How can a strategic business review help your practice excel?

How can a strategic business review help your practice excel?

When you are running your own private practice, how do you take a step back? To stop and evaluate, and to listen and learn from your patients and team? 

 

Are the values and vision you hold dear, understood and communicated to all your stakeholders, referrers and patients? 

 

Doing this is hard within your own practice. Taking time away from the demands and stresses of “business as usual”, to pause and evaluate whether you are offering the best experience to your patients and your team is important but also challenging. So how do you achieve this? 

 

This is where a strategic business review comes into its own. Undertaking such a review will immediately help you to identify the strengths of your practice, and pinpoint the weaknesses, creating an opportunity to highlight and rectify any problems before they become ingrained. 

 

Most businesses conduct annual employee performance 360 reviews and find them extremely helpful with staff development and management, however, much greater value is to be had from running a whole business review, covering both your patient’s and employees’ experience of working with your practice. The process of looking at every aspect of your practice by reviewing each part of the structure from the top down, will reveal exactly how it is perceived, and identify any gap between your view of how you want to be perceived and reality. 

 

What is a business review? 

A business review evaluates key aspects within your practice that are the pillars of its success, through an in-depth audit and interviews with key stakeholders. 

 

The process is usually managed by an external partner, covering areas such as: 

Business objectives 

Vision, Mission and Values 

Service offering 

Key sectors, target patients 

New patient/referrers strategy 

Marketplace perception 

Your people – staff engagement 

Patient experience/journey 

 

The output of the review is a comprehensive report, providing evaluations and recommendations that engage your team, identify your ideal patients and referrers and ensures your brand messaging and values are woven throughout all of your practice communications and patient journey.  

One of the benefits gained by a business review is the feeling of inclusion amongst your employees while contributing to creating a more positive workplace. 

 

The report 

From the answers obtained in the interviews, the review of supporting documentation, clarifications and from research, an extensive report is produced, which addresses all of the areas above and summarises your successes and challenges in each area and provides recommendations to improve, including, but not limited to:  

Competitor analysis  

A review of your brand messaging and story and suggestions on your messaging going forward  

A full website audit  

A review of all your communications, social media, marketing collateral, pitch/presentation documents  

Development of user personas for your target patients and referrers  

A ‘secret shop’ to experience your patient journey  

Results from a staff engagement survey to inform Values and identify any areas for improvement  

The report concludes with recommendations for all of the key areas: – Business strategy, patient experience, your people, brand messaging and marketing strategy and activity.  

It will also provide a 3-month marketing plan that incorporates your Brand Strategy which can be implemented at your own pace.  

 

Tough read 

Any review you undertake can be a difficult read as it will enable you to uncover issues of which you were completely unaware. The process and findings can feel quite personal as your practice is your passion. The key is to thoroughly evaluate the results and make changes where necessary.  

 

A review can broaden your view of your practice, patients, referrers, workplace and employees and steer you away from assumptions. It will allow you to identify the improvement opportunities and create a strategy to implement them. 

The idea of any review can seem daunting, and the results can be brutal and difficult to accept, but it can be an especially useful way of identifying issues and weaknesses before they become a real problem affecting practice performance. When managed properly, the results can lead to changes that ingrain best practices within every layer and ensure that your employees and patients feel listened to and valued. The most important part of any business is the employees and ensuring they are all on board with the values and ethos of the business allows the company to develop and flourish in its given field.  

 

If you would like to find out more about our Designated Business Review, please do get in touch: 

Michelle Wheeler, Marketing Director 

michelle@designatedgroup.com 

2022’s mini budget update & what it means for you

2022’s mini budget update & what it means for you

Here at Designated, we aim to help our clients succeed and to support this we are committed to sharing our expertise and experience. This week our team of accountants are available to help you make sense of last week’s budget and how it may affect you and your practice.

If you’d like to have a more in-depth discussion with our finance team, get in touch with Vicky at: Vicky.garbett@designatedgroup.com 

Here is a quick budget overview from Vicky: 

The mini budget has come as a surprise to some, and a real shock to others. Reading all the newspaper coverage can cloud the raw details of the Government’s announcement, so here they are, with no fluff and straight to the point!

