Amy AustinClarity Expert

Focused on helping health care providers educate, engage and empower their audiences. 20 years of health care marketing experience including development of multi-platform brand campaigns, launch of new health care services and patient portals, and operational assessments.

Recent Answers

I agree with all of the answers and advice offered so far on this thread. Building word of mouth and referrals will be critical to the success of your practice.

Invite referral sources to an open house to get to know you and your clinic. Network, network, network. One of the commenters suggested a formalized relationship with referral sources - before you start a program as described, make sure you aren't held to Stark laws that prevent financial gain for referrals among physicians.

Social media strategies can seem overwhelming but are also very effective. If you go that route, pick one platform to focus on and do that well rather than cutting yourself too thin trying to maintain multiple platforms. Use the questions you hear from your clients as a means to develop content - if one person is asking, there are likely others who are looking for the same information.

Good luck! Happy to provide additional feedback, just reach out.

I recently went through a Start Up Weekend event as well as a Venture School program through the University of Iowa. The entire course was on doing exactly what you are asking. They teach the lean start-up and business canvas model of proving a business idea.

The core strategy with proving your business has potential is customer discovery - determining a hypothesis and testing it through interviews (customer discovery). You'll do these interviews with several different hypotheses, concerning every aspect of your business idea - the problem, the potential solution, who are the possible consumers, what will they pay (if they will pay), distribution models, sales tactics, etc. I've provided a few links that present the theory behind the business canvas. It provides a means to be agile in your business development, helping you identify when to pivot or change up your idea to best fit the market needs.

Good luck! Happy to chat further if you have questions about this concept or how to use it.

There are some excellent responses here already so I'll just add this. Customer discovery interviews with your actual customers will help. Customer discovery is part of the lean start-up and business canvas development. A key takeaway in conducting those interviews is to know what your purpose is before starting the interview and then ask "why" five times to each primary question. Each answer to the "why" question will uncover more information, helping you get to the true root of the answer.

Good luck!

I just built a new website for my business using WordPress and a custom theme (the7). It is a drag and drop with excellent tutorials. While I had a couple of things that really tripped me up, I reached out to the customer service for the theme and was able to figure out how to correct what wasn't working as I thought it should. I believe the theme came with six months of customer support from the theme developer, with the option to buy an additional six months for a small fee.

To find the themes, I used Theme Forrest. It is essentially a catalog for custom WordPress themes. Each gives you the ability to look at demos of sites built using those themes, examples of specific page types and information on how to build the page (is it a drop/drag, requires coding, etc).

Good Luck.

I've spent many years working in a marketing department as our primary brand liaison to the advertising agency. Based on that, I believe you need to strongly consider both as your target audience.

I suggest developing a relationship with the media buyers/planners in agencies. When they do need transit advertising as part campaign their agency is developing, they will think of your company because of the relationship you have developed. Additionally building relationships within the marketing communications/brand owners will also be helpful. Every business/corporation is different. Some may have their own media buyers on staff, others may rely on their agencies to make the buy but they can influence what media is bought on their behalf (or direct who the agency should work with at a specific media outlet).

My gutt tells me you should focus your energies on the media buyers at agencies, with the brand owners/marketing departments as a secondary focus. My rationale on that is solely from my personal experience. If I were in the position to buy transit advertising, it wouldn't be something I did often so I would go back to the agency for assistance to make sure I was making a good decision and negotiating the buy for the best outcome.

I'd be happy to discuss further if you have additional questions. Good luck!

I agree with the other responses to this question. I'd like to suggest that you look seriously at developing a lean business canvas. Through this, you'd start to see a variety of hypothesis that you need to validate through the discovery interviews. I'm currently going through a Venture School program that is guiding us through this exact exercise. Two books that are highly recommended are Business Model Generation Book and StartUp Owner's Manual. I would also recommend searching for the Strategyzer videos on YouTube. All of these are filled with excellent information about testing your assumptions related to a startup. It will also outline how to pivot and iterate to further develop your ideas, leading to a higher likelihood of success. Good luck! Happy to discuss further if you have other questions.

You need to reach out to the person working with the surgeon who is responsible for their marketing or their customer service - such as a clinic manager, patient representative or equivalent; or a hospital or health system-based marketing department representative if the bariatric surgery program is affiliated with one. Oftentimes bariatric surgeons do community seminars or webinars so getting the names of the individuals coordinating those programs on behalf of the surgeon could also be beneficial. It is not likely you'd be able to reach the surgeon themselves. If you were able to reach them, they may be able to influence the marketing decisions being made about their program, but they are likely not the sole decision maker. Hope that is helpful.

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