Successfully running a healthcare practice is no easy task.

Janice Wheeler, the President and her team share their insights on what healthcare practice owners can do to help their business grow without sacrificing their work-life balance.

Whether you own a health care practice or just want to learn more about practice management, these are the podcasts for you!
Check our new podcasts out at the links below!

Ep 47 – Extreme Service

Ep 46 – Interview With Marc Nadeau: Human Resources Laws And Handling Legal Matters In Your Practice

Ep 45 – 6 Cool Things To Learn As A Boss

Ep 44 – The Definition of Insanity

Ep 43 – Are You feeling Overwhelmed?

Ep 42 – How To Waste Money On marketing Dollars

Ep 41 – The Overly Busy Practice

Ep 40 – Effective Ways to Control Your Stress

Ep 39 – How to Get in Trouble With Your Staff

Ep 38 – Why Bosses Get Cranky

Ep 37 – Life-Work Balance

Ep 36 – Stabilizing New Staff Members

Ep 35 – The Department Of First Impressions” Objection

Ep 34 – Handling The “I Can’t Afford It” Objection

Ep 33 – Getting To Know Your New Patients

Ep 32 – Bad Future Or Good Future

Ep 31 – How To Get More Patients Into Your Practice

Ep 30- Dealing With People in The Workplace Isn’t Always Easy

Ep 29 – Are you Losing Your Profit Margin?

Ep 28 – Building loyalty With Staff and Patients

Ep 27 – Bosses Vs. Leaders – Which one are you?

Ep 26 – How To Deal With Negative Feedback and Criticism


Ep 24 – 3 Golden Rules to Communicate Better and Avoid Arguments

Ep 23 – How to Have More Patience With Your Patients

Ep 22 – FIVE Seriously Good Hiring Questions

Ep 21 – Update, Renovate or Move Your Healthcare Practice?

Ep 20 – How To Deliver Exceptional Patient Experience

Ep 19 – Internal Marketing (IMAGE! IMAGE! IMAGE!)

Ep 18 – How To Be Graceful Under Pressure

Ep 17 – Marketing Tip: DIG DEEP!

Ep 16 – What You Ultimately Want For Your Practice

Ep 15 – Keeping Your Practice Alive

Ep 14 – Pandemic Survival Tool for Your Practice

Ep 13 – Side effects of covid-19 on your practice

Ep 12 – Good Boss, Bad Boss

Ep 11 – How To Be More Successful In Your Life

Ep 10 – Take control of your practice

Ep 9 – Patient Education (part 3)

Ep 8 – Patient Education (Part 2)

Ep 7 – Patient Education (Part 1)

Ep 6 – How To Increase Patient Referrals

Ep 5 – How to Increase Patient Numbers

Ep 4 – Job Descriptions

Ep 3 – A Calm Working Environment

Ep 2 – The Ideal Employee

Ep 1 – Formulating a Winning Team

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Practical Marketing: Part Two


More On Marketing Your Practice

This is the second in a series of Practice Quick Tips addressing proven marketing concepts for expanding your practice. Here are a few more simple but effective ideas that you can implement to improve your marketing efforts and bring more business in the front door. (More to follow in subsequent issues.)

Good Will Ambassadors:

Enthusiastic patients/clients who love your care can become good will ambassadors for your practice.

What is a “good will ambassador”?

Per the dictionary, “good will” means: “an intangible, saleable asset arising from the reputation of a business and its relations with its customers.” And, an “ambassador” is: “an authorized representative.” All you have to do in your practice to create this “good will ambassador” is deliver perfect, caring service to your patients/clients. (Easier said than done – we will cover this in a future newsletter.)

We are certain that you are willing for a fair number of your clientele to be good will ambassadors for your practice and for them to go forth and tell other people to come and see you, right?

However, these enthusiastic patients/clients often don’t know how to promote you and you need to give them some direction.


In getting to know who your clients really are, you will find out many important details, such as where they work, what clubs they belong to, what teams they play on, and so on. These are all marketing opportunities for you. For instance, in their workplace there may be a bulletin board where the patient/client could (as a Good Will Ambassador) put up your practice newsletter. Or do they have “lunch and learn” discussions in their place of work where you could be invited in to speak? Do the clubs they belong to have bulletin boards or places to put up your business cards, etc.?

Community Newspapers:

In your area, there are usually one or more community weekly newspapers published and circulated. These papers tend to be read front to back far more frequently than daily papers, and are generally cheaper to advertise in. Plus, ads in these papers usually have a higher frequency of response. Any ad placed in a newspaper should be big enough to grab or draw attention to it, and a splash of colour to draw peoples’ eyes to it is always good. Be sure to run your ad more than one time as it often takes 3 insertions before you see the results. Therefore, the Rule of Thumb is to run an ad at least 3 times before you judge the results. Have fun with this!

>Click here to read Practical Marketing: Part Three

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to The Art of Management Inc. and a clickable link back to this page.

Practical Marketing: Part One


Marketing Your Practice for Doubling Your Number of New Clients

This is the first in a series of Practice Quick Tips addressing proven marketing concepts for expanding your practice.

The basic rule for marketing is that the more you promote to your target market (potential clientele), the more new patients you will attract to your practice.

Very simple concept.

Yet, we have met with over 6000 healthcare providers to analyze their practices and found that many of them relied almost exclusively on referrals as their main source of new patients. Getting referrals from your patients/clients IS a good thing — keep it up. However, if you want to double the number of new patients, all you have to do is add on some effective external marketing.

How Many Patients or Clients is Enough For My Practice?

There is a certain attrition in any practice as patients/clients move away, pass on, go away to school, and so on. Therefore, there is a need for an ongoing inflow of new patients on a weekly basis.

