What’s your strategy for growing your practice during this current recession? Are you trying to keep doing things as usual, “wait it out” and hope to make it through…or do you have a specific action plan you’re working on this week, this month, and this year?
I hope it’s the latter, because the “wait it out” plan is only a plan for failure.You’d better not be asking yourself “How can I survive the recession?”
To sit around hoping next month will be better, yet not taking action steps to make it so is how businesses end up in debt up to their ears and going bankrupt.
Sure, the government is spending billions to try and stimulate the economy…but you have better odds of winning the lottery than getting any “stimulus money” in your pocket. No one is going to save your practice from being affected by the recession except you.
You should be asking yourself “how can I thrive during the recession?” While all my competition is cutting back on their advertising and marketing efforts, what can I do to make mine better?
There were many companies (billion dollar companies today) that got their start during the recessions and depressions. A great article by marketing author Dave Chase states the following in his research…
Because so many companies cut spending during the Great Depression era, advertising budgets were largely eliminated in many industries. Not only did spending decline, but some companies actually dropped out of public sight because of short-sighted decisions made about spending money to keep a high profile. Advertising cutbacks caused many customers to feel abandoned. They associated the brands that cut back on advertising with a lack of staying power. This not only drove customers to more aggressive competitors, but it also caused financial mistrust when it came to making additional investments in the no-longer-visible companies.
Both anecdotal and empirical evidence support the case that advertising was the main factor in the growth or downfall of companies during the Great Depression. To put it bluntly, the companies that demonstrated the most growth and that rang up the most sales were those that advertised heavily.
Are you beginning to see what the key is for your practice to thrive during the recession?
It’s using laser targeted, measurable marketing to bring in more new patients. People are still suffering out there, and they still need our services. In fact, many experts are finding the typical chronic conditions we help with are on the rise. Is it the stress? The loss of retirement assets? Who knows, but the point is patients need us now more than ever.
It’s important to realize that I’m not talking about “pretty” marketing that impresses other doctors but doesn’t do crap to bring in new patients. I’m strongly urging you to use direct response marketing where you can measure a return on investment. Later in the above mentioned article, the Mr. Chase mentions the following…
In general, it appears that direct marketing and interactive marketing will benefit the most — or, at least, will suffer the least — in today’s tough economic climate. Investment bank Cowen and Co. looked at the last six recessions and found that spending on direct marketing actually grew during all six recessions. Understandably, when the budget axe falls, those channels with the least ability to measure ROI will lose revenue to measurable marketing channels.
If you find yourself saying your marketing doesn’t work, I’ll bet 1 of 2 things is occurring. Either you’re not measuring your ROI (return on investment) and you really don’t know which marketing pieces are working and which aren’t, or you have sucky marketing materials.
Direct marketing can come in many forms. Email, telemarketing, chiropractic newspaper ads, internet marketing, yellow page ads, etc. The key is making a call to action in the ads and measuring that response.
Take 30 minutes today and write down your plan for thriving during the recession. What focused, measurable marketing are you going to do next month and the rest of this year? When you’re done with your list, tape it to your desk or wall where you’ll see it everyday and be reminded of what you need to do.