The Big Five Practice Growth Strategies That Will Get You to Your Long-Term Vision
Visions are meant to be long term, inspired by one’s imagination for what could be. Ideally, your vision for your business should be a 10-year plan, but at the very least you should be looking five years out.
If you aspire to grow your practice to a level you can reach in a year or two, that’s not much of a vision. Instead, break down your 10-year plan into annual goals that serve as milestones to keep you on track to a longer-term and more highly motivating target.
Beyond clinical competency, the business strategies that will help you achieve your goals, and ultimately your vision are what we call “The Big Five.” These are the five major areas of investment in your practice on which you need to focus your attention and develop mastery over time. They correlate together as a vision, so to create a stable business you must build out all five areas. Your natural inclination will be to focus more heavily on those areas in which you feel more competent, but it is essential to also increase capabilities in your weaker areas.
Here’s an overview that will get you focused on the right areas:
The Big Five Practice Growth Strategies
1. Human Capital
This includes everything to do with people, and particularly self-management. Accountability, engagement, training & development, culture, and incentives all fall under the area of Human Capital. Collectively you and all the members of your team are and always will be the single most defining factor in whether your practice thrives and grows – or it doesn’t. That’s why the investments you make in Human Capital each year are the very best investments you can make, plus the huge returns are virtually immediate.
As the practice owner and leader of your team, you simply must constantly work to improve this area. Some specific examples of elements that fall within this strategy include:
– Investing in team training so you and your people know what an excellent patient experience looks and feels like through the eyes of patients, and how to deliver it.
– The patient-centric culture you create and nurture; the way you role-model desired behaviors, and lead, motivate, and mentor your team to keep patients top-of-mind.
2. Space & Equipment
This includes everything that has to do with the physical building where your office is, and all the equipment within it. This area is closely tied to the fifth area – Financial Discipline – because the better you understand how your business makes money, the importance of capital investment, and how to recognize and calculate ROI, the better you will be at making the right long-term decisions about Space & Equipment that will grow your Practice.
Specific examples include:
– Each doctor and each hygienist can only treat so many patients a week per treatment room. Once you hit that point you cannot grow your practice. You must increase capacity by adding treatment rooms. A quick and inexpensive way to ramp up capacity is to convert underutilized space, such as a breakroom or office.
– Then plan ahead to invest in your growth with a larger space and more treatment rooms. Each one you add will provide a positive return on capital investment when filled with new patients!
This includes everything to do with marketing and advertising, as well as what and how you communicate about your practice to existing and potential patients. You should be communicating not just about your services, but about all that you do and stand for in your community.
No matter how many referrals you get from existing patients, you should always be marketing to attract new patients. After all, a steady stream of new patients is the lifeblood of any practice. That said, you first need to shore up your Human Capital:
– If your people aren’t trained to capture new patients when they call, you’re wasting your marketing dollars.
– If your people aren’t trained to deliver a great experience when a new patient comes in for the first time, you may never see them again. You’ve wasted your marketing dollars.
– If you don’t have space capacity to see more patients, resulting in unacceptable lead times to get appointments, you’ll never get them as new patients. You’ve wasted your marketing dollars.
There are infinite ways to creatively market your practice and set yourself apart from the competition. Marketing is not nearly as complicated as you might think, and we’ll give you more strategies in this blog over time. For right now, make sure that what you’re doing to generate more phone calls and website visits isn’t being wasted because they aren’t being converted to actual new patient appointments. Take the 5 Star Challenge and we will perform a mystery shopper call to your office to see what really happens when a New Patient calls your office.
The last two practice growth strategies come into play more by doctors with the courage and determination to set long-term visions that not only fuel growth but multiply business income, dramatically increase net worth, and provide for a more satisfying life, e.g., double, triple, even grow the practice by five times or more. We will cover these more on this blog, but here is an overview:
4. Clinical Duplication
This area actually does not mean clinical skills. It means being in charge of the clinical services, and eventually creating clinical duplication within the practice. As a business owner, it’s not about you being a great clinician, it’s about having others see patients and do clinical work alongside you in the same building.
Position your business to earn even when you’re not there by adding revenue-generating clinical capacity in the form of associates and hygienists. Use the space you’re already paying for to its full income-producing capacity. By doing so, you will also improve patient satisfaction with greater availability and extended hours. Don’t be so egotistical as to think only you can satisfy your patients.
5. Financial Discipline
This area includes understanding things like P&L statements, expense vs. investments that generate ROI, capital investments, properly managing margin and debt, segregating business and personal finances, and tracking where money goes. In short, the systems you need to have in place so you’re always knowledgeable about, and in control of your money.
Without a solid understanding and good systems, you will inevitably fall victim to Parkinson’s Law, which essentially states that expenses rise to the level of income. Which means most people squander additional revenue instead of using it properly to grow their business, increase net income, and achieve the ultimate goal of increased net worth.
Aligning your thinking, your planning, and your investments to these all-important strategies will amplify income and turbocharge practice growth because they will keep you focused on the most important aspects of the business. For this reason, virtually all of our teachings at Scheduling Institute fall into these “Big Five” areas and how they work together to get you to your long-term vision in the shortest amount of time with the best results.
Love what you just read and want to learn more? Check out the BRAND NEW Private Practice Playbook Podcast, powered by Scheduling Institute, and hosted by Jay Geier! This podcast will provide you with timely, relevant, specialized knowledge that will help you grow your practice. This business podcast is delivered on a monthly basis and will provide more detail and actionable strategies around “The Big Five” practice growth strategies just highlighted: Human Capital, Space & Equipment, Marketing, Clinical Duplication, and Financial Discipline.
The Private Practice Playbook
A PODCAST FOR DOCTORS. GAIN IMMEDIATE ACCESS TODAY.