Over the summer months, whilst you are still growing your private practice, there are times when things can be, well, a little quiet. Sometimes scarily so.
Despite the soggy British summer weather, the weeks in July and August can bring with it a patient drought.
I have listed 11 things to help you keep your nerve and help you to grow your practice during the “silly season”.
Remind yourself that this happens pretty much every year for most clinicians, so why waste energy getting so stressed about it?
Have a look back at your patient numbers from the year before (and the year before that), and look for the trend. I’ll BET you’ll spot that patients come home to roost in September.
Now is the perfect time to take time off for yourself.
Yes, a last-minute break may cost more in peak season, but it’s probably cheaper than loosing revenue by skipping a week of clinics when patients are literally battering down your door to see you in the autumn.
Pause and take a look at your systems.
Many of us fritter way too much time on administration which can be delegated to somebody else, and then we don’t have the energy or enthusiasm for promoting our practices. During these quiet weeks, you will have time to do some auditing. You can take a long hard think on how long it really takes for you to complete patients’ clinical admin.
Are you finding yourself begrudgingly typing out heaps of ‘what we talked about’ summary emails to patients at the end of each clinic?
Are you now at the stage where you should be out-sourcing dictated letters and the emailing of those letters to patients?
If you’re taking home more than an hour of admin a day, then you need to pay someone else to do this. If you think it’s too expensive then remind yourself that an hour of promoting your practice is worth far more to you than an hour of keyboard worshipping.
Get your diary out and look at where you can make space for regularly scheduled marketing activities.
Successful clinicians blog and send interesting content to their email list, on a consistent basis. This might be fortnightly, but ideally weekly.
This doesn’t happen by magic. There are no such things as copy writing fairies or LinkedIn unicorns. Consistent content production needs time in the calendar. It’s perfectly possible to take a couple of hours a week, divide it into two one hour segments to make this happen.
For instance, you could draw up a rough draft of a post that could be used on your blog page or mailed to your list, or posted up on LinkedIn on a Monday.
Later in the week, you could schedule another hour. Use this time for editing and processing that content. Or even better, you could ask someone to type it up for you if you dictate it!
You can clear enough time to do this by delegating out that unnecessary clinical admin.
Prep a talk or lecture on a topic that you know your referrers want to hear about.
What problems can you solve in their world?
Scan through your list of contacts and approach a few of them with a friendly email. You could ask them if they need to get some CPD boxes ticked later that autumn and how’s about you come and give a talk about ’freaky knee disorders’ (or whatever your hobby horse is).
The more of these you have prepped in advance, the more enthusiastic you will feel about connecting with people and talking, as you won’t have to start from scratch each and every time you propose a talk.
Find ways to connect with your public directly.
Spend some time doing a bit of research and find out where your runners, mums, and unicyclists hang out on-line. Get stuck in with some social chit chat, and make yourself useful with helpful suggestions for their problems.
Spruce up your website and do a little SEO housekeeping.
Not sure where to start? HERE is one of our previous blog pages to help you out.
Dip your toe into some more adventurous social media activities.
Have you tried Facebook live yet?
Could you sketch out a series of mini talks so that you have some content lined up for camera once a week, for several weeks? You can promote the fact that you will be going live on other social media platforms too, and this will grow our following.
Get fired up by taking inspiration from non-medical creative broadcasters.
What podcasts can you sign up to?
Why not learn about writing for your patients and referrers, (for example, Copy Blogger FM)? Are there any dynamic networking events that you could attend that will expose you to different ways of thinking about your practice (for example Table Crowd)? Look out for the links at the bottom of the page.
Consider signing up for a conference that has got nothing to do with medicine.
For example, CMA Live or Youpreneur Summit. It’s easy to feel jaded and isolated in private practice and there is so much that you can learn from business practices that are non-clinical. look for the links at the bottom of this page.
Finally, embrace a little Zen time.
When it’s not so hectic go for an extra-long walk at lunch time or better still arrange to have lunch with a friend, there will come a time when your uber successful practice will make this harder to do, so relish it.
Sometimes, we all need a little extra help in building our practices – from a business perspective, as well as a clinical one.
Are looking for guidance and advice ?
We are waiting to help you gain more patients and boost your referrals
email or call us 0207 993 6425