Do you ever feel like everywhere you turn there’s chaos or disorder in your practice? Feeling like there’s no end in sight? Or maybe you’re ready to scream?
Are you looking to put a little (or a lot) of order into your practice but aren’t sure where to start?
Believe me, I get it. When there’s chaos around you, it can make you feel confused, lost, frustrated, and even make you want to sell it all and walk away.
Back in 2011-2012, when we started to work on expanding the practice, we were both working 70-hour weeks. It was rough, and we were constantly feeling confused, tired, frustrated, and lost. There never seemed to be enough time in our day to treat, organize, hire new people, get people trained, pay bills, make future plan; enjoy life. We were worried about the future of the practice. It was like being on a road and knowing that right around the next curve was our practice success, but it felt like we just couldn’t get around that curve!
And we realized it was due to chaos surrounding us. So, we got ourselves in check, put on our big kid pants and took a really good look at what we wanted, no, what we needed. And that was to build a practice that was ours, led by us, driven by our vision. And that meant handling the chaos immediately.
So, if you’re feeling that way today – and I know some of you are – I want to tell you that there’s hope. And it all starts with clearing out the chaos and setting things on the right track.
I’m going to be really honest here; it takes work to be a practice owner. Not the crazy disorder you might be feeling right now but directed action that gets a result.
Ownership isn’t for you if you want to own a business and not put in the work to achieve your vision. Remember, this is your dream, your vision of how things are going to be; so, you need to put in the work to get it where it needs to go. Are you ready to focus on directed action? If so, here are a few tips to help you begin to overcome the chaos and head in the right direction:
Step 1: Write down YOUR ideal scene for your practice.
You’ve probably heard that term before. Everywhere I turn, I hear people saying it. And you may wonder what an ideal scene is. An ideal scene should describe what your practice will ideally look like. This is where you really define your vision for you and your practice. It isn’t a short-term goal, a dream, or a wish. This is what your intention for your practice is as stated by you. It’s what you’re GOING to achieve.
This isn’t where you want to be next week but a realistic idea of what your practice will look like as your ‘IDEAL’. It can be a starting point and not the complete and total end point. A practice should always be expanding so you may have an ideal scene now and once you achieve that, you’ll write a new ideal scene to push forward for more growth, more expansion.
The ideal scene should include information about you, the owner as well because this is your vision of what you will be doing in the practice when it is at your ‘IDEAL’.
Here are some questions you should answer to help you define your ideal scene:
What does your day look like as the owner? Give yourself a specific description of your daily activities. How often are you treating, how many hours? How many hours are you in the practice, how much are you doing?
Will you be treating all day, part of the day, not at all? What other responsibilities will you be actively handling in your practice?
How many hours per week will you be working? In the office?What will your salary be? (remember, if you’re not going to be treating, you have to add your full salary into the amount your clinical staff must generate for the practice or you won’t get paid what you should each month)
How many new patients per week will the practice help?
How many patient visits per week will the practice see?
How many practitioners will you have working for you? (be specific. If you’re going to have a Kinesiologist, an MT, other PTs, PTAs, make sure you note how many of each you plan to have)
How will the practice be thought of? Will it be well-known as the place to go in your community? Will it be a power-house?
Will you have managers running the place?
Be specific. These answers are your intention to make the practice what YOU want and need it to be. Like I said earlier, this isn’t your ‘dream’ or ‘wish’ for the practice, this is your INTENTION to get it done! Your answers provide direction; YOUR direction. Remember, this is YOUR practice so it shouldn’t be someone else’s ideal of a practice, but yours. When you know this and have it in writing, it will help you begin to turn things around.
Note: Don’t include a time frame of when you will get this done. When you add time to an ideal scene, you put a clock on it and that clock can slow you down or leave you feeling like you failed because you didn’t achieve your goal in a set time frame.
Right now, you're creating your direction.
Step 2: Calculate how much income is needed
This is key to your success. Without this information, your stats/metrics will ride a roller coaster and you won’t expand; instead you’ll feel like you’re running in circles.
To maintain a viable and expanding practice, you need to know how much income you need to generate to pay all the expenses, pay yourself what you deserve, and provide for the security of your practice.
Here are a few tips to follow to get you started:
Note your salary – the one you should be making as the owner
Write down ALL of your constant monthly expenses for the practice – do this once and then go over it again and again until you have everything listed.
Write down your variable expenses – things like supplies, a one-off purchase, things that have ‘come up’ on you unexpectedly in the past (like the time we needed to buy a new dryer, 6 months after we purchased one due to a problem with the venting that burned out the dryer…)
How much you want to put into reserves on a weekly basis – this is your rainy-day fund and it should be well-padded in case something big comes up or an insurance company decides to have a ‘glitch’ in their system for 3 months…
NOTE: The amount you need to generate changes every time you hire a new team member or make a new financial commitment, so you need to update this number monthly!
Once you know the income needed, you should also translate it into the number of visits per week you will need to see.
When you know income and visits per week needed, you will have more certainty about the viability of your practice and it will give you something to measure and track.
Step 3: Track your stats / metrics weekly
If you aren’t tracking your practice stats, start right now. There are several online stats tracking companies out there that are very affordable and offer you the ability to not only track your stats but also graph them. Having a weekly visual of your practice stats will give you a visual on how well you’re meeting your goals and working toward your ideal scene.
Measuring your weekly stats will help reduce the chaos by providing a visual. On your graphs you can set targets you want to achieve weekly, monthly, and yearly.
Every practice I know that tracks their main practice stats expands, so get started today.
Chaos can be damaging to you and your practice. If you’re going to run a business, you have to take action daily to break down the chaos and build a better machine.
It can’t all be done by one person all at once, so if nothing else, make sure that these 3 actions are in place, so you have direction moving forward. Once they’re in place, you’ll have a better idea of what to work on next and feel more control when doing so.