Another year is past and I have had the pleasure of analyzing the data of the practice to see how 2019 compared to 2020. I hear colleagues say that they hate the process of looking at their numbers, but I LOVE it because it tells me where the business has been and most importantly, where it is going. My numbers were better in 2019 than in 2020 and that is saying a lot because of the inundation of TPS’s and other internet providers that are seeking to make professionals obsolete. But, as I reviewed the numbers I realized that there is still room for improvement. Business experts contend there are in fact only four ways to increase the profitability of a business:
- Increase the number of customers
- Reduce expenses
- Increase the average sale per customer
- Increase the frequency of sales per customer
So, how does one accomplish these things? Increasing the number of patients can be accomplished by marketing which can be expensive or by gaining additional referral sources or more referrals from each source. We have found some success in marketing to businesses in our community that offer hearing healthcare benefits to their employees. Most of them are happy to feature us in their newsletters and at their health fairs and we provide flyers for their employees that list us as “Preferred Providers”.
We combine traditional marketing with digital marketing to spread the word of our services. While digital marketing has proven to be the most effective, traditional mediums of direct mail and print advertising still consistently add new patients to our schedule.
Reducing expenses is not easy but there is always a way to cut some “fat” out of the budget. I asked my accountant for a list of every check we wrote last year categorized by the type of expenditure. It’s amazing how cash can fly out the door when you aren’t paying enough attention. Small items like a $50 increase in cost of goods or additional shipping costs can reduce profitability. Certainly, spending money on marketing that doesn’t bring new patients in the door also impacts the bottom line.
Increasing prices by $100 per unit or charging for services that you are currently giving away can make a difference in profitability. In most cases, a patient isn’t going to change providers because your prices increase slightly and they aren’t going to walk out because you I start charging for cerumen management. Patients that like and respect you and value your services will understand when prices change. It happens all the time in every industry.
I always say that “if you aren’t telling your patients about new technology, your competition is.” We do tremendous business when we offer an Upgrade Event to our patients. Each quarter we send a letter to every patient that has aids over four years old offering them a chance to upgrade their technology. Patients want to hear better and they will respond to a professional that they trust when you suggest that it may be time to improve their technology. Don’t hesitate to demonstrate technology when the patient is in for their annual checkup and they aren’t hearing well with what they are wearing.
Make 2020 a year to beat all the other years in revenue. Review your data and take some specific steps to Make Things Happen and… continue to follow me at DrGyl.com.