Practice Blockage Series: What a Lack of Space Really Costs You!
This article is about how a
doctor’s lack of office space cost him $15,000 a month in lost collections!
Learn what a lack of space really costs you, symptoms, how to take your practice
to the next level with adequate clinic space, and more
Welcome to my
Practice Blockage Series!
Over the year I’ll be writing a
series of articles, highlighting the most common reasons that practices stop
growing. We call these
situations blockages, because they act like a tourniquet to practice growth.
They stop growth it dead in its tracks.
I hope to shed light on these
issues, so doctors can correct these problems right now!
What a Lack of
Clinic Space… Really Costs
Lack of space is a serious problem.
One doctor in my Mentor Program was running a practice making about $200,000
a year. He was successful
generating new patients… yet… his office visits seemed to never grow
adequately. It seemed the more
he would market, the more new patients he would show on paper, but the office
visits remained about the same.
This is a classic symptom of lack
of office space. It can cost a practice extreme amounts of money. You can
advertise and advertise and
advertise… but if you can’t accommodate patients when they want to get
treatment, the practice will
Inexperienced practice builders
find this a hard concept to grasp. “But I have slow times in my practice!” they
say. That’s true. They also
have extremely busy times. These happen to be the times when patients want to
come in for treatment.
In the restaurant business, even
the most successful restaurant is slow at 3:30pm. They are packed with a
month waiting list (if you
happen to be trying to get in to Babbo in Manhattan!) if you try to get in at 7
See what I mean? If Babbo
Restaurant could somehow accommodate an unlimited demand of diners, their income
would grow substantially.
At this point there’s only two ways they could grow their income: move to a
bigger space, or raise their
prices. They have officially hit the “income ceiling” because of lack of space!
In my Monster Patient Flow course
(Vol 1), I talk about my acupuncturist. She is terrific. She doesn’t have a clue
how much lack of space of
costing her. When we first called to get in, I was told there was a 2-3
month wait. Since my case was
not urgent I agreed. However I wonder how many people she looses who aren’t as
National studies indicate for each
day you delay getting someone in, 5% will decline doing business with you.
Theoretically, a 10 day delay
in being able to get in to see a dentist means 50% of the people will say “I’ll
call back” and will never be
(Such dentists usually call me up
and ask, “Ben I need some advertising tips! How can I get more patients?“)
Back to my acupuncturist: It takes
her 5 minutes total to administer treatment. She then leaves
the patients in the treating
rooms another 25 minutes unassisted to complete therapy. She has two
treatment rooms total.
This means she can only accommodate four
patients per hour, maximum. Yet it takes only 5 minutes of her
time to administer treatment. At 5 minutes per treatment, how many
patients could she be seeing per hour (if she had adequate
Answer – She could
be seeing 12 patients
per hour, or three times the number! If she moved to an
office with an adequate number of treatment rooms!
One day I finished my
treatment and she came out to discuss business with me. She knew my background as a practice building
consultant. She asked me, “Ben I need to get more patients. I need more office
visits. What advertising ideas
can you suggest?”
“If only we had more
patients” — You already do!
I resisted grabbing a handful of
needles and sticking them in eye balls out of sheer frustration. Instead,
I shrugged and kept my mouth shut.
You see, experience has shown that
no doctor thinks they have this problem. “If only I had
more patients…” they say. If I had tried to explain to her
- It takes only 5 minutes of her
time per patient
- And why doesn’t she just move to a slightly larger
- And if she did that it would
triple her per hour collections…
But trust me. I’ve been doing this
long enough to know, I would get a blank stare followed by… “But don’t you just have an ad I can run to
get more patients?” You see,
running an ad is easier. Addressing the need that there is a lack of space
and an inability to accommodate patients when they wish to come in is more
There must be a balancing point.
There is a point at which too much space is too much! I’m not saying that you
must invest your hard earnings into an expensive new clinic either. There is a
But don’t leap over
dollar bills to chase pennies. Are you
stopping yourself from spending an extra $500 a month in rent for larger space, when it
could enhance your collections by $5,000 a month almost
If it takes longer than 2 weeks to get in that’s a
sign you might have a lack of space. Lastly, doctors who spend too much
time with patients (and resist
delegating non-essential items to staff) will find they too have a different
kind of capacity problem.
poem that sums up this idea:
A lion met a tiger
drank beside the pool
Said the tiger, “Tell me why
You’re roaring like a
“That’s not foolish,” said the
With a twinkle in his eyes
“They call me the king of the
because I advertise!”
A rabbit heard them
And ran like a streak
He thought he’d try the lion’s plan,
his roar was just a squeak.
A fox came to investigate
Had luncheon in the woods.
Moral: When you advertise, my friends,
sure you’ve got the goods!
Is a lack of space causing your
practice to hit the “income ceiling”? Can you accommodate the demand that
already exists and wishes to
get in? How much might you improve income by making a small additional
investment in office space? Is
a lack of space causing an income blockage in your practice?
Don’t keep us a
secret! Tell another practitioner about our practice building