Being in small business of any kind is hard work regardless of industry, but it’s especially hard in the health care industry because our clients add another variable. Cars or manufacturing parts don’t complain or judge us, clients do! Therefore being on top of our game is essential and one easy way to stay on top of your game is through the support of others. Sometimes you may feel isolated that you’re the only one with your back to the wall…. so here are some tips to help you find support.
Professional groups – If you’re in the healthcare industry then ensure you join your local membership group, nearly all indutries have a professional group. There’s great CPD support such as the physioedge group or what ever industry you’re in. These group can also help with regulations advice, problems with setting up businesses, advertising etc. Some groups charge for this but I think it’s worth it as you can get great insurance discounts if you’re a member of a professional body.
Ideal referral partners – What’s your USP? Sometimes as clinicians we try to treat everything. For example, if you’re a physio you may offer “sport massages”, as much as I agree that physios give great massages, I’d suggest finding a local sport masseur in the area who you can refer clients to for sports massage. This way they can refer clients back to you when they have injuries. The key to this is to educate your referral partner on who your ideal client is and how you can their client can benefit from what you do. This way you can both help each others business and more importantly the client gets a better overall service. The same goes for PT, Dietitians, Chiros, OTs, yoga instructors etc.
Remember different strokes for different folks.
Networking groups – If you want something more structured then I’d suggest BNI, Chamber of commerce or just google business groups in your area. These groups can educate you with regards to business and are a great source of local knowledge for all things business related. My best referral partner was a fitness instructor from one of these groups. He’d send me injured clients and I’d send him people looking to get fit.
Local businesses – At the moment I’m struggling with a telecommunications provider in setting up internet for my new clinic www.compassphysio.ie, to say they are useless is an understatement. The only way I have to contact them without going through a call centre is by direct message on twitter. Whilst working in Sydney I used a local guy for internet and communications, it was great, any issue he’d just pop down and fix it. I can’t emphasise the importance of having that piece of mind that comes when working with locals.
Local groups – I’m running a seminar in January on injury prevention in my local hall for all the sports clubs and locals in the area. It’s an easy way to give back to the community and you get to showcase your talent and expertise. This way they understand thay you’re the expert in your chosen industry before actually having come to see you. The benefits of this are that people will get to know you in the area. Get involved locally!
The only way you’ll find these referral partners is by getting out and meeting people. Step outside of your comfort zone, attend a seminar or event to help you identify key referral partners. You’ll be surprised who you might meet and what leads you get from it. At PracticeNav we can help you identify your ideal referral partners. Take our Online Audit which gives you instant results. Contact PracticeNav via email on firstname.lastname@example.org or take our Free business audit to find how we can help. Feel free to ask any questions in relation to this.