In this part we will continue our focus on how you present your business practice to the outside world and your target market. Question: Have you branded or Re-branded your business?
If something has not worked well for a long while to attract clientele, you may want to look into your branding. Does it attract them or why does it not attract? Are there other nuances that have caused you to lose business? Competition in the area maybe? So what do you do at this point?
Our suggestion is to re-evaluate your business model and coincide it with your Marketing Plan. Develop a robust marketing plan that would include your timelines, goals to reach and message you want to release to the public. Focus on your "niche" area. Set yourself apart somehow to promote "different". If you have to change your business logo to make it more eye catching then do it at this time. Marketing is - the message, selling points, image, service, end product.
In this dynamic healthcare society we live in today, providers are always seeking a way to maintain their autonomy to survive and stay out of the big gorilla clutches. Here is a fact we've learned, doctors / providers are not all business people. They are trained in medicine. Business consultants like us, are trained in business. It's that simple! We each have a specialty. If you begin to mix two together you'll end up with a web of mess 80% of the time. This is based on our client statistics alone.
We have seen it time and again where (no offense providers) doctors think they can be doctors AND run their business at the same time. Not a great idea. We agree you do have to stay involved at the ownership level for liability and your revenue reviews; but unless you're a great multi-tasker and have great business acumen, it's not recommended to blend 3 jobs. Something will have to give and fall through the cracks. Surely you do not want that to be your patient(s)/client (s). It's best to trust a business consultant like our company to help guide you and right your ship, while providing the data and support required to bring in a sense of security.
One of key elements to marketing your business practice, is continuity. Maintain the "same message" and try not to change it too much. It takes a while for people to grasp an idea, then digest it and then act on it. An average you'll find if researching your numbers --today is 90 days from the time you promote to patient in the door or referral. You want people to engage and act on the message you put out there. Of course offering specials and deals is a major perk to increase your volume. Everyone wants something of value for what they spend. If you offer a buy one get one half off deal, that's great or percentage discount. With healthcare laws today, one must be very careful as anything you offer to a client/patient must be within the Stark guidelines depending on what specialty you're in and if you're billing anything to insurance. Beware!
Develop your Tag Line of the business, this includes your main message. In follow through make sure your staff is properly trained to relay the promotional messages and services.
Communication is everything, so remember HOW you communicate the image is what people will say about your business.