A healthcare practitioner once told me that she had been practicing in a small rural town and had decided to practise instead in a nearby town as she felt she could do better there because it was bigger. She said, “It’s got sidewalks and a Walmart!” However, the new location also came with many complications which was now troubling her and holding her back from her true potential.
Is There an Ideal Location?
Practitioners in large cities have complained to me about too much competition and cutthroat pricing, and felt that that was why their practices were not expanding. Those in small towns have complained that another professional has set up in town … end of the world.
Some practitioners are overrun with too many patients as they are the only one for miles around and are desperate for an associate. They say, “No one will come to my remote location to practice as an associate.” Yet they themselves moved there, and there are practitioners in small rural communities everywhere and they mostly came from elsewhere. We routinely have to help clients in those situations get passed that idea in order to get a good associate to come to their practice.
Turn Back the Clock
A gentleman that we worked with years ago sold his practice in a small town in Alberta because he felt it couldn’t expand there; and then he started one in a little larger town a few hours away and it didn’t do well either. After we trained and consulted him, he said that if he had known when he was in the first practice what he now knew from us, he would never have moved because he could have made the first practice just as successful.
We have clients in small mining and mill towns that are shrinking but our clients have learned how to grow their practices as well as how to get associates.
The Grass May Look Greener
The moral of the story is that the grass often looks greener elsewhere but factually almost any location can be highly successful. The difference between highly successful practices is NOT location, location, location.
The difference is the management skills of the practice owner and how well he or she runs the practice. From hiring the right staff, to training the staff, to putting in good management systems and protocols, to excellent shopper handling skills, to innovative marketing, to brilliant statistical management ability, to excellent treatment plan presentation expertise, to really caring about the patients and being totally interested in their well-being … these are the factors that influence the success of a practice.
The Good News
And the good news is that they are all learnable skills. Many healthcare professionals I have met with over the years have firmly shut the door on learning more about how to manage their practices, and feel nothing can be done about their situations or worse yet, that they know all the answers already (yet their practice is underachieving). Their biggest barrier is just that and it will prevent them from true accomplishment forever until they decide one day to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Becoming a “Learn-it-all” instead of a “Know-it-all” is a life lesson that will change almost anyone’s life.
The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence but yours can be turned into gold!
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