesop’s Fables, there’s a lot of them. But the one in particular I want to point out is the one of the ant and the grasshopper, where during the summer the ant, you know, was getting ready for the winter and kind of storing up supplies for the winter. Whereas the grasshopper, as the fable says, sang the summer away and didn’t prepare for the winter.

And so that’s what we need to remember, is that when times are tough, whether it’s a recession or a pandemic or whatever it is, that you really need to always be preparing for that time when you may not have a lot of traffic, there might not be a lot of business going on. So that’s why you need to have a really strong call to action on your website.

So whatever visitors you do have your website that they’re that they’re you’re capturing that contact information because you can’t follow a click. You can have a lot of visitors and a lot of clicks, but that doesn’t do you any good unless you know who they are. So the reason I’m such a big fan of BuildMyBod, I mean, aside from the fact that I’m the owner, I founded it, but I also use it in my practice is that it is a get a quote.

Now is kind of the call to action but we put on the homepage of all of our websites. And so when a consumer comes there, they see get a quote. Now everybody in the sales funnel, whether they’re just starting the research, whether they’re ready to pull the trigger, everybody wants to know how much it costs and it doesn’t make them a price.

Shopper. It’s not a bad thing. So the thing is, everybody that’s come on your website or on social media, they all want to know how much it costs. So this BuildMyBod the platform, the price estimator is a great way to capture all this contact information and build up a huge database of email addresses. And you want to do that during the good times and during the bad times.

But the thing is, during the bad times, when you have less cash flow, the thing is you still want to market to people as best you can. And during the pandemic, when we have so much less cash flow, this is not the time you can afford to be spending a bunch of money on pay per click and Google AdWords and things like that.

So what is really inexpensive is if you have a huge email database, like I said, I’ve got over 9800 people in my database and they’re all people that have submitted wish lists to check pricing. So I know they’re interested in the services that I’m offering that now I can email market to them, and that’s way less expensive for me to do during a shutdown.

So that’s why during good times, you want to be busy building up an email database, a robust database, so that during the bad times, just like the ant you’ll be able to then continue to market to those people because you know, they’re all at home on the Internet, surfing the Internet, coming across your website because they’re considering what things that they’re going to do to make themselves feel better once they can get an elective procedure.

So if you can capture those leads now, then you’re going to have that payback, those dividends in the future. And so that’s why it’s great for the doctors that are BuildMyBod right now. They’re generating a ton of leads. They’ve been generating a ton of leads. They’ve got a big email database. They can market to those people.

But even doctors who want they can come on board now, just like we’ve had several doctors to capture as many of the leads of those people sitting at home during the shutdown, capturing those leads so they can market to them in the future. So that’s why it’s really great to just plan ahead, be the ant, don’t be the grasshopper.

Mara Shorr

Exactly. And we’re always we’re working with our clients and we’re having meetings with our clients all day, every day. And sometimes it’s about financials and how they can apply for funding and different funding that comes depending on the day. Right? Sometimes it’s about HR Issues that they’re dealing with. And right now as people are settling in a little bit more, it’s how do they continue to keep in touch with patients and email marketing is a great way.

Social media make sure you’re constantly in touch with your audience because what I’m hearing is people will say, oh, well, do I slash my marketing budget and do I stop and cut my marketing budget? And marketing isn’t just one thing. Marketing is your SEO. In other words, search engine optimization for your website search versus your pay per click campaign, which is a separate fee and versus you’re looking at all these different marketing opportunities.

And it doesn’t make sense now to be spending a lot of money to pay per click campaign for Botox because people aren’t coming in for injectables right now. So push pause on that particular campaign. And again, whether it’s Botox or CMM, Dysport, Jeuveau, etc., But look at what makes the most sense right now. Stay in front of your audience.

Talk to them about remote consults and about telemedicine, what the different options are. We still have clients that are in dermatology, and people’s eczema is still flaring up because of stress and skin is still dry and psoriasis is still an issue and this mole still looks a little funky. And so, I mean, there are certain things that you could also be doing as a plastic surgeon.

