HOW TO BUILD A SUCCESSFUL PRIVATE PRACTICE?
My top seven lessons learned on how I grew my practice from 20 to 300 patients a month within just 18 months.
Hi, my name is Margaret Trevillion and firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to Gary and Heidi at LBG for inviting me to write a blog, I’m very grateful to have the opportunity and share my story with you all. I grew my practice from 20 to 300 patients a month within just 18 months and guess what? The growth just keeps on coming! From the beginning, it really is quite a long story and a few chapters, but no one has time to read it, let alone me write it!
I would just like to share a little bit about me …. I had a podiatry career working in Marylebone Village in London and for the Ministry of Defence. Since having my second child I was unwell, unhappy and my marriage was going down the pan – you get the rock bottom picture! I was desperate for a change and wanted more from the quality of my life and career. The daily insignificant stresses and 40 hour weeks with a mundane routine was no longer for me.
I went to my first Podiatry Hive event approximately three years ago and this was the significant turning point for me. I invested in me, the vision for my podiatry practice and working towards the lifestyle I wanted (which I now have). Looking at the bigger picture it was also to help and enable the team I would build around me and many more clients. My passion is to help clients understand that podiatry is about promoting health and wellbeing through improved function, movement and lifestyle. I am committed to seeing podiatry enrich the lives of each of our clients.
The sharing of experiences, education, help, advice, support, love and friendship from the Podiatry Hive Family (too many names to mention, you know who you are) has been immense and truly a life changing experience. I’m forever in their debt, as without them none of this would be possible. If you want more money, time and freedom, check out podiatryhive.com
There have been many lessons learned and for sure many more to come. I’ve listed below the quickest and easiest wins, which I found to be the most useful with instant results and will help you on your journey to success.
Begin with the end in mind
Whether you realise it or not, we are our jobs. Get clarity on what you want. What you would like this to look like and feel like? Really get creative. Remember if you can dream it you can achieve it. Plan each step by step and execute it. Discipline and professional accountability is crucial. I have an amazing business coach through the Podiatry Hive who regularly kicks my butt, enhances the clarity, pushes me outside of my comfort zone, inspires me and helps me to develop personally. I really would have not achieved 300 patients a month without this.
What is your “why?” and your values for your business?
To build a lasting successful brand, knowing your “why?” and your values is crucial. Practicing what you preach really helps to build the culture in your practice. It also embeds your leadership / management style and enables effective hiring and firing of your employees / associates. Having a unified purpose also enables you to create a family at work. To help you identify your why, there is a great book called Start with Why by Simon Sinek.
How well is your business actually doing?
Use of Key Performance Indicators and test re-measure of these is crucial. You need to know where your business is, where do you want it to be and which strategy are you going to use to help get there? Is the strategy working? KPIs enable tracking of this and really are quick wins once you get to grips with automation of it and interpretation / reflection of the results. This enables you to sharpen your focus and make some constructive changes. Typical KPIs include number of new clients, GP letters sent, rebooking rate, revenue, number of products sold etc.
It’s all about change and context.
Making the decision to bring about positive and valuable change for all the right reasons needs to be scheduled in the diary, a conscious effort needs to be made with context communicated to the team to give the change a true meaning. This enables them to embrace the change and be part of it. Telling your team a change is going to be made with no context given is destined to fail before anything has had a chance to happen. Following up and mentoring (if necessary) on the changes made and being consistent with management of it is vital. Regular team meetings and asking for proposed change and innovation is essential to any thriving business.
IT Eco System
Use of technology enables the simplest of things such as online bookings, access to clinic diary from home, automation of marketing material, systemisation of processes and instant access to your profit and loss statement. Software enables automation and produces an effective and efficient service, saves time and money. At the clinic, we use Xero, Cliniko, Track Active, Asana, Mail Chimp and Cliniq Apps. Each software is integrated with one another and each has a different role to play, and now fully implemented we would not be without it. Basically, it also saves me employing someone to do the work.
Increase your fees
This is the quickest and easiest win of them all. When was the last time you put your fees up? Being an MSK specialist with an MSc and 13 years clinical experience, I was charging £50 per hour. I made the rookie mistake of charging what other local podiatrists were charging. Overnight I realised my potential and now I charge £170 per hour. We review our prices every six months with an automated annual increase every November. We enrich the lives of all our patients and add value to the services they receive. Charge your worth!
The Simplest of them all - do the f**king work
Somethings we know what we have to do and just need to get on and do it. Discipline and planning really is the way forwards.
I hope you have managed to find a key take away from my list above. We all have such busy lives and it's crucial to take time out and reflect on what’s happening around you, where you are, where you want to be and how are you going to get there. I would like to leave you with some advice I got when I started my journey, … trust the process… and that’s my biggest take away from my journey so far. Until next time, Margaret.