Essential Secrets To Marketing Your Practice Successfully

By Kevin McDonald, DPM
The Law of Sacrifice. It is very difficult to offer luxury service at a low cost or to handle emergencies but always keep on schedule. You have to give up something in order to get something. Do you think it is possible for one person to specialize in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, podopediatrics, herbal medicine and nursing home work in a crowded marketplace? The Law of Sacrifice says: “You cannot be all things to all people. Find your niche.” 8.The Law of Perspective. What is good for our practices in the short term may not be good in the long term. For example, dispensing an inferior diabetic shoe to save a couple of dollars may lead to a decrease in the number of shoes dispensed and, accordingly, net profits over time. Also, overaggressive treatment of new or self-limiting problems may increase revenue initially but cause the eventual loss of important referral sources. The Law of Perspective says: “Marketing effects are cumulative and occur over a long time. Everything counts.” 9. The Law of Attributes. Every business category has a list of possible attributes desirable for the business. Positive attributes available in a podiatry market might include a “high touch” personal approach, a “high tech” gadget and gizmo approach, an offering of special services such as evening hours or a doctor who speaks Spanish. Attributes also include a desirable location and a “low cost/insurance friendly” approach. The Law of Attributes says: “Try to own a least one positive attribute in your marketplace.” Pertinent Pointers On Succeeding And Failing 10. The Law of Success. If you are not getting better, you are probably getting worse. A podiatry practice that does not seek out new and improved services and treatments will lose ground in the marketplace. Does the phrase “Pride goes before a fall” ring a bell? The Law of Success says: “Success often leads to complacency and complacency leads to mediocrity.” 11. The Law of Failure. One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result. In order to improve, you must try new things and bear in mind that not all of your efforts will pay off. You should treat your marketing program like a stock portfolio. Ride the winners and dump the losers. The Law of Failure says: “Mistakes are to be expected and accepted (and then corrected).” 12. The Law of the Winner. Sociologists once did a large scale survey of octogenarians and identified the top 750 seniors in terms of health and happiness. These were the winners in the game of life. The survey included the question: “If you had to live your life over again, what would you do differently?” The majority of these winners responded with two common answers. They wished they had helped more people. They also did not regret so much what they did but rather what they did not do — the opportunities they had but let slip by. There are probably a few podiatrists who do not like going to work most days. Maybe they do not like their partners, maybe they are not in their preferred location or maybe they just do not like the type of work they are doing. These folks should make a change because life is way too short to spend it doing something that you do not enjoy. Many podiatrists love their jobs, are happy at their workplace and consider solving problems of the foot and ankle to be one of their gifts to the world. These lucky people should make sure their marketing strategy is very effective so they can help a large number of people. The Law of the Winner says: “Help lots of people and live a life with no regrets.” Dr. McDonald is in private practice in Kannapolis, N.C. He can be reached at Editor’s note: For related articles, see “What Web Marketing Can Do For Your Practice” in the November 2004 issue of Podiatry Today or “How-To Insights For Expanding Your Practice” in the December 2003 issue. Also be sure to visit the archives at


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