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Buying a job or building a business

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by PowerPodiatry, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member


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    After 23 years I am a proud owner of a Job. When I leave the practice no money is generated only continuing costs are incurred. To make money I keep working , working and working. If I were to try and sell the practice I would most likely get quite a shock at how little I would get. Who wants to by a job. I should have been building a business all these years and maybe I would have something of greater value. A business is something that will operate without your constant input. Something that you when you go on holidays you know will be still standing when you return. With a business you don't have to work twice as hard to go on holidays and return to a long waiting list.

    I have been doing a bit of reading lately on creating business but would like to know how many out there own jobs or have successfully been able to create a business. To have a business you must be able to demonstrate how you manage unmanageable staff and have guilt free holidays.

    OK, JOB VS BUSINESS own up to what you own.:bash:
     
  2. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, in a service based enterprise, people are paying to see you for your expertise.

    This means that a service based enterprise will have less goodwill than a retail or product driven operation that does not rely on the presence of a particular person.

    If we look to accountants, lawyers, medical practitioners, optometrists and others that are in similar circumstances, what can we learn?

    Well, in order to be able to come and go from the practice, you need sufficiently reliable partners and associates to cover your absence. In order to become more profitable, you need to consolidate with other professionals and provide a group practice or partnership. The sum then becomes greater than its parts.

    Punters will still want to see you, but they will have options if you need to get away for a break. Most people expect this in this day and age.

    However, there are headaches. I remember speaking to a 'successful' podiatrist who had many, many podiatrists working for him. When quizzed about his success he said "about half of them make money, half of them cost me money" and that he would be possibly more financially successful and less stressed if it was just "me and the receptionist".

    My advice is to subscribe to the most useful podiatry publication I can think of (business or otherwise!) - Podiatry Management. Its cheap (US$30 1 year, US$49 2 years), a wealth of useful information on the issues you raise, and is sent to any podiatrist across the world. Can't recommend it enough!!!!

    Choose your own adventure!

    LL
     
  3. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Thanks LL

    The horror stories of partners and multi-disciplinary practices have abound for my whole career. I know there is a solution and I know there is a repeatable solution but my question is who has achieved it and who is kidding themselves.

    The people that have truly achieved it can probably summaries it in a few simple words. I really want people to put a light to what they have and decide if I am the only one that has been in the dark for all these years.:drinks
     
  4. MelbPod

    MelbPod Active Member

  5. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Yes Melbpod it is a good book. E-myth is a good place to start.

    I'll have to see but it seems that no-one will put up their hand and say that they believe they have achieved this elusive business, not a job.

    Simpler question.

    Who uses a business coach? Was this a useful investment.
    :hammer:
     
  6. We use a business coach. We pay approx £500 a month and it is the best investment our business has ever made.

    It has shed light on things that we did not know that we did not know.

    We now have a better handle on our business , it performance and future projections.

    As to whole job vs business issue, in my experience it is about building the right team around you.

    We have gone from one practice 5 years ago to three today. We have a fantastic team who "sell" our practice philosophy really well.

    We still "work in the business" but spend a lot more time "working on the business"
     
  7. Rod Wishart

    Rod Wishart Member

    Excellent thread, good to see some discussion along these lines, mirrors thoughts I've been having for quite some time.

    Rod (Job owner)
     
  8. Nat Smith

    Nat Smith Active Member

    This is a really interesting thread. Running a successful business is certainly not part of our training is it? I thought I had the right idea...and still do to a certain degree...I think you need to have full control of your property, preferably own it or a flexible long lease that allows you to sublet. I set up my practice and had all these spare rooms at my disposal. Starting from scratch I didn't need another pod straight away, so I decided to diversify and build an Allied Health clinic with non-competing practitioners all supporting each other. I have a naturopath, massage therapist, bowen therapist & reflexologist all sharing my building. Some pay me a fee share arrangement, others just pay sessional rates...I figured if they can cover all the running costs, then I'm in the clear with my work being pure profit...Unfortunately, managing all these people can be more of a headache than you really want and they don't always bring in enough money. I've built the pod business up to a point I can now bring on another pod to share my load and let me take guilt-free holidays, but I don't know whether some of my patients will be happy getting hand-balled over to the new grad...It's a major headache really and I do sometimes wish to go back to being an associate in someone else's business...take my holidays, sick leave etc...but at the end of the day I hate being told what to do and as a boss I'm pretty lenient with myself when I feel like having the afternoon off!
     
