Fixing the Money Leaks in Your Practice
Many years ago I did some marketing consulting with an extremely successful, family-run financial services firm. The father, an immigrant from Sicily, arrived in America speaking barely a word of English. Over the next fifteen years, he steadily built one of the most well-known financial services firms in Southern California — carving out a niche for his company as trusted advisors to the wealthy (you had to have a minimum of $2 million in investable assets just to get an appointment). As his three sons graduated from college, he brought each of them into the business, and by the time I had started working with them, the company was managing well over a billion dollars in investable assets.
The father had hired us because, like any good businessman, he continued to want to grow his business and they had reached a ceiling — business growth had been stagnant for the previous three years. Competition had grown even more fierce and, while his clients were very happy with his services, they were not great referrers. It was time to reposition his firm, expand his marketing presence and implement a marketing system that could systematically attract, convert and retain a steady flow of qualified new prospects each month.
Just like a physician, the first step in any marketing consult is to diagnose the “marketing health” of the client. This means many things, but one of the most important diagnostic tools is understanding the flow of money — how it’s earned, how many revenue streams are in place, and where the leaks are.
It turned out that my client’s business had money leaks all over the place (which is extremely common). In fact, as a rule of thumb there are typically at least $3 in revenue lying on the floor for every $1 earned by a business.
Let’s change all that for your practice, by showing you where 5 of the most common money leaks are — so you can fix these!
1. The first and foremost leak is: not scientifically tracking the results of all your marketing. Remember, asking your patients how they heard about you is not scientific tracking! I know I harp on about this a lot, but I can’t stress its importance to building your practice. Right now you are wasting a great deal of your money on ineffective marketing. Imagine being able to know exactly what this was and eliminating it, and similarly, which of your marketing is working like gangbusters, and investing more in that instead!
2. Not hiring the best staff you can afford. Your staff are the best leverage of your time. In the words of the late great David Ogilvy (founder of and Ogilvy and Mather), “If we all hire people who are smaller than ourselves, then we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if we continue to hire people who are bigger than ourselves, then we shall become a company of giants.”
3. Trying to do it all yourself. Your unique ability and the highest and best use of your time is doing what you were medically trained to do — performing procedures — and meeting with patients. Any practice running activities that take you outside of this skill set is NOT the highest and best use of your time. Delegate and outsource the rest.
4. Not having a marketing plan that details exactly what marketing activities will be performed each month. Running an aesthetic medical practice without a marketing plan is like sailing a ship without a map. Hope is not a marketing strategy.
5. Not properly packaging up your procedures, products and services to make it easy for your patients to say yes to them. It’s so common for a patient to come in and ask for a breast augmentation and for the doctor — only too happy to oblige — to perform the procedure on her and that’s the end of that. What a lot of money that doctor just left on the table, because that patient also has many other aesthetic needs! But the doctor (or his or her staff) forgets to offer them other services, and the patient goes elsewhere. Once you have earned the trust of a patient, you ideally want to become their “one-stop” beauty destination. They should have no need to go anywhere else.
So there you have it — 5 of the most common money leaks in your practice, and how to fix them!