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Michelle Balbi Pioneers Personalized Skincare in the Botox Industry

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Michelle Balbi Pioneers Personalized Skincare in the Botox Industry

In this interview, we explore the inspiring journey of Michelle Balbi, the driving force behind Meesha Aesthetics, a company renowned for its personalized approach to Botox and skincare treatments. As a national trainer for prestigious brands and an advocate for a unique client experience, Michelle has carved a niche in the competitive beauty industry. We delve into her motivations, challenges, and the innovative strategies that have shaped her business. Her insights offer invaluable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs and shed light on maintaining success and relevance in the ever-evolving world of beauty and wellness.

Background and Inspiration

SBS – What inspired you to start a business in the aesthetic and beauty industry, specifically focusing on botox and related treatments?

Michelle – My inspiration to start an aesthetic business was to create a safe space for everyone to feel beautiful in their own skin. I wanted aesthetic procedures to not be taboo and to make them affordable to all. The industry is not just about traditional beauty, it’s about making people feel good about themselves.

Initial Challenges

SBS – What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting your business, and how did you overcome them?

Michelle – My initial challenge was creating a marketing and branding platform with a limited budget. I started with 1,000$ (500$ each from myself and my business partner) and wanted to figure out how I could set myself, my skills, and what I had to offer apart from other injectors in our area without investing in any modalities that would lead to a monthly debt before establishing a client base.

Market Research

SBS – How did you conduct market research to identify your target clientele and their needs?

Michelle – We are now in our 13th year of Meesha Aesthetics, opening our fifth location on 2/24, and we have over 50 employees, 16 injectors, and nine aestheticians. When we started in our first year, there was no market research. As we began to grow, we hired a marketing director who travels between our locations, and our research is still limited. We grow by word of mouth and participating in community activities within the counties of our offices.

Business Model

SBS – Can you describe your business model and what makes it unique in the highly competitive beauty industry?

Michelle – We are a brick-and-mortar business. We target clients through social media such as Facebook and Instagram. We do local events. We do not consider other offices as competition but monitor what others do to stay competitive and relevant in the industry. We constantly plan opportunities to get our business name out and partner with others with established businesses to co-market fun giveaways. We also have incorporated a membership program to retain our database.

Certifications and Training

SBS – What types of certifications, training, or qualifications are essential for someone looking to enter this field?

Michelle – We mandate at our office for all injectors to have a basic training certificate. Then they intern at our office for 6–12 months with a skilled injector learning and doing mandatory training every month. We do round tables to bounce ideas off each other and continue CE credits annually to meet the board regulations. A cadaver class (or a few) is a must!! Education is a must even after being hired. Invest in yourself!

Client Relationships

SBS – How do you build and maintain strong relationships with your clients, especially in a business where trust and professionalism are key?

Michelle – We do not over-inject or try to “sell” our patients procedures they do not need. We believe in the education of more than just injectables. We do a lot of hand-holding to understand our patients’ needs and build a relationship of trust by creating a personalized treatment plan. We offer our patients empathy and respect and foster effective communication.

Marketing Strategies

SBS – What marketing strategies have been most effective in attracting new clients and retaining existing ones?

Michelle – Marketing strategies include billboards for name recognition, Instagram (particularly stories), and creating reward programs. We have a monthly newsletter to keep patients informed of new promotions or products. We also do an annual “thank you” for our clients, offering gift card purchases of 100$ and receiving an extra 20$.

Adapting to Trends

SBS – The beauty industry is constantly evolving. How do you stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in Botox and skincare treatments?

Michelle – We attend conferences throughout the year to research and assess new equipment as well as marketing programs and EMR to grow our business and stay relevant. I don’t think of competition with other med spas I feel we are a community that can offer the best treatment for any of our patients. I like to try things on our staff first for the efficacy of products and modalities before we bring new items on. I also am not afraid to pull a procedure if we feel it is not meeting our standards.

Business Growth

SBS – What strategies have you employed to grow your business, and what advice would you give to entrepreneurs looking to scale their ventures?

Michelle – We set ourselves up to find the “sweet spot” as in what is trending — for example, Barbie — and use it to our advantage for marketing.

People are concerned presently with the recession, so we are sensitive and have made accommodations by offering payment plans and additional services for all budgets.

We offer monthly promotions, giveaways, and contests, as well as reward punches that, after five visits equal to something complimentary.

We are transparent with pricing.

We do a refer-a-friend bonus to any client that sends a new client.

We work with other businesses in the area that offer other services.

The advice I would give an entrepreneur is to come up with a plan and stick to it. Create a business plan that allows you to create your own success. And never compare yourself to other providers, as this will set you up for failure. Lately, do not be afraid to ask questions, as the answers you receive will often lead to your own success.

Overcoming Setbacks

SBS – Have you faced any significant setbacks or failures, and how did you address them to keep your business on track?

Michelle – I feel every business has a possible setback, as you may think nothing is enough. If we bring on a new procedure that isn’t fantastic, we phase it out, but we always try to stay on trend with new to offset any setback. No entrepreneur knows everything, so setbacks are inevitable. Don’t let challenges create a wall to do what you love and want to pursue. My favorite quote is “Failure is only the end if you decide to stop.” We turn any setback into setups to come back stronger.

Work-Life Balance

SBS – Running a business can be demanding. How do you manage work-life balance, and what tips do you have for entrepreneurs in this regard?

Michelle – At the beginning of any business, I recommend setting up boundaries of work-life balance as it gets harder to adjust your mindset as you get deeper. Surround yourself with others who are like-minded, as they will help pave success and allow you to have a work-life balance. It is all in your mindset, but I feel being a business owner means you are never really off when outside of the office, and that is a choice we all make and love. The day you do not love your business is the day it truly becomes work.

Future Plans

SBS – What are your future plans for Meesha Aesthetics, and how do you envision its growth in the coming years?

Michelle – As I mentioned before, we are working on opening our fifth location and adding new services, both dermatology and wellness. My goal is to have a manager at each location in all departments so I can continue to work on my work-life balance. In five years, I do not see more offices but see continued growth in revenue and making our clients all happy from the outside as well as from the inside. I love education and plan to continue training and consulting for other med spas as I love to share our success and my knowledge. Being in the top % of both Allergan and Galderma, as well as a few other companies as providers, inspires me to want to grow more. I want to continue to inspire others to be themselves and not try and duplicate others when finding their own success.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

SBS – Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the beauty and wellness sector?

Michelle – The biggest advice I can give is to find a mentor who has already created a business model. I recommend not over-purchasing modalities as that hefty monthly cost will put you in the hole. Participate in community programs that support your thinking and can aid in your success. And invest in yourself! Training and education is a must. Do not start a med spa with no experience as a practitioner, as that is a lot to handle with complications that can and will arise.


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Michelle Balbi Pioneers Personalized Skincare in the Botox Industry