3 things every optician needs to factor into their growth strategy
As both an optician and a business owner, ensuring that your practice has the means to achieve a sustainable future will, no doubt, be at the top your agenda. Yet as essential as growth is, merely possessing the desire to see your practice prosper and grow isn’t enough. That’s why, in an industry where customer loyalty is fickle and rife with competition, delivering an effective growth is plan crucial. But for it be successful, the plan needs a solid underlying structure from which to drive the initiative forward, with the aid of effective team leadership and well-defined goals. So to help you reap the rewards of your labour and maintain a tangible presence at the heart of your community, just some of the aspects you need to factor into your growth strategy include:
The needs of your patients
In order to support growth and ensure customer loyalty, you need to fully understand the needs of your patients and what attracts them to your practice. Some of the most common reasons for why patients choose to visit a particular optician can include convenience, choice of products, particular services, cost-effective pricing, public reputation (PR), word of mouth recommendations or even discounts and promotions. So, as soon as a customer steps through your door, you need to make sure that your practice is ticking all the right boxes.
If you can figure out what it is about your practice that’s attracting customers, make them your unique selling points and turn them to your advantage. After all, patients will only become loyal customers if their customer service expectations are met in full. Although this, no doubt, presents a daunting challenge, there are a variety of ways in which you can familiarise yourself with their needs, including reviewing customer data or encouraging them to participate in surveys.
Thinking about growing your opticians? Need help raising the necessary funds to see them into fruition and drive awareness? Apply for Business Finance or learn more about how your practice could benefit
The cost of customer loyalty
One of the biggest obstacles for any practice owner to overcome is the expense. As a result of increased competition and expectations, meeting customer demands has become more expensive to maintain. Amongst many other things, you now need to provide access to an ever-increasing range of services. This means acquiring more optician equipment, additional employees and skills.
As such, in order to keep costs down, you may be tempted to focus inwards and cater towards the patients that you already have under your care. However, your competitors aren’t sitting idly by and are, no doubt, seeking to expand their list of clients. Unopposed, the increased revenue will grant the funds to expand their services and increase their reputation in the hope of snatching away your clientele. Therefore, to ensure your share of the market and support growth, you must also appeal to customers who aren’t currently coming to you for treatment too.
Promoting your services
To maintain and grow your patient list, you’re going to need to promote your practice and all that you have to offer. This should also be treated as a continuous, long-term project which will help increase awareness amongst both current and potential clients, raising your bottom line over time. It may even prove to be a useful way of revitalising services that you feel are underused. There are a variety of ways which in you can promote your practice, but the three most cost-effective tools at your disposal include blogs, brochures and newsletters.
- Blogging is a great way of quickly reaching out and keeping your patients update, and will play an important role in your social media marketing strategy. Plus, as well as writing articles, you can also create videos discussing new services, existing services, events or promotions.
- Brochures are another invaluable means of informing people about the range of treatments that your practice has to offer, and should be readily available inside your practice. As well as covering specific services, they should also include information about procedures, management, staff, frames, lenses, equipment, price schemes and the various benefits they provide.
- Newsletters are also great for communicating with your patients and spreading awareness. Although they can take time to put together, newsletters should be created and distributed every six months, keeping everyone who has signed up informed about the latest news, events, promotions and any other development in your practice.
Are you thinking about growing your opticians?
Like any UK based business, growth is an essential aspect of running your practice. Whether you’re looking to acquire new equipment, expand into new markets or introduce additional services, making sure your local community is aware of these changes isn’t going to be easy. But if your growth plans are to pay off, putting the time and effort into your marketing campaigns is essential. However, running a sustained marketing campaign, regardless of its scale, is bound to incur expenses. For an emerging business, finding the finance to grow your opticians practice in order to manage these costs might feel like an uphill climb. However, there are plenty of funding opportunities available, you just need to know where to look. So if you’re looking to grow your practice and want to let everyone in your community know about it, apply for Business Finance today or find out more at Rangewell.