Snow days and ice storms. The entire city is shut down with a freak ice storm. Or you open your front door to a wall of snow. Or two feet of snow fell overnight and the plows haven’t come yet. And maybe it wasn’t even predicted. We live in Canada so we see it all sooner or later. But does the weather have anything to do with the success of the practice?
Yes, it can. But there are ways to overcome it to some degree if you want to. And the key phrase is “want to.” Unfortunately, many of the younger generation were brought up with the idea that if it snowed much, the school day was cancelled and this concept carried forward into the business setting. By contrast, northern areas of Canada who routinely get a lot of snow, just make it go right to show up anyway, doctors, staff and patients.
Are you curious as to what CAN help rescue such a day?
Some practices are very creative and have come up with interesting and fun ways to encourage the patients or clients to come in despite the weather. Others just roll over and give up without even trying to save the day because they get to have a “Snow Day.”
Keep this factor in mind: The purpose of the practice is to deliver service to patients and tend to their healthcare. So canceling out a day willy-nilly and shifting patients to later dates is not necessarily an ideal way of achieving the purpose of the practice. (Not to mention that it can be devasting on the finances of the practice and the paying of bills at the end of the month.)
Snow Day Ideas
1. If the weather is predicted to be bad the next day, you can call or message all the patients or clients that “the practice will be open and will have hot chocolate with marshmallows, coffee, tea, cookies, etc. So strap on the snow shoes or skiis (jokingly) and come … we will be here to service you as planned.”
2. You can tell them to bring board games with them and plan to come early or stay after their appointments so that you can have a “games day” with other patients or clients.
3. You could let everyone know that you will have a Snow Day Discount of 10% off if they keep to their appointment. (Better than losing an entire day of income.)
4. You could hire a clown or a magician for the day (make a list of potential performers in advance), and let everyone know the day before that there will be entertainment for all who keep their appointments and feel free to bring their kids with them.
5. Rent a big screen TV and have it be “Cartoon Day.”
There are a few of the millions of ideas of how to overcome the Weather Factor. Create some of your own and work out the logistics and policy on how to implement it the next time bad weather heads your way. Which it will sooner or later!