Clients tell us that they want to be in a position where they had the power to choose whether to sell the practice, keep it as a source of income that operated remotely, or treat patients part time and play the rest. They want to be able to choose what kind of care to give their patients. In every important life and financial matter, it is choice that makes all the difference.
When one feels forced into responsibility, enthusiasm and life bleeds out. When forced to deliver sub-standard care because of insurance constraints, or to sell a practice because the problems are just too great; it’s a living hell.
With 4,000 clients we have learned that there are three areas of business that practice owners want power of choice to optimize. These same factors enhance goodwill value and boost the profits of the clinic: PR and Marketing with stress on patient referrals, Organization, and Cash Flow. Control of these three areas gives you your most important asset – Power of Choice.
It might even help you to remember these three – patient referrals, organization, and cash flow as “POC Factors,” which, oddly enough, also are the letters in Power Of Choice. POC as an acroynm, you see, not only stands for the above three general categories of practice development, but also for Power Of Choice.
We’ve described what these points are, but let’s look at financial independence as a goal for a minute, and how each of these three POC factors will impact practice value and your financial freedom.
(In this article we’ll cover the “P” in Power of Choice. Points “O” and “C” will be covered in the following weeks.)
P – PR and Marketing: Patient Referrals
Establishing and cultivating referral sources is an essential element of any referral-based practice. A good relationship with an orthopedic surgeon can mean $100,000 per year or more in the value of new patients. To cultivate and maintain referral sources, you must master creating and developing professional relationships.
Can you imagine a potential buyer of your clinic learning that your referring doctors have strong relationships with the staff of the clinic as well as you personally, so that even if you were departing, the referrals would continue?
Or a prospective buyer, when being presented with a file cabinet that contains profiles and referral histories of each doctor, their preferred treatment protocols, and a full referral development record of every key referral source?
What would the buyer’s perception be if members of staff were conducting on-going public workshops, writing regular columns in the local papers, and effectively educating doctors and medical students as to how to refer appropriately?
What if a very significant part of your practice income was cash from niche programs that made your clinic stand out as different from others and unique in the community?
Do you suppose he might be willing to pay substantially more than if he suspected the referrals hinged on your personality and would stop when you left or if the practice was unknown to the community and it had no real identity (brand) that made it stand out as unique and preferable?
In Section Two you learn the keys to PR and Marketing which provide the vehicle to build stable referral sources, endless referrals, and make your clinic stand out.
What objectives do you want to establish for your PR and Marketing? Make specific objectives. Establish how many patient referrals per week you would like to be receiving one year from today; and three years from today.
Excerpted from “The Keys to Private Practice Success”.