This past year has been both heartwarming and heart-wrenching.
We’ve seen some practices not only recover from the COVID crisis but come back strong and have some of their best revenue-generating months ever. At the same time, we’ve seen a handful of practices go from profitable to struggling and, in some cases, shut their doors.
Why do some audiology practices fail in crises while others thrive?
The audiology world is going through a period of dramatic changes, some exceptionally good and others devastating. These changes will shape audiology markets for years to come. This past year was one big stress test that clearly delineated the practices with a future from the rest. The good news is that certain practices can look forward to continued growth. The sad news is that many other practices may close within the next 3-5 years.
For many, 2020 was about seeing doors closing, but as Alexander Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens, but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
We believe the field of audiology is undergoing some of the largest changes in history. Our goal is to expose as many practices as possible to the most profitable ways to navigate this transformation.
Here at MedPB, we regularly talk to industry leaders as part of our Adapt to Thrive events, as well as to around 400 practices a month, which gives our team unique insights into the industry.
I have to admit, we’re not immune from looking for some magic pill — a new idea or technology which will transform the industry. For example, some thought Telehealth might be that magic. Now we know it’s a great tool, but not transformational.
Here are the three differences we found in practices that are poised to be more profitable in 2021 and beyond.
They are Patient-Focused, Curious, and Agile.
Sounds obvious, right?
It’s actually not that obvious.
The truth is only a small percentage of practices actually demonstrate these 3 traits that are critical to their success.
Patient-focused practices understand their primary goal is to reduce friction between the patient and treatment, to make it easier than ever for patients to get the solutions they provide. They make it easier for patients to start their patient journey, to build a professional and personable relationship with the practice, to set an appointment, and get treatment.
Want to find out how you can make it easier for patients to work with you? Talk to us.
Curiosity is the trait that drives practices to look for new and better ways to improve the patient experience. When things go south, curious practice owners seek and uncover new solutions, explore them, and ensure that they are the best course of action. Over this last year, we’ve discovered a small handful of new ideas we highly recommend. Ask for suggestions – let’s talk.
Agility is the ability to act quickly to adapt to a changing environment. Agility allows practices to take bold, decisive action. Which is exactly what was needed when the pandemic hit.
How were these “success traits” demonstrated this past year?
The successful practices we work with did the following. When their states went into lockdown, they got depressed, and they got upset. In many cases, tears were involved — for a day or two.
Then they started asking themselves what they could do. When we called to check in on them — and we called all our clients as soon as we could — these practice owners were ready to act, and we helped them develop plans to communicate with patients and re-open.
Business wasn’t normal, but our most successful practices changed how they communicated with patients, how they delivered services, and how they followed up. They showed their agility by quickly adopting new ways of attracting, talking to, and working with patients. Which meant they not only kept attracting new patients but retained more existing patients during a very tough year.
Of course, my observations could be a case of confirmation bias because at MedPB, we’ve built our company on these same three traits, being practice-focused, curious, and agile. Last year instead of furloughing our sales team, we pivoted to provide practical planning advice for our practices, to share the ideas other medical practices and small businesses were using, and to help our clients adapt to thrive.
In fact, these three audiology practices had their best year ever in spite of the pandemic.
Questions about how to make your practice even more successful?