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Private Practice Marketing Strategy

Are Patients Truly Top Priority in Your Private Practice?

You may think your private practice puts an emphasis on customer service, but do your patients think so?

It’s common knowledge that customer service has to be a key focus in order for a private practice to survive and thrive in the long term.

Customer service is just as important as excellent clinical practice… maybe even more important, from the customer’s perspective. Many patients value the overall experience (including staff interactions and convenience) more than the specific interaction with the clinical provider.

Unfortunately, many private practice owners think they’re doing a great job in customer service, when in reality their patients might not give the same feedback.

Is your private practice just giving lip service to customer service? Or are you making patients’ experience truly your TOP priority above all else?

Here’s how you can examine and improve your private practice in terms of customer service. How do you rate on the following questions?

  1. Have you looked closely at every possible point of patient interaction? Take a look at every communication (or failed communication opportunity), beginning with appointment scheduling and going all the way through patient follow-up after the visit. (If you’re not doing consistent and meaningful follow-up, start there.)
  2. Is your private practice built around patients’ needs, or your own preferences? This aspect includes everything from your office hours to your ability to make same-day appointments for some kinds of urgent situations. Patients can tell whether the top priority in your office is their needs… or yours.
  3. Have you built your customer service policies and procedures around standard expectations, or an expectation of WOW? Patients don’t forget when you over-deliver, and what’s more, they will happily tell others about you when you go above and beyond what they’ve been trained to expect from other providers. Distinguish yourself, not just in your marketing but in your everyday interactions with the people you serve.
  4. Do you expect your staff to deliver exceptional customer service without specific instruction on how to do that? Like you, your team members probably feel that they deliver amazing customer service every single day because they’re working hard at it. But if everyone isn’t on the same page about the specific expectations of your private practice, then the service delivered will not be consistently excellent from the patient point of view.

Remember, your patients could go anywhere for the service you provide (or something similar). Are you giving them compelling, consistent reasons to choose YOUR private practice?

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Private Practice Owners Can’t Afford Missed Appointments

Missed appointments may be inevitable, but your no-show rate has a direct effect on private practice sustainability over time.

When patients don’t show for scheduled appointments, your private practice schedule gets thrown off—and you lose money.

Many private practice owners treat no-shows as a minor annoyance that’s regrettable, but inevitable. And that’s a huge mistake.

If you have several missed appointments each week, you are potentially losing thousands of dollars every year.

The good news is, you DO have some control over missed appointments in your private practice.

First, understand why patients miss appointments:

  • They forgot about the appointment.
  • It was just too hard to get away from work.
  • Their childcare fell through.
  • They had a change of heart because of the expected cost of treatment.
  • They simply felt better by the day of the appointment and decided not to come after all.
  • They were laid out with an unrelated illness (a common occurrence during cold and flu season).

But by far, most missed appointments can be attributed to “just forgetting.” Just as you are very busy at your private practice, patients are very busy and distracted in their professional and personal lives. It’s genuinely hard for many patients to remember their appointments with your office.

For that reason, the best way to reduce missed appointments is to implement a streamlined appointment reminder system in your private practice.

Appointment reminders can take many forms. (Keep in mind, too, that your private practice may need to follow specific regulations about patient communications.)

Reminder calls by staff. This may seem old-fashioned and even inefficient, but many private practice owners swear by the personal reminder calls. In an impersonal era when we all get robo-reminders from pharmacies, libraries, and everyone else, a personal call helps to cement the provider-patient relationship. It also provides an opportunity to immediately reschedule if illness or personal conflicts are going to prevent the patient from keeping the scheduled appointment.

Automated reminder calls. Some private practice owners choose this option. There are software packages available that offer automated reminders for patients. In some private practice settings, this could be the most appropriate form of default reminder.

Email reminders. Many patients seem to prefer email communications these days. Of course, you’ll need to be careful about following regulations to protect patient privacy.

Text reminders. In an era when we’re all glued to our smart phones and other mobile devices, texting could be the most direct way to reach patients, as well as the easiest way for them to notify you if they need to cancel an appointment.

The best reminder format might even be a combination of these. Perhaps your private practice could make personal phone reminders the day before the appointment as a default, but additionally provide email or text reminders a week ahead for patients who request them.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Retaining Your Private Practice Patients

For Private Practice Success, Focus on Keeping Current Patients Happy

It’s time to reconsider how you market your private practice and put the emphasis on retaining patients, not just attracting new ones.

What’s more important, bringing in new business or keeping current patients happy?

