Shrinking Market: What can you do if your practice is failing?

Sometimes we know there are changes happening around our practice, but we can’t quite put a finger on what is going on.  We can sense that we’re losing patients or that revenue is dropping, but we don’t know what to do about it.  It’s a tough place to be for a practice owner, who simply wants to be making people healthier, not stressing about marketing.  At EOS Healthcare, we believe that data can help you make smart decisions when you are feeling things like this, and truly set you on the path for success.  

Here are three things you should do when you feel a shrinking market within your practice:

  1. Know your market.  Is your market truly shrinking?  You may “feel” like it is changing around you, but unless you look at the facts, you’re going off of biased feelings and observations.  A location viability study can help give you insights into what your market is actually doing.  You can know from data if your market is shrinking, or if it’s simply evolving.  From there, you can decide what to do about your practice, as it may just be an opportunity for your practice to evolve as well!
  2. Make tough decisions.  Perhaps the market around you truly is shrinking, from competition, economic changes, patients’ propensity to purchase, or more.  There are truly hundreds of combinations to consider in why a market may shrink for your practice.  Sometimes this means you have to make tough decisions.  It may mean adding a second location, moving locations, adjusting hours, or even adjusting staffing to fit within these new constraints in your area.  These are hard decisions; we know that.  
  3. Get smarter about your marketing.  Your market again, may feel like it’s shrinking when it’s actually just changing.  That may mean that the marketing tactics you used to use are no longer working because your ideal patients are not where they used to be.  This means that you simply need to figure out where they are, and market to them there.  Location viability studies help you understand where your ideal patient lives, shops, socializes, and more.  When you have this data-driven information, you have the tools to market your practice in a smart, effective way.  

A shrinking market may feel horrible at the time, but when you arm yourself with the power of data, you can make smart decisions about what is truly happening and how to react to the changes.  Change is not all bad.  In fact, we’ve seen many businesses use a shrinking market to their advantage to grow their practice in ways they never would have been able to before.  A perspective adjustment, armed with data, can make your practice an unstoppable force!

marketingValerie Morris