Starting your own practice can be an overwhelming prospect and you may be wondering what you need to do. One of your first steps is choosing your niche or practice area. Having a well-defined niched will give you some directions and guidance on many other aspects of your business, from marketing materials to location. Here are some things to think about when making that choice.
Do you want your practice to be targeted or general? There are advantages to both, it just depends on your preferences. With a targeted practice, you can focus your marketing, but you may limit the number of patients you’ll be able to bring into your office.
If your practice is targeted to one specific area, you can draw attention to your niche with your name and your marketing. So if you practice in Melbourne, and your focus is on treating infertility, you might be Melbourne Fertility Clinic, or if your focus is on back pain, you might be Melbourne Spine Center. This doesn’t work well if your practice is more generalized or if you want to focus on more than one unrelated niche.
You may want to be careful that you don’t choose too narrow of a niche, or you may find that your patient base is insufficient to support your practice, or maybe you find yourself getting bored dealing with the same kinds of things day after day. You could branch out into other areas, but this creates its own set of problems. Do you create a separate entity for your new niche, with a new name? Or do you broaden your existing niche?
Alternatively, you could start off with a name that suggests a broader practice and target your marketing to your intended niche. If you find that your target is too narrow, it’s easier to tweak your message than it is to completely recreate your brand.
Even if you want a general practice, you may still decide that you want to focus on a specific demographic. What kind of people do you like working with? You might decide you want to focus on men, women, children, or the elderly.
What is your approach to treating patients? If you tend toward a natural approach, your target demographic will be the kinds of people who gravitate toward natural living, such as those who shop at natural food stores and maybe even grow their own food.
Once you have defined your niche and figured out your target demographic, go to the places where your potential patients spend time. Do you want to treat children? Then advertise in places where people take their children, or where mums get together. If your focus is on sports injuries, you might try advertising at the local YMCA or gym. You might even look into locating your office near places where your potential patients are likely to be found. Locating a paediatric clinic next to a preschool makes it easy and convenient for parents to get their children in before or after school.
Regardless of your niche, your target demographic, or your approach, you want to target your advertising to local publications. Advertising can be expensive, focus your efforts on people in your area that will actually come to your office. This way you can be sure to get the most from your marketing spend.
Are you having difficulty choosing the focus of your practice? Book one of our Strategic Focus Sessions to get your marketing off to a great start.