After finishing school, doctors of all types and specialties have a choice to make – where will they practice? Many go to large hospital systems or already established practices where they will show up and do their job, never having to worry about the behind-the-scenes aspect of the organization. But a few will go out and start their own practices. This is where it becomes tricky. These individuals spent years and years in school honing their medical skills, but none of their classes were in business. This is when you find excellent doctors with stale or static practice growth because they simply don’t know how to do it.
Below are our four tips on how to grow your medical practice.
Don’t Be an Island
Trying to do it all yourself is a fool’s errand. Unless you are Mary Poppin’s Bert (a one-man-band) you will need help. And that is okay!
Your staff members are both your biggest expense and greatest asset. Hiring someone to take over the management of your practice not only frees you up to focus your time on seeing patients, but it allows the professional to take charge.
If you are worried about hiring too many employees, there are benchmarks available online for how much support staff each specialty physician needs. Knowing that your numbers are on par with others should help alleviate the stress you feel from hiring so many people.
In addition, we find it helpful to write out an organization chart. This allows you to identify any missing spots or duplications.
Some may find it hard to relinquish control from the business they built up from nothing, but this is why you have a detailed hiring process. If you find it important to have a hand in the process, try leaving time in your schedule to be part of interviews. This way, you can feel confident in every new hire.
Support the Folks You Hire
Now that you have allowed yourself to hire a team, it is important to support them. Not only will this keep them around, but it will allow them to grow into their roles and become more invested in your practice’s success.
Many practices have received positive feedback once they began offering a yearly stipend to employees to spend on additional education and trainings of their choice.
An important note here is that supporting your employees can also come in the form of letting them go. If you have an employee who has been trained and retrained but is simply not meeting your standards, better to let them go now than waste both your and their time.
Create and Stick to Your Brand
Many medical practices fail to follow basic marketing strategies, especially when it comes to building a brand. While your primary goal is to help patients, customer service is a large part of this. With the increase in online reviews, patients are able to share their likes and dislikes from their most recent visit simply with a click of the mouse. A recent poll found that 92 percent of potential patients read online reviews of their health care provider prior to making an appointment.
In addition, creating a brand is how your differentiate yourself from your competition. There are a number of other medical practices in your area, and your brand is what makes someone decide to schedule an appointment with you instead of someone else.
Once you determine what sets you apart, it is important to stick to i. Carry your brand throughout your marketing materials, interior design and website.
Don’t Be Afraid of Creating a Culture
While this may seem like something only startups and tech companies do, every practice should have one. This can be as simple as making it a point to celebrate every team member’s birthday or implementing an employee of the month program. Creating an environment where your employees feel appreciated and respected leads to better work outcomes.
Your patients can feel the cohesion and comradery when they walk into your office. This will make them feel more comfortable and have them coming back.
Growth is essential for a successful practice. Don’t let your lack of business experience be the reason you don’t succeed.