  9. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Thanks Nat
    it sounds like an interesting work environment. I shared premises with a naturopath for 14 years but it was he that didn't know the meaning of sharing. The landlord later let me in on the secret that I had been paying the total costs incl. electricity.

    Like most of us we start with great ideas and find it is more complicated and demanding than we think. I once went 6 years without a holiday. Yes the patients do become possessive of you. When I had emergency open heart surgery they where not happy that they had to go to other podiatrists in different clinics. If you are average at what you do then they may think it was a god send but if you are reasonable proficient they will considerate it close to an insult. Being good has a price.

    The solution seems to be in not trying to manage people as they are unmanageable. From the e-myth philosophy you can only manage systems. Your procedures and policies can mean the difference between a life outside podiatry or not. Image that if you walked in Monday and your secretary or associate podiatrist said they were leaving and it didn't stress you because you had documented everything that person was responsible for and you could get a replacement up to speed in no time. Imagine you had a system that demanded your staff thought of work as not the most important thing in life. In fact demanded that they were aware of the primary aim of life before they commenced work.
    Ok the start is to define yourself outside work and have a vision of what your ideal life will look like and then design work to assist you in the endeavour. Men always ask "what do you do for a living" to place you in the social network. We are very sad us men.
    Let us know more about how you are mixing work and life. Have you another way of managing the unmanageable (people).
     
  10. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Nice to hear thefootcarecentre is using a business coach. If you would have asked me 12 months ago if I would ever use a coach I would tell you it was a waste of time. Podiatrists are such strange beasts how could they help.

    Podiatry is starting to mature but I feel that some may loose there soul in the search. The old Pods are having trouble with the ways some of the new pods are doing business. I hope that we may build a hybrid and make a two headed beast and get the best of both.

    Burn out is a bitch. Start thinking about how you can avoid it before it is too late.:drinks
     
  11. Nat Smith

    Nat Smith Active Member

    Hi Colin,
    Sorry to hear you had that bad experience working with that naturopath - that's exactly what I mean about being the one in control of the premises, either owning the building/suite or being the sole lease holder. I have found that doing a fee-share arrangement or sessional rates with others have their pros and cons. Fee-share gives you more money in the long run or if the practitioner is busy; nothing if they're starting up. The problem is I don't think it necessarily gives them the incentive to build too quickly, esp. if they still have income from their second job they're reluctant to give away. It depends on the individual of course, but the apathetic or lazy practitioner can take forever to start paying for their room. If you have to pay for the sessional room I think you're more hungry to build your business quickly. I have gradually leant more towards having practitioners pay sessional or weekly rates for their room...it gives you a gauranteed income you can rely on, even if it's less than what the fee-share could bring in. I think the key is in being fair and charging a reasonable rate and trying to foster a sense of community with inter-office referrals, working as a team. Make your own Superclinic. If everyone is benefiting, then you have less practitioners leaving looking for the bettter deal down the road. All of this of course doesn't give you any holidays unless you have another pod on board and a good practice manager to run everything. The thing I find difficult with getting another pod on board is they all seem to want to do the glamourous sports med/ biomech work and nobody wants to service your nursing homes. Pods seem to prefer working one day here, one day there...making up a full-time clinic job rather than take on a role that involves aged care or home visits. Aged care and home visits aren't glamourous but they are good bread & butter business that is reliable...if only someone will do it for you...
     
