Is your practice performing at its full potential or is it time for a tune-up? If your everyday operations are not working as well as they used to, take just 15 minutes right now with a blank piece of paper and start to redefine the direction of your practice.
Step Outside the Box
The first step to improving your practice is to view it with the critical eye of a prospect or client. Start at the front door and go through your office as if you had an appointment. How are you greeted? What does your reception area look like? How are the phones answered? How are follow-up meetings handled? Try to be as objective as possible in your assessment, keeping in mind that your clients should have a pleasant experience every time they enter your office. If this is not the case, systems and procedures need to be designed and implemented to allow you and your staff to create a positive client experience.
Refine Your Target Market
The next step is to identify all of your top client groups. What type of client do you consider the best and why? Who do you enjoy working with? Who generates revenue for you? Also consider your target market’s perception and knowledge base regarding you and your specialties. What image and message do you want to send out? Do you have in-depth knowledge in a particular area or do you offer something unique to your clientele? This exercise will help you develop more specialized marketing programs and make it easier to select topics for seminars and educational workshops that appeal to your specific audience.
Improve Your Client Connection
Don’t miss potential business or referral opportunities by waiting for your clients to get in touch with you first. Instead, discover what characteristics your clients share and build a communication system based on your findings. Do most of them travel frequently? Do they work in a similar industry? In addition to building a stronger relationship with your clients, pinpointing common interests will allow you to pass along important financial information more readily. Always take the time to regularly contact your clients and be sure to convey caring, competence, and trust in every communication.
The media is a great way to enhance your reputation and generate name familiarity among current and prospective clients. Ask to be a contributor to a local radio show that deals with financial matters or contact the financial reporter at your local newspaper or television station. Establish relationships by giving your feedback on reports or researching new information or ideas for topics. Remember to leverage the coverage you receive by citing articles and interviews in your own personal newsletter.
To help you keep things in perspective, approach practice-building like you would approach training to run a marathon rather than a sprint. Building up your practice is certainly a challenge, but with a lot of commitment and a little imagination you can transform your business into one that is as rewarding as it is profitable.