In this accompanying article to Nancy Duncan’s ‘Under The Hood’ podcast, we extract the 4 biggest lessons on how to achieve a high-performing private practice that Dr Nancy and Dr Julie discussed.
A little note before we begin; the following lessons will be especially effective for private practice owners who already have a really strong practice and are already doing the fundamental things well, such as, ensuring your patients have a great experience within your clinic, having fair and competitive pricing plans, and a satisfactory website.
So, what are the four secrets to achieving a high-performing private practice?
#1 Accept That Your Team’s Happiness Is Everything
As the leader of your private practice, it’s down to you to ensure everyone is being heard and feels valued. If one person is out of kilter, it has the power to change the whole team’s mood.
Regular check-ins with staff, as well as empowering them to do their job in their own way (while of course keeping true to the clinic’s values and protocols) is a great way to do this and a fundamental must to achieve harmony within the walls of the practice.
After all, happiness is infectious; if your team looks, acts and is happy, it’s felt by everyone, especially your valued patients.
However, in order to achieve this level of happiness, you must also accept that sometimes you will have to have difficult conversations. Being upfront and honest when something isn’t right, such as a dispute between your staff members, or an accusation that needs to be addressed, is a tough pill to swallow (if you’re someone who struggles with even gentle confrontation), however, if you let things fester, then they’ll only get worse.
#2 Look After Your Database
Your database is your goldmine; look after your database and it’ll look after you.
Julie shared a story about the horror she felt when she realized that over 1,800 patient records within her database had been incorrectly labelled, meaning they weren’t receiving incredibly important communications regarding upgrades, checks and marketing campaigns. This meant that a huge chunk of her revenue was being lost every month.
Once she realized the error she spent an age restoring the data, which has since proved to be one of the most lucrative exercises she ever did.
If you have a database of patients, it’s imperative you ensure it’s up to date and tagged correctly, so that any communications you send out are relevant and timely for the receiver.
In addition to this, one of the best ways to keep good relations with your patients (that, let’s face it you might not see for months, even years on end) is to send a friendly and informative newsletter every so often; if your database is up to date, this will make the process of sending the newsletter a breeze.
#3 Accept That OTC Is Here To Stay (but so are you!)
There’s been so much discomfort from audiologists surrounding the emergence of OTC hearing aids and what that means for the future of private practice.
The best thing you can do is just accept what you can’t control and focus on what you can, i.e. making your practice the best it can possibly be.
Although convenience is the preference of some, it’s certainly not for all, and people will always want to see people when they need help – audiologists certainly included.
Also, just because someone buys OTC hearing aids today, doesn’t mean they won’t want the help of an audiologist in the future, so, if you work at helping those people today, for example, setting up a system whereby you’ll happily help someone with their OTC hearing aids should they have a problem, then you’re future-proofing your service even more.
#4 Acknowledge Yourself As An Entrepreneur
By far the best thing you can do to ensure your clinic is a high-performing success is recognize that you’re both an audiologist and an entrepreneur.
Nancy and Julie both shared their feelings on this stating they see themselves as an entrepreneur first and an audiologist second, as this is the only way they’ll truly be able to deliver exceptional service for their patients.
Why? Because whereas an audiologist quite rightly deals in the here and now, an entrepreneur deals in the future, which means constantly improving processes, plans and patient experience.
By acknowledging yourself as an entrepreneur, you’ll be able to focus on the other important aspects of leading your business, such as creating a good company culture and marketing; two things that are essential for high-performing results.
Inspired by Nancy And Julie’s Discussion?
If you’ve been inspired by anything you’ve read here and you’re ready to put your focus onto achieving a high-performing clinic of your own (or expanding upon the good work you’ve done already), then you’re welcome to have a 45-minute private practice strategy discussion with Oli Luke – the man who assisted Nancy and Julie with their exponential growth. Just click on the banner below to schedule your call.