So last week I finally got copies of my new book “Podiatry Business Success Secrets. The Ultimate Guide To Building A Profitable Podiatry Practice That Works Without You” form the printers.
I got very excited naturally as I had put a lot of work into it and it was a great feeling to get it into my hands at last after the effort.
In my enthusiasm to get it into the hands of other podiatrists who would hopefully gain something from it I put the link to order it up on facebook before my marketing manager had finished the emails that follow.
Of course the wrong email went out to a handful of buyers before Emma knew and had a chance to sort things.
Now I could have held my head in my hands for making a mistake and getting things rolling before everything was fully ready but that's just not me.
One of my favourite sayings is “80% and out the door is better than 100% and in the drawer”.
We have all heard the saying "Far away fields are greener" haven't we. It's part of human nature that we seem to think that most other people seem to have it better. This seems to have become worse since the advent of social media.
Rarely does anyone put up on Facebook or Instagram their bad days. Instead it pics of them having a great time and looking fabulous. There is lots of research now showing that the longer you spend on these sort of platform the worse you will feel.
This can be extended to clinic owners looking at other clinics and how well they seem to be doing. Just recently I even caught myself doing this very thing about a competitor. I crawled over the competitors Facebook website etc to see how they were doing and by extension measure my own perceived success.
Then I realised what I was doing and that it was not healthy and stopped. There was nothing significant to be gained by looking at and comparing myself to others.
I would never say to my...
On Facebook last week I saw a discussion between some Podiatrists on what to do with their clinic when they were too sick to work. The general consensus was that when you work for someone else it was more common to take a sick day if your were unwell but once you become self employed all of this changes.
Some boasted of almost never being out sick since opening their own clinic. I understand this attitude. Personally I would need to be very unwell to not go to work. When I was working alone or even when I had some staff but the clinic depended heavily on me I simply could not afford to be sick for more than a day or so.
While it is admirable to push through and go to work what will you do when you very unwell and going in for a protracted period simply isn't an option. How will you manage? Who will bring the turnover to keep the wheels of your business turning or who will make all the decisions you are relied on to take?
This is one of the major flaws of running a one or...
Having staff can be hard work. I have 4 small kids and sometimes I feel having staff can be a bit like having kids except you can't send them to bed early.
Taking on staff as a clinic owner and getting them to do things your way can be a tricky endeavour. Human nature is that we tend not to like to be told what to do. This is especially true in medicine where we have been trained to make our own clinical decisions and stand over them.
The employer employee relationship is not an equal one. The employer has a lot of power over the employee and problems arise in 2 main circumstances. The first is when the employer does not recognise and thus respect that this is an unequal relationship and the second is when the employee does not like to be held accountable.
To avoid a break down of this employer employee relationship you the clinic owner need to develop an objective system of holding your staff to account. Nobody "likes" to be held to account. One of my main roles...
It's part of treating patients daily that some just will not start a plan of care or complete their plan of care even though its the rational thing to do to get them to where they want to be.
It used to drive be nuts when a patient would drop off half way through a treatment plan. I could never understand why this happened. They seemed like they wanted to get better but they for some reason just did not want to do the work or stick with the plan. Why would they pay money to go half way through and then stop. This always felt like such a waste to me.
I realise now that people are just not rational beings. We like to think we are but the scientific evidence says otherwise.
The truth is that when a patient is making a decision on whether to start of continue a plan of care they are making a subconscious buying decision. I don't know about your but I never got any education on this in University. The assumption was that it was my job to advise the best course action and...
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.
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...
Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work needed to scale your podiatry practice that you see in front of you?
Very commonly I speak to clinic owners who tell me of their feelings of anxiety and overwhelm as they begin to scale up, they see the list of tasks begin to mount. Scaling up your clinic into a true business takes a lot of work and is not something you can do in a in a rush. Indeed, if you try to rush the process, you will end up with a poor product that will not stand the test of time.
Try to avoid those who tell you a quick fix solution is available. There is a reason very few businesses have scaled up because it takes a lot of work and it is a hard job to do. If it was a quick and easy job, and all small businesses or small clinics would have done so.
However, it is possible to avoid that feeling of being overwhelmed.
Number 1; Diarize or put time aside.
As a clinic owner, you can often feel that you're being...
I know it seems to be a common thing in Podiatry clinics and a lot of similar type clinics that the owner feels the safest thing to do when it comes to taking on clinicians and paying them is to make them an "associate" and them a percentage of their turnover. I have spoken to clinic owners with whom this can range anywhere from 40% to 70% depending on how desperate they are.
I used to do exactly this paying a percentage of their turnover. I felt there was one major benefit to this. Namely if they didn't bring in any money that week then I would not have to pay them as I was unsure if they would be busy enough.
It seems a lot of clinic owners do this as they like to pretend that the associate is "self employed" as therefore the clinic owner does not need to deduct the associates taxes not pay any employers taxes. It appears in most countries that the Tax Man does not agree with this, feeling that if the clinic owner is charge of collecting the money booking the...
I don’t know if you have noticed as I have a trend over the past few weeks of quite a number of podiatrists becoming concerned about other clinics, including those not registered as podiatrists, opening in their locality. One such discussion on social media had well over 250 comments which were littered with fury at the idea of non pods daring to treat feet.
I've also had discussions with some clients who are considering moving but slow to move into an area where there are already other foot related clinics including podiatry clinics. In many cases I feel podiatrists feeling that the answer to this increased competition is to hide behind their professional name or the register.
Now don’t get me wrong I think have regulated professions is important to protect the public but it is not there to protect our businesses as some sort of monopoly.
I strongly believe that all of this concern about “the competition” or what the clinic down...
It's tax time here in Ireland and I was in with my accountant recently and we were discussing long term planning like pension, retirement etc.
The conversation moved to eventual sale of my Podiatry Business. I can't see my kids taking over and I have no intention of working for ever so at some stage I will want to sell it on. My accountant told me a tale of another client of his a dentist who built up his clinic over 35 years to be a very profitable clinic.
To get it ready for sale he took on another associate dentist who worked 3 days a week while he cut back to 2 days a week. The intention was to sell the clinic on to the associate after about 18 - 24 months and retire with the fruits of his 35 years labour. Things did not work out that way though.
When it came time for the sale the associate balked at the price and decided to was way cheaper to open up a clinic in the next town 3 miles away. What happened to our dentist friend I hear you ask. Well he never got a...