You Can Supercharge Practice Growth By Doing No More Than Reading These 465 Words, Unless, Of Course, You Have Something More Important To Do…
By Trent Wehrhahn and David Steinberg, Senior Consultants © 2009 DC Steinberg & Associates, LLC
These are interesting times. Businesses haven’t scrambled with such panic since the recession of the ‘80s.  Almost everyday now I hear two typical responses from healthcare and physical therapy practice managers to the still unmeasured economic tsunami rolling our way; each response offers a window into the manager’s leadership style. One response emphasizes cutting back and finding ways to do more with less, while the other focuses on improving performance by returning to the business fundamentals of cash management, marketing, and innovation. After 25 years in business, I have learned to respect both perspectives.
But if I had to rank the priorities (in good times and bad), I would put marketing and innovation at the top of the list. Many people disagree with this philosophy, and cut marketing budgets at the first sign of a downturn, but the financial data show that, “

[F]irms that maintained or increased their marketing expenditures during the 1981-1982 recession averaged significantly higher sales growth [275%] both during the recession and for the following three years than those which eliminated or decreased marketing [19%].” 2

And long before the financial data, the late Peter Drucker, considered to be the founder of modern management theory, stated it this way:

“Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two—and only these two—basic functions: marketing and innovation.”3
If you’ve been trained in a professional healthcare/ rehab/ physical therapy setting, Drucker’s principle may seem inappropriate.  Afterall, how is it possible to provide excellence in healthcare if the only two practice management functions are marketing and innovation?
The answer lies in your perspective on marketing, and how it can drive your business processes. Good marketing demands that healthcare providers educate on standards of care, diagnosis, treatment options, and provider selection. Marketing is the process for communicating these messages efficiently and powerfully. You see, if you provide better outcomes and patient experience than your competition, and you continually look for ways to innovate to stay ahead, and if you can find ways to outmarket your competition, then you will have the power to take command of your marketplace. Sound good?
Have 15 minutes to exercise your marketing muscles today? Watch our practice development preview videos – click here.
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    1. The Wall Street Journal, What’s New (Or Improved) In Health Sites, Personal Journal, P.1, January 7, 2009.
    2. McGraw-Hill Research. Laboratory of Advertising Performance Report 5262, New York, New York:  McGraw-Hill, 1986. Emphasis added.
    3. Drucker, Peter F. The Essential Drucker, New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, Inc, 2001.

January 7, 2009 WSJ Reports 14% Increase In Visits To Health Websites Last Year, Reaching 72 Million Unique Visitors1

Don’t Be Left Behind, Find A Strategic Practice Development Partner Who Can Help You Get Hooked In

(But before you hire them, make sure they know what they are talking about – You’d be surprised at how out of date even the most “well-known” practice developement consultants
may be).

Before you let a practice devlopment firm dig their fangs into your checkbook, or if you’re considering hiring a marketing person for your staff,  learn the 3 critical requirements to demand from your  marketing professionals  by downloading our complimentary Clinic Owner’s Guide To Marketing
hint: it’s on page 4).

Download it here.


About the Author:

Senior Consultant & Founder PT Referral Machine, a turnkey marketing solution exclusively for physical therapists.

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