4 Ways to Grow Your Medical Practice: A Business Perspective

Feb 26, 2018

Starting a business requires the understanding of who your target audience is and what they need, the development of a marketing plan, and the ability to execute it. Without these initiatives, clients will not know who and where you are, which ultimately leads to the failure of a practice. Managers: what are you currently doing to grow your “business?” Is your practice the best it can be?

There is much to be learned from teams who successfully figured out how to grow their medical practices. Lucky for you, I did the research and compiled the top 4 ways to grow your practice and attract more patients.

1. Build a staff
Don’t think you can do it alone. Medical staff is a practice’s greatest asset, as well as the biggest cost. In order to manage all the moving parts involved, it is important to hire the right manager (preferably with experience running a practice) and team to support you. Take your time to interview candidates thoroughly and ensure they can do the job functions as well as contribute to the best patient experience possible. The relationship your staff builds with patients can make or break your business, so don’t rush into it.

If possible, plan your organizational chart as if you already have a thriving practice. It is better to plan accordingly to accommodate growth. Do your research and know how much support you will need from the get-go.

2. Build a unique brand
The following is a list of things managers may never think about: logos, colors, typefaces, graphic elements and messaging. All of these are elements that make up a visual brand. Think about a brand you use often. I’m sure you can visualize some, if not all of the elements listed above. Why is that? It all comes down to repetition and recognition. Those companies worked hard to build a unique brand to stay front-of-mind. Consider adopting this method when marketing your practice to the community. Maybe you already have an established brand, but it needs an update and modern twist. Think about hiring a graphic designer to help create or refresh your visual brand.

Branding is more than the visual elements, however. Part of running a business is finding what puts your practice above the competition and incorporating it into your marketing strategy. Once you know what your brand message will be, it needs to be consistent. Also, some practices forget they are in the customer service business. Your purpose is to cater to your patient’s needs and make sure they are satisfied with the care they receive.

3. Engage and focus on digital marketing
Now that you have a solid brand in place, you can use many digital channels to showcase it. The classic brochure and business card are still useful and should not be neglected, but it is 2018 and we’re in the midst of a digital age. The vast majority of your current and future patients are intertwined in the web one way or another. Think about the following ways you can share all the ways your practice is helping people:

  1. Email: Like any other business trying to build their clientele, you can target audiences through email marketing. Choose an email marketing platform, build a target audience list, and send educational information and promotional content to them. For current patients, send email reminders about scheduled appointments, follow-ups, hygiene tips, health news, or updates about your practice.
  2. Mobile-responsive website: Not only is it important to have a website where people can locate your hours, address, services, and other educational information, it’s also important to have a website that looks good on tablets or mobile devices. Recent data shows 51% of internet users are using mobile devices to access the web compared to the 42% who use desktop or laptop computers. This means if you are not providing a satisfactory mobile experience, you will miss out to competitors who are (smartinsights.com).
  3. SEO: Don’t forget about an SEO strategy! Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. Include local SEO strategies in your marketing plan so your practice shows up in local search results – specifically in the top few slots. If you have the financial means, consider investing in paid search as well!
  4. Social media: Share the latest and greatest news or promotions going on at your practice on various social media channels. If a current patient “likes” or “shares” your content, their entire circle has the potential to see it. This will then likely direct people to your website and hopefully get them through the door. The trick is to share content that’s most relevant to target users so they are more likely to share it. People also use social media to find out hours or get the phone number, so make sure you are advertising that information.
  5. Online reviews: Reviews are one of the most efficient ways to attract or deter new patients. Encourage current patients to write their feedback by offering discounts or free services if they write a review. With their permission, you can also make reviews public by sharing them on your website. Monitor these reviews so you can see any negative reviews and make necessary improvements.

 

4. Delivery quality service
The final, and arguably most important way you can maintain or grow your practice is to provide quality service. A great patient experience will keep them coming back and encourage them to share your name with others. Create your office hours and schedule based on the needs of your patients. Provide flexibility if they need early, lunchtime or evening appointments. Be responsive and staff your practice adequately to be able to assist patients in a timely manner. Make an effort to follow up with your patients after appointments. This is a cost-effective way to maintain relationships and increase referrals. And finally, take all cases seriously. Whether it is an emergency situation or yearly check-up, it is crucial to make each person feel like they are the most important patient in the office.
By NANCY FOWLER

By NANCY FOWLER

Clinical Account Manager

Nancy is a Kansas City native who is always looking to hire Nurses, Medical Assistants, Medical office professionals and others on behalf of her clients. When she isn’t working Nancy enjoys cooking, playing with her two dogs and when possible– scuba diving!