You went to school. You applied yourself. You gained extensive skills in adult or pediatric PT/OT/ST. You know how to get a great result. That’s enough to flourish in practice, right?
Sorry to burst your bubble—it never has been and never will be. Now that you have your own practice, the only way to flourish and become truly profitable is to competently manage the administration, promotional and marketing sides of your own practice. We know, you weren’t taught this in school. That’s okay, we’re going to help you work out how to get started.
Where to Start
The quality of your care is paramount! You always need to produce an excellent result or the new patients you do get in won’t come back. But to have anyone to practice on, you’ve got to have effective marketing in place. Week after week, year after year, you need to have marketing programs working for you.
Here are three marketing avenues to build into your practice as soon as possible:
- An ongoing doctor referral program. You should be developing relationships that bring in referrals from general practitioners as well as specialists. There’s quite a bit to this subject (we know most practitioners aren’t crazy about visits to doctors) and we have other articles addressing this subject. For now, here’s the key to success in this area: Rather than launching into everything your practice does, discover what the doctors need. What problems are their patients having that you can solve? What about these problems frustrates them? How can you lighten their load? Then build relationships with the doctors based on helping them provide the care they want for their patients. Both the practitioners and their patients will be grateful.
- Direct access referral program. The most successful way our clients create direct access referrals is by offering complimentary consultations. Realize that thousands of people within reach of your practice have never had PT/OT/ST. They may have no idea of the benefits of these therapies. Adults are looking for ways to relieve pain and maintain or restore function and mobility. Parents are looking for solutions for children who are not reaching milestones or struggling with medical or developmental impediments. Offer a complimentary consultation so you can educate them on the benefits you can offer.As a side note, be sure you offer courtesy services that you would never charge anyone for. This prevents any conflicts with Medicare guidelines and possibly even local or state laws. Additionally, you don’t need to offer a hands-on evaluation. Simply having them describe the barriers, pain or poor function they are experiencing and getting their history gives you enough. Provide them with enough education in return that they truly get the idea that their problem can be overcome.
- A monthly promotional calendar. This is really an exercise in self-discipline. If, at the beginning of the month, you lay out a calendar for the whole month that includes the promotional actions you will take and when they will happen, it helps keep your marketing actions rolling. You might include:
- Monthly or bi-monthly emails
- In-house events hosted in your practice
- In-house seminars
- Community health fairs
Note: If you are setting up in-house events, be sure to comply with any CDC guidelines currently in effect.
When these actions are both effective and consistent, you are in a good position to have a steady supply of new patients to make your practice viable. If you’re struggling with these steps, contact us at 833-221-8002. We can help you with the training and guidance to successfully launch these new patient programs.