Ryan Devault, along with his wife, Rachel Devault, RN, BSN, an expert injector and skin care professional, opened 3 locations across Ohio in seventeen months after opening their first location in 2017. Together, they have built an incredible name within the medical spa community and were named the ‘fastest-growing medical spa in the MidWest’ by the American Medical Spa Association in 2019. Their strategic business strategies, level of care, expertise, and unique experiences have gained them a very loyal following and a national spotlight.
Hi, my name’s Ryan Devault. My wife, Rachel Devault. We are the owners of the Radiant Devine Medical Spas based out of Cleveland, Ohio. Was asked to just give a little insight about where we came from, where we started, how we got there, and how we are doing it and how we plan to continue doing it. My story is I am not a provider. I graduated in 2001, became a mortgage broker right out of high school. I did that for almost 15 years at a couple different companies, 35 license’s. That turned into flipping properties. I would find other investors, take their money, make them money, make myself money. That just continued to work out and led into the start of a medical spa business.
Which, my wife, she has been a Registered Nurse with a BSN since 2012. She was working primary care, raising our three children, continually going to school, educating herself, and then she stumbled into the world of esthetics. A friend of ours actually had a local tanning salon. He approached her with an opportunity that he wanted her to run his esthetics business in the back of his tanning salon, which is about 200 square feet. Rachel knew nothing about it. Took it upon herself to educate herself, attend a training course, and she just had a complete niche for it. I would consider her a prodigy, simple as that.
So watching the years go by I watched her build. Thankfully he gave us the opportunity, but I watched her continually build his business with the level of care she provided with the patient/provide relationship that she was giving. Those patients that would continually fall in love with her, seek her out, and she just had a passion for the business. Couple years had gone by and I was just watching her build someone else’s business, which was all great, but you know what? We should have started building it for ourselves. So what I decided to do is step away from the mortgage business, I had about 20-30 rental properties, decided just to sell them all, turned it all into cash. We thought one night we should start a medical spa. Got a hold of my realtor, about a week later we had the keys in our possession for our first location at Brecksville back in January of 2017. That’s when we broke ground, a medical spa in 2017.
So Rachel’s background continued as she continued along the course of her career. She was approached and accepted the position as a Galderma Gains trainer. I believe there is two in Ohio, with the other one out of Columbus. I was able to gain another network of loyal clients based on her certification, her training, her face, her picture. Just based on her advancements, her level of care, her certifications, and her abilities that were, in my eyes, considered above average. That obviously built confidence in the direction that I was going. She would always want to work, she could work 24/7, inject, she just wants to do it, it’s just what she loves to do.
Where I come in is I see it as a business as well. So my thoughts are taking opportunity to expanding. Bringing out other opportunities, creating employment for 17 providers we have, 2 medical directors, a plastic surgeon, fantastic ER doctor, and it will continue to grow from there. It did open a lot of networking and relationships to rely on. I met a lot of awesome people along the way, they’ve helped us along the way, they’ve guided us along the. Helped us from making even bigger pitfalls even though I made a super handful of my own. But that’s just what happens. The networks, the confidence for relationships, level of care. Obviously I believe much of the overall vision of our medical spa succeeding and growing as big as it did.
All right, so a little bit about Rachel. So actually her last concern is money. She would give it away for free if she could just because she loves to do it, loves the response, loves how people feel, loves how people look, loves how it changes her life. But in the end, it still is a business. Her first primary care is her patient’s care and the results. If there’s an issue she will be the first one to wake up on a Saturday morning and go in there and correct that patient. She is available to her patients 24/7 which can get overwhelming but it’s just the way she chooses to do it. A huge reason, I think, of why they trust her, they want her, they want her staff, it’s just what is available. It’s never 8:00 AM-9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, it’s 24/7. Would she inject 24/7 if she could? Absolutely. I got to tell her to stop, I got to tell her to turn the phone off. She will sit there and just talk to everyone, educate everyone, it’s just her passion.
My background is I am the numbers guy. I work with credit, I’ve underwritten, I’ve done lending, investing, hard money, lent money, spent money, all that kind of stuff. Where I come in is everything from injecting backwards, that’s my responsibility and it is a lot. Web siting, building web siting, marketing Facebook ads, which we’ll get into in a minute. Making sure that the accounts are all on point, our inventories, things like that. Just what you need to do to keep your operations and growth sound to continue to move forward. It is expensive, it can get overwhelming, it does move extremely, extremely quick.
