Just last week, I was invited to do a talk on marketing at my societies national non-clinical podiatry conference. One of the questions I was asked by a clinic owner was;
"What do I do if I am a podiatrist working on my own without a large budget budget to spend on marketing."
This question was asked by a Podiatry Clinic owner who was concerned that the marketing funnel and planning I was talking about was complex and would be something she would be unable to implement without a large budget and time. I explained to her that you can never start too small as long as you start.
For that reason I've come up with is four simple steps that you can implement without spending any money on marketing and if you don't have a whole lot of time.
Step 1. Offer free taster consultations on the home page of your website.
Over 90% if not 95% of people that visit health clinic websites take little or no action. They're just not ready to make an appointments as they're skeptical and don't...
Last week, I received a reply to one of my emails from a podiatry owner who asked the question that many who are scaling up consider when first they consider taking on their first staff member...
“Lorcan, I have been following you for a while now and my business is improving. My days are pretty full on and I know I need help. I want to take on a receptionist and another podiatrist but I can’t afford to do both. What I really want to know is should I take on a receptionist or another podiatrist first?”
A lot of clinic owners assume that the first thing they should do is take on another podiatrist when they are ready to scale. Often these clinic owners mistakenly feel that a receptionist is not contributing financially to the clinic, and that instead of podiatrist who can charge for the patient's they will see will be bringing in far more money than any receptionist could.
I can see what they mean.
It is very easy to...
Are you feeling overwhelmed?
Do you feel there aren't enough hours in the day or days in the week to get all of the things done?
Are you working long hours at home after you have finished treating patients just to get the work done?
I used to be like this. I used to work six, sometimes seven days a week on the business, doing my notes, accounts, stock ordering etc.I even used to make orthotics at night after I'd done a full day's treating patients.
Most clinic owners feel like This it's totally normal to feel stressed, feel overwhelmed. Nobody said running a business was easy. And running a health care business where you are also responsible for people's health is especially hard.
However, it doesn't have to be like this. There are lots of things you can do to improve your situation to reduce your stress and to stopping you feeling overwhelmed with too much to do in too little time
There are two things that I...
How do most Podiatry Clinics do their marketing.
They think marketing is just advertising. So they put up a website with little no talk about what it should be and what it should be like. Most of them tend to look at other sites in the locality and copy them.
They might ask the graphic designer who in reality has no clue about the psychology of decision making online. Most graphic designers like to have a pretty website and suggest this to the clinic owner, who puts lots of nice pictures on their website thinking that this is what will attract the patient.
They might open a Facebook page and believe they're getting lots of likes will be the answer to all of their worries. They do the odd blog, which is written in very technical medical jargon language, because is what we learn when we come out of college.
They buy whatever advertising they are offered. And they might be doing a bit of SEO, whatever that means. Usually they're not too sure.
I was reading the paper this past weekend (online of course) and noticed that they have opened a new members only spa in Dublin city centre recently.
What caught my eye with this story is that this spa is an invite only spa and if you need to ask the price then you can't afford it. Now I'm not the type to go to a spa but I have to admire this pricing model.
I bring this up as I saw a long debate on a podiatry group on facebook last week on how to charge for services in a clinic. This is a topic that seems to crop up again and again and is the very first thing I address with my clients in my coaching programme.
The truth is we medics are uncomfortable asking for money and avoid the whole topic if we can at all. Most clinic owners have little or now system for devising a pricing structure that works for their clinic.
Usually they simply look around the area to see what other clinics are charging and pick the average as their price.
PRICE IS WHAT YOU PAY,...
Are you using email marketing as part of your marketing plan?
Do you even have a marketing plan?
If you are not using email marketing then you really need to start.
Email marketing is one of most simplistic & cost effective ways you have of boosting your clinics turnover.
Essentially it entails collecting your patients emails and with their permission of course(don't forget GDPR) sending them useful information and offers to encourage them to either make an initial appointment or return again for further care.
This is done as regularly as you wish and is done using email marketing software such as Mailchimp, Aweber, Drip, Infusionsoft, Kajabi etc.
With some of these software systems they can be linked to your patient filing system and reduce the work load even further. For example Mailchimp and Cliniko are very simple to link and Mailchimp starts at totally FREE.
There is 2 main types of email marketing you should consider doing.
The easiest Broadcast Email...
Running any business can be a tough gig. Running a Podiatry business up there as a tough nut to crack. Having to ensure that you are delivering best quality medical care while dealing with staff and patients and keeping the doors open can be an exhausting undertaking.
That's why your Mindset is so important. Mindset is the very first thing I work on with my coaching clients. If we don't get this right it is very hard to take on the work need to scale up their podiatry business and give them the financial freedom they are looking for.
When we come out of university we are ready for work in the health service or as an associate in a private clinic. We are not in any way trained for the rough and tumble of running our own podiatry business. In the majority of cases we get frustrated with our employer or the being made to answer to someone else and a desire to strike out on our own sets in. We fail to consider adequately the lack of security and stresses that comes along...
When I decided that I wanted to have a business not just a job I realised that I would not be able to do it all myself anymore.
Trying to do it all myself and running all of the time had led me to a place where I was burnt out and worse ready to give it all up.
What I needed was help, someone else to do the things that I had being doing up until now.
The problem was…how could I make sure that they would be done my way.
The answer was to systemise the day to day running of the clinic.
Implementing systems would be mean
To begin the task seemed huge, how would systemise everything I had been doing for over 10 years.
How do you eat an elephant…….one bite at a time.
I started with the most important things first, how to answer the phone, what...
I know there are some clinic owners reading this who will never agree with my suggestion that they should treat less patients. They love treating patients and could never see themselves stopping.
Thats fine, I respect their point of view, but if you truly want to turn your clinic into a true business that runs even if you are not there and deliver you more profit and the life you want then you must starting treating less patients.
In University we are taught that all we need to do is be an excellent clinician and all will be ok. Thats not true though is it? I once had a friend who opened a cafe in town and made the very best hand made cakes I have ever tasted. They were to die for. He got up every day a 5am to start making them. He closed down after 9 months. Why you might ask as he had the best product in town. The reason…..nobody knew about his product and he was so busy working in the business he forgot that there was no one working on the...