As a practice owner how do it get it all done? Do you spend all of your time seeing patients but you do not have time to make marketing or a business plan? When do you plan for expansion or continual growth? If you just see patients, and ignore the business side of your practice, then the practice will eventually stagnate or even decline.
Every Wednesday is my rain maker day, a day that I make it rain, or really, make things happen. I do not see any patients. I use the time to review my marketing and use the creative side of my brain. I think of ways to make my practice better. It might be just putting new systems in place to make the office more efficient or reviewing protocols. I also use the time to sit down with my marketing director and go over our marketing. We brainstorm and think of new ways to increase patient volume.
In a down economy, what do most businesses cut first? Yes, marketing. This should be the last thing that gets cut. During hard times and great times, marketing and public relations need to be enhanced. It does not mean you have to spend a lot of money, it just means you need to find creative ways to get patients and other physicians to refer to you. You should have a marketing checklist that you work with on your rain maker day. This will save you time because your list will be organized. Organize the list into the four pillars of marketing: internal, external, shoe leather (visiting referral sources), and internet marketing.
Also, it is a great time to review and analyze all financial reports. This can give you loads of information that you can share with your financial staff or other managing partners. During your weekly meetings you can go over a game plan that you put together based on these reports. Yes, weekly meetings. Meetings that are very constructive are definitely necessary. I talk about these meetings in another article.
Most practice owners tell me they cannot afford to take time off from seeing patients because they feel they will lose money. You are losing money by NOT having a rain maker day. I guarantee your office is not as organized or efficient as it could be, because you are not taking the time to work on the practice instead of in it. I highly recommend the book, The E-Myth, by Michael Gerber. He also wrote the E-Myth for Physicians and for many other practice type businesses. If you haven’t read these books, then you definitely need to. People who work on their businesses make more money than people who work in it.
Who makes more money? The chef of a restaurant or the owner? You are the chef and the owner. So, when do you take time to be the owner? Go ahead and put your rain maker time on the schedule.