  12. Graham

    Graham RIP

    I have a three centre practice. Two are out of a multi-physiotherapy practice and one out of an MD's office. I fee share which means I have reception staff at each site that I don't have to pay but are there all the time, and when I take a vacation, while I don't make any money,it doesn't cost me any money.

    Less stress,win-win. Yes I own my Job but have kept operating costs to a manageable minimum

    Works for me.

    Regards
     
  13. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    That's what we have to find "works for me".

    When we say it works for me we should add "so-far". We need to be constantly testing the hypothesis. I've done podiatry in so many different ways over the years I would like to unveil my different stumbling blocks for you to place in your equation of life and podiatry. I now look at them as all challenges rather than cycles of multiple crises.

    Working out of a medical practice DR. comes in and says rent is doubled if not get out now. I paid double rent for 2 wks and then was gone because he wanted more.

    Had multi clinics with some staff even supplied free. Work load became so great that I realised that I had no seen my youngest son awake for 3 days. Solution get rid of one practice. Gave it to a pod as a goodwill gesture.

    This was when the wheels started to come off. I was down sizing and you will find that this may be the start of the slippery slope. You may say why didn't I employ a pod. Answer is my practice is rural and with a general shortage of pods none would go rural.

    I thought if I was smarter it may help. So I finished a masters degree whilst being a surgical registrar and still running the practices and travelling considerable distances away from home. Being smarter makes you question more but does not necessarily give you the answers.

    OK then big stumble is open heart surgery for genetic defect. I go stuff it I'll only work 3 days a week.

    The theme is that all along I worked on me as the business not the business as a separate entity. This works until it doesn't and all you have to sell is a semi-smart burnt out podiatrist with a great scar. Lucky my wife and children love me.

    So when you say it works for me then I hope that it works for all variables because life will come along and be very variable.
    Next think about how it works and would it work for someone without all your accumulated talent. If not then you can only employ people with equal talent and they most likely are in the same boat.:empathy:
     
  14. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Next lets talk about great teams and how getting them to sell your dream of podiatry will eventually fail.:boxing:
     
  15. twirly

    twirly Well-Known Member

    Hello all,

    I like that way of thinking. It is all about perspective & is relative to each individual. Perspective: The way we view potential/actual crisis has a direct impact on the way it affects us. My practice is fairly basic. No rocket science or machines that go 'ping'. I offer my patients the very best treatments within my capability & chosen scope of practice. You saying that over the years you have done podiatry in many different ways seems to say that you were not just pushing your boundaries & testing yourself but evaluating your success with that of others. My experience doing this has often (in the past) left me feeling I was doing something wrong if those I'm comparing myself to have busier or financially more successul practices than mine. I have come to the conclusion that pushing myself beyond my perceived comfort zone is a very good thing but to berate myself for not being the most brilliant person on the planet is destructive & pointless.

    Relative: If I have a headache & the woman next door has a brain tumour, as sorry as I feel for her it will not make my headache any less painful. God forbid, if something awful happened to you tomorrow & you could no longer work another pod' could & would take your place. Pushing yourself is good, killing yourself is pointless.
    Individuals ruled by the £ or the $ do not care about people. £s & $s provide little comfort other than highlighting what else is missing in their lives. Nice to have money & happiness but if you chase the former the latter may prove to be elusive. Be happy for the Dr. who now has an empty room to rent. :rolleyes:

    Don't miss a moment. Sounds a bit sickly but how often can a patient fill your heart with joy or bring tears to your eyes? (unless of course you finally cure that 25 year verucca! & they buy you a yacht out of gratitude).



    I was always impressed by educated people. Until I went to university! It's not the education or certificate which makes a person brilliant. It's how they use it.

    None more important. Irreplacable people are the appointments we should never cancel or postpone.

    That's what makes it interesting .

    Adding another variable may not reduce the problem. It may just transfer it.

