outside the donut hole to get new marketing ideas for your practice.
much time and effort do you really spend on marketing and growing your practice?
If you're like most doctors, marketing and practice improvement ideas are something
you have on your growing to-do list and are something you decide, "I'll get to when
I have some free time." At our recent Power Practice national client meeting, we
performed an exercise to show how you can generate a high volume of positive marketing
ideas in only fifteen minutes the key being that those fifteen minutes are
focused, uninterrupted and uninhibited.
We split our clients into teams of eight and gave
them some cursory data points just enough information needed to open up a
donut shop! Our reason: we wanted to neutralize any pre-conceived notions about
what you can or can't do in marketing and none of our clients owned a donut
The only information given to each
team was as follows: You decide to open a donut shop in your hometown. You have
already picked the location, signed a lease and acquired the necessary financing.
You have also read-up on how to make donuts and the technical, baking side of the
We then asked them to answer these
1. How will you attract customers?
A. What media will you use?
B. What will be your message?
2. What qualifications will you require
of the people you hire?
3. Unlike optometry, the donut business
is a very high volume, very low margin per unit sale. How will you profit?
4. Why will someone buy donuts from
you instead of anywhere else?
5. How will you create customer loyalty?
6. What is the name of your donut shop?
Describe the logo.
What does any of this have to do with building
your optometry practice? Well, I'll bet you dollars to donuts pun intended
if you take 15 minutes to answer the above questions, you will also take
the first step on the path to a more profitable practice! Our client teams came
up with some truly ingenious ideas everything from square donuts to a store
that let's kids decorate their own donuts! One team even planned on an office delivery
Try the above exercise at your next
staff meeting. Once you have the questions answered, have some fun and see how you
can relate your donut shop (or any other non-optometry business) answers to your
For example, if you plan on creating
customer loyalty with a "frequent dunker" program, how can you similarly create
patient loyalty? If you plan on attracting customers by offering baking classes,
can you and your staff brainstorm an optometric equivalent? If you can devise a
healthier donut than your competition, how can you use that competitive concept
into your practice?
Our clients learned two valuable lessons from
this exercise. First, once the mental barrier is lifted, great ideas begin to flow.
Second, they learned that when you set aside time to focus on a marketing task,
it actually gets done. We advise our clients to set aside a few focused minutes
each week no patients, no phone calls and no interruptions to work
on building their practices.
Go ahead and take this 15-minute challenge.
Order some coffee and donuts while you're doing it and have fun!
DR. GERBER IS THE
PRESIDENT OF THE POWER PRACTICE, A COMPANY SPECIALIZING
IN MAKING OPTOMETRISTS MORE PROFITABLE. LEARN
MORE AT WWW.POWERPRACTICE.COM OR CALL DR. GERBER
AT (800) 867-9303.
Optometric Management, Issue: September 2005