Start-ups and scaling up professional services firms should be aware that this type of business is not like a retail shop, manufacturing firm, or e-commerce store.
Instead of directly selling a product, this involves marketing a set of skills that are based on personal experience and expertise.
Although the buyer cannot physically feel or touch that service, they must trust their reputation and be able to trust them before choosing a company to do accounting, coaching, financial consulting, legal work, and/or healthcare.
Our company is now in its 17th anniversary. We provide developmental optometric services not only to our clients in Glen Carbon, Illinois, but also to other countries. We have tried many marketing strategies over the years to grow our practice. We have found a winning combination that has resulted in a significant increase in patient volume and net profit. These lessons can be used by anyone who wants to grow or start a professional service business.
1. It is okay to be a small fish, even in a large pond.
We were living in a small rural area when we started. We were the big fish in small ponds. It was a small pond. Patients did come from nearby towns, but there wasn’t enough to sustain the practice. This led to the move to a larger area about an hour away. It was also located in a suburb of major metropolitan areas. Although there was more competition, it was able to create its own niche and attract many new patients. Our rapid growth was possible by moving to an area with more potential clients.
2. Brand and Differentiate Your Firm.
Google any company in any service area. It can be challenging to identify the differences between different firms. Professional service firms must develop a marketing strategy to differentiate their business from the rest. Our case was unique in that we were among the first to use YouTube for developmental optometry. It allowed us to educate the public about a wide range of eye-related issues that were not being addressed. It helped us establish ourselves as experts in this field. This medium is prevalent and inexpensive. We were able to create large numbers of videos and reach many potential clients efficiently. We have hundreds of videos on YouTube and strong presences on social media. It has allowed us to reach likely patients not only in the U.S. but also internationally.
3. Collaborate with professionals from your industry.
Our firm is one of the few national developmental optometric practices. This means that we are often consulted by eye doctors in remote areas for advice regarding their patients. Some of our clients are located in Europe or South America. The consultative approach is also applicable to practitioners from other industries. Referring to attorneys who are specialists in one practice area can be a great way to find lawyers in other areas. A financial planner may want to make contact with an agent or broker in real estate who can refer them to a mortgage lender. Your firm’s growth can be helped by establishing relationships with people in complementary industries.
4. A business coach or consultant can be hired.
Only a few professionals are skilled in strategic business growth. This is not what we do. We hired a business consultant who has experience in both small and large businesses. We were able to establish many operating procedures and a better functioning team. He also helped us to set benchmarks for future growth. His services have been repaid many times over. Engaging with someone who has done this before can help service firms scale faster and more efficiently.
5. For practice growth, consider new ideas.
Professional services professionals should investigate and evaluate different strategies to expand their businesses. We started consulting with other eye physicians who wanted to learn Developmental optometry or add it to our service offerings. This consulting component has increased our revenue stream as well as our profits. It is possible to study the trends in your industry and choose the type of specialized services that will best suit your business, personality, and goals.
Vision For Life is owned and operated by Dr. Julie Steinhauer (OD, FCOVD). As a developmental optometrist, she specializes in sports vision and vision-related learning difficulties. She also owns a small business. She consults with international eye doctors and works with patients in the local and regional areas. As a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development, she is certified in vision enhancement and is a member of the Illinois Optometric Association; the American Optometric Association; the College of Optometrists in Vision Development; Optometric Extension Program; Parents Active for Vision Enhancement; the College of Syntonic Optometry and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association.