So in the beginning, starting off, less was absolutely more. We wanted to hire 10 people and just care to the masses but you know what? We talked to a couple people and that was their biggest [inaudible 00:10:04]. Couple of them it was the end of them. So we started with me, we started with Rachel as an injector, her assistant, and one front desk. That was about the first four or five months. I knew nothing about this business, I didn’t care in the beginning, I didn’t want to know. Then watching it grow and hearing it was going to grow and hearing what other people were doing, it just intrigued my interest. Then I learned that there was an actual health benefit to this, not just it’s Botox or it’s a wrinkle or it’s this. I had migraines, I had things from staring at computer screens all day, so she tested it on me one day and I just got hooked.
We started off with a Venus Viva machine, a couple bottles of skincare, and the client base that seeked Rachel out and yeah, just continued to grow, grow, grow. They were so impressed that we had our own spot so quickly. They brought their friends in, their family in. 95% of our business in the beginning was referral and word of mouth. I didn’t know how to advertise. I didn’t know how to build a website. I didn’t know what to do. We didn’t have the money to do those things. So less was more in the beginning, it always will. Find your niche, get comfortable, done. The expand, then buy that extra laser, then buy that extra whatever because these things are expensive.
Driving our business was the level of service. We’ve all seen it, we’ve all done it. We’ve all been treated poorly, we’ve all been rushed in and out. That’s something we will not do, your time is your time. This is therapy for a lot of these people, they want to just shut down, shut their world down, it’s about them. The second you disassociate that and make it about you, you’ve lost their interest, you’ve lost their connection and they will go somewhere else and we see it all the time. A lot of people say that they come to us because of the level of care we do give them. The reputation that we have on the internet, five-star reviews, they’re all legitimate and all unsolicited and just her passion for it. We do focus on the individual rather than the masses. I’d rather have 10 people buying 10 things than a 100 people buying nothing. It’s just pick and choose, know when to say yes, know when to say no, don’t be afraid to turn someone down because that will just be a potential problem that will cost you more money in the end.
Screening services in the first 90 days? What we did is started with what we could and that’s just the way we chose to do it. As patients came in they asked do you have this, do you have this, do you have a laser? You know we didn’t have those things. So I took about 90 days, I listed [inaudible] of the most frequently, commonly asked services do we provide. So then what I did was I took that list and I diluted that list down by talking to people, reps, other people in the industry, and then I made my decisions.
Here’s Kyla, one of our nurse practitioners. She loves the Aerolase, she uses is all the time. My other nurse, Julie swears by it. She’s been on that laser more times than I can even count. So what I decided to do was find, not create a new service, but complement a service. What would make Botox look better? What would make Dysport better? What would make anything that Venus Viva did look better and find a way to add it on? So instead of trying to sell two services you sell one combination service that complements each other it’s going to yield a better result. Do that over and over then you look into another device to add a new service. But master what you have first, master everything you can do first, combine everything you can first. You’re just going to get that better result.
: So yeah, our largest, first capital equipment purchase was an Aerolase. We purchased Aerolase in April of 2017 is when we took delivery of it. I did do some research, we had a rep out who was fantastic back in February. We did think we needed about 30 days after doing some digging and talking with some people to find out what the best option for us was. What was the most diverse, what was going to be the least expensive forward. Consumable, maintenance, portability, things like that because another spa was in our sites because we had already signed a lease for a second location in January that was projected to open in May. So instead of buying one machine that I can’t move, I decided this would be a great option on top of everything it does because I can take it from place A to place B and keep our capital equipment overhead low.
There are a lot of options. Everyone’s going to say they have the best platform, the best laser, the best whatever the case may be, the best filler. But forget all that, what works best for you? What can you bring into your practice? What can you complement with what you already have? What can you maximize with what you already have? One, it’s going to save you money. Two, it’s going to let you grow. Three, it’s going to provide a better result to get that referral. That’s just going to grow your client base because without clients and growing and referrals, all we have are pieces of equipment that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars that don’t do anything. So after going over many options, I had 10 devices in front of me, I talked to ten different people about 10 different things. Everyone had a different opinion. I had to make the decision for myself. You will too. Everyone’s going to have to. It’s your bill, it’s your money, it’s your this. You need to decide what you want to do.
So a big reason I did pick it again is because too many FDA approved protocols they can touch on almost everything. Some of the other devices cost $100,000 more and did one or two things or three or four things and you could not move it. So I was looking at what were the biggest concerns we had. I heard acne nonstop, melasma, rosacea, we have a lot of psoriasis, a lot of toenails, a lot of skin tags. So that device, listening to the clients, listening to what they’re concerned with, just seemed like the obvious choice. Then again there’s no consumable costs with it. You don’t have to buy a lens every year or a cartridge that’s going to cost tens of thousands of dollars. Not a lot can really happen to it unless you abuse it. Its a solid machine plus it’s portable. I took it from locations one, two, and three multiple times before I got sick of having to move it around and losing money.