    I doubt this is achievable. Nobody will nurture your business like you will. Nobody will care as much if it's a success than you. It's about balance. Some juggling but mainly balance.

    I'm never going to be a millionaire. I'm unlikely to discover a cure for anything but I have a career I enjoy & a family I love. For me it isn't about achieving what I want it's about wanting & being happy with what I've achieved.

    Be happy. Mandy.
     
  16. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Mandy what a great post.

    When I discuss doing podiatry in many different ways really means that podiatry and I have changed along the way. When I began it was like going out into the wilderness. Picking a point on the map that was not inhabited by another pod and venturing forth. We had no access to local anaesthesia or radiological rights and orthotics were all this new root et al design except for the occasional old stainless steel one. So I evolved because of a need rather than to compare because there was no one to compare to.

    My flavour of podiatry has at its core a desire to enrich the lives of the one's I come in contact with and in turn they enrich mine. The 25 year old VP is not a key point.

    If it is impossible to build a business then there is no Hope we (job owners) are all doomed.

    Yes you are correct "no body will nurture your business like you". So you need to mind your own business and they need to mind theirs. No offence but what I mean is if you expect your team to adopt your flavour of doing podiatry they then have to sacrifice there own dreams and visions. This will lead to failure as you know because the good ones will leave to follow those dreams and the rest will just become bitter and twisted.

    I know it to be true because of all the pods out there in the wilderness doing it there way. They have a vision and a dream and they do not want to accept someone else's.

    Solution: They need to first work on there life plan and see if podiatry is still a part of that plan. Then they need to work on there podiatry plan and see if it can work with the principles podiatry plan. They need to be able to have a business within your business. This applies to all staff. They need ownership of the process and in turn "nobody will nurture there business like them". This is what you need to do not how to do it.
    If your team must adopt your flavour of doing things even if it is fillet steak they will eventually desire a different taste.

    All you job owners am I depressing you or am I feeding your soul.

    Next why systems may be your friend.

    Ps. Tried to juggle a scalpel and the choice was hand or leg and the left hand won. Don't juggle when you are on warfarin. New cheaper slippery gloves not such a bargain after all.
     
  17. ClintonAbel

    ClintonAbel Active Member

    Colin,

    I have been watching this post with a lot of interest (as I am sure many others are). Your 'frustrations' are truly not your own. Anyone who employs staff, runs a business and deals with members of the public have these constant questions, thoughts and frustrations.

    So No, I do not think you are depressing anyone. Feeding imagination and allowing a rarely seen insight into another podiatry business owners mind is refreshing. I think we all appreciate the closed nature of the Podiatry world.

    I do not believe that building a business is impossible. I think we, as a podiatry business profession, need to use many lessons already learnt form other, similar industries.

    I agree strongly with the steps you outlined for a new practitioner. First discovering themselves, then move to the discovery phase of their profession. I certainly short-circuited this process, sometime with disastrous consequences.

    GP's accomplish the integration of two separate practitioners working under the same roof. I think for this to work, we as the practice principle need to "let go" a little. Not let go, stand back and hope that your new associate does not run the both of you out of town. Instead provide a supportive environment to reach their professional development.

    A good book on managing is "The One Minute Manager". There is a great passage in there where the author talks about getting the right person for a position. He uses the analogy of Seaworld getting their killer whales to jump over a rope. He makes references that, Seaworld do not float around in the ocean until a killer whale jumps the rope, and say, "we will have that one". The rope is set low. When the whale goes over the rope he is rewarded. The rope rises, and as the whale continues to go over the rope he continues to be rewarded.

    Managing our teams, should be as important if not more important (dare I say, as a business owner) as managing our patients. The "Cycle of Business" points this out. We look after out team, our teams look after the patients, and the patients look after us. "Hakuna matata".

    Therefore, and finally in summary I think when we run our business, like a business and not like a 'practice', we can make ourselves free of the daily grind.

