Published on 2016-09-19
So we’re back round to September and Autumn again, the summer is over, almost……we may squeeze out one or two more barbeques, but it’s back to school, holidays have been and gone and normality returns and our appointment books get busier again.
I like the new beginnings of September, and this Autumn I’m stepping out of my comfort zone. I’ve always worked from home and have a very nice home therapy area and a busy practice, I like working in my own space it is very convenient and I can do early mornings and later evenings as necessary to suit my working patients.
However, although my treatment area is separate from my living area it has recently come to my attention that some people feel uncomfortable with this and I have been losing referrals because of it.
So looking at my marketing, you know, the four ‘P’s, Product, Place, Price, Promotion; the Product is me, what I offer as a therapist, the price is fair, it is affordable to my target market and offers me a sensible living. The Promotion, or advertising, supports the referrals I get, but the Place… well I’d never really thought about this before.
So, as I say, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and am now doing one evening a week at the local community gym / swimming pool which has dedicated rooms for therapists like me. I have done one week so far, it was very different, the room is very clinical and it is not my space so will take some adjusting to. But the first week went well and I’m remembering to offer new patients the option of home or community centre therapy rooms and one person has already expressed this new location as a preference.
I am going to do this until the end of the year, it will either work or it won’t but I’m giving it a try. If it does work then I will continue with the two locations, if it is very successful then I will consider doing more hours from the Community area. If it doesn’t work I will just look at it as more local advertising, getting my name across to a more specific market.
Another thing to consider regarding the new location is access; my home therapy area involves stairs and the community area has disabled access. Once again, this is something else I have never really thought about before, some of my patients are elderly and whilst currently fit and healthy they may not be in the future. Some of my patients are lined up for new hips and knees and want to continue to see me whilst recovering from their operations in this respect the new location is perfect.
So what I’m suggesting to you is this, think about where you work, does your location have an impact on how people, your potential customers, perceive what you do? Is the access restrictive? Are you located where you are because the rent is cheaper or just more convenient for you?
You may be an excellent therapist and valued by your existing patients but where you are located is part of the whole package and when attracting new patients or trying to seriously increase the size of your practice, all the advertising in the world is not going to achieve much if your location is not considered as part of the mix.