Thank you for all your positive messages following our Jexit announcement last month. It seems that it has provided inspiration for numerous of our readers to explore their exit strategy sooner rather than later. Hopefully, last month’s blog has given you lots of food for thought.
Whilst we go through Jexit, our final countdown to James exiting his role as director and shareholder, business continues as usual and we find our phone ringing and emails pinging for last minute fixes before the end of the year.
It’s so easy to plod on, go day to day, week to week, month to month and not get to the things you really would like to change. We thought we’d give you a framework to work through and assess where you are in each area, where you’d like to be and what action you need to take to move things forward.
Our framework below is based on our book, Seven Pillars of a Painless Practice. If you have a copy already, you might want to dig it out and review some of the exercises under each section. If you don’t have a copy, maybe now is the right time to get one: Seven Pillars book
2016 Seven Pillar Review
We truly believe that it is important to start with what you personally want so that you can structure your practice to be the vehicle that delivers that for you. We have also seen through our own experience and the many business owners that we have worked with that being the best personal you that you can be makes a huge difference to the energy and enthusiasm you are able to inject into your practice.
Is there anything that needs to change so that the practice is better placed to meeting your personal objectives? If you desire a better work-life balance than you have now, what needs to change?
On a more personal note, do you have a few pounds that you’d like to shift, would you like to get into a better exercise routine, get better at budgeting or do you maybe need to have a good decluttering session before going into 2017? What will help you be the best you?
How clear are you on the purpose of your practice? Sure, you want to make a profit and have a successful practice but why do you and your team REALLY turn up each day.
Our purpose is to see every practice owner enjoying their work and achieving their vision. Everything we do is geared to that and we are passionate about making that true, practitioner by practitioner.
What’s your purpose and do your team know what it is? Are you and your team excited by your purpose?
A steady, consistent flow of patients into your clinic is important in maintaining or growing your practice. We work with many practices and it would be fair to say that more than 90% of clinics do not have a clear marketing plan in place.
Marketing is often perceived as an onerous, unpleasant part of running a practice and as such is done on a very haphazard basis delivering poor overall results. Some marketing is done, the flow of patients increases and the marketing activities decrease, flow of patients naturally decreases again and marketing activities increase again. And so the feast and famine cycle continues.
What if you could view marketing as a vehicle to fulfil your passion of being able to treat and help so many more people? What if you put a plan in place outlining your monthly marketing activities for 2017?
The patients who visit your practice take many steps in their journey before they get into the treatment room and then again after the treatment. Are you confident that every single step is delivered to the same high standard? How often do you review the entire patient journey? When last did you ask your patients for feedback?
What would you love to be different about the patient experience and what can you do before the end of 2016 or plan to do in 2017?
Do you have the right people in the right positions in your practice? Are you actively managing and leading your team or just ‘hoping’ everyone knows what needs to be done? Having the right people is imperative and ensuring expectations are clearly understood is vital to a smooth working relationship with your team.
What would you like to be different in your team? Hope is not a strategy so what do you need to start doing to get the best out of your team? Do you need to have more regular team meetings? Do you need to spend more time with each individual? Is it time to review everyone’s job descriptions?
Have you got your finger on the pulse? Knowing your numbers really helps you to make informed decisions and manage your business pro-actively towards your desired outcome. Do you know how many patients your clinic needs to see in order to break-even? Are your rooms being utilised to their full potential?
Focussing on only the top line (i.e. revenue) is a dangerous way to run a business. We have encountered many clinic owners who focus only on the number of patients coming through the door and don’t have a clear idea of their costs and therefore have no idea of the profit (or unfortunately in some cases, the loss) until the accountant has produced the financials three months after the year-end. What numbers do you need to get more to grips with so that you can make better-informed decisions in 2017?
There are two sayings that go:
‘a vision without a plan is just a dream’ and
‘action without a plan is a nightmare’
We truly believe that translating your vision into a plan is a vital step in setting yourself up for success. It is also far more likely that the plan will be implemented if it’s committed to paper or your favourite electronic format rather than just contained in your head.
What do you need to do in terms of your plan to give yourself and your practice the very best chance in 2017?
We help practitioners every day with the areas outlined above. If you would like to chat about how we can help you, please do get in touch!
Painless Practice News
Plans are moving forward swiftly to be true to our own exit strategy (the first milestone of which involves James’ exit as director and shareholder) James will still be working with Painless Practice as an associate, just as some of our clients have done when they have stepped down as a partner or sold to their practice to an associate. Celia has no intention of retiring anytime soon and will continue the grand plan for the growth of Painless Practice in order to support more and more practitioners to enjoy their work and achieve their vision.
Celia thoroughly enjoyed the Institute of Osteopathy convention again this past weekend. It was great to connect with existing clients and meet new ones. In terms of events we have one last course in 2016 – Creating a Robust Social Media Strategy which will be run in London on the 7th of December. Click here for more Info: Social Media
We also have a couple of spaces available at our London Wednesday Success Club on the 14th of December. The clubs meet on a quarterly basis and have been transforming practices since their inception in 2010. Get more info here: Success Clubs
The pressure is on to step into James’ shoes with the Painless Puns… As the party season is approaching, we thought we’d start with a couple to tie the party and plan together and then get a little more serious!
So…how do you organise a space party?
Whilst on the party theme, we should warn you to beware of dangerous advertising:
We noticed that the liquor store advertised “We De-liver’
The problem with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat. Lilly Tomlin
The successful man is the one who finds out what is the matter with his business before his competitors do. Roy L. Smith
Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now. Alan Lakein
And finally for those tricky team members you know are not right for your business:
She should go far. The sooner she starts, the better.
We are passionate about seeing every health practitioner enjoying their work and achieving their vision. Please do get in touch with us so that we are able to help you end 2016 as best you can and make 2017 your BEST year ever!
Celia Champion, James Butler and the Painless Team