We found ways to use this machine extremely unique to create an added benefit to people that are already there to get their skin on the laser and kind of grow from there. You know it’s so watered down with Groupon and all these other things people are scared of laser. They see the horror stories. We found a lot of ways to introduce them to it slowly and that would generate a steady profit while keeping a reputation and an experience. Anyway, laser did help us grow extremely, extremely quick, adding these additional services to it. I paid my first advice off in 86 days. Finding ways to use it uniquely from teenager acne solutions to melasma, rosacea, things like that. Finding ways for them to … testimonials, what we were doing, how we were doing it, how it changed their life, the benefit of.
What I did do is I approached a friend of mine who had a teenager with acne in middle school. She was getting terrorized, she was getting bullied. So I approached him and gave him a very, very fair deal in exchange for the pictures in the top left corner. She’s a 15-year old girl in an all-girls school. It was after her fourth treatment wearing no makeup in about six. Called me in tears, called me crying, “I don’t have to hide anymore”. I think she looks fantastic. Results experienced in patient adoption. You know her friends would see it, her parents would see it, it just dominoed effect and we just had a mass upstream of income from the results this platform was making. So I had to buy a second one. I bought my second one in under 120 days. I was losing too much revenue and money having to move it from A to B because these other spas are twenty-something miles apart.
I can’t get back and forth, it just didn’t make practical sense when I sat down and decided, “Hey, I paid this thing off in 90 days. There is no point not to have another one”. Plus you get, obviously, tax deductions, benefits, things like that so it worked in my favor. We did that again. The third spa was open in October and I had another problem. I was losing money there so I added a third one after I paid off my second one just around the same period of time. So in a 9-month period I had three of these devices all completely paid within 90-days of the purchase. So, combination treatments, those are our biggest, biggest sellers. One person wants a filler but they skip something else. Then they call back well this looks good but this doesn’t, but this doesn’t. So we found ways to just put in combinations from skincare to laser to filler. Very, very rarely do we just sell someone exactly and only what they want against our recommendations for an optimal result.
We laser almost every single person that comes through the door. We do an add-on laser treatment on existing appointments. It’s just a positive stream of income because that person’s already in your chair anyways already paying your provider. So we do probably about eight or nine of those a day, an average of $199 times 3 machines, times 60 people a day across all the spas. If 80% of them just do the simple add-on, I mean that’s over $500,000 a year without selling a package. That’s just what’s made it work for us and why we were able to pay these things off and buy other machines, because we’re finding 9-10 ways to use this thing on completely different issues that in combination what [inaudible 00:19:40]. Our producers all said people are loving.
So what we do is, we wanted 1 million patients, we wanted 10,000 patients but you got to start with 1 and then you got to start with 2. There’s Groupon out there that we were part of in the beginning that we were extremely heavy on to build the business. I think it was the wrong way to go just because Groupon is everywhere. They’re hopping from here to there to there, you’re dedicating your time, education, and we we’re coming in at an extreme discount and then they’re going to the next Groupon spot right down the street. All the time your biggest value is your referral or your loyal patient, your member. What can you do for them? How can you get them to refer your business? How can we get them to get your name out there the right way? Those people coming in off a referral, they’re there to listen, they want to be educated, they’re no there asking what’s the deal I’m going to get. Everyone gets a grey field but everyone’s going to get even better result.
I focus on the lifetime value potential for attracting a new patient. Averages, I’ve been told, cost about $300 is what it costs to acquire a new patient. But if you’ve already got one in the door that you can get 10 referrals off of, you didn’t spend any money. That pay’s you $3,000 right there. There are lots of costs involved. You know some things you do might look desperate. You know? I don’t like Groupon because I just like to build my business from within. I’m not talking bad about it but it was a great way to start. Education is first, I mean obviously they’re there for Botox, a filler, a Juviderm, be their consultant first. Why are you here? What brought you here? What is the concern? How does that concern make you feel? What would you like to do? What would you like to see?
Very rarely do I ever have one of my girls, or hear one of my girls walk in and just do exactly what that patient wants. You’re the provider, you’re the medical person, you’re the one on the hook, you’re the one liable. We don’t walk into a pharmacy and say you know what? I want those pills, not those pills. Show them why, demonstrate why. Credentials, pictures, before and afters and then let them make their educated decision. Come up with a treatment plan. Here’s my recommendations, here’s the cost. You don’t want to do it? Here’s your next best offer. You don’t want to do it? Here’s your third offer but you’re going to sign off on the one you pick, against my recommendations. I’ll still do what I can to the best of my ability for you.
