Is There a Hidden GAP in your Private Practice?
This gap exists. It is very real.
It separates the good from the best. It separates those who are getting by, from the clinics that are dominant in the community.
Here’s the best part.
If you bridge this gap, you can hold your own against ‘bigger clinics’ who stop paying attention to this gap. That’s why some clinics fade out while new ones emerge stronger.
The gap is always changing, and it’s always presenting you with an opportunity to rise above, to exceed your own expectations.
Now is the time for you to bridge that gap, and with this article, you will learn how to do it. On one side of the gap, there are private practice owners who don’t do certain things because those things appear to be too difficult and too boring. On the other side of the gap, private practice owners are ready to do the unexpected and exceed expectations. They are willing to go that extra mile. Here are some of the principles that will help you to get on the right side of this gap.
Never cut corners on the wrong things (Know your Priorities)
On one side of the gap, physical therapy business owners cut corners and stop doing things that matter. These little things include:
- smiling at a patient when he or she walks in
- welcoming them in to their clinic
- asking them how their family is doing
- maintaining eye contact during treatment and
- shaking the patient’s hand at the end of the session.
Some practices do all the things that seem boring and tedious. On the other side of the gap, private practice owners spend money on innovation, websites, expensive brochures, and flat screen televisions for their practice. They lose sight of the simple (and inexpensive) things that matter.
Clarity about performance expectations (Know your numbers)
On one side of the gap, private practice owners are very clear about performance expectations from staff and they empower their staff with the resources to reach those expectations. They not only identify and attract the right talent, but they recognize and reward their employees to retain them over for long term.
On the other side of the gap, the practice owner has vague objectives for their employees. They expect staff to perform tasks and fulfill responsibilities without a clear set of objectives. They are constantly looking for the next big idea and they avoid the consistency (and drudgery) involved in building a successful business.
Trust and Inspire versus Dictate and Control (Know your staff)
On one side of the gap, private practice owners trust and inspire. The staff is given the freedom to do what they think is best and each team member is responsible for his/her decisions.
There is an underlined strategy that is strategically sound. Detailed protocols are in place to guide the decision making process of each staff member. Clear communication and problem solving is strongly encouraged. This fosters a sense of innovation so that staff members can come up with rare, brilliant ideas that can improve the company.
On the other side of the gap, some physical therapy business practices have a dictatorship and control mentality. They believe that they know everything there is to know about everything. They are firm in their expectations and believe that there’s always a right way or a wrong way of doing everything. This kind of philosophy can work for some staff members, but it does have a negative impact on creativity and innovation.
Constant improvement instead of perfection (Know your limits)
On the right side of the gap you want active listeners and practice owners who know that there’s always room for improvement with systems and people. The bigger the organization, the more dramatic the impact of small changes in systems and people. The ego is set aside in favor of innovation and improvement.
On the other side of the gap, private practice owners believe they have everything completely dialed in. They don’t feel the need for input and they inadvertently put themselves in a vulnerable position.
Precise definitions about success (Know your mission)
Finally, the practice owners on the right side of the gap are able to define success very precisely. The definition of success can vary from one person to another. For some individuals might mean financial freedom and expert status. For others it might be the quality of service and contribution to the community.
For some individuals, success means the ability to unwind and spend time with their family by the end of the day. On the other side of the gap are private practice owners don’t even know why they do what they do. Success is an illusive concept for someone stuck in a perpetual rat race.
As healthcare professionals, we live in an increasingly competitive climate. It’s difficult if not impossible for patients to differentiate the quality of care between you and your competitor. The right question for to ask is, “How do I improve doing tangibles in my practice so I can find myself on the right side of the private practice gap?”.
If you want to learn more about how to be on the right side of the private practice gap and transform your practice in the next 12 months, then put ideas in to action.
Have a great week!
Nitin Chhoda PT, DPT
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