When I decided that I wanted to have a business not just a job I realised that I would not be able to do it all myself anymore.
Trying to do it all myself and running all of the time had led me to a place where I was burnt out and worse ready to give it all up.
What I needed was help, someone else to do the things that I had being doing up until now.
The problem was…how could I make sure that they would be done my way.
The answer was to systemise the day to day running of the clinic.
Implementing systems would be mean
To begin the task seemed huge, how would systemise everything I had been doing for over 10 years.
How do you eat an elephant…….one bite at a time.
I started with the most important things first, how to answer the phone, what...
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...
I had a Discovery Call earlier this week with another podiatry clinic owner. He was working like crazy treating and patients keeping the wheels turning.
I remember what that was like, feeling like you were trapped on the hamster wheel unable to slow down because it all depended on me and had no time to clear my head and work out a plan.
I remember thinking if I could just take a week off from the clinic to figure it all out it would be fine.
Anyway, over the course of the call it was obvious that he had the basis of great business but was just stretched way too far to take it the next level.
We went over the main things that I felt he needed to work on to start to climb out of the situation I could see he was in.
Even though I purposely didn’t get into too many specifics straight away I could see towards the end of our designated time that he was starting to get overwhelmed.
I told him to take some...
Whats the first thing you do when you get into your clinic every day?
Do you check your emails?
Do you look at your bank account to see if you can pay the bills?
Do you dive straight into treating patients and not come up for air til lunch time?
Maybe your distracted by facebook?
If you’re doing any of the above you need to STOP.
You have to focus on whats going to grow your business.
That’s you no 1 priority
If your business doesn’t grow you will continue to be where you are now.
A lot of so called clinic are really just a job.
Everything depends on the owner. Often this includes bringing in the largest turnover from treating patients.
If you want to have to be the one everyone “must see” or be chained to your clinic thats fine as long as you understood that there is another way.
What truly grows your business?
Whats the best and most profitable use of your time in the long term.
Here’s how my day begins.
Get up out of bed. Take a shower....
Recently I was giving a presentation at my society's national conference and I was asked a great question.
“How do you stop your staff leaving you and opening up down the road and stealing my clients?”
This is something we all think especially when we take on our first few clinical staff members. Let's be realistic, you cannot stop staff moving on if they want to. However you can implement steps into your clinic to reduce the possibility of this happening and increase your staff retention rates.
In politics they say you get the politicians you deserve and the same can be said about staff. You get the staff you deserve.
Every business has a culture even if its completely accidental. You should, as the business owner, spend time working out what kind of a culture you want in your business and want to be able to walk into every day.
Once you know what that culture is you then make sure its implemented...
A few days ago I was speaking to a Podiatry clinic owner who was struggling to make a profit.
She said “I don’t seem to be able to get any new of the right type of new patient's. The only patient's that ring the clinic are patient's who just need one off chiropody and don’t want to spend any money. I am really struggling to get patients who need a long programme of care or who have biomechanical problems”
She continued, “You see advertising doesn’t work in my area. I spent a lot on a website but it doesn’t seem to do much for my business and I did google last year and that just doesn’t work for my type of business. I can’t really afford to spend any more on advertising and anyway I think word of mouth is the best type of way to grow my business.”
I said, “Its not websites and advertising that doesn’t work in health clinics. It just YOUR website that doesn’t work. It’s all...
Most clinic owners think that all they need to sort all of their problems is more new patients. Well they’re wrong. This is usually not the answer. Certainly not if you already have a clinic and have patients coming in your door.
Did you know that can cost up to 12 times more to get a new customer than to get an existing patient to come back again.
Think of your clinic as a bucket that you pour water(new patients) into. If this bucket is full of holes all your effort at getting those new patients will go to waste and you will not make the most of the opportunity provided by your existing patients.
Instead of focusing on those shiny new patients that you hope to attract focus your attention on the patients you already have. Sit down and make a list of how you can those patients you already have to spend more in your clinic and come back more often.
Back in the old days when I was working 60 hrs a week running my clinic, seeing patients even making my own orthotics, if your had asked me what my clinics culture was I would have thought you were talking about the pictures on the wall of my clinic.
I was too busy being busy to stop and take a breath.
I felt like I was fire fighting every day.
I remember having one particular member of staff who I could just not get to gel.
You know the type, a pleasant enough person but just no matter what you said or did they had a reason why it was wrong.
Looking back on it now I know he resented working for me and showed his frustration by being as difficult as he could get away with.
Things got so bad that I used to pull into the car park and sit in the car for 2 or 3 mins giving myself a pep talk to get me to go in.
It was my own business and I hated it and hated the situation it had put me in.
I felt trapped.
I wondered how I had been so stupid to give up a full time job to take on...
Just this past week I received an email from a frustrated clinic owner. She said……
I am really enjoying your emails I am just coming out the other side of staff disasters. So I do appreciate you message.
I have been involved with another business programme and I do believe systems are the way to go what I am struggling with is getting the space to breathe and finish out my systems plan so I can implement them.
I am just curious to know did you get opposition from staff when you tried to implement the systems?
I have just come through 3 years of hell and constant opposition and staff hanging up on me.I am hoping that things will improve with my new staff.
Keep sending the emails.
Regards (name withheld)
When we just starting out or we have a small team the clinic owner is usually wearing a number of hats. He or she is probably the lead clinician, head of marketing(if there is any marketing being done), accounts person, in charge of HR, lead trainer etc.
The clinic usually relies heavily on them to run. All the systems are usually stored in the owners head who probably doesn’t even recognise them as systems. They are just the way they do it. This is fine if it's just you in the clinic and maybe you have a receptionist.
However this is not a way to scale and you need to scale to make more profit. Here are the 4 Top Tips to get your clinic to begin to work without you…..
Every single thing that is done in your clinic can be systemised. To systemise in simple terms means writing out how you want it done. This ranges from how you answer the phone to how you treat a certain condition.
If you think about it...