It has worked out, getting that full, full treatment plan, map it out, show them the cost, break down the cost by month. Show them how feasible it is versus how great they’re going to feel and you’ll get 99% of those people over the fence. Everything you do make sure it’s available. You have the laser, you have a salt facial, I have three. Every device has a purpose but every device that I’ve put in there can work somehow in combination with a service we already offer. So now it’s two services into one. Very, very rarely one service. Let them know what it is. Let them know why it does this. Let them know how [inaudible 00:22:41]. Tell them why they need it, let them know how that will help them achieve what you’ve already told me is a concern of yours. I’m your consultant, I’m your friend, I’m your provider but I’m your licensed medical professional, this is how this will work.
Combination protocols in men. Saggy skin can be more than just one things, it could be three things, it could be a process. Foundation, framing, electrical, drywall, paint. You know washing a car, you get it wet, you got to soap it, you got to wash it off, then you got to wax it. Very, very rarely does a one and done fall. What anyone wants to do, exceed their expectations. Most of those people would just get the one thing come back and go, “It didn’t work, I didn’t see anything, I didn’t do this” and you need to be able to explain to them why.
So expansion? We do have three locations. We have one in Brecksville, we have one in Avon, and we have one in Medina. So when we opened our second office, we signed the lease and committed to the lease about 90-days after the first one. It did take a little bit to get the doors open. It did take a little bit for some construction and putting everything done right. But we did about 3,000 patients at that time and I thought I could just repeat. The issue we ran into was adding other providers. The mistake I made was making everyone see Rachel, so now everyone wanted to see Rachel. We opened a second location and they are going, “Where’s Rachel?”. Well, Rachel’s in Brecksville Well, we’re going to Brecksville. So the second location did start off slowly and is now booming, we’ll talk about that here in a few more minutes.
Then it’s a completely different market. I picked three different counties, three different zip codes, off three different intersections. So Brecksville’s reputation would not really show in the Avon market. So no one really knew who we were or what it was, they just thought we were a brand new business. So that’s where the reviews came in. Reviews are the best thing you can ever get from a patient. It’s the best complement you can ever get from a patient. What it will do is obviously spike attention. It will drive your reputation up, it will drive your SEO up and bring more attention to you and it will bring more attention to those other providers that you are building, not just the one that they thought they wanted to see. They’re going to see someone [inaudible] Julie. She’s got 20 outstanding reviews, now they want Julie, now they want this. So reviews are very, very important in building any business, any location, in any way. No, I don’t do a lot of traditional marketing. I don’t have a TV commercial, we don’t do radio. A lot of it is online, a lot of it is through social media, most of it is through referral, word-of-mouth, and searches, based on reviews and SEO.
We opened out third office in Medina. That was also slow to start because we had signed that lease actually prior to our second one but complications and a whole build out took over a year and a half. So, location two actually became location three. That was also in the same boat. Different market, different everything, something I didn’t think about so I’m back to square one. Now I have to build a reputation, get the reviews, social media, things like that which I can tell you I’m not very good at on the social media on. So what did I start to do? I started spending a ton of money. Yelp, I was spending $5,000 on Yelp. I spent $4,000 on Facebook and I was getting no results. I spent $1,000 on a boosted post and I think I got 10,000 views and 1 comment.
So then I did [inaudible] Spa. I did partner up with Crystal Clear direct marketing that was able to revamp my website. Take great care of me. They take care of my PPC, my SEO, a lot of my social and things like that. I started with them back in February. So now I have a traditional looking website that … I went from a traditional looking website to an awesome website. I was able to capture a newsletter, a blog, things like that. Everything that I didn’t know how to do, I went as far as I could. So I cut back on Yelp, I cut back on traditional spending. I put more money into the website, pay-per-click, social ads, things like that which freed up more capital for Facebook, which again we we’ll go down that road again in a few minutes.
So as we were attending a couple of the conferences, I did attend the esthetics show in Vegas after the M show and I was learning that Facebook has 3 billion users to Instagram’s 1 billion users. Everyone is having all this success on Facebook and what are they doing and how are they doing it? I went back and looked at mine and my spend was just through the roof. My results were horrible. I didn’t have anyone coming in so I really didn’t know what I was going to do. So I did some research, went online, had a sleepless night and I did come across Xavier, just on my own. I did reach out to him to discuss my situation and how to grow my Facebook business and things like that. He told me I was doing it all wrong and I am going to be the first one to tell you, I was doing it all wrong. I lost a lot of money, I wasted a lot time to try and gain those new clients to replicate that success and grow their lifetime value.
So I am going to let Xavier go into how he’s helped me grow, the results he’s seen that he can see. I can’t fabricate them. It’s a platform that he can see. He can monitor, he can help me do things here, help me do things better. I’m just going to turn it over to him to go over how he helped me get my second location and third location pretty much busier than my first location.