Thursday, April 12, 2007

Need new patients? Be available.

I have a friend in start-up. He is chiropractor and he works banker’s hours. He takes Thursdays off and seldom works on weekends. He feels he “should” get to work what ever hours he wants and patients can wait; even if they are in pain. I wonder what the founder of 7-Eleven would think of this approach to convenience and availability.

In my view, he has not grown as fast as he could or “should” have.

Now contrast that to STAT Health, a start-up urgent care center in Smithtown NY. They have been open for as long as my friend has. They are open from 8AM to 8PM, 7 days per week. It is owned by 2 guys, and they are always—I mean always—there. And they are mobbed.

I know comparing a chiropractor to an urgent care center is probably not a fair comparison, but the point stands. Be available.

Everybody is busy. Everybody has a job. Everybody has family. Everybody has prior obligations. If you want to grow, be the one who accommodates. If your patient base commutes into the city, have early morning or evening hours or weekend hours. If your patient base is retirees, have mid-day hours. Nothing wrong with working on Saturdays if that is what it takes. My Dad saw patients every Saturday for 30 years in his dental practice. It never bothered me. In fact, I admired it. Your family will understand also.

If you want to grow, be available when others will not be.


The IU.