When we run our own small business, we are the ones who have to constantly generate new income streams. We need to do plenty of focused and consistent marketing to help spread the word about what we do and how it may help our patients or clients.
Very often, however, I find that marketing is the poor relation. It is put to the bottom of the pile of things to do. And the trouble with this is that bookings can then oscillate between boom and bust. Rather than taking the lead as a business owner, fate is allowed to be in control of our destiny by default.
So when patient numbers increase we effectively take the foot off the gas and draw back. Then revenue begins to decrease and we start panic marketing again, often with no real thought behind it and with no real strategy.
We need consistency and a strong message
What we really want to achieve is a consistent flow of new patients. This then translates to consistent flow of income which is vital to our business and essential to our peace and well-being where our expenses and lifestyle are concerned.
And this marketing message really needs to be punchy and highly targeted. Glib statements and lack-lustre marketing will just not catch the eye of the people who need our services.
However, what I’ve noticed is that sometimes we’re a bit fearful of being so good at marketing ourselves that we might become TOO BUSY! Goodness me! Then what would we do? How will we cope? Will that mean working ever increasing days and hours until we drop to the floor with severe burnout?
Indeed recently one Client mentioned that she wasn’t really busy enough but that her Principal refused to do any marketing at all because of this fear of being too busy. And I believe that this is a common misconception.
But meanwhile this Associate was just not busy enough and her potential income was being seriously affected. So I encouraged her to ramp up her own marketing to ensure that she wasn’t left drifting about the clinic, through no fault of her own, with few patients to treat! And this would be my advice to any Associate who isn’t busy enough.
The fear of being too busy is really the fear of success!
It sounds bizarre but being too busy is something that can feel scary. However, fears can very often be quashed just by having some potential strategies in mind:
- If there’s space and/or time available, take on an extra Associate to spread the load. It could be that with you being slightly less busy but your Associate getting busier, your revenue could actually increase but you are left with time to focus on development of the business itself. I have seen this many times.
- Look into expanding the Practice by better utilisation of the space available.
- Decide whether or not moving to bigger premises is the way forward so that more local people can be treated.
- Tighten up your marketing to be even more specific. Targeting a smaller niche will raise your profile to expert status and bring in more of the people you love to help but less of the general cases.
- Refer extra new patients to a local colleague.
- Accept that if patients want to see only you they may have to wait a little longer.
- Delegate more of the admin of the Practice to free up more of your time. Get a book-keeper, cleaner, receptionist, administrator and train them to meet your standards and goals.
- If you haven’t already, introduce an online booking system so that patients can book in to suit themselves without necessarily involving you in the process.
- Always maintain a basic level of marketing so that numbers do not suddenly dwindle while you’re distracted and busy treating patients.
- Or you could even contact me if you need bespoke strategies to create the consistent flow you want!
Taking such practical steps can diffuse that fear of being too busy or too successful. It is fine to be very busy as long as you have firm boundaries on your time, energy and personal life.
You might also like to take a look at my new online marketing training Osteobiz Rapid Growth which teaches easy and fun strategies to encourage new patient bookings. After all dull marketing just doesn’t work!