• A first-year marketing plan should be part of your business plan, so your lender can see that you have a detailed plan for bringing patients into the practice during the critical first months.
• A clear marketing plan helps you avoid other marketing pitches people will inevitably try to sell you. Most businesses get many salespeople who stop in and call with marketing ideas — this publication, that coupon book, another community event. You will get many such pitches in your first year. But if you have a plan in place, you can say, “I already have my marketing budget set for this year.” If the idea is great, add it next year, after you have had time to see what works and what doesn’t.
1. Set up two or three continuing advertising products, like phone book ads, newspaper ads, radio ads. Let them run for a while so you can see if they work.
2. Set up several special events, no more than two or three for the year. Your first event could be your grand opening. Another might be a patient appreciation celebration or an invitation to the community on a special occasion.
4. Make plans to do public speaking in the community at special events or appropriate times during the year.
5. Get on the calendar for community events like health fairs, county fair, and other appropriate events.