Buddy of mine texted me this picture from his recent road trip, and I immediately knew exactly where he was…
If ya know, ya know. And if you don’t… It’s Iowa. At the filming site of arguably the greatest movie of all time…
Field of Dreams.
Even if you haven’t seen the movie (and you should ASAP), you’ve heard it’s most famous quote:
“If you build it, he will come.” (IT being a baseball field, and HE being the lead character’s father.)
Just build a thing, and people show up. Such a great premise for an epic fictional tale.
Reality is, there’s more to success than simply building a great facility.
Pretty offices are awesome, don’t get me wrong. But what else do we need to build to serve more people and own our markets?
1. If you build it…. AND build the marketing machine around it.
Talking with a practice who recently opened a beautiful new office and was hoping to increase their refractive numbers. The surgeon was surprised they weren’t doing more cases, even though they hadn’t done anything to promote their refractive services.
“I figured we’d get more referrals just by opening,” she told me. I wish it were that simple!
Reality is, your biggest battle – whether you’re a start-up practice or a been around for years – will always be the battle against obscurity.
Meaning you’re fighting against the fact that most people don’t know (or remember) you exist.
Referrals, reviews, social media, influencers, radio, PR, giveaways, endorsements. There are plenty of ways to get the word out (some are more effective than others), but the key is you must get the word out.
2. If you build it… AND you build the team and culture within it.
You are not your building. You also need to build the team and culture within the building.
If you gave me the choice of A. Mediocre team in an amazing building or B. Amazing team in a less-than-awesome building, I’m putting my money on B.
The foundation of your practice isn’t your lobby, your chandeliers or your coffee bar. It’s the people responsible for giving your patients an excellent experience.
And everyone plays a key role. Tom Brady is the greatest of all time, but he wouldn’t have won a single game (much less 7 Super Bowls) without the other 21 guys on offense and defense playing their roles.
Continuously build and develop your team. Invest in them.
Think of yourself like a D1 college football coach. Nick Saban is always recruiting new talent, always evaluating if everyone is in the best spot, always planning for the next play/quarter/game/season.
3. If you build it… AND build the work ethic to drive it.
To build a behemoth practice takes work. I’ve seen it over and over. The practices that continue to level up – they are so incredibly focused, and they do the work.
Yes, it’s work to plan and build a beautiful new office. And that’s just the start.
The veterans in this game know what we all learn at some point – If you’re ambitious and want to grow, you’re never problem-free. But your goal is to upgrade to higher quality problems.
You fix your lead problem… which creates a conversion problem. You fix your conversion problem that results in surgery booking challenges. You fix all that and have a physical-space constraint. You fix your space issue you have a “grow your team” problem. And on and on and on it goes.
So whether you’re the practice owner, admin/manager, or working as a part of a team within the practice… there’s plenty of building to do.
This should not discourage you. In fact, it should encourage you.
The chance to build, to grow, to serve more people, to change more lives… it’s an incredible opportunity we’re privileged to have.
Take joy in the fact you’re doing the work to build a team culture, a marketing machine, a strong, patient-focused work ethic. You’re not stagnant. You’re not stale. The market isn’t passing you by.
You’re leading the charge, baby! So let’s build.