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Practice Nav Blog 2018-01-17T12:20:49+00:00

Why you should say NO more often

As healthcare professionals we like to please people, otherwise we wouldn't be in this profession. However, this need to please people can come at the expense of our own needs and the needs of our business. Don't get me wrong, I think it's great to be involved in lots of different business activities and ventures, but sometimes they take up too much time. This time comes at the expense of working on your core business and your down time. Fair enough, if you've got time to spare and your financially secure for life, but most of us have a set number of hours we work a week. I believe our down time is as important as our work time so I want to give you examples of ways to say NO and the benefits of saying no.

What are your magic numbers?

Recently I've been working with very busy clinic owners. You may say why do busy clinic owners need help? It's because they are both in their early 30s and are nearly burnt out due to their workload. They're both working over 70 hours a week and missing out on their own health (gym, healthy eating - all the stuff we tell our clients to do) as well as time with their friends and family. We all have a finite amount of time on earth, so make sure you make the most of it, rather than chasing extra money (stress) you don't need. So I propose the question, what are your magic numbers? Below is a way to help you figure out what they are...........

10 things I hate about business (with solutions)

If you want things to be different you need to do different things. Albert Einstein said the definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. In a healthcare business if you want different results then you need to change how you do things. A lot of clinicians complain about how they wish things could be different and don't change anything. Here are some of the top complaints I hear...I've also thrown in some solutions. In order to change you need to be different!

How to retain and follow up with your clients

What percentage of appointments are Did Not Attend (DNA), Cancelations, Unable To Attend (UTA), New Patients (NP) in the average clinic? The percentages will vary hugely with every clinics depending on the type of clinic, how long it's been established, client base, location etc. So I can only give you information based on the average Physio clinic I deal with.  The percentages are of the total patients booked in say for one week.  Say 50 patients for a week 2% DNA (1) 6% UTA (3) 2% Cancellation (1) 74% FU (38) 16% NP (8) If your DNA, UTA and cancellations are above 20% then you need to review your system - click here to review your systems. Ideally you want your NP above 10% in order to grow your business. If this is not the case and you've got all the systems in place then you need to review your marketing strategy. Click here for a free marketing plan. You also need to follow up with all DNAs and cancellations via phone call by treating practitioner to find out what happened and rebook their appointment. Reminders - I sent SMS and email reminders for all appointments, people are busy and forget things, make it easy for them to remember their appointment. 

How I work 3 days a week

Before we start, I wish to point out that this is not some dodgy scheme to make you rich in 4 weeks, or some African Prince looking for a bank transfer. This idea of this article is to provide you with more time, yes time! Time, which for a lot of us is constantly running out. Please note all of this is my opinion, based on experience in the field and research into how to be more efficient. Why do people in the western world work 5.5 days a week, or as a business owner up to 70-80 hours a week? If you're working more than 80 hours a week as a health practitioner, then you really need to evaluate why and what you're doing. It is has been proven that working long hours consistently, increases your health risk to stress, cardiovascular disease, obesity, high blood pressure, cancer etc..... So why work yourself into the ground and then have to deal with the effects? I appreciate that starting off in business or taking on a new project can be stressful, but it doesn't have to be constant. So, here's how and why I'm working 3 days a week.

Do you learn from your hiring mistakes?

So I've been thinking about learning from my mistakes recently and wondering why I don't do it more often. At a clinic I was involved in I made the mistake of hiring someone for the sake of hiring someone, I know it sounds stupid! I was in a position where I needed someone to cover a clinic as I just opened a second site. It turned out to be tough work, the clinician was hard work and not a team player. I put in the hours of supervision and guidance over the course of a eight months, but in the end it just wasn't working so the contract ended. This happened me again (It didn't happen to me, I chose to put myself in the situation) with one of the clinics I look after. We were expecting too much too soon with not enough experience. Again the contract ended (on good terms), so what have I learnt from the situation....

How to get business support

No matter what you do in life it's alway good to have support. Any successful business has a good support network and understands how important it is. Regardless of whether you're a sole trader running an individual clinic or a multi location clinic you need a support network (PracticeNav's new interactive facebook page click here). As healthcare practitioners we're always updating our professional skills but don't pay much attention to the business support. So this blog will discuss five easy ways to create a support system to run a successful clinic. 

What’s the worst that can happen?

