Practice performance data is vital to understanding the current financial health of your practice. Understanding the current performance of your practice, set against your overall practice goals, can help determine what your practice’s ongoing strategy to increase revenue should be. If your revenues are declining and you are not hitting your practice goals, you need to get more strategic to help get your business back on the right track.
Have you thought about increasing the marketing that you do for your practice to help drive more revenue? If not, why?
Marketing is critical to all businesses – large and small. Your marketing helps inform your patients and prospective patients about your practice and what services you offer. If they aren’t clear on what is offered, they will select an eye care provider whose services fulfills their need.
In reviewing your monthly data through EDGEPro, you can determine how your practice is performing in many key areas, including optical revenue, average revenue per exam, and total practice revenue. EDGEPro also allows you to compare current performance against similar time periods such as last month, last quarter, and last year. Suppose you are seeing declines or feel that you are not generating enough revenue? It’s time to put pencil to paper and create a marketing strategy that will allow you to reach your goals. Here are a few tactics that can help make a difference for your practice – both on and offline.
- Your practice website: Having a properly-designed website set up correctly with good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will allow search engines like Google to rank your practice website higher than your competitors in the search results. If you offer a specialty service such as Dry Eye, your website should contain the correct keywords that will help Google determine that your practice provides this service and will be valuable to searchers based on their need for Dry Eye care.
- Google My Business(GMB) profile: Your GMB profile is an extremely valuable piece of real estate online, and the great news is this profile is FREE! Think of your GMB profile as your “website outside of your website” where your local community can gain information on your practice. Most GMB profiles contain the needed practice information such as an address, phone, and reviews, but many small businesses do not take full advantage of this placement opportunities. Your GMB profile allows you to promote your practice in other ways. If your optical revenue is not where you want it to be, consider running a special offer (ex., buy eyeglasses and get prescription sunglasses for half off) and promoting this right in your GMB profile. Remember, this profile is your “website outside of your website,” so the more information you can provide upfront to searchers, the more informed they are about your practice and services.
- Social Media platforms: People spend a lot of time on social media – I don’t think that is up to debate. People enjoy looking at photos of friends, babies, and puppies on social media, but social media is also used to research providers for services. Having a solid social media presence on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will engage your local community. Keep your profiles up to date with a strong cadence of posts per week that feature your practice – try to stand clear of generic postings, but instead feature your staff and your practice. This is your opportunity to inform the community that you are offering specific services or are running a special within the optical.
- Direct Mail: Contrary to popular belief, Direct Mail is not dead. It is still a worthwhile tactic to promote and market your business. There are many services out there that can help you build a mailing list based on specific demographics so you can target the right patients within your local community. Mail a postcard or letter letting the community know that you are running a special, offering a new eye care service, or have hired a new OD within the practice.
- Local community events: Events are a great way to promote your business to your community. Talk to attendees walking around and by your booth and let them know about your practice, your ODs, services, and specials. Allow attendees to make appointments right on the spot for your services. Also, consider offering a gift to attendees – perhaps something as simple as a refrigerator magnet with your practice name and contact information for easy access.
- Local community newspaper or magazines: in most cases, local community papers and magazines are sent to the entire town or community, so everyone has the opportunity to learn more about your practice and services. I just recently found a new dentist in my community through this tactic. I’m happy with my decision and would not have known about the dentist had I not seen it while leafing through my town magazine. Reach out to these publications and learn about the circulation size and placement opportunities such as ads or written content.
Marketing is all about learning, so you should understand that some of these tactics will perform better than others – all communities are different. Keep track with your patients how they learned of your practice and the services offered, and if one tactic is performing strong, then it’s time to double down and increase your marketing within that placement.