 

  • AIA will remain at £1,000,000
  • IR35 rules will be reformed, and tax codes will be reviewed
  • Income tax rate of 45% to be abolished next year, and income tax (lower threshold) to be 19p in the £1 from April 2023.
  • End of the 45p tax rate, paid by those earning more than £150,000, from April 2023.
  • 1p cut to the basic rate of income tax brought forward by a year to April 2023
  • No stamp duty to be paid on property purchases up to £250,000 and up to £425,000 for first-time buyers
  • Scrapping of the bankers’ bonus cap in a bid to boost the city
  • Reintroduction of VAT-free shopping for overseas tourists
  • Businesses based in 38 new ‘investment zones’ will have taxes slashed and will benefit from the scrapping of planning rules
  • Alcohol duty frozen from next year (estimated to be worth 7p on a pint of beer and 38p on a bottle of wine)
  • National Insurance contributions increase of 1.2% to be cancelled from 6th November 22
  • Cancellation of next year’s planned rise in Corporation Tax, will now remain at 19%

Designated are always here to support you, across all our services. Get in touch with the team to start your conversation. 

Phone: 020 7952 1008 Email: info@designatedgroup.com

Why is it important to understand your patient journey?

Why is it important to understand your patient journey?

In today’s world, patients are more informed than ever before. They have a range of tools to help them with decision-making when it comes to choosing a private practice, which is why it’s important to understand how your practice is perceived and the reasons why. 

Clinic perception is driven by a range of different things for patients, they will have different experiences depending on where they are in their research journey. 

For example; 

  • How easy is it to find you on the internet or social media? 
  • Do you look credible and trustworthy? 
  • Can they find your contact details? 
  • Do you answer the phone or emails? 
  • How do you correspond with patients? 
  • What do others think about you? 
  • If you’ve used them before have they remembered you? 

Patient experience is key to practices success, because if you give the patient a positive experience then they will remember you and become an advocate for your practice. A loyal patient is a more profitable one because they will promote your practice free of charge and return to you in the future! If they have a poor experience, then they will tell everyone and anyone who will listen which can be very damaging, especially when it’s broadcast across social media. 

That is why understanding the patient journey is so important. Knowing that all the patient touchpoints for your practice are on brand and up to date and that your internal processes are set up to truly deliver a positive patient experience. 

A typical patient will research and evaluate your clinic and your competitors before deciding whether to engage with your services. By understanding this journey, and the influencing factors that help with their decision-making, you can better position your clinic to meet their needs as well as deliver a positive experience throughout the process. 

  

Typically, patients go through 3 different stages before making a decision. 

PATIENT JOURNEY
  1. Awareness stage– a patient is looking to solve a problem
    During this stage, a patient will be researching and looking for educational information about the problem they want to solve or the need that they have. 
    At this stage, patients will be looking at these channels; Google searches so SEO is important at this stage, website, social media and any advertising. 
  2. Considerationstage– a patient is considering options to solve the problem 
    During this stage, patients will be reading what you offer on your website and competitor websites to see who offers what. They may also be reading articles and case studies. Most importantly patients will be looking to understand what other people think of you so they will be influenced by testimonials either on your website or on trusted patient satisfaction websites e.g. Doctify etc 
  3. Decision stage – the patient evaluates and decides on the clinicthat will help them solve the problem
    At this stage, they will make contact with the practice, either by email, telephone or through the contact form on your website. This is the stage where internal processes are key to ensure the patient experiences are good and finds out any specific information they require. They are kept up to date and informed about the service they are interested in and feel valued. 

Just as important as the 3 stages above, is the aftercare experience, which is when you can really make a patient feel valued and turn them into a loyal patient. This is the time to ensure you have all the relevant contact details and GDPR compliance to make sure you can keep in touch with the patient in the future either through newsletters or emails. 

Capturing patient satisfaction through surveys or testimonials is also important for your practice. If they’ve had a positive experience then they will become an advocate and give you a good patient satisfaction rating or testimonial which money can’t buy! 

What to do now? 
Now is the time to review all the patient touchpoints for your practice, and make sure that all your patient-facing marketing channels are up to date and relevant. Review your internal processes so that you understand what happens when someone gets in contact with you and how is it managed internally to ensure they receive a positive patient experience. 

This is the patient journey and by understanding all of the elements that contribute to this, you will be able to successfully grow your practice and ensure it is better than your competitors and deliver a positively memorable patient experience. 