You can still have a remote consult right now and plan on booking that procedure for six weeks, two months down the road. So but you can still work through. And in the meantime then pull together a funnel, an email funnel about how they should continue to get excited about their procedures. They don’t lose interest in the meantime. And there’s all sorts of different ways to do that from a marketing perspective.

So this is a really great way to continue to keep people engaged and continue to collect email addresses. So, you know, I strongly encourage we would say probably at least two thirds, if not more of our clients are using BuildMyBod.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

I think we have a lot of mutual clients.

Mara Shorr

We do, because it’s such great software and I found that it helps with it helps with tire kickers because you don’t then have people that come in and they’re shocked because they think that a plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery procedure cost, you know, they might say, Oh, well, I thought it would be $1,000. And it’s like, no, no, that that range for that procedure is $5,000 or $10,000 or.

What do you mean I can’t get Botox for 50 bucks? Nope, that’s not how that works. So it’s it’s cut down on tire kickers. It’s increased email address collections. So there’s a lot of different ways. And we found in numerous ways with different clients it’s helped so much so from our clients to you, Thank you very much.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Our pleasure.

00:30:01:05 – 00:40:36:09

Mara Shorr

We wanted to start wrapping up. I said there’s three questions that I always like to ask and you can answer them in any order. They are. What is one thing you learned along the way that you want to share? What’s one thing you would do differently in your career if you had to do it all over again? What would you do differently? And then what thing either personally, professionally, are you most proud of?

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

All righty. So I’ll start from the last one. So the thing I’m most proud of is and this might be a little bit of the nostalgia setting in, because right now, as we’re talking as I mentioned to you earlier, that my wife is in Connecticut with her family because her dad is sick now with coronavirus, but he’s sick.

And so she’s there with him. And so I’ve been missing her where, I guess this coming Monday, will we will have been apart for a month, which is the longest we’ve ever been apart. So I am most proud of the fact that I realize that she was the right one because she has definitely been behind the scenes and in front of the scenes helping along the way with BuildMyBod, with my practice moving here to San Francisco.

I couldn’t have done that without her, so I’m definitely most proud of her.

Mara Shorr

I love that, anyone that’s ever met you, anyone that’s ever heard you talk, to know Dr. Kaplan, is to know of Kelsey, because you talk about her with such admiration, with such love, and with such a spirit of partnership, too, that it’s it always warms my heart to hear how you talk about her and brag about her from a loving way.

As you could tell in your eyes how proud you are of her. So I’m glad that that’s what you’re proud of and not what you do differently.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Well, as far as what I would do differently, though, I don’t really like to think that I have any regrets. The one thing I guess, though, I mean, coming to San Francisco has been great. I mean, even that was a little surprising. This actually gets back to your question earlier. What was the thing that surprised me the most is I didn’t realize how expensive it was here.

I know it was expensive, but I didn’t realize it was the most expensive place. And so I still don’t have any regrets. I mean, it just changes kind of the way you practice. Like you don’t have as many aesthetic machines. You don’t have as many employees because each employee costs so much more. So that’s one thing that surprised me.

But as far as things I would do differently, though, is that early on I was trying to find, you know, employees that were, you know, that were a little less expensive because they were so, I mean, like, for example, a front desk person in San Francisco, you’re paying, you know, upwards of $20 an hour for whereas in Louisiana, you could be paying them like, you know, $9 an hour.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

A nurse, maybe…

Mara Shorr

For the record, we don’t ever recommend paying that person $9 an hour just FYI. Because for the point that you said they’re your first impressions, and they’re worth it.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Right. And so so that’s the thing is that I, I was trying to not be cheap because you can’t be cheap. I mean, if you’re spending $20 an hour, nobody can be accused of being cheap. But what I would recommend that I’ve learned is that I would definitely rather than going for the person who’s got less experience so that you can pay them on the lower end of the spectrum in San Francisco that pay more and get somebody with experience.