    Just my two cents. Hope everyone is having a good day. Regards Clinton
     
  18. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Clinton I love peoples two cents worth because with enough of us we can make some real money.
    It is good to read lots of different management books and study the topic of business survival as much as we study the foot. If we don't build on our financial knowledge and management knowledge our professional knowledge will not sustain us.

    In 1986 I meet a Kiwi GP with a great way of doing business. He had a multi disciplinary clinic that would jointly review difficult cases even to the point of a joint consult with that
    patient. GP, physio, pod and who else was needed all in the one room all egos to the side working on that one patient with one agreed fee.
    It was my dream to build a clinic just like that and all I need is the right people. I'm still looking for the right people.
    I now know that the right people are rare and I have wasted many years. The better solution would be to design the right system to achieve that dream and staff that system with competent people that can follow that system.

    Before we get into systems I need to discuss the concept of stepping back as opposed to abdication. So often we get to a point when we know that we need help and we hire staff. We gather all the work we don't like and give it over to that staff because god knows we don't like doing it. The work may be the accounting or domiciliary visits or nursing homes or just making appointments. We don't step back and let them run with it no no we do the running and we abdicate responsibility.

    If we stepped back we would sit down work out what we wanted done and the framework of how we wanted it done. We would then call it a system and hand it over to Bruce or Sheila and we would manage the system. If Bruce left then we could hand it over to Wayne because the system was there to guide him and he knew his duties and responsibilities. Wayne was secure in the knowledge if he followed the system then he understood what he was getting paid for and if he didn't follow the system he knew why he was getting his ass kicked. The system can change and evolve with your consent and you should seek active input but if Wayne just changes it to suit Wayne then you have abdicated to Wayne . When he leaves and unless you can employ Wayne's twin brother you have a system that only Wayne can use.

    The free spirited one's out there may be feeling there creative juices will not be allowed to flow and that is OK. If you mean by being creative that you want to do nail surgery one way when the wind blows from the north and another way when the moon rises in your sign then please don't come and work with me.

    Next for the free spirited one's I'll use Tai chi as a great example of a system to show my heart is not made of stone.:butcher:
     
  19. ClintonAbel

    ClintonAbel Active Member

    I fully agree. Systems allow us some freedoms within our practices. We have systems for everything business related.

    I am still not a believer that health care, the actually delivery of clinical services, can be delivered by a system. The clinical care must be delivered by best practice guidelines, with enough flexibility for treatment programs to be tailored to the individual patient.

    But as far as office, or front of house procedures, we have developed a procedure (and checklist) for everything. It has been said to me that 80% of business should be boring. No surprises, nothing to ruffle the feathers of my reception staff. This way they can concentrate on the important things that change day-to-day, our patients.

    I look forward to your next post and the Tai chi reference.
     
  20. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Clinton up until a few years ago I would have said there was no need for systems in the clinical environment but trying to sell my practice changed my mind. When it looked like i needed to move to pursue my surgical career I found the young pods interested seemed concerned that they didn't have the skills necessary to take on my case load. They wanted mentoring in how to perform simple procedures (what i thought was simple). So a system could be regarded as a refresher course or a useful reference in procedures that you may not carry out every day. It can be useful for another pod to know your expectations in many clinical situations. I am sick and tired of reviewing patients that were prescribed orthoses for heel pain on there initial consult.

    Ok systems and real Tai chi.

