Should I take on a receptionist or another podiatrist first?

Nov 11, 2019

Last week, I received a reply to one of my emails from a podiatry owner who asked the question that many who are scaling up consider when  first they consider taking on their first staff member... 


“Lorcan, I have been following you for a while now  and my business is improving. My days are pretty full on and I know I need help. I want to take on a receptionist and another podiatrist but I can’t afford to do both. What I really want to know is should I take on a receptionist or another podiatrist first?”


A lot of clinic owners assume that the first thing they should do is take on another podiatrist when they are ready to scale. Often these clinic owners mistakenly feel that a receptionist is not contributing financially to the clinic, and that instead of podiatrist who can charge for the patient's they will see will be bringing in far more money than any receptionist could. 


I can see what they mean. 

It is very easy to see what a new podiatrist is bringing in per hour it is much more difficult to do the same with a receptionist. 


However, this is where we disagree. I have always found that a well trained front desk staff member is far harder for replace and will boost your turnover, enhance profitability and reduce your stress levels as the clinic owners far far more than any podiatrist. 


A good quality receptionist or front desk staff member will do a number of things for you if train them well. They will interact with the public before they become a patient and depending on their personality, will determine whether or not that potential patient will turn in to a happy customer of yours. They will be able to enact any follow up procedures you have that need to happen with leads that are generated from your marketing plan. In fact they should be able to implement the majority of your marketing plan you devised allowing you free to carry out more profitable and higher level tasks. 

These tasks may be treating patient's or devising more marketing campaigns or simply having the time and energy to focus on scaling your podiatry clinic into a true business.


They will be able to take over most if not all of your admin duties, leaving the owner less stressed and give you the freedom to choose whether to or not to attend their clinic all of the time, yet still be open, still taking bookings and still bringing in income. No podiatrists with the focus on treating patients  will be able to do these things.


 I always suggest to any sole practitioners considering what to do that it's better to take on a front desk or receptionist before taking on your first podiatrist. Even if you can only do so part time. 


Once you take on your receptionist, have them well trained, they will be a marketing machine for you turning leads into patients and boosting your turnover. This will allow you to then take on a podiatrist whose book will be filled much much faster by your well trained front desk and allow you the ability to continue the process scaling as you go. 


A well trained front desk staff member will be able to fill the book of more than one podiatrists that work for you should you wish, where as a new podiatrist can really only fill their book.


So before you consider taking on another podiatrist, perhaps you should consider scaling up your administration team first.


As part of my coaching programme I help my clients devise recruitment systems for both front desk and podiatrists and devise an automated training system ensuring scaling up their podiatry clinic is a straightforward process.

How would it feel to have a front desk and podiatry team in your clinic treating your patients your way even while you're not there. It is possible with the right systems in place.