So one is you’re not training them how to do everything. They already come in having some knowledge of how to do different things or whatever you’re hiring for. So I would definitely recommend paying more money to get a more experienced person from the get go. And that might seem like not that profound, but you know, when things are expensive and you spend so much money on so many things, you know, maybe this is different in different communities, but in San Francisco, where things are already expensive, I would argue now spend more money on employees than less, because then the practice will be so much better.

And and the other thing I would recommend is get somebody at the front desk who speaks Spanish. I think that has really been effective here in San Francisco, in California in general. But I think that’s probably true everywhere. If you have a Spanish speaking front desk person who’s answering the phone, you’re going to get a lot more of that clientele who are interested, who really are very much into surgery.

I mean, we’re doing a lot of mommy makeovers, Brazilian butt lifts and, you know, the Hispanic population, they really want that. And having somebody at the front desk that speaks Spanish is really conducive to getting more of those patients. And those are great. They’re great patients.

And there’s an appreciation that, you know, there’s a lot of family that comes with it. And so you have a lot of family support with those patients postoperatively. So they’re really it’s a great patient population. And so that was one thing that I would do differently as far as employees. I would spend more on employees get the right person the first time rather than recycling through multiple employees.

Mara Shorr

I think that’s a great, great tip. And we hear, you know, even though you said, oh, it may not sound like it’s anything bigger, huge, but in reality, we get that question from clients that are hiring all the time and they say, is it is this too much to pay this person seems like this person is asking for too much.

Yes, but and it may be but it also might be that that person is exactly what you need. And if you can make it work with your budget, you don’t ever want to exceed your budget, but so that you don’t ever want to be strapped for cash and put yourself in that situation. But it’s not someplace that you want to go cheap.

We always call them director first impressions, honestly, because that’s what they are. And if by paying somebody another $2 an hour or more, if they book you just that one additional surgery and they help get that one additional consult on the books, doesn’t that more than make up for them mathematically? So come on now.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

And they’ll book more than just one more patient They’ll book many more.

Mara Shorr

Absolutely. Absolutely. So I mean that’s that’s your break even point for that difference is really.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

The thing that confused me when I got here was that I was like, well, I’m not being cheap. I’m spending $20 an hour. But it’s all about the community situation. If like that might be a lot of money in Louisiana. But it’s not a lot in San Francisco. So you can’t just assume that it’s not an absolute number is what I’m saying.

It’s like you’ve got to look at what the community standard is. Yeah. And you want to be on the higher end of that spectrum.

Mara Shorr

And when you’re hiring, ask somebody what their salary expectations are. That’s never something that needs to be a secret. We honestly ask that when we do a lot of hiring for our clients and we ask that right up off the bat. So honestly, even in a first interview and what I say to them is that it’s not that I’m ever telling you as a candidate that you are or aren’t worth a certain amount of money.

I just know what the practice’s budget is and so on the practice’s side, make sure that you have a reasonable budget for your geographic area, Know what your competition is paying and what is it that people think about that they think that that you’re competition pays high? Do they think that they’re the cheapest of the cheap and therefore that’s the reputation that they have in the community.

So really, I think to take the time to consider all of those things and make sure you invest in your people, your HR, your people behind you are an investment and they’re not a cost. They’re an investment. So you really want to make sure that you’re treating one like that and look at what bonus structures look like.

And of course, in commission as a whole, other whole other ball of wax. Now it is or isn’t legal with anti-kickback and but which is a whole other conversation. But look at how you’re incentivizing your team and treat them well and hire good people because they your backbone.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

So yeah, we haven’t gotten into commissions, but we definitely have a bonus structure that they can all see. They all know exactly like what’s the gross revenue their practice need to bring in and a month for them to qualify for the bonus. And so everybody gets a bonus if everybody makes it because I want to kind of make them all feel like a team.

