The Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Setting Up In Private Practice
- Wrong location
- Inappropriate DIY
- Undervalue Your Service
- Advertise Rather Than Market
- Bend and Flex To Everyone
Location, location, location: Wrong Location?
We’ve All heard it, but how does it influence the success of a podiatry practice. Choosing the right location can be the difference between a thriving or a failing practice. There is no set answer as to the best location for a practice, but it really should meet the needs of your target audience for your services.
A practice which offers specialist services or routine services delivered exceptionally can very much be a destination in itself and will pull people from a wide area. If service or products are the average then convenience of location becomes much more important.
- Transport links
- Reception area
- Room to grow
Inappropriate DIY conjures up images of wonky shelves and ill-fitting doors, but the same concept can apply to websites, leaflets, logos and business systems. There are some tasks that are best done by professionals as they will create part of your brand and reputation, and as we all know, we only get 1 chance to make a first impression. If you really are an amazing website designer then you will already understand the value of getting a pro to do this job for you. Yes, you can get a basic website working for no cost, but investing in a well-engineered site will both promote you and capture work for you returning more than your investment.
- How will people get to your website?
- Does it appeal to the people who have problems you can solve?
- Does the website make people do something, either book or leave their details?
- Is the website mobile responsive?
Undervalue your service
Putting a value on your service is almost impossible for you to do objectively. You are so caught up in wanting to grow your business, not appear greedy, deliver good value, thinking about your time and your overheads that you will have some natural bias. It takes an effort to look at the prices you charge from your customer’s perspective, as they may well have different money value to you. The biggest disservice you can do for your patients is to go out of business, ensure your pricing is a fair reflection of the value you bring.
Thinking about the value that you can bring by solving people’s problems and being convenient for them is the key to a pricing structure that allows your business to thrive. Selling based on time or unit cost does not always reflect the value that you bring to your customer. Much like a digital download having no real unit cost to itunes, the product has a value to the consumer who is willing to pay for it.
Advertising is expensive, it is perhaps the fastest way to cripple your cashflow by having an over ambitious advertising campaign to generate work. Advertising is a small section of marketing, and you should look to develop an overall marketing strategy that uses some very targeted advertising that you have proven delivers results. Most successful podiatry practices will tell you that word of mouth brings them most business, but his word of mouth is generated by people having positive experiences with the touch points of your business. Make sure that every facet of your business is professional, quality and reflects what you want people to think of your business, this coupled with a reliable service will generate loyal customers who will tell other people about you.
Advertise rather than Market
Advertising can work, but you probably won’t have a large corporate budget. Put your efforts into reaching a small audience that you know have an interest in your services and prepare to repeatedly market to them for a period of time to get the best results. Most people don’t respond to the first advert they see for a service, they have to see it a number of times for it to have an effect. Make sure your message is consistent, concise and be persistent. Digital media is currently a great place to advertise as the price hasn’t yet reached its market value, which means you can get more bang for your buck.
Bend and Flex to Everyone
Don’t bend and flex to everyone. We all hear the phrase the customer is always right, and our tendency is towards serving at the highest level. Of course, we are in a service industry, and we should deliver the highest levels we can. Offering everything everyone wants is a sure way to slow down the progress of your business and leave yourself being overworked. Take time to think about what your business can do well, without personal cost that you aren’t willing to make for the long term. If you bend and flex all the time you will very quickly find yourself working every weekend, every evening and having a very complicated fee structure that does not best serve your business. It’s important to remember that service is paramount, but it needs to be delivered in a way that is sustainable for your business and for you.