By Vicki Bendure This article is a part of the July/August 2019, Volume 31, Number 4, Audiology Today issue. There are many companies that target potential customers by basing their reach on their current customers. While that is an effective way to know that you’re reaching prospects, you may not be reaching the customers you want and your ideal audience/customer may still be out there. Growing a business requires serious analysis of the market and the target you want to reach. Obviously, if you specialize in pediatric audiology, you’re not going to begin to reach out to seniors, but there are targeted ways other than the traditional mechanisms (e.g., advertising, purchased e-mail lists, etc.) to grow your patient roster. First, you’ll need to understand who in the family is most likely to make the decision to visit an audiologist and what’s the strongest driver. Is it referrals from a physician, educator, or family member? Are your patients typically brought to you by a particular family member (mother, father, daughter, grandchild)? Don’t be afraid to ask new patients how they’ve heard of you. This may help to direct your efforts, although there still may be additional untapped channels. Audiology is like many service businesses—potential customers don’t look for you until they need you. While you may have had a booth at the community fair or given a talk at the local senior center, those contacts are not going to reach out to you until they need an audiologist and, at that time, they may have forgotten your name or how to contact you. Because of this, you have to stay vigilant and have a consistent and constant message to whatever audience you decide is your best channel to grow your customer base. This content is an exclusive benefit for American Academy of Audiology members. If you're a member, log in and you'll get immediate access. Member Login If you're not yet a member, you'll be interested to know that joining not only gives you access to top-notch resources like this one, but also invitations to member-only events, inclusion in the member directory, participation in professional forums, and access to patient resources, tools, and continuing education. Join today!