Top 10 Resolutions for the Effective Practice Builder!
Below are some New Years Resolutions for Practice Builders. What kind of practice do you want in 2005? Below are ten questions to contemplate about the direction you wish to drive your practice this year:
1. Will this be the year you break through the “income ceiling” in the practice? Doctors often have a dogged resolve not to hire needed staff – even if they know it would immediately enhance their income. Is it possible that the reason you’re stagnating is because you’ve been hitting your head against an invisible (or visible) income ceiling?
2. Will this be the year you take a Comprehensive Approach towards Practice Promotion? I talk about this in some detail in Monster Patient Flow (Vol 1): Doctors understand why a comprehensive approach to wellness makes sense. But they often don’t take realize the importance of the comprehensive approach to marketing their services. Taking a comprehensive approach to practice building takes advantage of the “snowball effect” which means one tactic pluses the other, which enhances the other and so on.
3. Will you fix your case presentation? The source of nearly all value in practice emanates from the doctors’ “case presentation.” Often a small improvement to the case presentation results in immediate increases in collections and income. This makes sense since all practice revenue is based on the number of services sold.
4. Will you position yourself as the ‘Obvious Expert’? Will you take advantage of all the low cost and free ways to generate word of mouth about your services? When people conclude that you are the ‘obvious expert’, they will flock to your practice. For obvious reasons!
5. Will you reduce or strive to pay off debt? Why not make this year one in which a big push is made to reduce or eliminate high interest personal and business debt? A good strategy is to first set a realistic goal to grow the practice by 30% and then invest the increase into paying off debt. (It’s relatively easy and realistic to grow any practice 30% within 4 months. I detail tons of no cost ways in Monster Patient Flow Vol 1 and 2, that will grow a practice 30% or more, without cost. Take this increase and blast away at debt.)
6. Will you deliver Service Excellence to your patients? Apathetic health care is the current standard. To stand out and build a referral-based practice, the best strategy is to deliver a memorable “wow experience” to patients. With a little creativity and a committed staff, you can boost referrals with very little cost.
7. Will you focus on building up the cash-side of your practice? Relying on insurance for all sources of income is unwise. You have a prior relationship with hundreds or thousands of patients. What cash-based in demand services could be offered? Last year people spent over 40 billion (in cash) on weight loss products. Even more for nutritional products. Elective treatments are booming and almost exceeding “non-elective” treatments! As the 70 million baby boomer’s age, the demand for elective services will continue to grow.
8. Will you put the “hassle aspects” of your practice on auto-pilot? A doctor should reduce the number of hours open, which means increasing capacity and maximizing work time. Yet doctors waste inordinate time on reoccurring time wasting activites… constantly. The solution is to delegate and turnkey as many aspects of the clinic as possible so that the doctor – and staff – focus like a laser beam on value creation during the limited hours you’re open.
9. Will you make personal free time a priority? Burnt out doctors can’t build practices. Planning your week should begin with prioritizing free time, not fitting it in when you can. I’ve seen doctors quit practice because of burn out. Make free time a priority and you’ll find creativity and productivity improve dramatically.
10. Will you focus on building “practice equity”? The value of a practice is in direct proportion to the value of the relationships. Referrals come from good client relationships. The sale of additional services (cash based) come from good relationships. How can you turn “Class I” experiences into “Class II” wow moments? Focusing on relationship “equity” will do more to build a long term stable practice than anything else.
Those are my top 10 practice building resolutions. There are hundreds of small no and low cost changes you can make to a practice, that can have a profound impact on your income! This list is but a small beginning. Now go out and make something great happen this year…
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