After 20+ years running a multi-disciplinary allied health practice, a client once asked me, what I felt were the top 3 areas practice owners struggle with most.
- Human Resource.
So, the first question is why?
In my view the #1 reason practice owners fail to build is lack of resource, primarily financial.
Think about this. If you have financial resource, you can outsource skills. Skills such as human resources, recruitment, marketing and promotion, I.T. etc.
If your financial resource is limited, then you need to upskill, and this takes up time. You may have to invest some financial resource in training also.
Chances are if you are financially limited then you are struggling being a jack of all trades and on top of that, managing your patient load.
Inevitably a ball gets dropped, something gets missed and then something goes wrong.
The top 3 areas this impacts are these: Recruitment, Promotion and Human Resources.
Let’s break this down a little more.
Recruitment: You need the right people to support your vision. The questions are how you get them, train them and then keep them! This requires a system, personnel and time, time you probably don’t have. For most practice owners they rush this process, hiring way too fast, squeezing interviews and induction in lunch breaks and basically just shoving people into the role before they know what’s hit them. The result is a high turnover and collateral damage to your brand particularly if you then take way too long firing.
Consider this. Imagine outsourcing this process so all you need to do is step in at critical times, i.e. the final interview stage and mentoring and support. All the rest is done for you including online training.
This of course takes time, financial resource and systems.
Promotion: There’s an old saying there are plenty of poor genius’s in the world. If no one knows where you are, what you do, what others are saying etc. you may as well shut up shop now! Promotion and marketing is key but again, this requires financial resource and skills.
Again, imagine outsourcing a marketing and promotional manager who handles your AdWords campaign, Facebook marketing and other social media, your newsletters, email campaigns, offers and promotions and other brand awareness and overseeing everything in line with a carefully strategized marketing plan.
For most we scramble in-between patients rushing social media posts, blogs and Facebook live in a desperate attempt to maintain connection with our patient base and communities whilst hoping this will help patient intake. It’s madness.
Finally, H.R. I’m sure you can relate. A staff member throws a curve ball right before their shift. Another job has come up and they need to leave, and sorry no notice, they need to go right away. Your stress shoots up to overload, you don’t have a contingency, you’ve got your first patients in 10 minutes, what do you do? I know, you know what I’m talking about.
The bottom line is if you want to grow a practice that is more than an expensive job, you need leverage, and the only way to really and truly achieve this is to get financially resourced and then outsource.
Now you don’t have to leap into a massive business loan. This can be graded. I recommend however, you get really clear on your utopic scenario. What does it look like with everything in place, a H.R. department, an I.T. department, a practice manager, a recruitment manager, a marketing manager? Create your ‘avatar’ team and don’t hold back. Go all out detailing every aspect you need and want for your dream practice. Then work backwards to where you are now. You can for example, outsource H.R. using companies like Employ sure for as little as $40 per week or less; start developing an extended role for your lead receptionist as practice manager starting with 4-5 hours per week; find a ‘mum and dad’ bookkeeper looking for some extra cash; decide on a dedicated I.T. person on an ‘as needed’ basis; use a recruitment agency to help you find the right people before you meet them…
You have to spend something for this to work but I guarantee your practice will grow.
I work with allied health practitioners to help them get clear on their destination then reverse engineer it to where they are now, to then help them get into action knowing their clear trajectory.
Give me a call.
About the Author:
Dr. Andrew Arnold (Chiropractor) is a Chiropractor and ACTP accredited Business Coach.
Andrew is married to Dr. Linda Wilson, the Stress Specialist and has two children, Isaac and Bella. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.