If you would like to find out more about how Designated can help with understanding your patient journey, please do get in touch: 

Michelle Wheeler, Marketing Director, michelle@designatedgroup.com 020 7952 1008 

October Edition of Stay Connected

October Edition of Stay Connected

Top Doctors

Hello and welcome to the October edition of our newsletter.

In this months newsletter, we spotlight the events industry. After what has felt like a never-ending hiatus, events calendars seem to be filling up once again. This year people gathered for some of the biggest, global sporting events such as The UEFA European Football Championship as well as the Tokyo Olympics.

Though opinions were divided on such events happening whilst we were still struggling with Covid-19, these in-person gatherings gave the green light for other industries outside of the sporting world, to start planning their own, much smaller events.

We look at the future of medical events, 2022 onwards and discuss buzzwords such as hybrid, virtual and live to see what these mean for organisers going forward.

If you’re planning your marketing and events activities and would like some support, please don’t hesitate to contact us, perhaps we can help you.

Best wishes

Designated Medical Team

Meet our Designated events manager, Jodi Newton

Meet our Designated events manager, Jodi Newton

Designated Events

What makes a great events manager?  Attention to detail for sure, creativity and innovation, definitely, and someone with positive interpersonal skills? Absolutely. But In today’s virtual world, you also need somebody with the ability to pick up new platforms and technologies with ease, someone who isn’t afraid to jump right in and learn something new. 

You need that person to be flexible as things won’t always go to plan, i.e a physical event turning virtual at the last minute. The ability to stay calm, level-headed whilst seeking to solve any problems that may arise. 

Meet Jodi Newton. Since 2019 she has been our (excuse the pun) designated events manager. With over 25 years of experience and a commitment to excellence, Jodi has helped numerous clients create and execute both virtual and in-person events, achieving their goals in a smooth and seamless fashion. 

From being a key liaison during the early years of the MOBO awards while working at the New Connaught Rooms through to holding conference and banqueting manager roles at some of London’s top hotels. Jodi has likely seen it all. (If you ever speak to her in person, do ask her about the time she had to fire Santa!) 

We asked Jodi about her favourite events moments during her career, she told us: 

“One of my career highlights has to be being involved in the MOBO awards when they first started at the New Connaught Rooms. For two years in a row, I was their main contact, liaising with the organisers and ensuring that the Operations team had all the information they needed to make the event run smoothly – including dealing with celebrity performers with some very particular demands! It was thrilling watching the event grow into such a huge success over the following years, knowing that we had played an important part in helping them establish their name.

After several years working in Central London hotels and venues, I joined a construction company and organised all their events, from a client lunch for 10 people to a staff weekend away for 200. I loved the new challenges that came from working on behalf of the client instead of the venue. My highlight has to be organising our company’s 10th anniversary, a lavish dinner dance at stunning Banqueting House. For me, there is no better feeling than walking into a room and seeing that everything is in place, everything goes well, and everyone has a fantastic time, knowing how hard I’ve worked to make it happen.”

We also asked Jodi what she feels the events Industry will look like post-pandemic: 

“I’m feeling positive about the events industry for the coming year overall. Covid continues to have a varying effect in different countries, but I do believe the UK Events industry will continue to recover, both for work and leisure.

The pandemic has driven an exponential increase, and improvement, in virtual event technologies and these will still have a place in the future. However, there will always be an appetite for travel and for physically being in the same space as other people, and so hybrid events are here to stay.”

At Designated, Jodi has several, regular clients that she organises and executes events for. The fact they keep returning to work with Jodi, speaks volumes. 

Designated, a lifesaver for sure! 

When Covid 19 hit, the format of all the corporate events at WOB NexGen had to change imminently to meet the dynamic needs of our global corporate partners. The challenge was primarily to switch our in-house workshops, talks and events over to remote hybrid platforms without compromising quality and content. With the swift intervention of Designated and Jodi Newton in particular, we were able to seamlessly move from one to the next. 

Jodi stepped into the multi-faceted role with ease and the necessary professionalism we required to assure our partners that it was business as usual. She has become an integral part of our corporate team who independently manages the planning, execution, and follow-up of all our events. 

