Habits aren’t necessarily bad! It’s just the practice over and over of something which becomes a natural habit and this can be put to very good use in building our businesses.
The habit of setting aside business building time
Sometimes our daily life spins wildly out of control or interruptions and busy days divert us from some important strategic work. So much so that we can very easily become overwhelmed or stressed. This is a problem for many business owners who spend all their time working IN their businesses and not much time spent ON their businesses.
So what sort of practices should we be adopting? The main areas of business building are:
- consistent marketing via social media
- regular collaboration with other local businesses
- educating and informing the local population
- writing informative blogs
- keeping in touch with patients via e-newsletters
- local networking
- joining and interacting with local online groups
- asking for testimonials and referrals
There are many more things you could be doing to spread the word about how effective osteopathic treatment can be but you should certainly be deploying several of these ideas on a regular basis. In doing this you will attract many more patients, obtain referrals and keep the flow of new patients coming in.
I always recommend to my Clients that they try to put aside two half hours per week, as a minimum, to focus on business building. Keeping in touch with current patients and educating potential new patients about osteopathy is critical to maintaining a strong Practice. You can even turn an annoying ‘no show’ into a productive marketing session!
The habit of delegation
Many business owners find it difficult to delegate tasks to others. But in trying to do all of the above tasks – and work on back to back patients all day, it can all be very stressful and debilitating. So I recommend trying to delegate some jobs which others might do better than you or save you the preparation.
For instance, if you find newsletters a nightmare to construct, ask your Practice Manager or Receptionist to put together a draft for you. If you can never seem to get past writer’s block when trying to write a succinct blog, you could always delegate it to me! You could also employ a copywriter or virtual assistant at far less cost that you probably earn per hour.
If you’re a one man band and constantly miss calls when you are treating, delegate call handling to a professional company and never miss another booking.
The habit of planning ahead
Once a year, take a look at the yearly calendar and note any local festivals or celebrations. Think about what marketing you might combine with a local event such as a 5K fun run or a summer show. What innovative ideas could you deploy to get osteopathy noticed? In what ways could you sponsor a small event or attend for sports massage after a sporting occasion locally?
In planning ahead like this, you can have all the elements in place well in advance rather than be hectically trying to find a tent or portable plinth for an outdoor event at short notice. You may need some temporary signage which could be used over again or specific leaflets for a promotion at a community gathering or show.
Planning ahead for annual celebrations such as Christmas, Valentines or Halloween is also a good idea. What strategies could you put in place to get noticed?
Other ideas could be to brainstorm six blog titles which will really resonate with your target market and put those in the diary. You can even get them written up on a day you are feeling creative and schedule them to publish onto your website at the appropriate time. That’s something else ticked off the never ending list!
Regular promotion of osteopathic treatment will gradually permeate through the community and draw more potential patients to you.
Remember – if they don’t know what you do or understand how you can help them, they will NEVER book to see you!