Opening a new medical franchise is one of the most rewarding business ventures any entrepreneur can undertake. However, ensuring its success is at the mercy of a variety of factors: competition, maximizing billing and reimbursements, and, of course, marketing. Marketing your new business to get its name out into the community is a no-brainer, but there are some mistakes that people make when it comes to marketing medical franchises.
Firstly, having a sound marketing plan in place is key. While you don’t want to blow a ton of unnecessary budget on marketing, you do want to dedicate a set amount that will ensure your new medical franchise gets some recognition. Make sure you have the basics of marketing covered in your plan: Who are you going to market to? How are you going to market? Where will you get the most exposure? What will give you the biggest bang for the buck?
Many people forget that they can get some serious marketing mileage through free sources. While you will have to spend money on marketing for your medical franchise, don’t make the mistake of ignoring free press. Brainstorm ways that you can get coverage of your new business in local news outlets. Most newspapers have a local business section that features information on new businesses in the area. Because of the economic impact and benefit to the community, this type of news is always a favorite to feature. Getting your medical franchise in print could be as simple as a call or email to the local business editor.
Speaking of news outlets, don’t forget to send press releases to them! Even if they don’t want to do an in-depth interview with you about the new location, they will very likely pick up bits and pieces of a press release that you deliver. As another angle, you could volunteer to do a weekly column for your paper about health tips to benefit the community. Or suggest topics for a news story that’s timely for the community and offer to be the expert source in it. It can’t hurt to try!
Another thing to keep in mind is who you’re marketing to. Many medical franchises make the mistake of only focusing on walk-in patients. While this can be the bread and butter of any medical franchise, another source to market to is occupational medicine set. Occupational medicine, including referrals from human resource departments, can open your medical franchise up to another source of income. Even if a patient comes to you for something as simple as an employment drug test or workers compensation injury, they’re more likely to think of you the next time they feel under the weather and seek out additional treatment. Medical franchises offer an excellent alternative for occupational medicine patients that have been using emergency departments or trying to schedule appointments with primary care physicians around their busy schedules. Making this avenue a part of your marketing plan can be lucrative.
Whether you invite the mayor to cut the ribbon at your opening ceremony or promote unbeatable opening day specials to market your medical franchise, making sure you have a plan is crucial to your long-term success.