When making decisions in business and life I generally use this question as a guide. Six months on from setting up my own clinic and helping to update the systems of an existing clinic it's served me well. My new clinic is going very well, I work there 2 days a week and have an employee there on the other days. The clinic I helped out at now has a clear plan in place as to where it wants to go and the clients it wants to see. They have a clear exit strategy with excellent systems in place to make the business run more efficiently. The process of these transformations is that difficult, it's more about valuing yourself to make the investment in your business and in turn your future. So I'm going to ask my favourite questions regarding business in healthcare, to encourage you to make some changes. 

Tips for healthcare websites

What's your business website like? Do you have one? If you run a healthcare business and your don't have a website or it was designed in 2007 by a family friend then it's probably time to invest. Five months into two clinic transformations one thing that's really important is having a good website regardless whether your clinic has just opened its doors or has been established for 20 years. Most people want the following when they click on a healthcare website contact number, online booking & location details. The following tips will help you develop or update your new website. As a valued reader of the practicenav blog feel free to contact the following web design company for a FREE Website review by clicking here

Why is signage so important?

Why is signage so important? Simple answer is that it creates business through brand awareness. I was at my new clinic in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny for 4 months before I got my sign organised for outside my clinic. The sign is located on a busy road in the town. In the first week alone we got five enquires from the sign (we know this because we ask people how they hear about the clinic) and converted three of them. The sign cost about €300 to put up and paid for itself after two weeks. I imagine the sign will last at least two years with a huge Return On Investment (ROI). Following this I got my car wrapped in signage which cost €400. The response to this was fantastic, people are aware I'm in the town, I park in different locations throughout the town to gain as much exposure as possible. So here are some reasons as to why you should invest in decent signage.

Planning for a lean period

Let's be realistic, no matter what stage your business is at it's not always going to be plain sailing. Following on from my last video on how to hire people for your clinic I'd like to discuss the issue of having a lean period in your clinic and how to plan for it. A lean period in a healthcare business generally happens around holiday time or staff departures. If you plan for it and you know it's coming then you don't have to stress about it. I heard a great phrase the other day "control the controllables", in other words plan for what you can control and adapt to the rest. I'd also recommend trying to build some sort of a contingency fund for difficult times or expansion within your business. Here are 5 tips to help plan for lean periods regardless of what stage your business is at.

Investing in your healthcare business

When most people hear the word "invest" they automatically think money. However investment is more than money, if applied correctly it can also include time. Most healthcare business owners complain about not having enough time to work "on" the business. The reason for this common complaint is the fact that they don't have the correct systems in place and are unwilling to adapt to the ever changing healthcare landscape. If you work for two hours per week on any of the previous articles I've wrote over the course of a year your business will grow. As it's a healthcare business it would increase over a steady period, let's be conservative and say you improve by 1% per week. If you're seeing 25 clients a week at present, say 5 per day and you consistently improve by 1% each week, then after one year you will be seeing over 40 clients a week! After two years it will be 70 clients per week. Don't believe me? Click here to see example showing the simple principles figures. Results in this industry are not instant, if you're not in it for the long haul then go do something else with your life, because you have to enjoy it.

How to make a good first impression

I was in a doctor's waiting room recently waiting to have my appointment. As an observer of all things system based and picking holes in business systems, I had time to kill. I've recently moved to the area so my first impression of the clinic was not fantastic, my observations included the following, poor signage to the clinic, cold waiting room, rude receptionist who looked like she'd been dragged through a bush to get to work and an attitude to match. She told me to talk a seat and the doctor will be with you shortly, I asked how long will he be and she snapped when he's finished with the other patients! Now I don't want to bash all GP clinics but I wasn't holding out much hope for the doctor who called me in 20 mins later to tell me how busy his morning was. He turned out to be a nice doctor but I had already made up my mind that I wasn't ever going to set foot inside the practice again. My point is that regardless of how professional you are, it's your whole system that makes the first impression. Here are my tips for first impressions.

How to find good referral partners

Being in small business of any kind is hard work regardless of industry, but it's especially hard in the health care industry because our clients add another variable. Cars or manufacturing parts don't complain or judge us, clients do! Therefore being on top of our game is essential and one easy way to stay on top of your game is through the support of others. Sometimes you may feel isolated that you're the only one with your back to the wall.... so here are some tips to help you find support from others.

