What is the purpose of your podiatry business?

Dec 16, 2019

I am in the finishing stages of editing my new Podiatry Business book which is due out next month. As an email subscriber or mine you will be send a link to get a copy at a heavy discount, so keep and eye on your emails. 

One of the secrets to business success I discuss in the book is mindset. Here's a sample of the the chapter on mindset. 

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What is the purpose of your business?

The purpose of your business is to provide you with the lifestyle that you want. Too often we leave a secure job working in another clinic or in the public health services thinking that when we open our own clinic we will be able to do things our way and make a great income too. Instead after a number of years we realise that we're stressed out, losing empathy for our patient's and it has just not turned out as we expected it would.

Let me repeat it again ... the purpose of your business is to provide you with the lifestyle that you set out to achieve when you opened your doors. 

It also is there to provide your staff with the working environment where they are encouraged to be the best they can be and be protected by knowing that have a secure job. They need to know they work for an owner who's not stressed and is in charge of their destiny and the destiny of their business, allowing them to concentrate on providing for your patient's. 

 

The purpose of your business is to provide for your patients and to make sure that they reached their goals and outcomes that they wish to achieve when they initially contact you.  Over and over again I've met clinicians who feel that should only see the patient once or twice.

 

I would argue that by doing so, as it is unlikely that they have not fixed that chronic condition in one or two appointments that that patient has therefore wasted their money by coming to you in the first place, and will continue to do so as they move from clinic to clinic only having one two or three appointments and never getting 100% better. 

The purpose of your business is to make sure that your suppliers are looked after that they don't have to wait for you to pay them. That you are not trying to dodge that next phone call from them because you haven't got the money to settle your bill. 

All of this is your responsibility as the clinic owner. I know it's a lot to have on your shoulders, but this is what owning a business and  running a profitable clinic is all about.  

You have 2 options.

The way I see it, this can be done in two ways. It can be done the way that most clinics do it, which is following the University/Health Service model, where you work all the hours you can, you charge the same as your competitors and just keep your head above water. You carry on for 40 years and then you retire with very little. In almost all cases these clinic owners are  unable to sell their business when the time comes as nobody wants to take on that lifestyle. 

The alternative option is you change your mindset. You realise you are in business and that it is okay and ethical to do so. Millions of businesses around the world open their doors every single day and charge a price to ensure that they deliver a profit which in turn will deliver for the business owners, the business’s staff, the business’s customers and its suppliers.

 

Paradoxically, in most cases we look on this as perfectly normal and perfectly ethical yet when it comes to health care we seem to have a barrier to charging and believe that  we should not charge our patient's “too much” or try and make a profit. Somehow we view it as immoral to make a decent profit. 

The funny thing is your patients don't see it like this. Patients expect and indeed want you to make a profit. Otherwise you won't be open. You won't be there when they need you.

If I look at my own clinic for a moment. I used to work 40-50 hours a week, stressed out, couldn't take a holiday or a break. Since I changed my mindset my clinic is now open 500% more hours per week, allowing us to help even more patients while delivering a better quality service with less stress in the clinic. 

We're open 12 hours a day, every day and Saturdays. This means our patients have the ability to come both before  and after work and the extra profits allows us to invest in the latest technology and training, making sure that our patients get the best quality outcomes.

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Talk soon