Today's guest post is from Dr. Gyl Kasewurm. Dr. Kasewurm started her hearing care practice 30 years ago in St. Joseph, MI immediately following graduation from Western Michigan University. Despite being located in a rural community of only 10,000 people, her single office generates 10 times the gross revenue of the average practice in this country. Dr. Kasewurm is a well known author and sought after speaker and prides herself on her advice on taking a practice from Fine to Fabulous! You can follow her on Twitter @gylkasewurm
I recently asked a colleague how her business was performing and she replied with a mundane, “OK.” I have to wonder if the response is symptomatic of the typical practice today – mediocre and not living up to its potential.
So what does it take to increase profitability of a practice? Fortunately, it only takes a few changes to make the difference. Wouldn’t you like to pocket thousands of extra dollars for doing the same amount of work but doing it only slightly better?
Here are some suggestions that should work in any type of practice.
1. Measure it
Peter Drucker, the highly influential business management pioneer, once said, “When you measure something you begin the process of improving it.” Most business owners think they are doing better than they actually are but you can’t simply depend on instinct to determine how your business is actually performing. I am always shocked when I get on the scale. Eek! I couldn’t possibly weigh that much! Numbers don’t lie! It you want to keep your thumb on the pulse of your business, track everything. Start by looking at three key revenue drivers monthly:
- number of patients you see
- number of units that you sell
- average selling price per unit
2. Plan it
Success doesn’t just happen. You have to MAKE it happen and that takes a plan. As the adage goes "fail to plan and plan to fail." Despite having a marketing plan to drive patients through our door, business started out extremely slow in February this year. It was easy to attribute the slowdown to the cold, snowy weather but we didn’t let the blowing snow and below zero temperatures dampen our spirits. It was a perfect time to call patients that we had lost touch with. So, we printed a list of patients who hadn’t been in our office in the past year and got busy calling. It was amazing how fast our schedules filled up. While every appointment wasn’t an opportunity for a sale, it was a chance to reconnect with patients. We put the plan in place so that our time was well spent and not idle.
As a result of being proactive and working the plan, revenue in January and February was our best ever! This is amazing considering that we had record cold and snowfall during those same months.
Want to increase business? Go back and look over gross revenue in your business for the past year and determine what marketing efforts have attracted new patients into the practice or what efforts have gotten previous patients to return to the practice and then do it all again. A commitment to adhere to the plan is paramount, as long as the plan continues to make sense for your business and staff. Having the right staff, the right environment, and a workplace that is conducive to developing and maintaining relationships with your patients is part of a plan for success.
3. Push it
Yes, you can survive by doing what you always do, but if you want to thrive, you have to push it! While there are only four primary strategies for growing a business, there are literally dozens of different techniques you can use to implement these four strategies.
• Create a customer mailing list of patients who have aids over 3 years old and send them "customers-only" offers on a weekly or monthly basis.
• Send out promotional emails to your list of prospects who you have tested and didn’t decide to take action on a more frequent basis.
• Run time-limited or quantity-limited promotions to the public and use scarcity to get people to act now instead of later.
Vickie Milazzo points out in her bestselling book Wicked Success is Inside Every Woman that most people major in minor accomplishments. Don’t settle for fine! Go for fabulous! If you believe it you can achieve it!