Of course, the answer is that both are vitally important… but too often, private practice owners focus almost exclusively on attracting new patients. The thing is, if you’re looking for long-term success in private practice, the bulk of your attention should focus on the patients you already have.

After all, the most effective marketing tool out there is word of mouth and patient referrals to friends and family. But those things won’t happen unless you are truly meeting patients’ needs and fully exceeding (not just meeting) their expectations.

Unfortunately, it’s too easy to assume that your current patients are happy with you and simply hope that they refer when they have a chance.

There are two major problems with this approach. First, patients rarely refer unless you give them a gentle and frequent reminder—it’s just not on their minds to talk you up to friends and family unless you are direct about it on a regular basis. Second, most unhappy patients won’t complain to you. They will simply disappear, and only those friends and family will hear their complaints!

To complicate things even more, patient satisfaction is built on so much more than their clinical interaction with you, the provider.

What really makes or breaks the patient experience—and the likelihood that they will speak positively about you to others—is the customer service experience. That’s everything from the first phone call to how the waiting room looks and feels, the length of time that clinical staff spend with them, and follow-up from you and/or office staff about their visit.

The next time you are wearing your marketing cap as a private practice owner, consider this: you are three times as likely to keep the business of a fully satisfied patient than to get an initial visit from a brand-new patient through external marketing.

Doesn’t it make sense, then, to spend three times as much effort on retaining existing patients and asking for referrals?

These kinds of details are hard for private practice owners to navigate on their own. Looking for expert assistance in marketing and other business aspects of private practice? We can help!

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Referrals for Private Practice

Do You Know How to Effectively Ask for Patient Referrals in Your Private Practice?

Even when you’re providing excellent service in private practice, most patients won’t automatically refer. Here are two key points that explain why.

It’s a cold, hard fact of private practice: simply being excellent at patient care does not guarantee referrals.

Actually, your reluctance to directly ask for referrals is a guarantee that you won’t get them.

Even worse, if you’ve only been asking for referrals in an informal way that’s impossible to track, you might feel that you’re putting forth a lot of internal marketing effort with nothing to show for it.

What you need is a simple referral-eliciting system that gets EVERY patient thinking about referring you, and it’s got to be one that’s also easy for your staff to monitor so that you know when you’re getting results.

When you are shaping your referral system, keep in mind these two key ideas about why patients fail to refer:

  1. Patients have no idea how much each referral will help you. If you seem to be doing pretty well—a full waiting room, up-to-date equipment, and so on—most patients will assume that you don’t need any help from them. On the other hand, if they understand how easy and powerful it can be when they refer friends and family, they’ll make a point of telling others about your excellent service.
  2. You’re focused on how referrals will help YOU, not how the act of referring to a trusted provider will earn the gratitude of your patient’s friends and family. No one wants to pick a provider at random when they can rely on personal testimony.

Another important thing to remember about patient referrals is that once a patient has referred a loved one to your office, your patient will be even more loyal to you in the future. In essence, he or she wants to believe you are the very best possible provider, after having passed on this message to friends and family!

 

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

 

Private Practice Website Mistakes You Should Avoid At All Costs

Your private practice website is so much more than a professional calling card. Does your site measure up to patient expectations?

The worst mistake you can make as a private practice owner is to stop marketing when your practice is comfortably full. And the very worst kind of marketing slump nearly always involves your private practice website.

Maybe you don’t have a website at all. Maybe there’s a rudimentary site in place, but it’s not complete. Or maybe you set it up so long ago that the site is visually outdated. Any of these problems will turn away new patients in a heartbeat.

Patients know that effective private practice owners maintain an active, up-to-date website. Not just a fancy business card with one phone number and an auto-link to Mapquest in lieu of directions to the office.

Today’s patients are web savvy, and their expectations are high. They expect your site to be interactive, allowing them to schedule their appointment online. They expect to get a clear sense of who you are as a specialist—more than just a generic headshot (or worse, a blurry snapshot of your staff). They’re looking for a blog or a library of informative articles.

Does your site measure up?

Remember, your website is either actively attracting your ideal patients, or it’s driving them away. There is no neutral ground.

If you don’t have an effective and engaging website, it’s a sure bet that one of your competitors does have one… and that’s where your potential new patients are going, right after they click away from your site.
How does your website measure up to the best of what’s out there?

Like any other aspect of private practice, your website is not an area in which you can effectively go it alone. Isn’t it time to seek out a mentor for those areas of private practice where you’re weakest?

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Benefits of a Staff-Driven Private Practice

The Benefits of Creating a Staff-Driven Private Practice

Make Your Private Practice Sing By Training Your Staff To Take Charge of Practice Success. Here’s Why.