Ancia Cronje, WOB NexGen, Corporate Events Manager 

If you are planning a virtual or in-person, live event and are looking for additional events and/or marketing support, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our friendly team. michelle@designatedgroup.com 

 

 

 

 

The future of medical events, 2022+

The future of medical events, 2022+

Medical Events Designated

It’s no secret that the events industry was hit hard by the pandemic. Worth £39.1 billion to the UK economy and a landscape that thrives on human interaction, making it a sizeable loss to businesses bottom line. Some tech-savvy and forward-thinking organisations leapt at the opportunity to save costs and increase event registrations by going virtual. This worked well for some while others struggled with new technologies. Phrases like ‘you’re on mute’ even made it to the 2020 New Years Eve drone show above London’s 02 arena. (How great was that by the way?!) 

One thing we know for certain is that the pandemic accelerated events industry and technology changes that would have taken a long time for many businesses to become accustomed to. Virtual events became a buzzword in 2020, with 52,000 of them happening on just one platform.

But now as we draw towards the end of 2021, what have we learnt about the events industry and what can we expect from 2022+?

Virtual events are here to stay. 

Whether you love them or loathe them, the benefits of virtual events are vast. Depending on the scale, they can be pulled together fairly quickly with the right platform and partners. Live events require everyone to be in the same place, whereas many more people have the opportunity to be part of a virtual event. Your annual event held in a conference room at a London hotel now has the opportunity to go global. Take one of the biggest technology companies on the planet. Microsoft. In 2019 their ‘ignite’ conference attracted 6,000 attendees, each paying $2,395 dollars per person. In 2020 the event was virtual and free. They attracted 197,000 people. There is a revenue question here, but many companies have adjusted their sponsorship packages and opportunities to recoup these losses. Businesses can now afford to run several events rather than just one, also offering greater incentives to their sponsors who could gain greater, more regular exposure.

But what about hybrid?

Hybrid events allow for the flexibility and reach of a virtual event, but the connection and engagement of an in-person option. We will see many events organisers create opportunities for both virtual and in-person experiences for those that want them. Ensuring that face to face networking opportunities are also on offer. Virtual is great, it gets the job done. But there is nothing quite like sharing an experience, reading body language, making eye contact and laughing over how addictive the canapes are this year. Showing up in person also demonstrates your dedication to a particular event or topic. It shows you’re serious about your job and your industry. Not everybody is ready to mix in a room full of people, and that’s why hybrid events will become both popular and petitioned for by events attendees.

Live events will be driven by experience

We now know that an event can work very well as virtual or hybrid. But what about a solely live event. Will events organisers struggle to persuade attendees to leave the comfort of the home laptops? In one sense a live event will be an easy sell, as humans we crave interaction with other people, it is one of our most basic needs and for the best part of 2 years, we’ve kept our circles small. But on the other side, if we can avoid public transport be around to meet family and personal requirements and still get all we want from the event, be it professional upskilling, CPD points or more details about a new and emerging industry trend, why not do it from home?

At Designated we have been running many virtual events for our medical clients. In most cases CPD points are available, making them incredibly practical for atendees to join us live from the comfort of their home. 

 

But we predict events organisers are going to have to pull out all the stops in some cases to bring back the delegates. Making it truly worth the journey, a memorable experience that goes beyond great content. That may mean increasing budgets and scrapping formats that have worked perfectly well, pre-pandemic.

Safety and Sustainability

But it isn’t only the experience organisers are going to need to consider. What about safety? Keeping delegates re-assured that you are doing everything humanly possible to make the event a safe one, will be imperative in its reputation. There will also be a renewed emphasis on sustainability. Organisers will need to be able to demonstrate how they are trying to reduce their carbon footprint. On a smaller scale it will be through things such as signage, delegate badges, events collateral and gifts but on a bigger scale – where are speakers coming from? Are they flying across the globe to be present? Events organisers will need to be answerable to their attendees, their sponsors and anybody else with a stake in the business.

The events industry is worth trillions worldwide and it isn’t expected to return fully normal until at least 2023, though we might not know when events will feel familiar again, we do know that the changes brought on by the Coronavarius, will have lasting effects.

If you’re considering setting the date on your events calendar, but aren’t sure where to start, why not reach out to one of our friendly team. Whether it’s a virtual event or a live show, our team can help with strategy, event planning and execution as well as post-event analysis. Contact Marketing Director Michelle Wheeler on michelle@designatedgroup.com

 

 

 

 

January Stay Connected

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