At this time clinics are starting to struggle. I’m going to give you some tips on keeping your clinic open during COVID-19. These tips have come from changes that I have implemented in my clinic, and have seemed to generate some extra income during this period. Trial and error with these things are the only way. With everybody having this same issue its great to hear of some techniques that have worked.
Work on your existing clients first!
Generating new clients at the time is very hard through this period. Doctors are doing less EPC / TCA referrals. New private clients are not looking to come out and put themselves at risk unless its an emergency. If it is an emergency they will most likely skip you, and go right to their GP.
This means that current client retention and old client reactivation are some of the most effective things todo. So what can you do with these people?
Keep your current clients coming back / optimizing treatment
Making sure your clients come back often enough is a controversial subject. Everybody has different ideas of what is right. The main point with this section is to really think hard about how to achieve your patient getting back to health, the fastest and most thorough route. Then you want to make sure the injury inst going to reoccur. So treatment does not ever end at pain-free and back to health. The treatment ends when you are happy they will not end up back in the client a month later because they injured themself again.
Do they need separate treatments for manual therapy and exercise prescription? Will they be compliant? Will their toenails get to the point where they try and cut them themselves? Will their toenails are so long the client is at risk of them catching on a sock and it the nail ripping? Really have a big sit down and think about your clients and see if you are giving them the optimal treatments and an optimal number of appointments. When you sit down and think hard I think you will be surprised that you may be under servicing. This should hey keep your books buys and help to keep your clinic open during COVID-19.
Call up every single person in your database and ask them how they are. Find out if they have any new injuries or feet issues, and get them back in! You may need to offer them a discount as right now, people are struggling for money. Having people to fill free spots is way better than sitting there not earning money.
This is great for helping generate some money. If you prescribe 1 set of orthotics for most people that’s the equivalent income of seeing about 10 EPC / TCA clients. The more that you prescribe right now the fewer people you need to see, which reduces your exposure and risk of contracting COVID-19. It is also the best way to generate some cash.
Sell of any stock you have at a reduced rate
Selling something for 40% off is better than not selling anything. Having extra cash in your pocket right now is paramount for surviving. It might come in handier than having some arch support thongs sitting on the shelf.
Letters to doctors
If you have spare time you may as well put it to use. Send a company headed letter to every patient’s doctor for every appointment. Staying in the doctors’ minds is important.
Send a letter to each GP clinic or any other referral base that you have to let them know you are open. Simple I know.
Talk to other clinic owners
At this time we all need to be helping each other. Talk to each other and give each other tips. We are all in this together!
Ask your patients for help
Send out an email, text message or letter to every client asking for help. No doubt you will have long term clients that you have built good relationships with. Don’t underestimate how nice people can be. Don’t be proud, there is no need. Simply tell them the truth about the way the virus has affected your business, and the long term effects of that (there might not be a business at the end). You will be surprised about the number of people that book in just to help you.
Change your target market!
A podiatrist’s normal target market, in general, is middle-age women, and pensioners. Right now a lot of people are out of work, so say goodbye to your 40 to 60 year-old women. Pensioners are afraid to leave the house, despite the government giving them more money than they ever hard. So…… who is still working, and who has the money to spend? Answer – people in healthcare (hospital and medicare system), and people in construction!
Optimize your dairy
Don’t be afraid to ask clients to move their appointments. explain why you are doing it and they will understand. Doing this will help reduce overheads. and make sure you can optimize your time.
Talk to your employees
Keep them up to date with everything. The last thing you want is them panicking about the fear of not working. That’s not going to help with their productivity. Give them a financial breakdown. Give them goals of what they need to achieve to keep their jobs. It might just make them work harder. That said these times can be stressful, people can be wound up and upset easily. Team bonding sessions are paramount for this time.
Be a leader!
Now is the time that clinic owners need to step up and guide their team. Make sure everybody knows what they are doing, the short term goals. Keep talking to them, and check-in with them. Business and personal.
So I hope this helps. It’s just a few ideas on keeping your clinic open during COVID-19. Why not give them a go. you have nothing to lose! For more information contact us here.