Yes, you’re the CEO and executive director of your private practice. But smart private practice owners seek to create a practice in which their entire team—including every staff member—takes an active, autonomous role in building and maintaining the practice.

In this type of  practice, the owner provides daily and weekly instructions to staff simply as a means of coordinating efforts, rather than as external motivation to do their jobs.

For this system to work, you need a trustworthy and competent staff in which every member has been fully trained on their job duties AND on the mission of your private practice. This kind of staff member doesn’t simply show up, do their assigned duties, and leave. They are an integral part of the success of the practice because they create and expand the job every day.

In a private practice that is staff-driven, all staff members share equally in the responsibility and positive energy of daily struggles and triumphs in the office.

Some of the benefits of a staff-driven private practice include:

  • Increased morale. Staff members will worker harder and smarter when they understand and support the vision of your practice. They’ll have a sense of belonging that leads them to take pride in their work and innovate new ideas and solutions as needed.
  • Improved work-life balance for you as the private practice owner. Without a staff-driven practice, you’ll find yourself feeling like a stagecoach driver flogging a tired horse. When your office runs smoothly and on its own volition, taking direction from you on improvements and growth rather than relying on you for motivation to produce simply average results, you’ll be able to spend more of your time on the rest of your life outside the office.
  • Building for the future. It’s short-sighted to focus only on this quarter and this year. What about ten years in the future? What about retiring and selling your private practice? When you’ve built a staff-driven practice, you’ll be able to step away without the entire practice crumbling—and that means you’ll have a valuable asset when you’re ready to sell.

You may wonder how to get to this point from where you are now. What kind of hiring, managing, and executive direction skills are needed to build a staff-driven private practice?

invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Private Practice Owners, Tell Your Patients What to Do

You Need Cash Patients in Your Private Practice—But How Do You Draw Them In?

Attracting new patients who are willing to pay cash for services is the future of private practice. Here’s what you need to know about how to get and keep private pay customers.

Here is the hard reality of running a cash-based private practice. Patients who pay up front for services, almost without exception, expect you to be an expert. Not just an expert in your field, but an expert who focuses on the precise problem they are experiencing.

In other words, if you want to attract cash-paying patients to your private practice, your advertising needs to target patients with specific conditions. The fact is that if you don’t highly focus your marketing to attract specific types of cash patients, you’ll be competing with all of the other generalists out there—and you are unlikely to succeed over time.

To bring in more cash-based patients to your private practice, you need to do four things:

1. Identify a profitable niche that is in demand in your area. It is critical to distinguish yourself from all other specialists in your area, and make sure that you’re not just offering the same broad menu of potential services as every other private practice out there. But it has to be something that people want and will pay out of pocket to receive.

2. Know the demographics and psychographics of the patients you want to attract within that niche. It does no good to pick a marketing niche if you haven’t paid attention to the available data about exactly WHO is reading and responding. Psychology is everything in marketing a private practice.

3. Effectively use the appropriate marketing channels, including social media and articles on your own private practice website, to get noticed by these patients. Too many private practice owners are frightened of social media, blogging, and other current-day means of advertising. The fact is, things like postcard mailings and phone book listings just don’t have the same impact and may even be a waste of your advertising dollars—especially if that’s all you’re doing.

4. Provide such top-rate service to new clients, including both clinical interactions and customer service, that they will speak positively of you to others and actively refer friends and family. This is the bottom line. It’s not enough to get new patients in the door. They have to have such a great experience that they can’t wait to come back. There is nothing more powerful than social proof, so focus on getting the patients you want and making them want to share what they know about your services.

If all of this seems overwhelming, that’s because effective marketing is a huge job for private practice owners. But we can help! For support and training around marketing and other private practice concerns, read about our Mentoring and Coaching programs.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

 

Private Practice Owners Must Avoid This Practice-Killing Marketing Error

For Private Practice Owners, These Deadly Sins of Marketing Could Topple Your Profitable Business 

Private practice owners often do it all. In addition to clinical work with patients, they juggle office management, administrative tasks, payroll, and customer service. Marketing might seem to fall pretty far down on the list.

Without effective marketing, though, your private practice won’t be around long. Private practice owners can’t afford to ignore the realities of marketing in today’s business environment.

What worked 20 or 50 years ago, perhaps even 5 to 10 years ago, simply won’t cut it today.

