Top Two Growth Strategies for 2018
By Peter Osborne, DC
Are you interested in growing your functional medicine practice this year? If so, there are two key strategies you can focus on to help increase your chances of success. These strategies will help you prioritize, plan, and establish achievable growth goals for 2018—and beyond.
Establish your practice’s identity
Many functional medicine (FM) practices are poised to have limited success for one simple reason: a lack of identity.
When they’re starting out, most FM practitioners want to take on every issue. From a clinical standpoint, this is admirable. From a business and marketing standpoint, this approach often leads to limited success. Why? Let’s look at it from a potential patient’s perspective.
Patients want to see “the expert.” They actively seek out the doctor who is the best of the best at treating X disease. They are not looking for the doctor who knows a little about everything. You never hear of someone asking around for the doctor who is well-rounded, even though it’s true that the best clinicians are indeed well-rounded. But is also true that the most successful doctors and clinics are well known for being the best at helping people with ________ (fill in the blank, e.g. IBS, thyroid issues, arthritis, etc.).
The lesson here is simple. If you want to position yourself for long-term success, declare your specific expertise and laser-focus your marketing efforts around it. This will allow you to create a consistent and predictable marketing plan that helps bring highly qualified new patients into your office. It will also allow you to get more return on investment (ROI) from your advertising dollars.
Use your time efficiently
Time is the only nonrenewable resource you have. That makes this precious commodity invaluable, and you should guard your time like a mother bear guards her cubs.
One of the biggest mistakes I see doctors make is poor time management. Common examples of this can be seen in patient scheduling, patient email, lack of office systems, and absence of time-leveraging technologies.
Setting up your office hours in an efficient manner is crucial. Aside from clinic hours, it is important to establish regular windows of time to run the business of your practice. In my experience, a lot of doctors have mediocre success because they “wing it” in this area. Consistently setting time aside for the business of the practice is what sets you up for long-term success. This time should be focused on analyzing patient statistics, compliance, ROI on marketing expenses, and sales statistics, as well as the analysis of practice systems and efficiency.
It is also wise to set up automation processes wherever possible. Examples of necessary automation include the use of technology to capture new patient information, email templates for patient communications, electronic health records with built-in templates, and lab-management capabilities.
In addition, your time is well spent creating educational materials for patients, as well as informational blogs and videos for marketing. If you are new in practice, part of this time needs to be dedicated to activities focused on new patient acquisition. Working with an online dispensary like Wellevate, managed by Emerson Ecologics, also frees up your valuable time, along with your financial resources.
Remember this—without a practice identity, it is hard to establish any long-term goals or plans. And with poor time management, you will ultimately find your practice struggling to grow.
Want more marketing and business growth strategies for your practice? Join me at The 6th Annual Functional Medicine Success Summit next month! FMSS is the only event in the world solely dedicated to helping you build your dream practice. Grab your seat before it sells out at: www.FunctionalMedicineSuccessSummit.com