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a blog by Chris Barrow

The Four Ps you absolutely need for business growth in 2020 - a guest post by Mark Topley

"I’m frequently contacted by people who have products and services of relevance to my clients. For over 20+ years I have maintained a policy that I do not accept introducers fees or commissions – I simply broadcast and comment on good ideas."

We all want our businesses to grow. Whether that’s financial growth, growth in size, or internal growth through development.  

We used to talk about the 4Ps in advertising - Product, Place, Price, Promotion. Advertising 101 for anyone who has done a marketing degree. But as Don Tapscott points out, things have changed - the four Ps are dead. And we all need to catch up fast. If you’re losing business, or trying to grow and finding it hard, read on.

So if the old Four Ps are dead, what are the new Four Ps? 


As Simon Sinek says, profit is not your purpose. Profit is a result. Purpose is fundamental requirement to engage and attract patients and staff.

Look at the non-profit world. My career included 15 years leading a charity. We saw ten fold growth in income and operations in ten years. How were we able to do that? How were we able to consistently attract volunteers to give up weeks of their time and thousands of pounds in potential revenue? How could we employ and retain gifted and committed team members to work for far less that they could command in the marketplace? Simple - they were giving themselves to the purpose of the charity, and in doing so, fulfilling their own purpose. I do get that there's a difference between business and charity, but you absolutely have to know what your purpose is. What do you want to be know for? 

Purpose is also profitable. When you compete on price, profits go down, because you’re always in a race to the bottom. But when you compete on purpose, profits go up. Again the data shows this - people are more loyal to a business with an authentic and clear purpose, and will even pay more for the same service or product.


The second P is People. And specifically, caring for and about your people.You need people or you don’t have a business. 

You need customers. You need a team to deliver great service. And so you need to put people first.


Firstly, because your team will treat your patients or customers how you treat your team. I can tell how good the leadership of a practice is by the way I am greeted when I walk in. There’s no fake smile or over-rehearsed empty script. There’s a genuine desire to do the best for me and make me feel welcome. Investing in, and developing your team is key. 

Secondly, by far the most powerful advertising you can invest in is the positive word of mouth recommendation of your patients. Treat them well, show you care, that you can help, and that you can be trusted, and they will become an unpaid sales force. Patients and Customers will fuel your growth, because your Brand is no longer what you say about yourself, but what a friend tells a friend.


The third P is all about playing your part as a business in your community. It goes way beyond the occasional raffle, bake sale, or Red Nose Day. It’s about building a partnership with charity and community organisations that is consistent, structured and planned. Something that demonstrates to your team and your patients or customers that you have a conscience, and that you put your money where your mouth is. It’s not something that you do for your community to get them to do business with you. You do it because they are your community, and you are committed to making a difference.


There has never been a more important time for us all to take our environmental responsibility seriously. We’re all increasingly aware of the uncomfortable fact that our lifestyles are not sustainable. As business owners we have a role to play in this. We can make more sustainable decisions in the practice, and influence our suppliers, patients, customers and stakeholders to do the same.

It probably comes as no surprise that these Four Ps link closely to Corporate Social Responsibility. The area of business that I am most passionate about, and spend my time helping businesses to get right. CSR is all about an overarching purpose, caring for people, the environment and working meaningfully with charity & community. One of the best things about my job is the buzz I get from helping owners and managers connect to a greater sense of purpose. It’s a thrill to help them shape their purpose and get their teams excited all over again. 

I want to help you grasp this and put it to work in your own practice or business. I’ll be exploring the Four Ps through a free, four part video series between 25-28 February. 

Each day, I’ll send you a subtitled 5 minute video, together with three questions to think about. 

You’ll be able to watch the video while you brush and floss! 

And the questions will give you some things to mull over in the day. I guarantee that if you apply just one thing from each day, you’ll see an impact both personally and in your business.

So if you want to grow your practice or business, and see how the Four Ps will work for you in increased brand quality, patient trust, team productivity and retention, click here to register with your email address, and look forward to ‘The new Four Ps’ between 25 and 28 February.

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