This, the third installment of this budgeting series, looks at some typical mindsets and marketing issues that come up in the successful practice.
In the previous post we looked at how to set up a marketing budget for the struggling practice.
As much as I understood the problems of the struggling practice, I was also blessed to know something about running a successful practice.
Here’s where things can get strange. Just when you think you’ve made it over those hurdles of being a “new practice”, pulled yourself out of the struggling phase and you feel like you’ve got your feet on solid ground, you still have to work within a budget and have a chiropractic marketing strategy.
While the budget might not be the biggest marketing problem for this type of practice, keeping a consistent flow of new patients coming into the practice is an issue.
It’s not hard to get new patients, but for some reason they don’t stay consistent and the practice doesn’t grow.
The “Doing OK” and The Successful Practice
($1500-$5000+/month marketing budget)
When it comes to advertising, if you’re this type of practice, you must stay consistent with running successful ads.
Smart marketing decisions have to be made.
At this point, one successful ad in one newspaper won’t be enough. You need 20 successful ads running in 10 newspapers or other print media if you can swing it.
You might be tempted to cut some expenses to keep the income up, this may come in the form of “cutting back a bit” on advertising or moving the ads to another section of the paper.
Don’t try to cut corners by moving a winning ad into a bad section of the newspaper to save a few hundred dollars. It’s not worth it if you lose thousands of dollars from the lower response of new patients.
Another common mistake is complacency.
The chiropractor with a successful practice might think things are going pretty good and I am getting a lot of referrals.
“I think I’ll just cut back on marketing a bit until…the end of the year, the next holiday, vacation, etc.”
This is a good way to stall your practice out, or ever move it into the “struggling practice” I talked about in the last blog post.
You can’t ever take a month off from your marketing.
Why would you want to?
Do you want to take a month off from getting new patients?
Here’s another misnomer…
“My referrals will keep up the new patient volume.”
“Referral practice” consultants will have you believe that a large majority of your referrals come from new patients. When in reality, it’s new patients who get well in their first few months of care that are most likely to refer your services to friends and family.
Therefore, more new patients equal more referrals.
In the Ultimate Chiropractic Ads package, I’ve laid out an example marketing plan. The goal for this is to show you how you can begin running large ads and continue doing so in a variety of media. From newspapers and magazines, direct mail, emails and even blog articles if you have an online presence.
Importantly, remember to keep measuring your ROI. This helps you see which ads bring in more new patients. This also helps you to know which ads can be used in other media.
In 7-12 months you should be getting a consistent flow of new patients.
Resist the temptation to cut back and you will reach your practice goals in no time.