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

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It's  inevitable that a business will experience highs and lows. While this can be frustrating and nerve-wracking, there are typically ways to turn things around. Medical practices will always be in need so take a step back, evaluate what you're doing wrong and learn about what needs to improve. Often times, it's about going back to the basics and really diving in to figure out what needs to be fixed.

1. Get online - In today's day and age, you have to be online in order to compete with almost all other businesses. If you don't do this, you will have almost no visibility or market share. Getting online, however, is about multiple things. From pay-per-click advertising to social media to SEO, there are many ways to optimize your business online. Whether you choose to engage in Google AdWords or hire a agency to help you with this, it's important that you know which keywords to use and spend your budget wisely. Social media is a given but you will have to decide whether or not it's worth your investment to participate in sponsored Facebook posts. These will reach a much larger audience but will also cost you. Lastly, it might be worth your time and money to hire an SEO team to make sure that your content can be successful he crawled by search engine bots. Aside from an initial SEO service fee, optimizing for SEO is a skill you can learn to take with you in the future.

2. Video marketing - Video marketing has overtaken the social media space and has allowed countless businesses to go viral. While it can be expensive to produce really high quality professional videos, it is worth considering because these videos can drive traffic and notoriety and build your brand for you. Not all videos have to be expensive, however. Simply posting informational or relevant videos that answer popular questions in the medical or dental field can become popular if optimized for SEO. This includes catchy titles and keywords in the description.

3. Referral cards - Your business might be not be performing up to your expectations, but it is very likely that you still have a solid client base who is confident in and trusts your practice.  You also might have a client base of family or friends. Do your best to target these types of clients and give them some sort of incentive to recommend your name in the community. Make it seem like what you need them to do is very simple but can provide them with a worthy benefit. You can give these types of loyal clients referral cards to pass out and offer them a certain dollar amount off each service whenever a new client books with them. Or you can do something like offering them a certain percent off a procedure for the first new patient that calls their practice. These referral cards can also have some type of incentive for the new patient as well. This is a great way to stay top of mind for existing customers.

While it might be hard to fathom spending money or going out of your comfort zone, times like these can cause you to sink or swim. It's worth the effort to try something new and help your business grow. Sometimes the investment is worth the risk.