Performing a self-assessment is something every practice should be in the habit of doing at least once per year, if not quarterly. This will give you a chance to compare your business to your competition and to review the success of your promotional efforts. A SWOT analysis will help provide an overall view of your business, can be compiled in a visual and concise manner, and will help your team develop a marketing plan.
First things first: What is a SWOT Analysis?
SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
- The first two items, strengths and weaknesses, refer to internal components of your business. These are the items and tactics that you employ to influence your patients, which you have direct control over. Examples include:
- Staff, assets & resources
- Brand personality
- Ambassador loyalty
- Competencies & capabilities
- Ease of appointment schedule
- ASP and procedure affordability
- Environment & ambience
- The quality of your patient education materials
- The other two, opportunities and threats, are considered external components. These are things that you cannot directly control but will have a determining outcome on the success of your programs. Examples include:
- Economic and consumer confidence indices
- Local unemployment rate
- Demand for the service
- Market competition
Where do we start?
Do your research! If you understand the market before you begin the exercise, you’ll have a more efficient process. When you are ready to proceed, feel free to contact your Sightpath sales representative who can act as a mediator in the process. We will help your practice discuss many topics, including:
- Company culture, perks, work environment, mission and values
- Why you do what you do, and how important each part of your business is
- What are your immediate and long range goals, and how do they differ
- Overall financial review including marketing budget
- Competitive landscape and analysis of other practices
- Effectiveness and level of engagement with and commitment to current marketing efforts
- Staffing reviews, educational or performance issues
- What does success look like and how it will be measured
This process should be a collaborative effort and could be a good time to evaluate your personal goals along with the practice’s overall goals. Take time to take it personally – the process itself may be a bit uncomfortable, admitting weaknesses or areas for improvement often are – but doing so will provide you with the ammunition necessary to overcome and respond to negatives. Here are some basic guidelines to help you streamline the assessment:
- Limit yourself to 3-5 items for each of the 4 categories
- Be as clear and specific as possible
- Base your items on fact, not opinion. If you are going off a hunch, ask around for a consensus.
- Define items with actions or solutions
- State your factors against your competitors or the industry, for scale
- Divide results into an order of priority or a probability of occurrence
Once you have brainstormed on all of these topics and evaluated your goals, you should have come up with several factors, many of which kept coming up. These reoccurring themes are what you should list in your SWOT chart. Go through the list of items and set priorities, make commitments and come up with strategies to help you deliver on each factor toward your goals. Ask yourselves:
- How will our strengths help us maximize the opportunities?
- How will our strengths help us be prepared to respond to the threats?
- How will we minimize our weaknesses to help us maximize the opportunities?
- How will we overcome our weaknesses to prevent the threats?
After you have answered all of these questions, you will be ready to come up with daily tactics to help you achieve your goals and position your practice for improved success.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you perform a SWOT analysis for your practice, contact us today for more information on our comprehensive marketing solutions. All Sightpath Medical customers receive access to a full range of practice-building resources. From staff training and sample forms, to video tutorials and monthly webinars, we are here to help. Customers, click to access our Customer Resource library. Additionally, Sightpath Creative can help create interactions and energize a referral network to drive procedures, with ongoing practice development support on a variety of levels. Sightpath Creative would be glad to help assess, create and deploy messages for you all year long. Learn more about Sightpath Creative.