I know there are some clinic owners reading this who will never agree with my suggestion that they should treat less patients. They love treating patients and could never see themselves stopping.
Thats fine, I respect their point of view, but if you truly want to turn your clinic into a true business that runs even if you are not there and deliver you more profit and the life you want then you must starting treating less patients.
In University we are taught that all we need to do is be an excellent clinician and all will be ok. Thats not true though is it? I once had a friend who opened a cafe in town and made the very best hand made cakes I have ever tasted. They were to die for. He got up every day a 5am to start making them. He closed down after 9 months. Why you might ask as he had the best product in town. The reason…..nobody knew about his product and he was so busy working in the business he forgot that there was no one working on the business.
Providing a “product” of healthcare is no different. If nobody knows about you or if your have no business systems in place to make the most of those patients that come to you then you could end up the same as my cafe friend.
It's the classic mistake. We are a really good clinician working for someone else and we see all the money we are bringing into their clinic. We assume that if we just go out on our own we will get to keep all of the money. We forget that there are costs associated with running a business and we figure to only way to make enough money is scale up by working harder and longer seeing more patients. This only leads one to thing, burn out. I should know, it happened to me.
I know to start the idea of not treating patients can be scary as you are not making money for each consult. However this time should be used to start to develop marketing and internal systems. In can be used for staff training and business planning. When I cut my patient treating hours from 40 to 5 per week my business grew and profits soared by close to 400%. The time away from patients gave me the head space to work on the business not in the business.
Lets say you see 100 patients a week and do a really good job. Well if you for example scaled up to having 3 staff members do the same and you now see 50 patients a week and work on the business the rest of the time you are now helping 350% more patients and making more profit.
To start this just begin with 1 half day a week set aside from the clinical day to day and as you grow you can comfortable expand this. Over time you will reach a level of working on the business V’s in the business that suits your lifestyle.
In time you will may stop altogether or at the very least be able to take long breaks from doing so while still helping scores of patients reach their goals with your team doing the work.
Wouldn't at least be nice to have the options just like I do?