Basically, you know what YOU are doing … but do you know what your competitors are doing?
Many practitioners come to work in the morning, do their work, and go home at the end of the day, completely oblivious to the changing world around them and then wonder (once in a blue moon) why their practice is not growing … or, even worse, is slowly shrinking.
Marketing is a rapidly changing landscape, evolving and evolving and seems hard to keep up with. But there are certain key elements to know and use as your stable reference points.
Start by setting aside some time each day or once a week (like coming into work an hour early) and plan your future. If you don’t PLAN it, it can’t happen. You as the owner are the dreamer who sets the goals. You will feel more and more alive and excited as you do this more and more.
1. Spy on your competitors!
This is also known as “Market Intelligence” or “Market Research.” Visit your competitors’ offices through their websites. They don’t even have to be your direct competitor, just other healthcare professionals anywhere in the world. Look at websites for how they present themselves and their staff. See what the office looks like. What are they presenting? What is their competitive advantage? Does anything inspire you? What can you do that would be better or different? You want to plan and be ahead of your competitors … always.
2. Now set your own sights!
What is your vision for your practice? How big do you want it? Do you want a building of your own or a newer one? How do you want your patients or clients to feel when they walk into your practice? How can you deliver better quality service from front to back of the practice?
3. Purpose is foremost!
Create a succinct statement of the goal or purpose or vision for your practice. For example, Apple’s goal: “Making tools for the mind that can advance human kind.” Evian water: “Live young!” A Dentist: “Even Mother Nature can’t compete with us!”
4. Pump up your team!
Once you have a purpose that everyone can get behind, keep it in the forefront of the team’s mind at all times. Go over successes of patients or clients that are in line with that goal. Do it weekly at your staff meetings. Work out ways as a team that you can achieve the goals. Remind them frequently “why we are here.” The staff will feel like they have a stronger purpose for showing up for work each day and will contribute more and therefore be happier. (Read the book “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh who is the founder of Zappos (an awesome humanitarian shoe company).
5. Constantly create!
Never ever stop creating your future. This point is so important it cannot be emphasized enough. The day you stop is the day you start the long slippery slope towards THE END. The day you start actively creating future again is the day you start putting fun and interest there and you will definitely feel alive and things will go better! There is a famous saying, “You can’t get there if you don’t know where ‘there’ is!”