    Real Tai chi is something that few get to see. It is a true martial art not the soft gentle exercise that the nana's in the park are killing with kindness. As a martial art it is a system not a collection of movements. Real Tai chi is very structured and arranged to teach you how to move your body and how other's bodies move. To combat a complex situation it must teach you in small steps or minor systems. Each component builds on another. In the beginning we are awkward so the systems a simple. As we progress
    they become more complex (this is when we need mentoring from someone who has gone before us) for as we progress further it seems to be simple to the outside observer. This is when the system has become internalised and we still know it is very hard but appears to be simple. The system is required to get as many people to an advanced form as quickly as possible. Without a system it is not repeatable but just an expression of natural talent.
    Tai chi is much like podiatry. As a whole it has all components to deal with all situations. It has forms for building body awareness, exercises for martial application and with all true martial arts it is linked with the healing arts. If you separate the components because don't like one component then you weaken the whole. Tai chi has had the slow portion portrayed as the whole and is a shadow of its former self
    ( some still know the whole system). Podiatry could become an over specialised speciality with orthotic pimps not even having a set of instruments and ending up a shadow of podiatry.
    Tai chi uses systems to retain the knowledge for those that wish to rediscover it. Podiatry should build systems to retain the knowledge that the clinic may need in the future.

    Going to see my son's marching out parade for army so will be offline for 1 1/2 wks.

    If you wish me to discuss Tai chi and its benifits in detail put in the request and I'll start another thread.
     
  21. Tree Harris

    Tree Harris Active Member

    As someone that has recently delved into the business world, I have enjoyed the comments within this post.
    I too own a job at present, but am keen to develop it into a business. Learning never stops as a business owner, particularly when staff are involved.
    Looking forward to future discussions and threads.
     
  22. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Back from Holidays and three days in and I truly know that i am a job owner.

    This post I would like to go over a few points and discuss some thoughts I had while driving 4000 km.

    One holidays I look at the way podiatrists advertise in there part of the country. I love to re-work good ideas. The theme I have noticed over the last few years has been an under current of "I'm better than them". If you think this is spending your advertising dollars wisely then think again. Start asking your patients why they picked your clinic and target
    the response. It may deflate your ego but the bus stop across the road may be more important. Please people start walking a mile in your patients shoes and spend your money helping them find the most suitable service. Promote your flavour of podiatry rather than try and assassinate your fellow podiatrist. Market forces will leave the best service provider standing not necessarily the "best" podiatrist.

    Ask yourself " Do they pay to see me or do they pay for a service". If they pay to see you then maybe you have attracted a stalker (I have had this very scary experience).

    Owning the asset (building) that you work in does not protect you from business failure. Look around in this economic times and you will see many businesses disappear that owned (rented from the bank) the asset.

    Ok back to systems and Tai chi. My tai chi is an evolving stepping stone that reflects my life and was created by masters to guide me. It has violence, survival, spirituality and healing all rolled into one but I was not smart enough to design the system. I learn from others that have gone before me and I have learnt to pick a charlatan from the real deal. Podiatry is at a once in a lifetime point in time and I now believe we need to search for help to mature our profession into a business rather than a cottage industry. Start looking for your coach and test them. Create a business that you enjoy turning up to everyday and more than likely other podiatrists will like to share the experience. Dream big but don't demand they all must dream your dream and you may journey together rather than throw rocks at each other across the fence.

    The more I write the more I realise that I would like to work in a good group practice that would support me in my journey of being a podiatrist and a person. I would pay my way in turn supporting the business and assisting the group dream to fulfilment.

    It looks like I'll have to apply for a job with "thefootcarecentre" as they appear to be the only one's that have put up the money to engage a business coach.

    People it is your turn to start asking questions. Lets keep it to the theme of life, podiatry and the whole damn thing. Answers are to come from all and sundry. Don't be afraid "to learn we must risk".
     
  23. MarkC78

    MarkC78 Active Member

    I purchased my job 3 years ago, and now own a busy practice with 1.5 pods (myself being the 1). However being busy has not turned into profit; I have been earning less than what I received working for someone else and working a lot longer hours.

    I have now taken on a business coach. Our relationship is young being only 3 months old. The first insight this has given me is the lack of direction within my clinic and having this spill over into my interactions with my patients. It has also given me a grasp of the finacials of the business as well, things I had avoided such as working out the cost of providing a service to a patient and break even points.

