Back in 2006 (wow) we listed five things we wished we would have done in practice right from day one. Since the New Year is almost upon us, it seems like the right time to pass on a few more. Even if you started your practice long ago, you can still pretend like the new year is a fresh start, right?

1. Think Illness Not Wellness…

…at least when it comes to marketing. We all want to feel like we’re in the wellness business – and we are. But for many practices, people who are already well don’t make great clients. Time and time again, we find that people seeking “wellness” don’t really need that much help. They pop in for a visit and the reassurance that they’re on the right track, then they vanish.

People with problems you can solve – sick people – make great clients. And they refer others. And the people who you help out of illness are far more likely to buy into wellness programs – they know first hand what being sick is like. Advertising “wellness” isn’t nearly as effective as marketing a solution to a health problem.

Get people in the door because of illness. Then keep them by getting them well.

2. Restrict Your Hours

Work less, earn the same. Have a life. Why? Here’s why.

3. Book Effectively

When the schedule looks like a wide open slate, it’s easy to think that booking efficiently isn’t critical. It is. I wish we’d spent more time early on focused on how effectively the hours were booked, and less time on how many of them there actually were. Get a waiting list going. Book wisely. Enjoy the results.

4. Use Social Media – Especially Facebook

This one’s a  bit of a cheat, because Facebook wasn’t around when we started. But if it were day one for us right now, I’d be all over it.

Facebook is quickly becoming the largest source of traffic to our website other than Google searches, and there are vast amounts of people in the right demographic. More than half of users are women, and the older age groups – those with both health concerns and the money to spend on them – are the fastest growing by far.

If you’re already doing this, great. If not, start with the easy part: get a Facebook account and just start exploring. Don’t be scared – you can lurk and learn at first. When you’re ready, here’s a good resource for starting your practice page.

5. Create Marketing Partnerships

Sometimes you can’t reach everyone you’d like to. It takes time, money and energy to market directly to people who might user your services. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could reach some of them on your behalf?

I wish we’d spent more time creating partnerships early on. Not just Please-Can-You-Send-Me-Some-Clients referral relationships, but partnerships based on cross-promotion and offering value to each other’s clients. Added bonus: sometimes health care is a lonely job. A few more colleagues is a nice thing to have.

It’s never to late to start any of these. And if you’re inclined toward Fresh-Starts-In-The-New-Year, maybe there’s something here that’s a fit. -Dan

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1 Response » to “5 (More) Things to Do in Your Practice From Day One”

  1. […] I like this article nice and quick and gets you thinking. Since the New Year is almost upon us, it seems like the right time to pass on a few more. Even if you started your practice long ago, you can still pretend like the new year is a fresh start, right? via practitionersjourney.com […]

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