The benefits of doing business locally

As a healthcare clinic owner I cannot stress enough the importance of doing business locally. Most clients for healthcare clinics will travel less than an hour to visit your clinic, therefore it makes sense that you do most of your business within an hour radius of your clinic. Obviously this is variable depending on how densely populated the area you do business in. Since moving home to my local community and setting up my new Physiotherapy clinic I've got involved in as much local activity as possible. I'm baffled as to why more people don't get involved in their community and support their local businesses. Now you may say hangon Colin, you're always preaching about outsourcing to virtual assistants overseas. I agree with this when starting off in business. However if you need a haircut - go to your local hairdresser, if you want a coffee - go to your local cafe, if you want office paper - go to your local book store. You'll be surprised who you'll meet and maybe, just maybe you might pick up some new clients if you apply some of the principles from my blog on uniform and name badges.

Healthcare clinic marketing action plan

So my last topic discussed a free marketing plan for healthcare clinics. In this blog we will discuss a couple of simple tips to help you implement this plan and make your marketing more time efficient and cost effective. I've recently heard some of my colleagues in the Physio world discuss how "quiet" it is in their clinics. This can happen during certain times of the year, but look at what you're doing in your "quiet" time, are you implementing your marketing plan and aiming for the year ahead? Or are you wasting your time on social media re posting non original content to see if "likes" miraculously turn into profit. Being busy is easy, being productive takes planning. So let's talk about the marketing plan from the last session

Healthcare clinics free marketing plan

A lack of money is no excuse for a poor marketing plan, most of it's free! A lack of money should make you more creative and get you thinking outside the box on how to stay in touch and connect with new clients. PracticeNav can help with your marketing plan. Take our Online Audit which gives you instant results.

5 Steps to plan your exit strategy

So if you're like me and over the age of 30 you may be thinking about what you're going to do when you retire? If you're a health professional you can't do hands on work forever. So you've got to start putting strategies in place before you reach the age of 40 and burn out. I recently met a physio who was in their early 50 and completely burnt out. They had a thriving practice but no exit strategy. So as much as it's very important to build a business and market it, you need to have something to show for all your hard work at the end of your career. See my original story (click here) and my exit strategy before starting my new clinic CompassPhysio. So lets try to get your house in order before it's too late, here are some simple steps

Are you driving with the brakes on?

So get the most out of your business by using it to its full potential, once you release all your "brakes" then things will start to run a lot smoother. To find out how PracticeNav can help release your business brakes take our Online Audit which gives you instant results. This can help build consistency within your business procedures. Contact PracticeNav via email on or take our Free business audit to find how we can help. Feel free to ask any questions in relation to this.

Reach 10,000 potential clients in 2 mins

So from reading my blogs over the last year you'll understand I'm pretty straight up and generally tell it as it is. Last week I opened my new clinic in Castlecomer , I managed to reach an audience on facebook of nearly 10,ooo (yes 10,000 see the pics) and have nearly 4,000 views on my 2 videos and nearly 400 likes in 2 weeks. You might think, I don't want to do this on facebook or I don't like promoting my business. Well if you don't like doing it, no one else will, you can't expect to ask your clients for referrals when you don't ask for referral yourself! It's your responsibility to passionately promote your business and it's values. So here are the simple steps I did to promote my business in less than 2 weeks. (figures as of 13/10/16)

Are you penny wise pound foolish…

I speak from experience when it comes to being penny wise and pound foolish. When I bought my first Physiotherapy clinic I did not have a big budget for anything, any money I got from my clients generally went on wages or rent. However now that I'm opening my second clinic I can see the value of investment if you have the cash to invest. My previous staff will laugh when they read this, but I have a shredder in the practice I bought for $50 that would shred 5 pages at a time. The problem was every 3-4 weeks the shredder would get jammed up or overheat and I would have to spend an hour fixing it or making ridiculous videos on how to use a shredder (yes I did that!). It took me 2 broken shredders and alot of advice from my admin team (Thanks Jen) to get a business shredder worth about $150 which saved me a fortune in time and I never had to worry about jamming paper again. So if I add up all the time I spend on the broken shredders it works out at about $160/hour (clients I could have billed) and at a conservative estimate of 10 hours that works out at $1600, plus another 2 new shredders at $50 per shredder. That's a grand total of $1700 - a weeks wages for top class MSK Physiotherapist!!