Yes, your practice is a business. And your patients are like customers. Some colleagues don’t like to use terms like ‘customers’ when they are talking about patients, but that is exactly how you need to treat them if you want to have a growing, thriving business.
This is particularly true if you are just starting in your own solo practice or have joined a group and need to build your own practice within it.
I have always said that one of the best ways to learn about running a business is to take the best ideas from other industries outside of your own, in this case medicine. Read business magazines, management books, consulting blogs; study retail advertising, newspaper layouts, tabloid headlines; talk to business owners who have been successful.
One resource I have used over the past several years is Dan Kennedy’s GKIC world of marketing and business books, newsletters, and conferences. Every imaginable type of business is represented there. He says he has a plaque on his office wall that mocks everyone that doesn’t think his principles apply to them: “But My Business Is Different!”
If you want to get a taste of what his followers get from his words of wisdom, CLICK HERE for a video where he explains why it is important to be spending a significant portion of your time developing new customers or leads (this means patients to you).
Obviously if you are in a group practice, you would have an administrator or even a marketing director dedicated to this activity. But if you are new to the practice of medicine, then the onus is on you. Yes, some of this content is a little over-the-top and is aimed primarily at people in a variety of businesses outside of medicine, but there are always some great pointers that you can adapt specifically to your situation.
CLICK HERE for the Dan Kennedy video on building a business even in a tough economy.