I see so many private practice owners whose marketing strategies are practically doomed because of three simple but damaging mistakes:

  • Focusing the advertising message on you as the provider—your credentials, training, clinical equipment, or areas of interest—rather than on the patient’s immediate needs.
  • Simply listing data or jargon related to office equipment or procedures, as if the average reader will know or care what these things mean.
  • Detailing every single thing that you offer to every kind of customer, so that no one thing stands out among the rest (and you look like every provider out there).

So, let’s take a look at the opposites of these major errors, so that you can determine what you SHOULD do to improve your advertising efforts. In sum, effective marketing for private practice owners must include these key factors:

  • Targeting a specific type of service to a limited audience
  • Making the advertising message about the customer, not about you as the service provider
  • Explaining exactly why and how your state-of-the-art equipment will benefit the customer

Following these three very effective tenets of marketing will take you far beyond your current advertising efforts.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

Your Private Practice Needs Serious Help

Why Your Private Practice Needs Serious Help

If Your Private Practice Management Approach is “Going It Alone,” You Will Almost Certainly Go Down With the Ship.

In this society, we get a lot of messages about independence and self-reliance. You may have imagined that running a private practice would be a wonderful experience of autonomy, as you make every decision about how to make your business thrive.

And it’s true that all of these decisions are yours.

But are you thriving in the self-reliance model of private practice?

Are you honestly capable of doing an excellent (not average) job of every component of your business, from clinical work serving patients to front-end customer service to bookkeeping and practice management?

You already know that it takes a reliable and trustworthy staff to accomplish these things. You’re not a one-man band. But (to continue the musical metaphor) you are indeed the conductor who leads this orchestra.

That’s where many medical practititioners in private practice make a costly mistake—trying to do it all.

Smart private practice owners understand their limitations and find a way to support themselves in those areas of weakness. As the owner and director of a private medical practice, you will be able to deliver consistently excellent service to your customers and staff by seeking help with aspects of business that are less familiar to you.

There’s nothing wrong with seeking help—serious help. By that, I mean assistance from a proven leader who has years of experience in the very aspects of business that you are currently struggling with.

So what’s the next step to getting serious help for your private practice? Let us provide consulting help to aid you in avoiding costly mistakes in your business. With years of experience in practice management and practice building, we can be your guide along the path of making your practice truly thrive.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

The PPW team

SWOT analysis for physical therapy business

How to Strengthen Your Physical Therapy Business Plan with a SWOT Analysis

Use a SWOT Analysis to Help Grow Your Physical Therapy Business and Avoid Significant Pitfalls.

Have you taken the time to do a thorough SWOT analysis for your physical therapy business? If so, have you done it again recently?

This tool could make all the difference in the effectiveness of your marketing strategy and many other key components leading to the success of your practice.

Here is a quick overview of SWOT analysis and how it applies to a successful physical therapy business.

SWOT stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. The first two are internal factors, and the second two are external factors. Although you may not be able to have complete control over each factor, it’s useful to identify all components and know how they are impacting your physical therapy business.

Strengths are any resources or capabilities that give you an edge over competitors. These can include factors such as the unique aspects of the service you provide; the geographic location of your physical therapy business, if it is a positive factor; and any special training or knowledge you have gained that is not available from most other providers.

Weaknesses are often the lack of strength in a particular area. Specifically, you might lack business training in certain areas, such as marketing. Or your physical therapy business might not offer products or services that are distinct from those of your competition.

Opportunities refer to factors that provide a chance to develop or expand the patient base for your physical therapy business. These might include new services you could offer, a partnership with similar providers to increase referrals, or the lack of significant competition in a particular market.

Threats are important not to overlook. Even though you may not be able to directly control a threat, it will certain impact your physical therapy business for the worse if not somehow addressed in your overall strategy for success. Threats can include anything from regulation changes to competitors with innovative services that address the needs of YOUR patients.

Keep in mind that a SWOT analysis is a subjective process. It’s a good idea to have a SWOT analysis performed by a third party who can provide an objective look at your physical therapy business. Then you can compare your internal SWOT with this other feedback and decide how to implement what you’ve learned.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

 

Private Practice Owners, Tell Your Patients What to Do

Marketing For Your Specialty Practice: How to Address What Patients Truly Want

Are You Trying To Market Your Specialty Practice By Focusing On All The Wrong Elements?

Too often, specialty practice owners spend valuable time and money on marketing that doesn’t work—usually because the language and focus of their marketing just isn’t what potential patients want.

It’s so easy to get caught up in wanting to draw attention to your specialized training, or the fancy new equipment you’ve invested in, or the wide array of services you can provide. But frankly, patients are shopping for a specific experience.

