If you want to build long-term, mutually beneficial business relationships you need to move away from your computer, get up off your bum and start making real-life, face-to-face connections. (This photo was taken pre-COVID)
A few years ago I was interviewed on the Amplify Your Business Podcast, and the host Matt Hanham asked what's one piece of advice I would give a new business owner that would ignite their business.
My answer then and my answer today is the same; you need to get off your bum, and go and meet people.
Put In Some Effort
Many podiatrists think their reputation alone will build their business, and patients will flock to them because their doors are open, without them having to put in any effort.
The truth is, successful businesses become successful by building long-term connections with other business owners.
I remember when I opened my first podiatry business on the Gold Coast in 1989, it took me three and a half months to visit every doctor, physiotherapist, and chiropractor in the area.
I didn't know too much about running a successful business back in 1989, but I nailed getting off my bum and meeting people.
I did the same thing when I moved to Cairns, and when we expanded to Mackay, 800 kilometres south, I took it to a whole new level and connected with as many local business owners as fast as I could because I knew the positive impact it was going to have on my podiatry business.
Do Not Limit Your Connections
I also didn't limit my connections to other health professionals; I went out of my way to meet coffee shop owners, the local baker, hairdressers, and other small businesses owners in the area.
If there was a local business lunch or networking event, I attended. And I didn't go just one time, I went along regularly, so people got to know me and learn more about the services my podiatry business offered.
Remember, people refer to people they know, like and trust.
What About COVID?
Yes, COVID has created a significant roadblock to face-to-face meetings, but that's all it is a roadblock, it's only temporary, so do not use this as an excuse for sitting on your bum.
When restrictions lift, there will be social distancing protocols in place. Take this into account, create a gameplan and be prepared to put in some effort.
Who Are You?
I've been living in Cairns since 1992, and the Cairns economy has had many ups and downs, because of natural disasters, the Tech-BUST, the GCF, and now COVID. Since 1992 I have also witnessed a lot of business come and go, some quicker than others, and one thing many have had in common; I could not tell you who owned the company.
Sometimes these businesses have only been a few doors down from my business, and I still couldn't tell you who they were.
I'm not saying these business owners should have dropped into my business unannounced, but how hard would it have been to ask my receptionist for our details, and then followed this up with a friendly email introducing themselves?
It's not that hard at all, and the businesses I've seen do this have all been successful.
Combine Old-School & New School
Social media such as Facebook and Instagram have given us the ability to connect with other businesses much faster, which is why most younger podiatrists use these online platforms; however, the connections are very superficial.
My thoughts are, why not do both? Connect with people face-to-face as well as online. I think if you do this, you're going to smash your lazy opposition who cannot be bothered getting off their bum, and you will also build your business much faster.
Take Some Action
It's time to take actions. If you're not currently in lockdown and you've got gaps in your appointment book, put on some comfy shoes and go and introduce yourself to some of the local businesses around you.
If they look busy, walk on by, but if they look quiet pop in and say hello. Now is the perfect time to pounce on this opportunity.
Podiatry Business Coaching & Mentoring
If you want to own and operate a Thriving Podiatry Business, there are four vital pieces to the business puzzle.
- Marketing - You need a well thought out marketing strategy, not just more tactics.
- Systems - You need systems that will support your marketing strategy and your team.
- Team - You need to develop a team culture that makes your work-life balance easier, not harder.
- Diary - Your diary needs to be structured in a way that maximises patient numbers and increases daily profits.
You have two choices: There's the slow approach, where you learn by trial and error and do everything yourself, or you can fast-track your education and business success with one-on-one business coaching and mentoring, or group coaching.
If you want to know more, please email me atand we can set up a Zoom Call and have a quick chat to see if I can be of assistance.