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1. Develop an Employee Orientation Manual. Although each position will require specific training and materials, some training resources are appropriate for all staff members. One such multipurpose resource is a comprehensive employee orientation manual, the basic contents of which should include an introduction/ welcome page, a mission statement, history/background of your practice, and stats and facts regarding your current practice, providers, and other staff. For more on this, see the December 2010 issue (all past issues available online at

2. Manage Your Online Reputation. With the recent explosion of online opinion-posting through Internet, social networking, and blogging sites, online reputation management (ORM) has become a critical component of any practice's current medical marketing strategy. Some points of focus in ORM include monitoring your reputation, evaluating comments or dialogues about your practice, and creating a plan of action that would help you to determine when to ignore or draft a formal response to the party involved. For more on this, see the Business Advisor department from the July 2010 issue.

3. Mentor Wisely. While initial staff selection is a key component for success, choosing the right employee is only the first step in what potentially can be a long and fulfilling career for that individual in your practice. Careful planning and prudent employee development must become an integral part of your practice culture. Indeed, without nurturing and cultivation, even the most promising employees will never reach their fullest potential. For more on successful mentoring strategies, see the September 2010 issue.

4. Always Follow-Up. Follow-up is key to maintaining and growing your clientele, particularly if your practice offers aesthetic services. This follow-up does not have to be elaborate or sophisticated—only timely, consistent, accurate, and personal. Begin by asking callers for contact information. Ask permission to send additional information and to put that person on your e-mail list for future specials. Let your caller know your practice sometimes offers specials and discounts and that you want to make sure he or she has all the information necessary to make an educated decision on a product or service. Some will say, “no thanks,” and that is fine. However, many will say, “yes.” You can e-mail the shopper later that day with a thank-you, and then again in a week or two offering assistance with any additional questions. For more on this, see our May 2010 issue.

5. Manage Your Practice Like a Business. Like any business, a medical practice must measure and manage its performance across the four business components—financial, customers, employees, and business processes—that are basic to all enterprises. In striving to achieve its vision and financial goals, too often, a medical practice does not execute the basics, i.e., explicit and visible management functions; methods to measure and report performance; and processes for thinking and planning ahead. For more on managing your medical practice like a business and fulfilling the basics, check out the February 2011 issue.

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