December 9, 2008

How To Succeed in 2009

The practices that succeed in 2009 will be the ones that are the best in their categories. That means they will be the best in selling, best in patient care and customer service, best in positioning themselves, best in describing themselves and best in creating a following. These excellent practices will take tons of market share away from "lesser" practices, potentially putting them out of business altogether.

This is so for two reasons. First, in a contracting economy, there is less business to go around so "survival of the fittest" applies. Second, savvy marketers know that this is not the time to cut the marketing budget or hold off on improving the look and feel of the physical facility. If anything you need to spend more on marketing in difficult times and go on with remodeling or moving to create a better atmosphere, attract new patients and boost your average sale.

Our current clients are doing things like:
1. Taking over the space next door, doubling the size of their optical and getting their displays built for 25% less than they would have paid a year ago. (The fixture manufacturers are hungry and willing to work for less.)
2. Buying new office condominiums at bargain prices with generous build-out allowances
3. Starting a brand new practice in a middle to upper income area with low rent, $30,000 build-out allowance and free rent for the first 4 months.
4. Buying an empty foreclosed medical building at a great price, using 60% of the existing improvements for their practice and spending less on construction.

All these folks are stepping up their game while most others are running scared. They are getting good value for their construction dollars. Within the next six months they will have stunning new offices that will attract new patients and tease more high end sales out of existing patients. Their competitors with old tired offices will go on grumbling about how bad things are and lose business to those with newer and better offices.

By the time these new offices open their doors, it's likely that the economy will be improving and these practices will get carried upwards on the rising tide. Consumers will want to make sure they are getting great value for their money as they cautiously open the pursestrings. Why should they go to a ho-hum office when there's a newer "wow-you" office in the area? Why should they settle for the same old experience in a so-so place when they can have a great experience in a really special place?

When it comes to my own business I am optimistic, courageous and action-oriented. I believe that when you strive to be the best and do not listen to the nay-sayers you always win in the long run. When the herd zigs, I zag. It's no surprise that our clients have the same attitude.

I love working with positive confident people helping them realize their vision of being the most successful practice in town. Next year there will be some practices who don't survive while those who differentiate themselves with true excellence will thrive. Which will you be?

1 comment:

leah said...

what would you consider "low rent" in a middle to upper class neighborhood?