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Clinical Solutions Blog

Is Your Health Business Playing Offence or Defence?

Posted by Rick Lau on Apr 5, 2016 12:02:26 PM

Is your health business playing offence or defence


One of the biggest problems I see most health businesses face is they are always playing defence and not offence.  

  • Defence = resistance and reaction
  • Offence = attack and score

In a game, there’s a need for defence and offence because the teams play in opposition to each other. But in business, well, let’s just say playing defence isn’t the best position to take.

If you’re always playing defence you’re basically just reacting to what goes wrong. Nothing really gets solved and no real progress to move forward is being made. On the other hand, if you have systems and processes in place you’re playing the offence, always strategizing the attack and therefore obtaining more points on the scoreboard.

What are you doing to put your health business on the offence?

It won’t surprise me if you were to say nothing, or you weren’t really clear on the difference between defence and offence. That’s what we’re here to look at today.

What got me really thinking about this recently was listening to the Tim Ferriss Podcast with Seth Godin. I'm a big fan of both Tim Ferris and Seth Godin. I love Tim’s ability to deconstruct world-class performers to extract the tactics and tools we can learn from them. I love Seth Godin and think he's a marketing genius. I also saw Seth speak at the Hubspot Inbound Marketing conference in Boston in 2015.

Listening to that podcast got me super inspired and I wanted to share what I learned from it, along with the concept of defence and offence and how to use it to change the face of your health business starting today.

Ready to get inspired?

What I Recently Learned From Seth Godin

As I said above, recently I was listening to the Tim Ferriss Podcast with Seth Godin and I took a few key things away from it.
  • Build a company that people want to talk about
  • Sell something that people want
  • Earn people’s attention and trust
  • Be an entrepreneur not a wantrepreneur

Let’s use Seth’s concepts to talk about defence and offence.

4 Strategies for Playing the Offence in your Health Business

1. Build a company that people want to talk about

Over the past 10 years, I’ve had ample operational experience with managing over 100 multi disciplinary centers and from working with countless clinic owners in my Clinic Accelerator Program. I’ve got a thirst to learn marketing techniques and apply them to the treatment rooms, but one thing that matters most is building a company that matters.

I’ve talked about this before when I discussed company culture. If you're playing defence you might be thinking: “Now I made this product/service, how do I get people’s attention” - that’s a reaction.

Instead, if you build your company from the inside out, you’re going to be playing offence.

Company culture is extremely powerful. It not only inspires employee commitment and retention, it drives your business through word of mouth and referral based marketing.

Companies like Zappos have done it. Their business has been driven primarily by repeat customers and word of mouth - all because of their commitment to company values and playing the offence.

About 2 years ago Clinic Supplies Canada took the time to develop core values, and now everything we do is based on them – helping to drive up employee commitment, customer satisfaction, and 65% growth year after year. 

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2. Sell something that people want

Uber is a great example of zoning in on an untapped market and providing people with what they want (and need). Uber built a cheap solution from A to B and fixed a real problem. Look at the company now, everybody talks about them!

Another example I’ve shared on the blog recently is the success of Physio2U owner Kim Hall. Kim built her business from a one person show to a 14 person team in under 4 years all because she identified a need in the market.

When I was having a conversation with a friend recently who is a business investor, he said: “There’s only 3 things I look at when investing, Product, Process, People. The product always comes first.

How can you turn this from defence to offence?

Stop generalising and waiting for people to walk in your door. Make your product or service different. Sell people something they want.

A simple twist on an old idea can bring you into playing offence, attacking right at the frontline and making more scores Earn people’s attention and trust

According to Seth Godin, if you want people to buy something from you. You need to earn their attention and build their trust.

This is not necessarily something new. We’ve all heard the old adage: “People buy from people they know, like and trust.”

But in today’s world swamped with advertising, technology demanding everyone’s attention, and the seeming lack of time in people’s lives, attention and trust are critically important!

It can be hard to gain people’s attention. So as Seth says: “Attention becomes an important asset, something to be valued, not wasted.”

Then there’s getting people’s permission. Seth says that: “Real permission works like this: if you stop showing up, people complain, they ask where you went...Permission is like dating. You don't start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit.”

If you’re just waiting for people to walk through your doors or pick up the phone and book an appointment, your playing defence. On the other hand, if you have systems in place to follow up on patients after their appointments, get lots of google reviews, to get ongoing referrals, to send out newsletters, and to keep your social media accounts updated - you’re playing offence.

4. Be an entrepreneur not a wantrepreneur

Do you really want to stand up with the big boys and build a business that is bigger than you? One that makes money when you’re asleep? That’s playing the offence. And that’s what being an entrepreneur is all about.

Imagine doubling your profits, reducing your workload by half, providing extraordinary care for your patients – and, positioning your business to sell all at the same time. That’s playing the offence.

In my Clinic Accelerator Program I coach clinic owners to put their business on autopilot. It’s all about systems and processes in your business because once you have those you can scale your business to as large as you want it to be.

Without them, you’re playing defence. You’re really just a wantrapreneur!

Here’s just one example of what can happen when you play the offence:

In September 2015 I helped a multi disciplinary clinic with over 25 clinicians including physiotherapists, chiropractors, and massage therapists expand. Though it was a big clinic bringing in more than $2M in revenue it wasn't actually making any money. Within just 5 months I grew their revenue by 14% from the previous quarter with the same amount of new patients.

That’s playing offence and it’s all down to your systems and processes. Building your business from the inside out. You go on the attack and you score. If you only react when things go wrong and have resistance to change and growth, your business will fail or you’ll constantly be worried about your financial position.

That’s playing the defence and let’s face it, that’s not freedom or quality of life.

In my Marketing Booster Program, I help clinic owners play the offence!

Want to upscale your marketing offence play game?

Our Marketing Booster Program is a new patient sales machine.

The program:

  • Evaluates your current digital marketing strategies
  • Fixes where your clinic is leaking potential patient bookings
  • Helps you implement paid strategies to generate consistent new patient leads 


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