Practice closed due to COVID-19? 5 steps to protect it.

If your healthcare or wellness practice is closed right now, you are not alone. 96% of small businesses are impacted by COVID-19. Half do not believe they can stay in business under these conditions for another three months.

Due to mass layoffs, economic stagnation, taxes and accelerating unemployment, cash-strapped clients will defer all unnecessary expenses. While some healthcare providers (e.g. primary care practices) are overwhelmed with patient communication and appointments, many specialists and wellness care providers have temporarily closed.

While your office may not be able to see anyone right now, there is a lot that you can do to protect your business, staff and clients/patients. This is an ideal time for to improve their digital presence now to improve cash flow for the remainder of 2020.

1) Create digital content

Whether you prefer short articles, videos, infographics or an informational podcast, now is a great time to build out helpful content to support your clients and business. Useful content will improve your website’s search ranking, draw new audiences to your business and establish you as an expert in your domain. You should create content regularly to be effective. Start by creating once piece of content for each of the next 6 months and build up to releasing content weekly.

2) Improve your website design

It is hard to find time to improve your website’s look and feel when business is roaring. When business is slower, improving your website will pay dividends when things pick up again. Start by making it as easy as possible for your clients to request appointments online. An improved website design makes it more likely that someone who sees you online ends up booking an appointment.

3) Update online directories 

Use this time to ensure that your profiles for all the main online directories are up-to-date and indicate any temporary change in hours due to COVID-19. You want to make it as easy as possible for clients to find you once the outbreak subsides.

Indicate temporary closure or changes in hours

Start by ensuring that your Google Business listing indicates any changes in your working hours. Google has provided recommendations on what to change so that your clients are not confused. After you update your Google profile, update additional directories as time permits.

Create new profiles

Even if you do not plan to utilize social media to promote your business, creating profiles and linking them to your website can be beneficial for SEO. Your business will be more likely to show up when people search for it online. Start by updating Yelp, Google Business, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Apple Maps and the BBB. Afterwards, use additional time to update your profile for the remaining fifty online directories. Contact us by phone or email for some tips to do this quickly.

4) Engage clients through social media

If HIPAA limits you from interacting with patients on social media, you can use this time to publish quick updates about COVID-19. If you have created content (see number 1) use social media to broadcast it so that people see it. If HIPAA does not limit your social media interactions, start following, liking and friending your clients to keep them connected with your business. When COVID-19 subsides, these new followers will be reminded of the services that you provide.

Facebook has created an online resource center for small businesses facing COVID-19. It includes recommendations like pinning an important announcement about COVID-19 on your page, hosting a webinar or virtual event for your clients and providing a FAQ about COVID-19.

5) Make an announcement about COVID-19

Tell your clients and prospects what your business is doing to respond to COVID-19. It may not be appropriate to bulk email your clientele but a quick announcement on your website is always warranted. Are you closed? Have your hours changed? Are you offering new or unique services (virtual, etc) that your clients can take advantage of? Is your business doing something else to support the community during this time?

We are here to help

To support small healthcare and wellness providers, we are waiving our typical fee schedule for all IT and website setup work during COVID-19. We are helping our partners get important announcements out to their network, setup virtual care, and plan for the remainder of 2020. Click here to request a call.

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