What’s Your Game Plan?

Important Business Drivers –

As a practitioner in private practice you understand the importance of business growth, stability, and the impact these can have on the long term valuation of your practice. According to Dr. Tony Stefanou, your practice will be valued based on the increase in gross over the previous 12 months and the number of patients seen in the past 24. Buyers want to know you have a stable hygiene income and a strong brand reputation.

Are you in good shape? What’s your market position? Do you have a strong referring client base and a steady flow of new patients? Do you need to reposition your practice and strengthen brand recognition? Direct mail provides the strongest return on investment when we’re considering any of these goals. At Patient News we’re strong supporters of a multi-channel marketing mix, but the fact is direct mail drives business. It improves awareness and builds brands. It directs patients to your phone, your website, and your door.

According to an Exact Target 2012 Channel Preference Study, three times as many online Americans have purchased as a result of direct mail and email marketing than Facebook and four times more than with mobile messaging. This was supported recently in an interview I had with a leading SEO company. Even for these online experts, it was their offline advertising activities that truly spurred their business growth.

If you stop and think about sports teams and the leading coaches of all time, you recognize that they had to have a laser focus on what moves their players needed to make in order to score against the opposition. They identify the best tactics: they practice, play, analyze, and try again. They ensure that every player on the team understands the end goal and plays to win with the same laser focus.

Just like a sports team, when it comes to our business activities we need to keep a laser focus on the end goal. That can be a really tough job. We deal with distractions, issues, and challenges, and there may be team members who don’t understand the priorities or have a misunderstanding of them. It’s not that there are truly miss intentions, it just takes good communication to ensure everyone is on the same page with our goals.

Here’s one you might be able to relate to. President Karen Galley and I met with a successful high-end cosmetic dentist recently. We went through a detailed consultation and this owner dentist decided that they needed to educate existing patients and generate more new patients. He assigned his Practice Manager (who was not at the meeting) to work with our Account Executive. Subsequently the practice manager advised our rep that they would not be proceeding. A quick communication back with the practice owner identified that this was not the case. Unfortunately the Practice Manager thought that they were “busy enough” and didn’t realize the importance of cash flow, patient visits, and practice overhead. It’s vitally important to connect with your team and ensure that all of your players understand the importance of your initiatives. They can help you determine what might be unnecessary busy work that’s getting in the way of achieving your topline goals. If everyone is a contributing part of the team, they won’t inadvertently derail your success and you’ll create a more positive working environment.

Effective strategic planning and review will help you ensure that everyone has that laser focus on the tasks that will help you score … like your direct mail campaign!

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