In the 1,400 practices we have consulted over the last 25 years, most of our clients found that the minimum number of new patients needed is rarely ever less than 7-8 per week per provider in the practice.

If you do very little promotion and marketing, then you will have very few new patients per week coming into the practice. Marketing is both an internal and an external affair. There are many hundreds of ways you can market a practice.

Here are the first couple of simple but proven, effective things that you can implement to improve your marketing efforts and bring more business in the front door. (More to follow in subsequent issues.)

Networking Both Initiates New Alliances and Rejuvenates Older Ones

Healthcare practitioners in your area will be uncomfortable referring their patients to a provider they don’t know. When was the last time you or your staff made a point of contacting the local MD’s, Optometrists, Chiropractors, Dentists, Vets, etc. who have patients/clients who may need referring to you?

Make a list of these professionals who you feel would be good network partners to work with, and if you don’t already have a good relationship with them, start one. Call them up, have a lunch together, build an alliance and grow.

Business Cards: Simple, Yes, but Effective Nontheless

This may seem too basic or simple, since everyone has a business card. The question is: Do patients ask to take them and give them out and do you get new patients from this activity? If the cards are dynamic and “unforgettable” in design, they will be given out. Make them jazzy and unique. Test several sample designs on 30 or 40 of your patients to find “the” one that is most memorable to them. Some of the worst marketing ideas in history were developed in a vacuum without checking for feedback from anyone else. Don’t make this mistake.

>Click here to read Practical Marketing: Part Two

Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to The Art of Management Inc. and a clickable link back to this page.

How To Increase Your Patient Referrals


One of the keys to a successful practice is having an abundance of new patients calling in and walking through your front door.

How do you do that without racking up a heavy advertising budget that could eat away all your hard-earned profits?

Oddly enough, the answer is right inside your practice! Namely, word of mouth from your already existing clientele.

Patients who are extremely happy and enthusiastic about the service they have received from you and your staff will readily refer family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, without much prodding or coaxing.

It is amazing how willing an enthusiastic patient is to have others experience the same level of care that they themselves have received.

In many instances, they will go out of their way to get someone else to come to you because your team delivers fantastic service and results.

Contrary to popular belief, satisfied patients do not refer. Patients enthusiastic about your service do refer.

To illustrate this point, here is an example:

Let’s say that you are hungry, in a hurry and don’t have much money in your pocket. You might run out to a burger joint, taco place or chicken hut – something very fast. In a short amount of time, you are no longer hungry and it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg. So you could say that your criteria have all been met and you are satisfied, right?

Now let’s take the opposite scenario. Let’s say you go to your favorite upscale restaurant where it’s very expensive, takes several hours to eat and, if you’re like me, you eat it all because it is so delicious, and then you leave the restaurant with a bit of pain.

Question: If a friend asks you for the name of an excellent restaurant where they really take care of you and where he and his wife will have a great experience, which restaurant are you going to refer them to?

Answer: You most likely picked the second one. Why? Because you are enthusiastic about the ambience, top level service and care – even though it cost a lot, took longer and you hurt!

Now ask yourself: Do you want your practice to be like a fast-food restaurant or do you want to be a class act? If the answer is “a class act”, remember this: When referrals are not coming in the door in sufficient quantity, focus on improving service and this in turn will increase the number of enthusiastic patients leaving your practice.

Here are some of the ways that it might be possible to improve the service and care levels in your practice:

  1. Be sure to book your appointments in such a way that you can run on time. This is a courtesy point and impresses patients, even though they themselves sometimes run late.
  2. Send a thank you card to any patient that refers someone to you. This reflects that you really appreciate their help and encourages further referrals.
  3. Manners are an extremely key point in a healthcare practice or any other kind of business. From the front desk staff, to the dentist, the assistant and the hygienist. Patients respect those who treat them with respect and good manners.
  4. Care about your patients. If you really don’t care for them, you shouldn’t be treating them. Find something about them that you like and focus on that. If you are short on caring, they will do the same to you, i.e. badmouth you or not pay their bill.
  5. Give them the best quality dentistry for their money. Educate them so they want the best. When they have gone ahead with the ideal, they are much more likely to refer others to you.
  6. Have a mission statement for the practice so that the staff and you are on the same page with regard to quality of care and service to the patients. Focus on it until it becomes habit.
  7. After a major dental procedure, be sure to do a follow up call to ensure that all is well. Not all patients who are having difficulties will call you. This will show that you care about their well-being.

There are probably several thousand other ways to show you care. But there is no substitute for really caring.

When a patient is getting ready to leave the practice, do an “enthusiasm check”. For instance, ask “Is there anything else that we can do to be of service to you today?” or “Is there anything we could have done better today – we’re always looking for ways to evolve our practice to a higher level of care.” The key point here is that the staff must be on the lookout to ensure that the patient is in fact enthusiastic about your service.

Fact: The patient who is enthusiastic about the service they received in your practice will bring in 2 to 8 new patients to you – at no charge! A patient who is only “satisfied”, or worse yet, upset, will talk negatively about you to 10 to 12 people. Factually, they may keep coming back to you, but they won’t refer other people to you.

So take these simple steps to increase your patient referrals:

  • Deliver excellent technical service;
  • Make sure all staff care for the patient;
  • Do an enthusiasm check as they leave;
  • If the patient is not enthusiastic, find out what they are not happy with and work out how to remedy it.

And there you go. Simple but powerful steps which will lead to increased referrals, simply because you took the time and effort to improve your service level in all areas of the practice. So remember, when referrals are not coming in the door – focus on improving one area: service. Satisfied patients do not refer others to you, only enthusiastic patients refer.


Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to The Art Of Management Inc. and a clickable link back to this page.