How A Doctor Used Staples To Grow Her Practice This Holiday Season

Most doctors are better known for their medical expertise rather than their business acumen. But some are great at both. Just like one doctor I know – Dr. Vicki Bralow.

Bralow runs a two person medical practice in South Philadelphia where she treats (literally) thousands of patients a year. And her patients love her. She’s been doing this for many years. She spends a great deal of her time with her patients and treats many multi-generational families in this working class area of the city. But Bralow is a businesswoman too.

She understands that being the best doctor for her neighborhood also means running and growing her practice too so that her patients know she’ll be there for them for a long, long time. And that’s where her business acumen comes in. To run a good medical practice every good doctor needs good employees. These are nurse practitioners, medical assistants, administrators and other doctors. And she knows that taking care of her employees is the most important thing to do take care of her business. She relies on them. And her patients rely on them too.

Which brings me to the holidays. And Staples. That’s where Dr. Bralow always goes for her office supplies, of course. But this year I challenged her to use Staples for the holidays too. And I offered to help her find the right gift items at Staples for her practice. Did Dr. Bralow take me up on my offer? Sure. But did she intend to buy gifts for her patients? “Sorry, no,” she said to me. “If I’m going to buy gifts for anyone, it’s going to be for my employees. Without them, both my patients and I would be in trouble.”

And so we both thought…what would be some great holiday gift ideas at Staples for Bralow’s employees? And three good ones came to mind.


Bralow’s practice manager, Karen, has been using the same old laptop for more than five years. And she takes it with her between both offices and her home. She never complained, but the laptop was slowing her down. “When I talked to Karen about getting her a new laptop, she threw her arms around me! I had no idea it was taking her old laptop more than 10 minutes just to start up every day. That was a huge inconvenience to her and for my practice.” So Bralow purchased a new HP laptop for Karen at Staples. But that wasn’t all. She also bought two iPads for her nurse practitioners to update patient files on the go, which is saving everyone a lot of time. “My practice needed some critical tech upgrades and I found them at Staples,” Bralow said. People love tech – it helps them do their jobs better. And it makes their jobs more fun.

The break room.

Bralow’s break rooms in both her offices are so important because it’s the one place where her people can go to relax and try to relieve some of the stress from their very busy jobs. How can she make these modest places just a little bit better for her valuable people? Coffee. Really, really good coffee! So why not celebrate the holidays with two Keurig coffee machines and a whole bunch of gourmet coffee, right? She got a great deal on the units from her nearby Staples. “I wanted to treat my people to something special when they take their breaks as a way to say thank you.” But that wasn’t all…..she also purchased a bunch of coffee cups from Staples and is having each one of them personalized with an employee’s name. She’ll give these out at her year-end holiday party.

Gift cards.

Dr. Bralow is definitely a generous person. And her generosity shows during the holiday season. Every year at this time she gives a full week’s salary to her employees as a bonus. But she likes to give something more. So she scooped up a bunch of great gift cards at Staples for other fun retailers to include in everyone’s envelope with their bonus. “The cards aren’t generic – I bought each person a specific card based on what I know they like, like certain retailers and restaurants that are people’s favorites.” Bralow also does one other special thing each year too – in addition to giving her employees’ gifts she likes to buy a little something for their kids. And there were some great cards available at Staples for this too. “Three of my employees have teenage girls, so I bought them each a gift card to a cool makeup and perfume store here in town that I know they’ll love.” See kids? It’s not just school supplies you can buy at Staples!

All in all, Bralow had a great time shopping at Staples this holiday season. She was able to get everything she needed for the people that matter the most: her employees. That’s why she’s not only a great doctor, but she’s a smart business owner too.


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