Independent Practices: 6 Ways to Use Holiday Slowdowns Wisely
Everybody knows that emergency rooms are often at their busiest during the holidays. But the same is not true for independent practices.
In fact, studies show that November and December are two of the slowest months for smaller practices across the country.
Instead of thinking of ways to get more business this holiday season, here’s a few ways practices use winter downtime to their advantage.
Offer Holiday Discount Services
For those focused on bringing in more traffic during the holidays, this is one of the most effective methods.
Think about the services your practice can offer, either as a complimentary service, or simply at a discount.
Medical health spas, for example, usually give discounted foot spa treatments during the winter, and attract a ton of people weary from holiday stress as a result.
Dental practices also offer discounted services like teeth whitening during this time, and/or include it as a complimentary service to patients that come in for other procedures.
Patients love to take some time during the holidays to focus on their appearance, and feel better about taking the inevitable, endless string of holiday photos.
Find what your practice can provide to take advantage of this, and give your patients the care and esteem boost they need this holiday season.
Organize, Or Get Involved in a Community Event
The holiday season is the perfect time to get involved in community events.
Sponsor your local holiday parade, and get your practice on the official t-shirt. Give a generous a contribution to a food drive or charity, or better yet, organize your own!
Put some effort into showing your holiday spirit, and gain the appreciation and respect of your community.
Besides, what’s a better impression to potential future patients than seeing your company’s logo advertised as one that cares about giving back on a local scale?
Show that you and your practice cares about the well being not only of your patients, but of the entire town as well!
Give Your Social Media Presence a Boost
The holidays should be all about connecting with your patients, and showing how much you care.
The gift of downtime during the holiday season should be taken advantage of to accomplish this exact goal.
One of the best ways to do this, as well as spread awareness of your brand and culture, focus on giving your social media presence a boost.
In this day and age, businesses need a strong social media presence to connect with their clients, no matter the industry.
So if your practice doesn’t have a social media presence, use your downtime to make one!
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and all other social media platforms are highly-effective and low-cost platforms that you should be utilizing to post lighthearted promotions for your business, as well as showing a personal interest in your patients’ well being.
Send Your Patients Holiday-Related Content
Do you have a blog on your practice’s website? How about a weekly newsletter that you hand out to patients?
It’s never too late to post holiday-related content that your patients will want to read.
The holidays are a time when people are simultaneously more self-conscious about their health, yet less likely to take action on this knowledge than they would during any other time of the year.
Make fun and colorful online posts or physical brochures about how to avoid gaining too much weight during the holidays, ways to exercise when it’s too cold to leave the house, how to keep a level head during winter parties, statistics linking increasing tooth rot to holiday foods… the list goes on.
The point of holiday-related content is to show that your practice isn’t all about treating people and shoving them out the door, but about truly caring about their well-being, and playing an active role in helping them maintain their health with time-specific content.
And most of all – it shows your patients that you really know what you’re talking about!
Plus, if you’re content is strong and people start sharing it, creating new posts online either in a blog or message board may boost your ratings on Google, increasing your nationwide audience!
Try Your Hand at Email Marketing
Does email seem too old-school for your practice? Think again! The cheapest (FREE) and oldest marketing tool is still used today not only by the largest hospitals, but the most successful corporations in the world as well.
And for good reason! Email is is one of the only absolutely free ways to engage with your customers on a regular level.
So if you’re not taking advantage of this – especially during the holidays, when no one wants to go inside, and screens are always on – then you have some serious work to do!
Remind your patients that you’re thinking of them, and wish them a happy holiday, and/or promote your holiday discounts.
Or, you can go the route that you’d typically go with your blogs and brochures. In these cases, designing a simple info-graphic or explanation of a holiday and health-related statistics.
It doesn’t take much to send a holiday greeting from your practice via email – just a few well-chosen words!
NOTE: It’s advised never to send more than a few mass emails per week – especially if you aren’t getting many replies and/or no one is opening them. Doing so will annoy your customers, and drive down your email rating score to the point where you could be considered “spam.”
Remember – it’s the holidays! Keep it fun, keep it light, and take advantage of email marketing to the fullest extent – without being annoying.
Is Your Revenue as Small as Your Patient Volume?
As effective as boosting your digital, physical and social presence will be at increasing recognition and branding post-winter, oftentimes these long-term strategies above won’t be enough to smooth over cash flow issues that come with decreasing patient volumes.
Smaller practices already face enough cash flow trouble with sluggish healthcare payments, let alone dealing with decreasing patient volumes!
Fortunately, National Business Capital & Services has medical and dental business loans and business lines of credit that specialize in helping practices bridge gaps in cash flow due to seasonal fluctuations, as well as eliminate wait times between slow healthcare payments.
If you’re interested in learning more, call (877) 482-3008 to talk with a live Business Financing Advisor today, and ask them how they can help you get the cash flow you need to survive those holiday slowdowns.
Or, you can get the ball rolling immediately by filling out National’s free 1-step application online, and start the process to receive funds in as little as 24 hours through an expedited, simplified process.