They don’t want to purchase dental work.
They want to feel more confident because of a dazzling smile.

They don’t want to pay for 30 minutes of treatment with a specially trained chiropractor.
They want relief from chronic lower back pain.

They don’t want to read the resume of a physical therapist.
They want to be able to stand fully upright without discomfort.

They don’t want to invest in an invasive surgery to ameliorate neuropathic pain.
They want to be able to weed the garden, knit, and do the Sunday crossword without burning and tingling in their dominant hand.

To effectively market your specialty practice, you will have to identify the true motivators for your patients.

Here are some of the strongest motivators that drive patients to pursue treatment at a specialty practice:

  • Relief from pain
    Improvement in their physical appearance
    Increased sense of confidence
    Ability to remain productive in activities that are meaningful to them
    Feeling in control of their health and at peace with medical decisions they make

When the marketing message for your specialty practice addresses one or more of these core motivators, you will see a higher return on investment for your advertising dollar.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

Demographics and Psychographics in Chiropractic Practice Building

Chiropractic Practice Building Success Rests on Understanding Psychographics

In chiropractic practice building, knowing how to address both demographics and psychographics can make all the difference in marketing to the right patients.

Are you clear on the difference between demographics and psychographics—and how to use both in your marketing strategy for chiropractic practice building?

Here’s a breakdown of these basic concepts and how to apply them to your own promotional strategies.

In short, demographics are facts that describe characteristics of your current patients as well as prospective ones. These facts are things like gender, income level, age, marital status, education level, occupation, homeowner status, age and gender of children in the home, and location of the home and/or workplace. These are external facts that we can easily see and quantify.

On the other hand, psychographics are more difficult to discern because they are based on patterns of behavior. This means that psychographics are actually very valuable in chiropractic practice building, because they look at the psychology of your current and potential patients. Psychographics can include things like hobbies, buying patterns, lifestyle choices, political leanings, and personal values.

If you want to know WHO pays for your services, look at demographics. If you want to know WHY they do it—and for the purposes of chiropractic practice building, you definitely want to know this—then psychographics will be even more helpful.

Demographic information is relatively easy to obtain. For psychographics, though, you’ll need to interact directly with your target market to learn about their attitudes, buying choices, and lifestyle preferences. You can start by surveying your current patients, who can provide a wealth of information about why they continue to choose your chiropractic office over other options.

When you have psychographic data, you’ll have a very powerful tool for chiropractic practice building. It’s nearly useless to collect demographic data about your target market if you don’t also take a close look at the psychology of patients’ decision-making. Think about the difference between knowing how many current patients have referred others to your practice, and knowing precisely WHY they chose to do so.

An effective mix of demographics and psychographics allows you to tailor your marketing strategy to a specific group of people and to make sure your promotional messages address the particular needs of those people. And that means they are far more likely to become patients at your practice. That’s the bottom line in chiropractic practice building.

 

Private Practice and the New Word of Mouth Process

The Right Way to Market Your Physical Therapy Business

When It Comes to Promoting Your Physical Therapy Business, There’s Good News and Bad News.

Too many physical therapy business owners spend a lot of time fretting about the “right” way to handle marketing. After all, there is so much advice out there—and most of it is contradictory.

How is a physical therapy business owner supposed to know what’s right for his or her practice?

In the end, it’s a trick question.

There are only two WRONG ways to formulate your physical therapy marketing plan.

The first wrong way is to halfheartedly do too many things, and none of them effectively or with a strategy. It’s too easy to get sucked into spending tons of time on social media without knowing exactly why you’re there, or to divide four marketing hours into six different efforts with little return on your time investment. It’s essential to choose your promotional strategies carefully and always with a measurable end goal in mind.

The second wrong way is to do nothing at all in terms of marketing your physical therapy business, either because you’re “too busy” or because you’re scared of getting it wrong.

So… the bad news about marketing for your physical therapy business is this: Chances are, the way you’re doing it right now is NOT as effective as it could be.

And the good news? Small increments of effective change can work wonders for your marketing strategy.

You may want to take a close look at what you’re doing to promote your physical therapy business and what you expect to gain from it in measurable terms. Then consider whittling down your efforts to the one or two things that have shown the best ROI thus far—and really put your back into those one or two things to see even greater returns.

Or, if you’re guilty of total marketing inaction, it’s not too late to start effectively marketing your physical therapy business. What one audience are you trying to reach, and what do you hope to gain from connecting with them? Start there with just a few hours a week of focused promotion.

