Creating a Marketing Program

#7 Marketing, Branding, and Entreprenuership 

#6 Creating a Marketing System with Accountability 

tailored to your practice finances

Creating systems which are measurable and reproducible is one of the most necessary parts of a successful practice.  Without them it will all come back to YOU and YOU can only do so much.  That is why many practices are on the GOOD TIMES vs BAD TIMES roller coaster.  When you have time to be out there, you are able to generate new patients, meet with MDs and lawyers.  Then your referrals increase, your PV increases and now you find yourself inside your practice busier than ever.  Soon you start to see people getting better, visit frequency is being reduced and subsequently your numbers will start to fall.  Now you sit back and start thinking, holy &^%$, I need to get back out there and market my practice.  Then the trend starts again, over and over again.  So how do we STOP this cycle and create one of sustained growth in patient visits and therefore income.   I am going to outline a simple plan with three financial options below.  Each financial option has a description, so please identify which category you are in, this will help me to help you when we talk.   I have two important points before you jump into the bottom section, YOUR OFFICE STAFF ARE NOT MAKETING PEOPLE.  They are a good start, but you cannot expect them to be an office person and PR person, that very rarely happens.  Think about it, that is precisely why marketing/PR and managerial professions are DIFFERENT PROFESSIONS! 

Shoestring budget – You are the practice that has little to no staff.  You do not have any extra cash flow to re-invest in your practice.  You have ZERO systems in place and run the entire show yourself with some on phones and scheduling.  Right now you can’t have your front desk staff member do any more work as you are watching their hours so that you stay on budget.  This is a typical scenario with only one front desk CA and that is it.  Here are your options…

1:  A practice can see 200 PV per week with ONE staff member.  If you are seeing less than that, your staff person can help you market.  If they are not a marketer it will be YOU that needs to do it. 

2:  As you get busier you reduce the number of patient hours you are available.  One of the biggest CURSES in a chiropractic practice is spending too much time with patients.  What gets patients better is the adjustment that is it.  Modalities certainly help in the healing process and make patients feel better, but in the end it is chiropractic that does the work.  I guarantee the patient that is seen for 5 minutes has NO LESS response than someone that you spend 20 minutes with doing soft tissue, ART, heat, NIMMO, ultrasound etc.  If they are not responding to the chiropractic adjustment YOU are adjusting the WRONG area.

3:  Increase your patient load in decreased time during the week.  You can see a patient for 10 minutes face to face [WAY MORE THAN YOU NEED], at 6 patients per hour you can work for 33 hours and see around 200 PV per week.   If you work 10 hours per day, which in my opinion is part time, you have 17 hours per week to market.  Call me and I will help you develop a plan.  This is a DOCTOR ONLY plan.

4:  Discuss with me the ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN so I can stay on your “behind” to make sure your brain is in the game.

Doing “ok” budget – In this practice you have 2 or more staff members, a front desk CA and a clinical person.  The biggest issue with this practice is your staff is UNDERWORKED.  You are paying their salary but you are busy, so there is little time to make sure they are actually productive for the entire time they are working.  You write paychecks but you have NO IDEA what they are really doing.  It is hard to come down on them since you don’t understand what their jobs really are, you just wish they worked harder.  There is zero training in this practice since you hired them because YOU didn’t have time to do office tasks.  There is no plan or system, but you know that if you don’t get out there and market you won’t be able to maintain their salaries let alone yours.  In this practice it is common for the doctor to NOT TAKE A PAYCHECK on some weeks.  If this is you, here are your steps.

1:  Organize your practice hours and time with patients as outlined above.  Become more efficient in your practice and free up some time to be a better organizer and leader in your practice.  You cannot TEACH what you can’t do yourself. 

2:  Develop a marketing plan with me FIRST, do not ever, ever, ever, ever throw your staff into the mix and expect them to succeed without a plan of action that has been tested by YOU.

3:  Identify a staff member that can “assist” you in this outreach, train them with my help.  They need to follow you and understand WHY we are doing this, WHAT to say and HOW to take each encounter to the next step.  Eventually you will turn more over to the staff member so they can complete the BEGINNING parts of the program, YOU will do the follow up.  This is a split DOCTOR and STAFF scenario.

4:  Discuss with me the ACCOUNTABILITY PLAN so I can stay on your “behind” to make sure your brain is in the game.

“Real Practice” Budget – In this scenario you have full time staff, you have little time to be out of the office unless it is a direct lunch, dinner or CE program.  You have multiple staff members and everyone is maxed out on patient care time.  One of the most common mistakes in this scenario is to add MORE to the staff and try to turn them into marketers.  THEY WILL REVOLT!  Do not upset your apple cart to do the next thing, you have to invest the money and time to grow your practice but it has to be a separate professional that will handle all your marketing and outreach.  Here is your start…

1:  Post the position online using the following advertisement and language.  This has been proven to work, IT IS THE ONE I POSTED [you will have to edit for your office]…click here.

2: Call me to set up the process and I will help you outline the daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly goals for the position. 

3:  Research salaries of marketing personnel in your area and start thing about benefits.  I do NOT suggest a commission based positon.  Hire a professional and pay them to position you.  Applicants with writing experience, PR and marketing are preferred.  We want to position you with press releases etc. You don’t have time to train someone in writing. 

3:  Post the ad on the #1 LOCAL job finder in your area, for me it was WNYJobs.com [WNY = Western New York], that will generate significant interest based on how the ad is written.

4:  Call me and start interviewing!  

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