As we all know, becoming a healthcare practitioner and practice owner requires an obscene level of investment. We go to college and rack up debt; then we go to our choice of healthcare college for four years (or more), where we can accumulate $300k+ in debt. In addition to all of the money we’ve spent on our education, there is an additional cost because we removed ourselves from the workforce. So, in addition to the debt, we had six to eight years where we didn’t earn an income.
Then, we graduate from healthcare college, maybe work professionally for some time, then open our practice. We think once we have our practice, we’re on the road to really “making it” and we can soon start enjoying the fruits of our labor. It doesn’t take long for this dream to fade because we realize that running our practice is far from easy. We need to work extremely hard to get the practice to a point where we’re breaking even – typically six to twelve months. Once we break even, we think that things are beginning to pick up, and we can relax a little bit because it’s getting better.
This next step is the point where most healthcare practice owners enter the ‘Death Valley’ phase.
It’s the place where they work long hours, are always stressed and don’t know if they can keep the doors open at the end of each month. In this phase, a practice owner will seemingly try everything, and they are lucky if they see incremental improvements. Some practice owners spend their entire career in ‘Death Valley’ and still end up going bankrupt after thirty years in practice. When a practice owner spends too many years in this phase, they become jaded and don’t know if they will ever make it out of ‘Death Valley.’
After many years in this industry, I’ve noticed a similar trajectory that most practice owners wind up on. After they open their practice and struggle for a few years, they tend to finally hit a wall where they can’t take it anymore. Many practice owners end up going bankrupt, getting divorced or living a life in constant fear of financial ruin trying anything and everything to make it work on their own; they invested all of this time, money and energy into their career and they realize that it’s no longer worth it.
These practice owners get to a place where they stop investing in themselves and their practice because they no longer see the point.
The sad thing is, if they invest a little more into their practice, they can usually turn it around, but at this point, they are too exhausted to continue.
Once the dream of a comfortable life in practice has faded, this is the time that practice owners must stop backpedaling and ask for help if they are ever going to succeed. This critical phase is usually past the point where a practice owner should have sought professional help, but sometimes, there’s still enough time for correction. They need a BUSINESS SOLUTION that works. And FAST.
The problem is, there is a lot of charlatans out there calling themselves coaches and consultants that don’t know what the hell they are doing and can hurt a practice owner’s business more than help them. They become more of a hindrance than a help.
When I first opened my practice, I wasted A TON of money working with inept coaches and consultants. A minimal amount of it helped, but most of it was a fantastic waste of time, money, and energy.
If you’re considering professional help, here’s what is required for it to work:
1. Analytics System
We have yet to hear of any coach or consulting program that has a done-for-you plug-and-play analytics system for their clients. (Practice owners are not software programmers or systems engineers. It’s critical that this is designed and provided for them. ‘Frameworks’ don’t cut it in these cases and they often collapse like a house of cards.) This lack of a system that produced quantifiable data to be used for making daily data-driven decisions was the number one problem I had with coaches and consultants, and it was so necessary that I was forced to develop one for myself. Now, our clients use our proprietary analytics solution, our Analytics Center™, that measures all the Essential Analytics™ necessary for every healthcare practice to reach their highest potential of prosperity. Our administrative discipline allows a practice owner to understand precisely what works and what doesn’t in their practice, as granular as on a day-to-day basis.
2. Management by numbers
Measuring and monitoring the numbers (the math behind your practice) is imperative and quintessential to the achieve the highest levels of financial success possible.
It completely blows our minds that most coaches and consultants don’t advocate management by numbers. When I started to do this in my practice using our Analytics Center™, it immediately snapped my practice into focus. I was able to see that I had apparent bottlenecks in my marketing and management of staff. After I had fixed my marketing department and patient conversions, I was then able to diagnose fractures in my management strategy and the flawed scalability of my previous approach.
3. A standardized approach to management
If an END-TO-END management solution is not available that has worked for ALL of their other clients; then they probably are not worth hiring. The solution that we developed is based on sound business and management practices. It has been tested, reformulated and reprogrammed over a decade of use. Of course, there will be slight deviations depending on the size and scope of practice, but the bare bones of the standardized approach don’t change because it works exceptionally well. This provides for a sustainable and quantifiable plan to manage your practice where every employee understands precisely what is expected of them at any point in time, and what needs to occur to remain on-track regarding their production requirements. Our Analytics Center™ also makes it easier for the practice owner to see where they need improvement in their daily performance as an executive. It’s difficult to create a standardized approach like this, but once it’s done, with proper training, it’s easy for anyone to use.
So, if you’re struggling in practice, we highly recommend keeping your head up and pushing forward. There is light at the end of the tunnel if you continue to invest in yourself and your practice.
If you’ve decided to take your practice to the next level and hire professional help, we would be glad to speak with you. We suggest you first WATCH OUR TRAINING and then book yourself in for your BREAKTHROUGH SESSION.
All our best,
Jonathan and The Art of Practice Prosperity Team