I am feeling concerned about many of you because chances are, given you’re reading this, you’re running a small business in healthcare right now. Relax, I am not a ‘Doomsdayer’…I don’t think the current situation has to be the death knell for our clinics and businesses, nor even a near-death experience but I do think it requires:
- Dedicated and directed thought
- Dedicated responsive planning
- Follow through actions NOW to pave your way to a sustainable TOMORROW
I do not think it requires a paid business coach. I am a little horrified to see we are already being preyed upon by coaching businesses wanting us to invest more at this financially fickle time to be ‘shown the way to emerge triumphant from this’. That gives me the creeps. Enough said.
But I do know burying our heads isn’t the answer. In fact, that is probably the best way to bury your business for good. From connecting with hundreds of practitioners regularly I can confirm there is a trend emerging that many of us had absolutely predicted: some reduction in return appointments (patients not yet shifting to online or deprioritising long-standing health concerns and prioritising panic instead) and a much more worrying, more financially impacting, bigger drop in new patient bookings. We will only have this unprecedented run on ‘immune herbs and supplements’ for so long. We all need to do the maths…and fast.
Most of us know well enough the bare bones of our business to know this spells income trouble in terms of right now: via a lower hourly fee and moving forward, in terms of loss of expected growth of client base, in a nutshell a process of ever diminishing returns.
Wringing our hands and worrying is not dedicated directed thought. Which is instead about taking business advice from established experts (who have global experience in previous major financial crises) that is already out there for free and just committing the time to reading it and applying it to your own circumstances. The best I’ve found so far featured in Forbes Magazine…and no I have never read this mag before in my life either, only ever bought it for the pictures 🤣😂 BUT this article contains the essentials of what you need to consider right now and you can use it to form the basis of your planning, decision making and actioning. It applies to business generally and some of it is bit hard to translate out of CEO-speak but I’ve put my hand to it here for you. Please look at this, take the time to ask yourself these important questions about what may happen and how you could improve the outcomes of each new challenge. And if you find that still too difficult on your own, grab a couple of practitioner pals online and see if by putting your heads together you are better able to answer the questions this poses. If we learned anything from our horrendous fire season, it was, hopefully, that plans are meant to be made in advance…not when the flames are beating at your door. I recommend you make one, now.
To make it easier for you (and you know how I love creating resources!!), I have extracted and reproduced a table from this article – Forbes’ Business Strategies for 4 Phases of COVID. I’ve just modified it for you to download and use to create positive business strategies and vision for your future.
You can download it here.
At the end of last week I spent 3 days engrossed in intensive ANS planning for 2018. As you can probably imagine these planning days are incredibly exciting, creative, stimulating processes. If everyone involved had brain PET scans performed during these discussions, I think the disco lighting effect in our results would be noteworthy (!) and distinctly different from the stimulation that comes from most of our other work pursuits. Does anyone do disco all the time though? Not many of us. This prompted me to reflect back on a little graph I drew for myself this last month – that depicts the various ways all my different forms of work & how they contribute either money or meaning, or better still both!
Diversification of income streams is a key business catch cry, right?
And this is especially pertinent to clinicians.
But work variety may also be important in meeting our multiple values and need for meaningful engagement. (more…)
This year has kicked off with lots of time spent re-calibrating my own and other practitioners’ businesses models via business mentoring and it’s such a privilege. One symptom that seems to creep into almost every practitioner’s business model though, is one of over-delivery. (Curse that empathy and all those good hearts hey!) Over-delivering comes in many forms, it might sound or look like this…
“I always run over”
Rather than responding to this with further self-criticism and , pledging better allegiance to the clock – we could hear this as a reflection that our appointment structure is out-dated or unsuitable. We need to restructure to allow for the time we really do spend and need to spend with our clients and then adjust the appointment fees appropriately. Having said that be aware of the other golden oldie: (more…)
I really enjoy mentoring practitioners in business – it’s a real privilege to be able to hear about each practitioners’ aspirations and challenges. A few weeks back I had the good fortune to speak with a fresh one! A practitioner who has only been in business for a short period of time. As always before our session, I looked over all aspects of her online presence from her website, to her practice newsletters, Facebook presence etc. Goodness how things have changed from when I graduated and you literally just hung out your shingle!! As much as the online world has created incredible opportunities for people working in integrative health and the public who use our services, I think it has also of course brought the ‘competition closer’.
Have you ever wondered what is the best way to grow your business? Not a cardboard cut-out, off-the-shelf kind of business that every business coach talks to, or somebody else’s business, your business? Business advice like naturopathy, according to Rachel, is about taking an individualised approach.
The traditional model of a naturopath was based on a one on one clinical practice model, while potentially still a path to success and satisfaction, this requires a totally fresh and contemporary perspective on what works today. In addition to this, many naturopaths feel a need to diversify their revenue stream in order to work smarter not harder. The naturopathic path is not always conventional and rarely the same for any two practitioners depending on personality, location, skill sets (including non-naturopathic), passion etc.
Rachel gets it. (more…)