Effective marketing is essential to the success of your physical therapy business—yet you probably didn’t get any training in this vital skill when you were in school!

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

Healthcare Changes and Your Specialty Practice

Specialty Practice Can Benefit from the New Competitive Patient Mindset

Recent changes in the healthcare landscape can provide a boost to growth in your specialty practice—if you have the right goals in mind.

Many specialty practice owners have been viewing new healthcare laws and systems in the United States with a mixture of fear, outrage, and dismay.

You may be wondering how all these changes will affect your private practice… and assuming that things will be changing for the worse. How can a specialty practice possibly survive in this environment?

If you’ve been viewing healthcare changes as a circumstance that will doom your specialty practice, it’s time to think again.

Why? Because all of these changes can actually HELP you to grow your specialty practice to its upper limit—as long as you have the right mindset about the direction you’re headed.

All of these healthcare law changes have caused a shift in the typical patient mindset. It used to be that patients would do whatever their doctor said to do, or have whatever procedure was covered as standard by their insurance company.

These days, self-pay patients are looking at value. They want the most bang for their buck. That means they’re shopping around and looking for the provider who will provide exceptional care that justifies the cost of services. They view provider rates as an investment in their long-term health, and they want a good return on their investment.

This is great news! This patient, who is discerning and makes an informed decision when choosing a specialty practice, is exactly the kind of patient that you need to attract and keep in order to make your specialty practice thrive.

You don’t want patients who follow the old episodic treatment model: coming into the office when they’re in pain and then falling away. You want patients who seek expert collaboration and a long-term relationship working toward their continuing health. That patient is the very picture of loyalty, and he or she will joyfully refer you to family and friends.

When your patients are focused on their long-term health, then the long-term health of your specialty practice will be a given.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

Wrong Approach to Marketing Private Practice

Beyond Excuses: Why Your Private Practice ISN’T Thriving (and How to Fix It)

If your private practice is floundering, or coming to a standstill, you might think you know why…but take a close look at the problem. Is it a reason, or an excuse?

Unfortunately, too often, private practice owners get in their own way when it comes to success.

It’s all too human to think we “know” exactly what the problem is. Maybe we also “know” why various solutions can’t possibly work to fix the problem. In a way, this is a victim mentality.

Most of us are guilty of this at some point in our personal lives. But if this mindset carries over into your private practice, things aren’t going to go well.

If you’re going to be able to overcome obstacles in private practice, it’s essential to remain open to new ideas, useful feedback, and even tried-and-true solutions that you’ve already tried once. You’ve got to approach each new obstacle as if you’ve never encountered it before.

Why? Because if you’ve already labeled and judged what’s before you, you’re not seeing it clearly. And that means you’re blocking your own success by dooming the situation before anyone has addressed it.

So… how to get past this stumbling block? There are two keys to implementing a “no excuses” mind-shift in private practice.

The first key is a willingness to change. What you’re doing now is not effective, so a fresh approach is called for. This is a huge one! Don’t underestimate how your resistance to change could be impacting your private practice.

The second key is to call in a fresh viewpoint, someone who can give you unadulterated feedback about what you’re doing in your private practice that could be done better.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

Marketing Your Specialty Practice

Specialty Practice Success Won’t Happen Through Traditional Marketing

Unless your specialty practice is brand-new, the backbone of your practice probably isn’t based on new referrals. Don’t overlook this key element of private practice success!

Whether you’ve been running your specialty practice just a few years, or dozens, there’s a good chance that the majority of your business is made up of repeat clients. In short, most of the patients walking in your door have been there before…and made the decision to come back.

If you’ve provided excellent service—not just a world-class treatment experience, but great customer service, too—then most of your patients will come back again and again. Maybe they’ll come in search of continued good health through maintenance. Or maybe a new injury or illness will arise, and because you’ve built their trust, you’ll be the first professional they call.

Eventually, nearly your ENTIRE specialty practice could (if you chose) be composed of regular patients who return time after time because of the relationship you’ve built with them.

But if you’ve paid any attention to the marketing how-to information that’s out there, you may be confused. That’s because the advice of traditional marketers is all about how to get new eyes on you—how to get in front of people who will buy what you’re selling.

The thing is, particularly in the service industry and in a specialty practice, the person who is most likely to buy from you is the very person who already has! They took that initial risk of trying your practice, found the benefits to be exceptional, and now have confidence that YOU are the professional who can make their lives better.

Now that you know repeat customers are the best customers, what can you do to encourage patients to come back?

First, say “thank you,” and say it often. Thank brand-new patients for giving your specialty practice a chance to help them. When they return for another visit, welcome them with open arms and an opportunity to give feedback—ask: “Can you let us know what made you decide to come again?”

