Like everything in life, things are either getting better or they are worsening. Nothing ever stays the same forever. Economies fluctuate and cause your patients or clients to make decisions accordingly. Your precious staff member gets married and moves away or has a baby and wants to be a stay at home mom, and you feel your world will come apart without this person. Another colleague sets up a new practice across the street from yours. Things happen!
But here is another thing that can stop your growth dead in its tracks and make you feel that you have reached your peak when you truly haven’t. This is a situation where the practice has an artificial plateau caused by bottlenecks or areas of overload which prevent further growth.
If your total income stat seems to level off or stop going up, in other words, hit a plateau, you need to get busy and find out why. Look around the practice for spots where the person is basically doing as much as they possibly can. It may be the practitioner himself or herself, or it may be the staff at the front desk, or it may be back in the production area. Look for functions that should be consistently done (like recalls or reminders) but only get done sporadically, or a position where it is hard to get everything done despite every effort to be as efficient as possible. Look for bottlenecks where you can’t get certain things done that need doing to continue expansion and to deliver your ideal service to every patient or client of the practice.
How to get growing again
Often one of the solutions we put in place is an additional staff member. Think of it this way: if you added another pair of hands, where would you get the best bang for your buck? Sometimes it pays to have someone who is working half at the front and half at the back because you don’t really need to have 2 full time staff at the front or two at the back. This is also an opportunity to train someone to be able to cover in any area of the practice should anyone be sick or on vacation. Cross training is quite important to the success of most practices.
Unblocking a bottleneck that is holding down your growth by bringing on an additional staff member should allow your practice to get growing again, and therefore the salary of the additional person is well justified by the increased income.
This may not have happened to you yet, but when you seem to have reached a plateau, first check for inefficiencies that could be cured up with intelligent management and organization, but if all that has been done, then consider the above solution.
Have a mind-blowing month of incredible growth!
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