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Growing Your Medical Practice: Preparing for Change

Growing Your Medical Practice: Preparing for Change

The past few weeks I have been helping my wife get her garden set up for spring. Here in Charleston, S.C., we had a mild winter and as I write this, the temperature is in the low 80s — coupled with March rain, our organic garden is set to be the best one yet!

In the next three posts, I am going to use the garden analogy to provide you with some steps for growing your practice. We spend a lot of time talking about how to manage our practices and how to keep revenues up and expenses down. I thought spring is the perfect time to discuss the best way to grow your practice to attract new patients. Because, at the end of the day, attracting new patients is vital to your practice success.

Step 1: Prepare the soil. In order to grow any type of fruit, vegetables, or flowers you cannot just pour some seeds and expect growth. This will lead to an anemic garden, at best, and one likely filled with a lot of weeds at best.

The analogy to your medical practice is that if you just throw your money towards some advertising campaign (radio, TV, online, print, etc.) you will likely end up not getting the best response or getting a response from the wrong types of responders. So ultimately preparing your soil (preparing your practice) for the season is of critical importance.

In order to prepare the soil of your practice to be ready for growth, there are some important questions to ask:

1. How many patients do you seek to gain per week? Per month?
2. How will you make your new patients feel special entering into your practice?
3. Are you sure adding new patients will keep your scheduling well and good?
4. Are you adding the new patients to increase revenue? Or why do you want to add the new patients?
5. How will get your new patients to spread the word about your practice?

These types of questions will allow you to plan ahead and get everything set up so that when your new push to attract new patients succeeds, then you will not only have somewhere in your schedule to put them, but you will also be ready to provide an amazing experience for them.

Not only do you need to ask these questions, I think now is the time to get the rest of your staff on board with your desire to attract new patients. Many times the physicians in a practice don’t feel they need to communicate all of their goals with all of the staff. In this case, I think you will be doing a great disservice to your practice if you do not get everyone on board.

Let’s shoot for May 1st as the day you launch your new patient attraction campaign. This will give you plenty of time to get everything set up (my next few posts will walk you through this) and get all of your staff and schedule ready.

Not only is having a new patient campaign good for your practice (to generate more revenue) but it also allows you to take a step back and view your practice from the outside looking in. And most of the time practices do this, they find many areas that they wish to improve upon.

Come back next week to hear the best way to sprinkle the seeds in your efforts to grow your practice.

Find out more about Craig Koniver and our other Practice Notes bloggers.

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