    Yes at this early stage it has been well worth the investment. Income has increased by 33% and we are starting to make a profit after wages. And we are only just starting now on achieving my three year goal of having a business, not a job. And this is just the beginning, next is developing a marketing plan and systemising the clinic so I can take that guilt free holiday.
     
  24. goandseeben

    goandseeben Welcome New Poster

    Hi Colin...

    I would be as bold to say that if 95% of Podiatrists decided to walk from their practices today that most, if not all, of these businesses would be gone within 3-6 months. Most Podiatrists have a job. A good percentage of these people get to a point where they get stale/bored/need a sea change and want something different- so they go buy some more equipment, fast cars or fast lady/gentleman. I've been there myself so I fully get where your at. You feel gipped having worked your butt off for 23 years and the light has just suddenly gone on.

    Kudos to you for being open and looking for change and bringing this topic out into the open.

    I had a practice for 9 years new nothing of business when I started-Had a really #^$%#@ hard time for 6 years and then the light went on for me. I learnt a few tricks of the trade and made signifcant growth in a single practitioner business.

    I systematised my business so that it ran like clockwork while I was there and when I wasnt. It took me about 3 years of trial and error to see what worked and what didn't. I've probably spent about $100,000 on learning about business/ sales and marketing and communication over the last 7 years and yes I too have a business coach.

    Understand that he/she who markets best wins- you don't need to have the best widget service to be successful. Look at McDonalds- I could list at least 3 places locally where I get better burgers (and not hungry jacks/burger king). They market the best. Pure and Simple.

    It's sales and marketing that will drive your business with good customer service. Most of the sales and marketing concepts I took from other industries often outside of the health industry... the auto industry.. used car sales... retail fashion concepts... telelmarketing companies etc. I recently taught a marketing concept to a massage therapist that returns her about 4167% ROI each time she does it. Sounds Crazy... Yes. This is what we did. Every 4 months she SMS her old clients with an offer to come back. She spends about $6 on SMS and makes about $250 profit. How easy is that... she does this over a 3 week period.

    Tell me where you can get that type of return in such a short time?

    Business is a fantastic vehicle once you've learnt the fundamentals and tricks. Some of the big lessons I have learnt I'd love to share with you are...

    1. Your practice is a reflection of you!

    2. Have a business philosophy that communicated through all aspects of your business

    3. Action preceeds clarity! Just take action!

    4. Allow yourself some time to decide what you want to do with your business. Begin with the end in mind (Stephen Covey -7 Habits)

    5. Understand this...You cannot create a new context from the thinking that created it...

    6. The greatest limitation in the Podiatry game is the Podiatrist themselves.. we are very small in number (in australia)- so it's challenging to create a franchise concept. It's not like a lawn mowing franchise where any of the 2,000,000 australians can go and start one. Not that it can't be done but challenging. Most of us think we can do it better than the guy down the road and add to the fact is the attitude of "i want to do it my own way." We are often too smart for our own good, our ego gets in the way and think we know it all. They are some of the challenges of building a Podiatry business.

    7. At the end of the day I believe it's not about how big your balls are (how many Pods/ clinics you have) ... it's all about profitability and cashflow. A friend of mine shared a story about an acupuncturist in sydney and he charges $65 per consultation. Is booked out 8-10 weeks in advance and is a multi-millionaire and property investor. A single practitioner!!!

    8. Go and see how others do it- go and visit the successful Podiatrists in OZ and ask them- how did you do it- what did you do that was different- go to other professions in the health arena and ask- most people will get a kick out of telling you their story-listen for the gems that they will give you... all the while you'll gain a new context.

    9. It's all about leverage- where are you going to do get the best bang for your buck, time and efforts.

    10. Get your head right- there are thoughts and beliefs you have and we all have them, that are keeping you where you're at. You need to change your ideas/beliefs about your practice, clients, professionals, location, probably even about money. Go back and have a look at what you have communicated in your posts there are lots of gems there for you to find. Be brutally honest with yourself and the truth will set you free.

