Considering a new revenue center? Start with coffee

Lawrence Gelburd, instructor in entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, offered this suggestion at the Trends Executive Edge: Strategies for Growth seminar at the 2008 AAHA Yearly Conference:

Go to coffee.

Invite A-list clients and suppliers out to coffee. Treat your competitors to lunch. Use the opportunity to glean the information you need to make a smart decision about whether a specific revenue/service center is right for your practice.

Who to invite, what to talk about:

1) Customers. Take your best clients to coffee, one-on-one. Explain the service and its health benefit, then ask leading questions to learn what clients think about the value of the service, how it is provided (by veterinarian or technician, for example), and fees.

2) Suppliers. Pick their brains. Suppliers get to know their best clients quite well. Ask what practices and protocols they see in successful practices.

3) Colleagues. Take a competitor to lunch to compare notes. Be honest about your intent, and frame it in a way that is not competitive. Most people like to share their success stories and hard-won insights. Make it mutual; share what you’ve learned. The result may be a mutual referral arrangement rather than a competitive one.

For more information from Lawrence Gelburd on starting new revenue centers and planning your financial future, go to Plus, don’t miss our recap of the Tampa Special Sessions in the May/June 2008 issue of Trends magazine.