Can physicians and medical professionals develop additional revenue streams beyond the standard fees for services? Sure – there are quite a few possibilities for improving overall monthly income for doctors – some easier than others. One way of creating additional revenue is by developing a 2nd tier of service; a VIP type system – with no waiting, handy phone consultations or communication via email available. Another possibility is adding secondary services that can be done easily in a medical office, (perhaps those that you have been referring out). Easier yet – making available merchandise that you often recommend your patients go out and buy. It’s this third option that requires the least amount of work and can bring in additional revenue with little or no additional expenses.
Offering your patients the products that you often suggest they go out and purchase after leaving your office is not only a great way for you to create a secondary revenue stream but it is also very convenient for your patients. As long as the prices are similar to what they would find out in the world – why not? This saves them the time of going out to look for a new remedy and saves you the time of trying to explain exactly what it is that you are recommending. In a way, you’re telling your patients that you value them and that you have already done the leg work for them by stocking products that will benefit them.
Setting up a little “store” within your office or waiting room can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it. Many waiting rooms use a nice book shelf or small wooden table or desk to show off as little as 5 products, while others go so far as to purchase fancy glass display cases for 30 or more different products. It’s up to you, and is usually dictated by how much space you have available for the merchandise.
Now – imagine that you could go one step further and offer them products that nobody else has available. If the product is good, and does its job – then you will have a customer for life. After all, if a patient cannot purchase Dr.X’s skin cleanser anywhere else but at Dr.X’s office – then another office visit also becomes another purchase of the product. So – how do you get a product like this – with your name or the name of your practice on it? The answer is: private labeling.
This is common practice in hundreds of industries, from pet food to hot sauce to peanut butter. Often times a single manufacturer will produce the same product for a dozen competitors – with everything the same except the packaging. Just take some time to walk down the aisles of a grocery store and you will see thousands of examples of private labeling.
But private labeling for physicians and medical professionals – is that really practical? Sure, not only is it practical, but it is really quite easy. Depending on your specialty, you need to find a private label manufacturer, contact them and get the ball rolling. Usually they can have products complete with packaging available for you within a few weeks. You will need to decide on how many different products you want to carry and it helps to have a few ideas about labels and names – but most private labeling companies have sales reps that can help you with all of these decisions. They are professionals that know your industry well and can offer advice that will get you going in the right direction.