By Jim Hammon
Here are five things you can do right now to improve your dental practice:
- Landscape around your practice.
- Change your signage/design a new logo.
- Spruce up the exterior, including painting and awnings.
- Spruce up the interior, including painting and updating furniture.
- Refocus your marketing efforts.
Landscape around your practice ... Sometime today, take a few moments to walk outside your office. Look at it as a new patient would see it. Do your trees or shrubs need to be trimmed? Is there a garden area that needs to be weeded? Are there weeds growing through the sidewalk? Look for things that might be seen as an eyesore to new or prospective patients. Now is the time to plan for next spring and summer. Work with a landscape designer and add some new color and plantings to give your building a living facelift.
Change your signage/design a new logo ... Honestly, when is the last time you really looked at your sign? If it’s digital, are there bulbs that are burned out or sections that no longer work? If it’s a traditional sign, does it need a new paint job? When is the last time you actually washed your sign? What about the message on your sign? Does it talk about any current specials, or is it the same message from six months ago? Do your business cards or letterhead include your e-mail address, Web site, Facebook page, or Twitter account? Your patients may want to communicate with you through the Internet and social media. And you may have a message that you can share with your patients that, potentially, they can forward to new patients.
Spruce up the exterior, including painting and awnings ... Again, step outside and look at your office through the eyes of a new patient. Do you have paint that is cracking? Do you have awnings that are faded, torn, or dirty? If you repainted your office, did the awnings match your new color choice? What about a new front door, some accent color, new exterior lighting? These are a few small improvements that can make an old facility new again, at least in appearance.
Spruce up the interior, including painting and updating furniture ... Much like your exterior checkup, take a look at the inside of your office. Do you have paint that is chipping, cracked, or appears to be from the 1970s? Does your color selection clash with any of your furnishings? If so, which would be easier for you to change? Also, take time to sit in the dental chair and tilt back like your patients do. What do they see when they’re looking at your ceiling? What does your reception area and front desk say about you and your practice? It is the second impression, after the exterior, of the type of practice the patient is entering, and this impression often gives your patients an idea of the type of dentistry they will receive. Comfortable furniture, updated and interesting artwork, perhaps some marketing materials about the practice and its connection to the community all give a great first impression to both existing and new patients.
Refocus your marketing efforts ... Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Are you still using the same marketing strategy from five years ago and expecting new patients to walk through your door? Take a look at how you’re reaching patients and decide if there are other ways to market to them ... or if they’re even the patients you want to reach. Are you doing anything to promote any “specials” in your practice?
Remember, no one really looks forward to visiting the dentist. If we can make the dental experience just a little bit better with these subtle changes, think of how your patients will feel after their visit, and what they will say to their family and friends.
Jim Hammon is an equipment specialist with Henry Schein Dental in the New England area. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (781) 996-9777.