This is a pet peeves list. We keep seeing doctors making the same 7 mistakes over and over. Being aware of these 7 mistakes could have a profound impact on your practice and income. Which of these 7 mistakes are YOU guilty of making?
Mistake #1: Make marketing and promoting of your services a low priority
Peter Drucker, the Harvard management guru once said “Marketing and advertising is the only function in a business that makes money. Everything else is an expense.” Doctors make the mistake of “finding time” for marketing, when instead the proper order is – Do the marketing first, and see patients if you have time. I’m deadly serious. (You can always hire others to see your flood of patients; but you’re dead in the water without business flowing through your doors. That’s why the study and mastery of effective practice marketing is the single most important skill to master in your life.)
Mistake #2: Not using a Referral System
Imagine the impact of turning every patient into 2-3 referrals. You wouldn’t need paid advertising any longer if you could achieve this. Yet doctors all seem to think that referrals happen by “lucky accident.” Not true. Smart doctors use a referral system that indirectly and subtly saturates the idea of referrals into the patients mind. Like newsletters, audio brochures, wow experience, New Patient Gift Bags, the take home x-ray, etc.
Mistake #3: Not having a big “back end”
The dumbest thing a doctor can do is to sell just one service. Dumb because these patients are already spending money elsewhere on hundreds of goods. Why not offer these services to patients and let them give the money to you? Smart doctors have a deep and wide back end business that turns a one-shot patient into a constant stream of income lasting month or years.
Mistake #4: Not having an ongoing “continuity stream of income”
This is related to mistake #3. “Continuity income” means income you can charge patients monthly for. Like auto-ship nutritions. Like a monthly maintenance program in which you can charge 25% of your patient base $149 per month, which grows and grows. This falls under that category of “why WOULDN’T you do this??”
Mistake #5: Working too much, not taking time to regenerate
Doctors who feel they must be open 5-6 days a week are just plain wrong or insecure that their patients might flee elsewhere if they’re not open. I disproved this years ago. I have a platinum client Dr. Greg Henderson who will do 2 million this year working only 2 days a week. Any size “volume practice” can be re-engineered to do the same amount of business being open only 3 days or less. High achievement comes from having time off, when you’re fresh and emotionally recharged. Failure in practice often comes from burnout, fatigue, and lack of passion to get things done. This occurs from no time off for yourself.
Mistake #6: Not offering some elective “cash based” services
100% reliance on insurance can be a death kiss. You must develop a growing line of “cash based” services that can be offered to existing insurance patients. One coaching client offers vanity services such as photo-facial and laser hair removal. Others are offering Weight Loss Hypnosis and charging over $2,000 per client. The point is, don’t make all your income insurance.
Mistake #7: Expanding into larger space because you’re bored
The wrong reason to expand to more expensive space is because you’re bored. Usually 5-7 years into practice we see doctors start to get the “7 year itch” and they start talking themselves into the idea of moving into much larger and more expensive space. This is one of the “big” mistakes we see being made, because it can cost doctors profits, income, and a big loss of patient base.
In summary, those are the 7 mistakes we see doctors making. How did you fare on this list? No one is perfect but I hope this list helps to shed light on areas in which you need some help. Now go forth and sin no more!