Optometric Practice Sellability: Customer Service and Marketing
Publisher's note: This article is written by Tom Bowen, Executive Vice President of Williams Group. We're delighted to host Tom's post that shares solid insights on selling optometry practices. Read more about Tom in his bio at the end of the article. Also, please check out our current practice for sale listings, or list your practice for sale today.
One thing that will help immensely in making your optometric practice more turnkey is having a strong patient base, a solid brand, and a clear marketing plan. Read on for my tips on developing these areas of your practice.
Evolve the Patient Base
Owners often complain about some ways their patient base is evolving—fewer private patients (yet some practices are nothing but private pay), more cost consciousness, etc. With the right marketing plan, however, you can control who your patient is, and therefore what your patient base is. Evolve your patient base to more of what you want and less of what you don’t, and you’ll get a premium when you sell.
Improve the Marketing Plan
First, look at your brand. Patients and potential patients need a strong regard for and relationship with the brand, not just the doctor. With that in mind, ask yourself: Is this the time to strengthen or even completely change your brand?
Then, address three must-have components of the Internet portion of the optometric practice: information (a killer website as well as reviews from happy patients); connection (a great social media program); and consumption (a strong e-commerce/buying setup).
And finally, consider education, internal and external marketing, and creative strategy. Define what you want existing and targeted potential patients to know, and internally and externally teach them exactly those things. The more they value the relationship with the practice, the more sellable it is.
And we all want our practices to be as sellable as possible, right?
Tom Bowen is the Executive Vice President of Williams Group. Earning his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and advertising from the University of Nebraska, Tom has also published numerous management/marketing texts and articles and is the editor of “Operations Management Review,” a newsletter for private practice owners. Since joining Williams Group in 1986, he has spent 30 years consulting with private practitioners and the industry at large in all areas of organizational management, strategic planning, internal marketing, and external marketing.
Reach out to the Williams Group Transitions Team at 1-800-676-9076, or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in purchasing a practice, Williams Group has new listings monthly at http://www.thewilliamsway.com/practice-listings/.