Second, give those loyal patients a chance to get to know you better. Ask every new and returning patient if they’d like to join your email list. Send a monthly newsletter with practice news, including personal stories from your staff or yourself that make your office feel like a home away from home. It can also include a simple but useful health tip that’s relevant to your specialty practice, or a frequently asked question and your response. This doesn’t have to be a slick-looking newsletter template. In fact, many patients will respond more positively if it’s simple and has a “homegrown” feel, so that they know you’re actually writing it!

Also, have your staff maintain a list of patients who haven’t been in lately. Give them a courtesy call to see if they’d like to schedule a follow-up visit. This lets patients know that you remember them and care about how they’re doing.

The key to all of this is planning. You need an organized system, set to autopilot, so that these things will happen automatically at appropriate opportunities, and so that no patient gets overlooked. This is the only way to make effective follow-through happen on a regular basis for your specialty practice.

But most private practice owners won’t implement this kind of system.

That’s good news for you… if you’re willing to put in the time, knowing that your specialty practice can thrive while others barely survive.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

 

For Private Practice Success, Check Your Mindset

The Missing Link in Private Practice Success: Check Your Mindset

You May Think That External Factors Will Make or Break Your Private Practice Success. In Reality, Your Mindset Drives Your Practice.

Every day you navigate the ins and outs of your private practice and wear a number of different hats. As a private practice owner, you make the key decisions that drive the future of your business. And as a clinician, of course, you’re also working in your practice from day to day as you treat patients.

But how do you treat them? As commodities, or as unique individuals?

How do you treat your business? As a job that you attend every day to bring in a paycheck, or as a delicate ecosystem that requires your own hand to survive and thrive?

Your mindset determines everything—from your earning power to your life-work balance and overall satisfaction.

In essence, private practice success is so dependent on mindset because it has two components. Your mindset drives your vision for private practice success, the long-term picture of your practice’s health. Your mindset also functions as your biggest and best marketing tool.

When patients feel heard, cared for, and well handled, they reward you with continued business and referrals. But if you come across as distracted, distant, or gruff, you’ll lose patients—not just the ones in your office right now, but also those referrals down the road. When patients are paying out of pocket, they expect more. Unsatisfied, they’ll take their business elsewhere—no matter how good you are as a clinician. It takes so much more than good technical work to achieve private practice success.

Building a successful mindset is more than just having a great attitude and effective bedside manner. In the end, it’s all about vision and planning.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

3 Mistakes in Private Practice Building

Private Practice Building Mistakes: 3 Self-Sabotaging Behaviors That Will Kill Your Private Practice

Most People Are Making These 3 Private Practice Building Mistakes. Are You?

We’ve all heard about “self-sabotaging” behaviors—in our personal lives, in the context of career advice, and maybe in terms relationships. But did you know that there are self-sabotaging behaviors in the world of private practice building?

These attitudes and actions can be devastating to the health of your private practice. Why? Because in business, and particularly in the area of private practice building, the definition of self-sabotaging behaviors is anything that gets in the way of your long-term business goals.

Are you guilty of getting in your own way when it comes to private practice building? Of course, none of us are doing it perfectly… but the key is to be doing it effectively, and to avoid the major pitfalls.

Here are the top 3 self-sabotaging behaviors in private practice building, and suggestions for how you can avoid them.

#1: Waiting for the perfect moment

Sometimes we get so focused on taking action “at the right moment” that our perfectionism gets in the way of business growth.

In truth, ANY action—no matter how small—is better in the long term than continued inaction. In other words, when you don’t act, your lack of action is a choice that plays against your business goals.

#2: Micromanaging your team

You’re the captain of this ship, so of course you want to make sure you’ll stay on course. It’s tempting to try to accomplish this way-finding by being on top of your staff day in and day out, watching them like a hawk. But from a long-term view, this leads to resentment and high turnover—not the results you want in private practice building!

A better approach is to make your presence known in every area of your business, but in a manner that emphasizes your trust in your staff. Your team will feel that you’re involved and aware of their issues without the stranglehold of micromanaging.

#3: Trying to get all of your business learning from books

You know the importance of learning and growing in your private practice building efforts. Too often, though, you probably rely on reading books and articles as your main source of information.

