By Stewart Gandolf
Chief Executive Officer
7 Resolutions To Get Your Healthcare Business Moving
Courage is a personal thing…and we salute the doctor who called us last year with his highly personal introspection. Then, as now, it was the season to reflect on the year past, and for individual and professional evaluation. This brief story—and we thank you for permission to share it—is worth retelling.
“It was a definite eye-opener,” he said. “I just realized that I’ve not been in practice twelve years…I’ve been in practice one year, 12 times.
“But my practice is financially flat again this year. I’m working more hours just to stay even. Costs are up, reimbursements are down. I’m determined to do something to make the New Year better for my practice.”
We salute this courageous practitioner for the self-diagnosis—but he also wins a million points for the courage to take action and do something productive. (Actually, his real reward was the payback of a financially growing practice.)
Contrast that with comments in recent months from some other healthcare organizations:
“My budget for doing anything is strapped. I just want to pull everything designated for marketing and try to survive all the economic pressures. Maybe it’s time to sit on the sidelines for a while.”
With a dash of seasonal philosophy, doing nothing always produces nothing. It would be really easy to stay put and hide. But, quite seriously, it takes courage to do something that will make a different and better next year.
So if you’ve resolved to muster the courage to begin in earnest, or to stand up to the challenge of marketing in soft economic times, here are seven easy things to help you begin. Simple stuff. Easy to do. And all tangible action items that you can do today. Right now.
Marketing Resolutions to Break Inertia and Get Moving Today
1. Start an account just for marketing. Use this account to diligently manage your marketing investment. It’s going to take more than the minimum deposit to get things done right, but simply getting started is part of the dividend.
2. Take 4 minutes to seriously assess your practice. There’s an online marketing assessment – click here. This will probably take less than 4 minutes and you’ll consider 50 things about the business end of your practice that you have probably not thought about lately (or thought about enough).
3. Start a plan. A really good plan will have goals, strategies and tactics—complete with item, action, budget and schedule. The blank page will forever remain blank until you begin. Start today with a list of your goals. (Goals alone are not a plan. But without a destination you have no need for a map.)
4. Track the source of new patients from the first phone call. Without tracking, you can’t calculate your Return-on-Investment (ROI). (No new patients calling? Revisit your previous resolutions above.)
5. Learn something new each month about marketing. This e-newsletter delivers something new every week. Pick one idea that’s suitable to your practice, learn it and use it. Ask your staff to remind you and to help put the idea to work.
6. Repeat after me: “Marketing is an investment.” Now say it again. If you’re spending money on marketing and it isn’t producing an ROI, stop now. Marketing is an investment that generates revenue—like a blue chip bond—and the investment is your practice.
7. Call someone. This is sort of a “marketing buddy system;” you’ll get further with sound advice and accountability. Call a coach, start a mastermind group. Call us or call someone else if you prefer-but don’t go it alone. This number is toll-free: 800-656-0907.
In marketing, doing nothing at all is the second biggest mistake you can make. (The biggest mistake is doing too little, but that’s the subject of another article.) So if you’re comfortable with your old comfort zone, these resolutions are not for you. And if your plan is to simply duck-and-cover…well, good luck.
But if you’d like the New Year to be a better year, please begin today with any item. You only need a serious willingness to succeed…and the courage to start.
Have a prosperous New Year.