So it’s not individual like you get a bonus, but you don’t. But the one thing that we do have, the one caveat to the bonus structure is that if you are late one day, then you are not eligible for the bonus that month.

Mara Shorr

How does that work? How has that worked out in incentivizing your team to be on time?

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

It definitely has. There’s no question. Yeah, it’s just like they might because at first they might look at us like, Oh, if I’m late, one day, I was like, Why would you ever be late? I mean, like the hours are very clear, right? 8:00 – 4:30 I mean, like, why are we even having this discussion?

Mara Shorr

They’re not strenuous hours either. 8 – 4:30 is not any of that. You’re not asking them to be there at 3 a.m. and you’re not asking them to leave at midnight.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

So there’s no weekends, no calls. I mean, you’re in San Francisco. It’s like a beautiful I mean, it’s a beautiful view from the office. You get to see the Golden Gate Bridge. I’m not really sure what else you want.

Mara Shorr

Sure. Sure. You’re going to have people knocking on your door after this podcast. Everyone wants to apply to work with you

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

I heard this guys pays more!

Mara Shorr

Exactly. Yeah. Oh, so with that, how are people able to reach you? Not because everybody’s looking for a job, but if they if they’re interested in learning more about BuildMyBod, if they want to follow you on social media and see what you’re doing for your practice, for BuildMyBod for all of those entities, how can people reach you and how can people find you?

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Sure. So as far as my practice in social media, Real Dr Bae. So just to clarify, so people who don’t know, since I’m in San Francisco, the San Francisco Bay area, I’m real Doctor Bae like the bay but it’s B-A-E like your boo or your bae. So it’s @realdrbae. And that’s actually our Web site is

But as far as BuildMyBod goes, we are on Instagram as well, build my bot health and you can find me at Johnathan, and we are happy to give anybody a go to meeting online demo It’s very inexpensive. I don’t want to make it too promotional tell everybody the price structure but it’s very inexpensive.

It’s something you can definitely afford during a pandemic shutdown and you just generate a ton of leads from it. So that’s the easiest way to get in touch with either DM me or email me.

Mara Shorr

Perfect. And tell, you know, tell when you connect with Dr. Kaplan and say, hey, we listened to you on the Shorr Solutions: The Podcast and we heard you. This is what we love. We love to see a demo. So obviously we look forward and I always look forward to speaking with you again. And I hope it is sooner than later.

But we will see you in person and certainly toast to drink the next time we see each other.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Absolutely. And I should mention that there is a promo code that if you did hear this podcast, there’s a 10% off on the annual plan If you use the promo code, SHORR SOLUTIONS.

Mara Shorr

Perfect and that’s SHORR SOLUTIONS, plural, because we always have more than one. So thank you so much, Dr. Kaplan. Have a wonderful rest of your day. And thank you to everybody that’s listened. Hope you enjoyed this episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast.

Dr. Jonathan Kaplan

Thanks for having me.

00:40:40:08 – 00:42:10:04

And thank you to Dr. Kaplan for giving our Shorr Solutions: The Podcast listeners a bonus discount. If you use the promo code #squadgoal. Yes, that’s #squadgoal when purchasing an annual subscription for BuildMyBod, you’ll not only receive 10% off, but he’ll also throw in a bonus 13th month for free. So thank you so much to Dr. Kaplan.

When you log in and you’re prompted to choose how you found BuildMyBod, choose Shorr Solutions in the dropdown menu. And that’s going to allow you to get that 10% off plus a bonus 13th month. So if you loved what you heard about BuildMyBod, we encourage you to go ahead and give it a try.

So that wraps up today’s episode of Shorr Solutions: The Podcast. We hope that you’ve gotten as much out of the episode as we have, and if you have, I’d love for you to like it, rate us and share this episode with your friends, colleagues and the rest of your team. If you aren’t yet on our e-newsletter, now’s the time to join at and click on the E Newsletter button at the top right hand corner, we’ll see you next time. And remember, subscribe and leave us a review.

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