Kevin Rose looks at how breaking down your management and leadership responsibilities into bite-sized chunks could help make the management of your practice easier.
More recently, I’ve found myself with a few intensive, business-mentoring sessions scheduled in with new clients. The results from these have been amazing, but it never fails to amaze me how often I see that inevitable jaw-dropping moment because the client has realised the possible size of the task ahead. The thing is, this can be easily rectified by some good planning using a tried-and-tested framework.
First things first, planning! I always recommend positioning tasks into realistic time frames, according to size and potential impact on the business. These time frames are simply broken down into short, medium and long term ─ short term can be as close as within seven days.
Now you’ve planned your time frames, it’s time to think about how change could impact other elements of your business. My tried-and-tested framework below covers off the main areas:
People – You can’t be with your team all of the time. Therefore, you need to set aside some time with them to ensure you’re giving them clear direction for the task in hand, sharing your expectations of them and providing them with feedback. So, think about setting yourself a weekly task to check in with each team member to see how familiar they are with your plans and motivations for the business.
Product – Dentistry is a team sport and teams require leadership. Ensure your team are delivering the service you want by giving yourself time to walk the floor once a week. Use this time to speak to the patients in your reception area, listen to phone calls and observe other clinicians in action. You won’t know what service you’re delivering if you’re only observing it from your own surgery.
Planning – Even the next seven days can have structure and a plan to them. Identify and act upon any opportunities which could move you, your business and your patients in the right direction – no matter how small.
Promotion – Promoting your business isn’t just about advertising and price. You have hundreds of times a day to promote what you do, both internally and externally. Challenge yourself to call just one patient this week and use the call as an opportunity to ask them for feedback on your services, update them about what changes you’re making and invite them to come and take a look around. If you don’t believe in your business, who will?
Profitable relationships – This is about all of your stakeholders, including staff and patients so take a look at your business and remove anything that doesn’t add any value to it, your patients or your team.
Keep working to a seven day plan and ensure you regularly ask yourself these three questions:
1. Did you stick to your plan?
2. Did your plan work?
3. What will you do differently as a result?
Planning and structure are key to achieving a successful business – so make it easier for yourself by managing it one chunk at a time.
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