Reading is certainly a convenient way to approach continuing education, since you can fit it into your schedule as needed. But there are a number of problems with this approach to private practice building. The main issue is that books and articles about private practice are aimed at a very general audience, and they detail someone else’s techniques for private practice building—which may not be applicable to your business or your unique situation as a private practice owner.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

Marketing Rules for Private Practice

Every Private Practice Owner Should Add This Key Success Factor Right Away

Here’s how to stay ahead of the game as a private practice owner. You can take proactive steps to make sure you’re driving the growth of your business, instead of letting overwhelm drive you into the ground.

You already know that owning and managing a private practice is a multifaceted job. In fact, it’s not just one job; every successful private practice owner performs multiple jobs over the course of a week, from staff management to marketing—oh, and being an excellent clinician, too!

Your clinical skill is the foundation of your business, but it can’t be your only focus. Even with a highly skilled staff to support you, it’s essential for you to be a core part of your practice, not just in the exam room or behind a desk, but with a presence in every aspect of your office.

With all of these responsibilities looming every day, how can the private practice owner avoid becoming overwhelmed? We all know that feelings of overwhelm can lead to distraction, procrastination, and falling behind on everything from office visits to paperwork—all of which has a negative ripple effect on your staff and the health of your business.

The essential factor in your success will be a methodical and proactive approach to the health of your business. As a private practice owner, you have to avoid the trap of staying busy but accomplishing little that benefits your long-range vision for your private practice. In short, you need a game plan, and you need to schedule time in EVERY day to follow through.

If you only make ONE improvement in your approach, it should be the addition of time slots during your week that are dedicated to business-related training materials. This doesn’t just mean being in your office and having a pile of things to read on your desk. For maximum effectiveness, make these hours work for you by isolating yourself with the materials—no cell phone or taking office calls, and absolutely no disturbance allowed except in a true emergency.

And it’s not enough to simply read through training materials. Know your learning style, take notes in a way that is meaningful for you, and find ways to implement what you’ve learned immediately so that it becomes part of your experience, not just intellectual knowledge. When you put new learnings into practice, you’ll be truly learning, and that’s what helps your private practice to grow.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team

 

 

Areas of Improvement for Private Practice

Private Practice Owners Must Read This: How to Turn Your Biggest Weakness Into an Asset

Write Down This Key Advice for All Private Practice Owners—Instead of Ignoring the Business Areas Where You’re Weakest, Outsource Those Tasks So They Become Strengths. Here’s How to Do It Effectively.

Our culture tends to foster a go-it-alone mentality. You know, just pull yourself up by your bootstraps and be willing to learn anything and go the extra mile—that’s how you gain success in any business. Private practice owners tend to take this to heart!

But the truth is that by trying to handle it all yourself, you’re spreading your resources too thin. In the end, successful private practice owners make their practices succeed by building an incredible team. And that’s more than just the staff in your office that you see every day. Your team can include freelance professionals who handle mundane or specialized tasks for your practice so that you can focus on your strengths.

By outsourcing your greatest weakness, you’re raising the bar. Instead of expecting that those tasks will be handled “well enough” (i.e., in an average way) through your own efforts, you can build a relationship with trusted professionals who will far outperform you—and thus, let you focus on YOUR work with patients, where you really shine.

The outsourcing process, in a nutshell, is actually very simple.

First, identify which tasks are currently a liability to your practice because you can’t or won’t do them effectively. For many private practice owners, these could include payroll, marketing, or website management.

Next, research two to three options for getting these tasks done by someone outside your office. This is probably the easiest step. Even if there aren’t great resources in your local area, consider that many tasks can be done remotely, thanks to the Internet. Private practice owners can form a relationship with remote freelancers by talking with them through Skype or teleconference software.

Meanwhile, you’ll notice during this research phase that you will begin to have all sorts of mental objections to outsourcing. Make a note of these thoughts. Some of them may have validity (see the next paragraph) while others are based on emotion, not a logical justification. Talk with someone you trust who can help you think it through.

Next, before you make a hiring decision, do what you can to minimize risk—and there’s a lot you can do. Ask other private practice owners and related professionals for recommendations, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.

When you find a freelancer you like, ask for the contact information of satisfied clients (and call at least one to confirm the testimonial!) and ask to view samples of the freelancer’s previous work. When you’re ready to hire, be sure you start with a written contract for one small, quick job. That will allow you to evaluate the freelancer’s work for yourself before making a substantial financial commitment.

It’s possible to be weak in a significant area of business and still succeed, as long as you’re able to put together a strong team.

I invite you to visit here frequently for more tips about creating a sustainable private practice!

I wish you the best along your journeys!

Want to learn more about how to build your private practice?

Then Join my team experts for a free strategy session HERE

Have a great day!

the PPW team