Why is it that some practitioners and their practices do so very well while others are “just getting by?” The staff and the bills all get paid (or not), but what is left over is just not good return for 7 or 8 years of post secondary schooling and the burden of owning a business.
It can feel to some practice owners that there is “nothing in it for them” and so they wonder if it is worth all the blood, sweat and tears of owning a healthcare practice.
Believe it or not the staff also often wishes that there was extra money for new equipment, computers, cabinetry, raises, bonuses, and so on. They feel the pinch but most often don’t know where to start and how to help you.
What can be done about this?
The first thing that has to change is your attitude or mind-set. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten (definition of insanity). And you don’t like what you’ve got.
So it has to start with you as the owner deciding THAT you are going to change things up. What do you want to accomplish exactly? What would an abundance of income do for the practice as a whole and for you as an owner? Work it out. FOR REAL! Do you really want these things? If the answer is “yes” then you need to work out how to change the way the practice is operating.
(We know this DECISION TO CHANGE step works because when a practitioner makes the decision to do our services, their income goes up $100,000 to $300,000 over the subsequent year with our help … but they had to make that first decision to CHANGE.)
It IS possible to improve things but you must make the decision for real. There is a better future available and to be had, but you have to reach for it.
Once you have decided to change, make a list of the aspects of the practice that you feel need to go up a few notches. You are, after all, taking care of patients or clients, and the bottom line is that the more people you treat and help the more recompense there will be to the office.
How’s the marketing going … is it generating a lot of new business every week and month? How’re the front desk staff on handling shoppers on the phone (do they need some sales training)? Are patients or clients jazzed about the personal service and care your practice treats them with? Does the scheduling need fine tuning? What are the areas of inefficiency in the practice? Are your patients going ahead with the treatment they deserve to have? Has the décor been updated in the last year or so? Is the front desk clear of clutter and messiness? Are your patients or clients being encouraged to refer their friends, family, co-workers and neighbours to your practice? Are you too overloaded and need to delegate some of the functions you are doing over to your capable staff so that you are freed up to take on more business or, heavens above, cut back your hours so you love coming into work more?
The list is endless as to what can be changed up. You have to look at it from outside the forest and be ruthless about it. Write it all up into a plan, starting with easy-to-do things and then working up to bigger projects. If you have to give up some of your personal time to do this planning step, then so be it … THAT’S a change. Remember, you’re not going to have what you want to have unless something changes.
Sell it to your team. Everyone has to want to change. You may find that your team has just been waiting for the day you started to fight back against the lethargy or ho-hum-ness that has set in. Get a meeting set up with as many of the team (whether one or many) who want to help you get the practice bumped up two or three levels into a state of abundance.
Don’t be surprised if you have a resistive staff member or two … this is often the person who makes you feel like nothing can be done about it or hopeless (apathy). Do not include them in the meeting.
Get going on your plan and keep on track on it. Acknowledge progress as things get done and change for the better. Have prizes, bonuses, fun, encouragement. Follow up every single week. If nothing changed, find out why not and fix it. Get everyone working on it as a team.
This is a game where everyone wins! The patients or clients get improved quality of service, the staff gets bonuses and more fun, and you will feel an aliveness you may have forgotten or given up on as the owner of a business!
Personal income and pride in your service are not the same things but are definitely tied together.
Become a go-getter and have fun getting there!