    My final thing is...if you had to do a job/ build a business "what is it you would love to do? How would it look, feel, sound, be- spend some time and make a choice- be like your children and use your imagination- involve your children if they are young enough and see what they create with you- use paints, felt pens, crayons and butcher paper. maybe you'll have some fun with them and it'll give you that spark that your looking for.

    Just some ideas for you to play with.

    My intention is that you find clarity and the answers your looking for and just maybe this post can shed a bit of light where you need it.

    Warmest regards



    Ben Sibley
     
  25. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Ben this is exactly the type of post that I have been trying to elicit. Good on you for seeing the light and then actually doing something about it.

    I like to play the devils advocate and in so doing bring up concepts and thoughts that may not be my present thoughts or even my true beliefs just to get peoples grey matter working. I like Ben's response because it shows that he has been brave enough to pull himself apart and build what he wanted rather than just float through and blame all and sundry for his failings or luck for his success.

    Franchising podiatry in Oz is possible but you should look at it as a tool for selling your business in the future. A systematised business (franchise concept) is potentially more saleable than a job/practice but you never will know until you try to sell it. I think that until the market become saturated with podiatrist (like physio's) you will still have the podiatrists choosing to set up shop next door rather than buy your business.

    Marketing is the key as Ben alludes to but you better be able to deliver what you promise. So ethical marketing should be your aim. If you advertise that you are a biomechanical god and can cur everything then I am willing to sit at your feet and learn if you can deliver.

    Keep the thoughts coming and then I'll discuss:

    "Could your business survive a depression in the magnitude of THE GREAT DEPRESSION or even greater".:hammer:
     
  26. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Ok people on the final lap now it seems so I'll throw out some passing thoughts.

    If we were a business we would look often to the horizon and contemplate some of the big issues but as a job worker we would nit pick the lesser issues.

    Depending on where you live on the planet the some of the big issues may seem impossible, damned right outrageous or currently happening to you. Have an open mind for the possibilities and learn how to survive in any possibility. Below will be a collection of my ranting.

    1. Depression and deflation of the economy is possible so look to this possibility and assess your survivability. Is your business burdened with debt from machines that go ping. As in the great depression if the patients started to pay in chickens how would you fair. My business has survived a few recessions and I have bartered goods for service and made countless orthotics from scratch. I could return to this if required because I am not tied to any big contracts or rely on a lab to send me a milled out blank. I also have a full scope practice that can expand or contract into general care , biomechanics or nursing homes etc.

    2. If some big rule changed eg. private health insurance no longer paid on podiatry, would the sky fall.
    3. If your practice burnt down and could not be occupied for 4 months would you still be required to pay rent under your lease agreement.

    Businesses call this risk management and business continuity people with jobs call this someone else's problem.

    Look at these as tools to see beyond the horizon to your next opportunity rather than a pain that you don't think you should have to do because there is always going to be MORE.
    Look at Elliot wave theory for insights into the stock market and how it reflects social trends. Research anything that may make you a visionary and then test the hypothesis and then you can say you run a business.

    For the last I wish for people to post a list of there readings that they find have made there business life a little clearer.
     
  27. PowerPodiatry

    PowerPodiatry Active Member

    Back again with another thought along the line of job vs business.

    You know you are in trouble when you start servicing your patients less. A job owner will do the lest possible to get through the day (not very profitable), deferring this or that till the next visit and not necessarily booking that patient in for said doppler assessment or making that simple insole etc.

    A business owner will start the day with:
    If I had to do a diabetic review for every diabetic patient annually what resources would I need, how much time would I allocate, what would I charge, will I send a report to there GP and other allied health members, how can my support personal assist to reduce my time involvement and how am I going to market this great service.

    Final pearl "If you are not direct response marketing you are throwing your money away or you are a confirmed Job owner and don't want to succeed".:deadhorse:
     
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