If you want to grow your small business (and who doesn’t?), you’re no doubt always on the lookout for new and innovative ways of doing that. Maybe when you started your local veterinary office, you were the only game in town, but over time, competition has sprung up. Competition that’s making it increasingly more difficult for you to feel secure in your business. You know your business model is good, you know you love the animals you see, and the people who bring them to you, but without a solid marketing plan, you worry about what the future might hold for you and your business.
You’ve probably got a website, and may even have a fairly robust marketing plan in place to keep the growth coming. One thing you may not have considered, however, is a local strategic partnership.
A lot of people are terrified of “strategic partnerships” because they feel that the partnership may be viewed as unequal in some way – that one party will wind up “getting more” than the other. That can happen, and of course, if and where it does, if you feel that you’re being treated unfairly, it’s always advisable to simply pull the plug on the arrangement. That said, if you pick your strategic partner well and wisely, you can find yourself with a useful ally who can help you dominate your local market. Here are just a few ideas for strategic partnerships of various sorts that might be of value to your veterinary practice, and how you might make best use of such an arrangement.
Specifically the Animal Control Division and/or the City or County Animal Shelters in your area. Here, we’re talking about volunteering some small portion of your time to help spay and neuter animals that come into these shelters, or perform routine assessments on them to help them get adopted. If you wanted to bind yourself more closely to them, you could even include a feed on your website featuring the pictures and descriptions of some of the animals, in a bid to help get them adopted. That’s what you “give.” What you get in this case is a tremendous amount of good will and public relations ammunition. Once this partnership has been established, you can make frequent mention of it on your social media properties, and in your office.
Local Pet Stores
Many veterinary offices will sell specialty dog and cat food, treats, leashes, and a variety of other items. Most (but not all) offices have at least some space set aside just for that purchase, usually right near where the owners of your patients will be checking out. Rather than going this route, consider leasing that space to a family run pet store in the same town. That gives them a “satellite office” from which to do business out of, and it gives you a “satellite office” as well, as you can ask that they make mention of the partnership in their store, so that any of their customers will be more likely to also become your customers, and vice versa. This kind of symbiotic relationship can make a huge difference in your growth potential.
There are other options that are worth exploring as well. One thing you definitely want to do is to be certain that whatever local strategic partnerships you make, those arrangements need to also have a place in your web based marketing strategies. If you need help with integration, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, and we’ll show you how to make all the pieces of your marketing plan work together as a seamless whole.