For example, the medical model probably would require less advertising than the retail model, and conversely, the retail model would have the largest advertising budget.In addition, there is also difference in how the different models market their patient base. Gleitman: Well, not in the plan itself, but one issue is that the medical model practices are responding to the relatively flat market growth over the last year, and they are beginning to ramp up for more aggressive marketing campaigns.Promotion from your apostles is an extremely valuable marketing tool, which cannot be purchased by your competition!
AO/Beck: What is the number one mistake you see practices making time and time again?
Gleitman: I'd have to say the big issue is the lack of a business plan.
AO/Beck: Hi Ron, thanks for speaking with me today. I merged the four into three offices, and really had a nice practice with lots of growth for many years and then in September of 2001, I decided to sell the offices and get out of direct patient care.
AO/Beck: Ron, before we address practice management issues, would you please tell me a little about your professional background? After four years in my own practice I ended up buying the first practice that I started with, and so I had four offices.
After 12 months working for someone else, I decided to open my own practice and so I purchased a two-office-practice from a hearing instrument specialist in Chicago.
from Purdue in 1992, and then I went into a private practice in Chicago.They tend to shoot from the hip, and that is not a solid model on which to build a practice!AO/Beck: What is your advice for the small practice situated in the backyard of a national practice?For example, in Skokie Illinois, the largest population segment is older adults at about 26 percent.In Naperville, where the Phonak factory is, the older adult population is only six percent.I took a little time off and started with Phonak as of January 2002.AO/Beck: Ron, what does your job at Phonak involve?AO/Beck: Ron, what percentage of the practices out there actually run according to their business plan? I think many practices start with a business plan, but as the practice evolves and new challenges are managed and new strategies are implemented, the business plan is shelved, when it should be updated!We did assemble a focus group a few months ago, and we brought in a mix of practitioners and only three of them had a business plan that was used in the day-to-day management of their business.Additionally, very few business plans have any way of measuring success!This is of course a critically important point, but even the offices that had intact, up-to-date business plans did not have a way to measure their success.