Poking the Box: Taking Initiative in 2012

2012, The Year for Success
James Maskell

Happy new year to everyone in the naturopathic community from our team at Revive. We thank you for your support and look forward to helping to take the profession to new heights in 2012 and beyond. We appreciate your dedication to your art!

One of the most influential people in my life is Seth Godin, writer and entrepreneur. One of his more recent books, Poke the Box is a favorite, as it encourages us all to take initiative to find ways to run our businesses more effectively. As Seth asserts, the interesting thing about initiative is that it cannot be given, only taken. For our industry to be taken seriously, more poking of the proverbial box is necessary. Let’s get to it!

This time last year, I wrote a post called 5 Tips to Start Implementing your Business Plan, which includes some great starting points for building your business if you’re ready to embark on a new plan. However, make sure that you are trying something new, and it is not just doing that same thing over again, because one thing is for sure: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is madness.

My encouragement for 2012 would be to “Poke the Box,” and create more value for your practice by looking at new ways to run your business.

I believe the following three major categories could give you the most return on your investment in your search for a better practice, whether “better” refers to improved clinical results and patient experience or underlying financials (# of new patients, income, time off, etc).

Digital Marketing

Whatever your practice vision, creating a digital dialogue with your community, either to find new patients or add value to the experience of current patients, is key. This year, I met a number of physicians who had had their lives transformed by participating in social media of all varieties. Some ideas:

 

Improve Communication

Communication is at the center of an excellent patient experience. Improvement in any part of the way you communicate with your team and your patients could have a dramatic impact on the success of your practice and the bottom line.

  • Initial Phone Call
  • Is your front desk person capturing all the important data from every new call to the office? Why not?
  • First patient experience
  • How are they being educated? Could this time be leveraged by technology?
  • Check out
  • How are patients being guided to make the best decisions about their health? Is this optimal?
  • Follow up
  • How is your patient compliance? Do you have data? Are you improving? Who could help you increase compliance?
  • Ongoing
  • How is your internal marketing? What can you offer patients who are on a maintenance plan?

 

Leverage Your Practice

Some of the most interesting “box-poking” of 2012 was in this area. Lots of practitioners are looking to stop swapping time for money. There are many ways to do this, and the only way we find these best practices is to get out there and try it!

Here are some ideas for leveraging your practice.

  • Group Detox Program
  • Great for new and current patients
  • Provide support online and in practice
  • Identify and use your biggest fans to help you spread the word
  • Saves them money, and save your time!
  • Group Visits: Some innovative practitioners are treating patients with similar illnesses in a group setting. Make sure to get the legal side taken care of (disclaimer, HIPAA, etc.), but patients seem to benefit from this “little community” you develop for them!
  • In Practice Retail: Attractive retail displays can help to take the products you recommend beyond your patient base. Many practitioners tell us that patients buy for their friends and family when a practice has an attractive retail environment.

 

Hopefully this provides some inspiration for your 2012. We would love to help you reach your practice goals, whatever they might be. We have a free call for NDs on January 3 and 4, which will cover some of the above topics and will be available recorded from then on at http://www.reviveyourpractice.com

James Maskell is CEO of Revive NYC, a Brooklyn-based digital media, practice development, and branding company that helps doctors and holistic practitioners bring their message to life. To connect with Revive, please visit our website at www.revivenyc.com.

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