Employees cost money. With high wages, insurance for them and the rising taxes and most importantly, with the drastically reduced reimbursement from insurance companies for services, one must keep the number of employees at the lowest possible level.
Or does one?
Only if you want to stay poor, despite being a doctor, and want to overwork yourself, have rarely time for family and if you want to worry about the money you are not making in case you do go on vacation.
Only if you want a stressful life and want all life's enjoyments drained out of your life.
Only if your premature aging means nothing to you
Only if you are suicidal.
But if you want to realize the dreams you had when entering med school and opening your practice, then you better listen well to what I have to say.
What I say is not mainstream, but let's face it, mainstream management of any private health care professional means working till 100 because of lack of money.
It means worrying about making payroll and not enjoying the so needed and wanted vacations and then having to catch up with making money, bills and work when coming back.
Even if the situation described above is a bit milder for you personally, doctors are seldom coming close to their original dreams.
So what to do? Am I suggesting that even though you have payroll problems I want you to hire more?
You bet I am.
But never mind what I want you to do or any other guy wants you to do.
Just start looking at life and start really observing what is going on.
Newton did not invent the Law of Gravity - he only observed it. No more than I am asking you to observe that more employees opposed to less is the answer in most (probably all) cases.
People, and only people, have life in them. And only life can help you to get a life. No machinery and no medicine can keep people alive without people administering and controlling them. Hell, it was people who invented any machinery and any gadget, not machines.
People and only people is the answer.
Let me tell you an all too common money-draining situation in just about all practices.
There are enough people to service the existing patients. That is if all employees are at work, if nobody is sick or on vacation and if all employees are at their best.
All the above rarely happens. There always is an emergency of some kind, which requires extra work and other regular work has to be put off for a bit. There are many, many days of sickness amongst the employees, and people quitting or getting fired usually puts a hold on patients' service at least, if not also putting a stop on income producing activities such as treatment plan selling, delivering, billing, etc.
The stress and the lost money, which such a situation creates, is grave enough for it to be not ignored and to make some changes.
But what I have to say next should make you start to hire so fast, like there is no tomorrow.
Because there really is no tomorrow if you don't - at least not the tomorrow you envisioned when opening your practice.
Even if there are enough people to serve all your patients well all the time, they only serve the patients you have.
What about getting more patients? Are you trying to get large numbers of new patients with a few flyers every so often, a yellow page ad, a recall system that reaches most patients only once a year, having lunch with a few doctors here and there?
If the creation of new patients and existing patients coming back is not handled with the same professionalism and the same tenacity as running the medical part of the practice, one will of course have continuous money problems.
So, even if you can hardly make payroll, hiring more employees, not less, usually is the solution.
Of course, the new employees must be treated as if they work for a completely different company - the marketing company.
If you simply hire more employees and put them into the practice, you can be assured that you will get no increase in production but only in payroll.
Even if you keep the new employees separate as a new company or at least a new division, then you still must know the fundamental basics of marketing which are as sound as the Law of Gravity.
You also must know how to organize and give orders, so that the job gets done.
A few examples of a wrong order would be:
The target is $100,000 this month.
Let's be friendly and professional.
Let's work hard.
Let's give it all.
Let's ask for referrals.
Let's get in some new patients.
Sound familiar? Gets nothing done. Not possible. Not executable.
Anyhow, where and how to market as well as how to get the job done by giving executable orders is too long for this issue and is available in several different directives I have written.
Hmm, perhaps, I have just asked you to forget everything you have ever learned about practice management and to defy the basic standing order of a penny saved is a penny earned. A penny saved is NOT a penny earned - it well could be $10 dollars lost.
And if I have talked no sense then keep in mind that all the sensible management advice from all those experts has made just about all doctors work harder and harder with less and less income.
So, the choice is yours: Do what is taught by all the authorities and do what all docs do, and be overworked and broke - or take a deep breath and do what I asked you to do.
Be normal, and get what is normal (stress and little money) or be un-normal and get what those people usually get: Amazon.com success, Starbucks popularity, or having 3-6 practices with 20 doctors working in it and all the time in the world to spend the gargantuan monies you will make despite not being in the practice.
When you are ready to be un-normal, give us a call.
Helmut Flasch is a marketing consultant who uses Un-advertising rather than the traditional advertising methods. Find out more information about his marketing strategy at Un-Advertising Info.