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Your website is a reflection of your laboratory; many times it’s the first impression a potential client will have of your lab. Jordon Comstock offers tips to keep in mind when designing your website.
Social media is a relationship-focused, human-to-human marketing approach that can open up communication between you and your customers. Author Mark Schaefer offers some tips to help you take on the social media world headfirst.
Respondents to LMT’s 2015 Marketing Survey are using new as well as tried-and-true strategies to cement client relationships, boost loyalty and increase referrals.
In our Ask SCORE column, George Obst, certified SCORE mentor and retired CEO and Founding Partner of Dental Services Group, addresses how to create a market-driven organization.
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- December 2014
Q. The pace of change in our industry is accelerating. How do I keep up?
A. As the external environment changes your thinking and strategies need to change as well. For many of us that means acquiring new skills. You need to engage change proactively, making the necessary business changes to maintain a competitive advantage and you need to anticipate how your customer expectations are changing so you are not caught “flat footed.”
Ram Charan, a noted management consultant and author, has identified seven interrelated learnable skills that separate the performers from non-performers. Success on a continuous basis in this world of change depends on your ability to cultivate and practice these seven skills sets:
Pinpoint external changes and trends quickly and accurately.
Use this information to position your business and to re-position your thinking. This process has to happen quickly enough to be effective because of the pace of change, and means aligning your actions with today’s...
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- August 2014
The R&E Tax Credit rewards companies investing resources in the development or improvement of its products, processes and techniques. If you qualify, you could receive a credit of $25,000 to $50,000 per year depending on your situation.
- June 2014
Over 40% of lab owners plan to retire within the next decade. With retirement on the horizon for so many, selling a laboratory is going to become an increasingly competitive situation. In this buyer’s market, operating a well-run, profitable lab, maximizing its value and standing out from your peers is going to be essential if your exit strategy is to sell your laboratory. Here are some key features buyers are looking at when considering a laboratory acquisition:
* Solid client base. Statistically, even if all goes smoothly, a buyer can lose 10 to 20% of your accounts so he’s going to be looking carefully at your customers: the strength of your relationships, amount of turnover, their location, overlap between your two markets, proximity to retirement age, etc.
And remember the 80/20 rule: generally 80% of a lab’s business comes from 20% of its clients. As a seller, the more you can increase the percentage of clients from which most of your work comes, say to 30 to 40%,...
SEO ensures that your target audience has the ability to quickly find your laboratory’s website through a search engine; it’s what gets your website found and helps build traffic to your site.
- October 2013
Christian Saurman, Vice President, New England Orthodontic Laboratory (NEO), Wilmington, MA, has implemented tools on his website to make case submission simple.
This Fall I’m heading to the great state of Arizona for a couple of months and I’m hoping to meet some laboratory owners while I’m there. I’m also hoping I can make some stops during the drive out (the last week of October) and possibly the first week of January on the drive back.
Our route takes us through Harrisburg, PA, then along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and over to I-70 and down to I-40. We’ll be going through Columbus, OH; Indianapolis; St. Louis and Springfield, MO; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK; then across to Amarillo, TX; Albuquerque, NM; and into Flagstaff, AZ.
We are taking all three dogs and our one remaining twenty-one-and-a-half-year-old cat and renting a house in Fountain Hills, just north of Phoenix, through the end of the year. I’m letting you know so you can let me know if you’d welcome a quick hello. I’d love to know some history about your laboratory and how you’re faring in this digital age. If your lab is near any...
It's time to get involved in social media: it's free, it's easy, and more and more of your competitors are doing it.
- March 2013
For years, Laboratory Co-Owner Marc Daichman has been sponsoring continuing education events for dentists at least once a week. He finds it to be the best, fastest and easiest way to connect with clients and build his business.
- February 2012
7 Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Business: Share Your Faster, Smarter, Better Marketing Tips Here!
Problem: I'd like to boost my laboratory's name recognition in my local community. What are some low-cost public relations strategies?
Strategy: Public relations initiatives are a valuable way to promote your company without having to spend big bucks. They can enhance your credibility and help build your name recognition within your community and amongst potential clients. Here are some ideas to get your lab name out there and keep it visible:
• Call your local paper's health editor and offer to answer any questions he may have or send a letter to the editor offering your perspective on a topic that may be of interest to the paper's readers, like cosmetic dentistry or concerns about lead in restorations. Also, when you have a noteworthy business development, such as opening a new denture department, a 10-year anniversary in business or a charitable event, send a press release to the local newspaper.
• Speak before civic organizations and senior groups on relevant...
3 Faster, Smarter, Better Customer Service Strategies to Boost Your Business: What Are Your Secrets For Excellent Customer Service?
In this economy, working faster, smarter, better is the key to riding out the storm. Here are 3 easy-to-implement tips that can lead to a leaner, meaner, more efficient laboratory operation.
Problem: I want to find a concrete way to reward customers who have remained loyal to us and haven't been lured away by lower prices in this economy.
Strategy: Consider a loyalty rewards program; many laboratories have programs that award dentist-clients cash, credit or even travel credits equal to 2-5% of their total volume. In 2009, Doug Egts, Owner of Esthetic Dental Creations in Rawson, OH, was spurred by the challenging economy to implement the loyalty program he had been considering for a few years. He awards clients 3% of their monthly volume in "Creation Credit Points." Doctors can then use each point for a dollar off future lab work or 50 cents in cash back.
"I always think it's unfair when businesses give new customers all the perks, while it's the loyal, long-term customers that keep...
- November 2011
Loyalty rewards programs are an effective way to maintain strong relationships with your top clients, encourage their repeat business, optimize cross-selling opportunities and regulate cash flow.
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- October 2011
Now more than ever, laboratory owners are stepping into the role of educator to their clients.
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- September 2011
Bob Maccario, MBA, looks at this new trenâfocused on how a patientâs oral health impacts his overall healthâand how you can tap into it by educating your dentist-clients about its practice-building potential.
- July 2011
Sponsoring continuing education programs can have a significant impact on client retention and acquisition, customer engagement, cross selling and business growth.
- June 2011
Four laboratories share their strategies for showing current and prospective clients alike they are much more than just a crown in a box.
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In just four years, Michaelangelo Dental Studio, Tujunga, CA, has grown from a staff of two to 10 and sales have increased 425%. Find out how.
- April 2011
From testimonials from your dentist-clients to study clubs and Chambers of Commerce, LMT Live! âs 2000 program in Chicago highlights six ways to reel in the referrals that can lead to new accounts. Also: how to create an effective marketing message.
Many laboratories are deeply discounting their prices due to the challenging economy. Robert Maccario, MBAâa business manager for dentistsâexplains why this is exactly the wrong approach.