Dr. Deb shares what it takes to set structure to your business for growth and success.
Do not miss these highlights:
02:16 Your business is not your life, You personally should not define yourself by your business
03:49 If your business cannot earn revenue without you being present, you don't really have a business, you have a job
05:32 When and how much time you should spend seeing your clients
07:32 Create a model that's going to provide consistent value to your clients, your employees, and to any people that are going to help your business grow
10:18 Walk through your practice as though you are a client
11:28 Document all the work that you do and all the processes that you do in either a video and or written manual
12:50 Your clients should be greeted the exact same way by every single person in your office every single time
14:09 Provide consistent value, think about the value of what you're providing, not only the value of what you're charging them
15:51 The best compliment that we could get as a provider is to have our patients trust us with their family and friends
18:15 Your operations manual is your repository of documentation that describes your company's “How To” guide
19:56 Why you should set guidelines about the dress code
Resources Mentioned: Join Us in the FMBI Mastermind Group on Facebook. You can find the Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/5461914567153276/
Transcript of Episode #25:
You're listening to the Functional Medicine Business Podcast featuring Dr. Deb, one of the most creative functional medicine business practitioners in her industry. She shares the wisdom and knowledge that she has gained over 25 years of functional medicine, a pioneer in functional medicine, scheduling, leadership and Practice Management. Dr. Devin has a wealth of knowledge and he's eager to share to help functional medicine become more productive, and for the practitioners and patients to live better lives. Our podcast shares the good and the bad of our industry because Dr. Deb knows the pain you live every day building a functional medicine practice with practical tools of how to manage money, taxes and patient care. She will discuss it all with you.
Hello, hello. Welcome back to FMBI podcast. I'm your host, Dr. Deb and today I want to talk to you about working on your business not in your business. At FMBI we understand how it feels created by medical professionals for medical professionals, are you racing from one patient to the next, skipping lunch and not sure how you're going to show up to your kids events? Not quite sure what that P&L sheet really means to your practice? And are you struggling to find the right partners in your business? Our program is based on the values of efficiency organization and prioritization. The FMBI 15k a day program will help you discover how to run an efficient operation and introduce healthy generating therapies for more income. Our business roadmap will help you scale your functional medicine practice using proven business approaches, we would like to invite you today to book a free discovery call with our founder Dr. Deb, simply go to our website at functionalmbi.com/book-free-call and schedule your time today. You see, it's really critical that you understand that your business is not your life. And you personally should not define yourself by your business. We need to be separate entities, right? You need to be yourself your person, Susie, Joe, Mary, the wife, the mother, the grandmother, the biker, the hiker, the football player, the tennis player, that's you, but your business should be separate of you. Now most of us in business aren't like that will lead with what we do, not who we are. And it's really important for you to separate you from your business. You know, at best, I think it's something for you to be a part of you, rather than be you. And the business needs its own rules, it needs its own purpose. You know, it needs to perform its sole function, and keep its clients and keep everything without you believe it or not. And I'm gonna say that again, because your business needs to function without you being the sole person to make it work. Otherwise, we don't have a business and you've heard me say this before. If your your clinic or your telemedicine practice, whatever it is you're doing, cannot earn revenue without you being present. You don't really have a business, you have a job. And there are two different things and there's not anything wrong to either one of them. You just need to know which one you have, and where you're going to go.
So I also think it's important for us to identify what is our primary purpose of our businesses? How do they serve your life. And then once we identify how the business serves our life, then we can go on to work on our businesses, rather than in our businesses. Now with a full understanding of why that's necessary, we're gonna go through a couple of things. Now, you can think of this model a little bit like a franchise model or a prototype model. And we're not really looking for the idea of franchise or prototype. There's not a problem if you'd like to do that. Or if you want to do that down the road with your business. Regardless of whether you're planning on doing that. You have to have some of the same mindsets in place. Because if you cannot create a business that somebody can and follow without you being there and without you directing them, again, you don't have a business, you just have a place that you're working. And it's going to consume way too much of your time and your energy to continue to do that for long periods of time. So when we're working on our business, rather than in our business, it becomes the central theme of our daily activity. It is the catalyst to drive everything that we do to move our businesses forward. Now, I'm not saying that when you're seeing clients, that you shouldn't do that anymore, I think everybody should I still see clients. And I like to have the finger on the pulse of what's going on. But I also take time away from seeing clients these days to actually work on growing my business. Otherwise, in the past, I was so busy seeing clients every single day, all day, that I didn't have the time to actually work on growing the business. And it took me a lot longer to get where I needed to go because I didn't dedicate that time and set it aside to work on growth of the business. So I encourage everybody, if you're seeing clients, to pick a half a day or a day a week that you work on your business, and during that time is when you're going to focus on that growth of the business itself. Don't focus on doing labs or answering messages to your clients, none of that, that stays out, the only thing you focus on is that growth of the business itself.
Now, I want you to pretend that your business that you own or you want to own is a prototype for let's say, 5000 other clinics, that might be a little overwhelming, maybe, let's say 50 clinics, and in for you to have to make a prototype of this business, you have to know how your business runs and operates, you have to know why and how your business is successful or is going to be successful. So I want you to pretend like you're going to franchise your business. And I want you to think of this a little bit like a game like the franchise game. And understand there's rules that we have. And we should follow these if we're going to win. So we want to create a model that's going to provide consistent value to your clients, your employees, your suppliers, any lenders that you have, and any people that are going to help your business grow. So we want to a consistent model that looks like that the model is going to operate by people with the skill set that's necessary. Now I say that, because in other businesses, their thought process is that we're going to hire people to do a job with the lowest skill set possible.
Now there's two ways to think about this. The first way to think about this is that you're just hiring people who don't really care that aren't going to cost you a lot of money. And they're just fly by night, okay? In our industry, we don't have the time to train people with that thought process. So we need qualified people. Now, to think about this, when you're documenting things, though, you want to think about documenting in terms of somebody with the lowest skill, because we have to presume that who you're documenting this for, doesn't know what you know, it's very easy for us having been in the business having been in the industry to skip over things and assume that everybody that we're working with knows what we know. And I'm going to tell you that is the farthest thing from the truth. Like I have been burned so many times assuming that somebody that works for me know something that I know, like, why wouldn't they know that? However, the reality is not everybody lives, our business, the way we live our business. And so we have to assume when we're documenting things, that somebody doesn't even know how to get into the computer where you want them to go do something, or they don't know how to answer a phone properly, or they don't know how to enter charges in your system. They don't know how to talk to a client. They've never done that before. You really want to get down to that nitty gritty. Because the sooner in your business, you can document these things, the better off you're going to be when growth hits, because then all you're going to do is tweak these trainings. instead of having to create them from scratch when you're busy, and you don't really have time to do that at that point, and then you're thinking backwards instead of thinking forwards. So think of it that way.
I also want this model to stand out as a place of impeccable order. So start to finish, one of the things that I did, when we were doing this is I literally walked through my practice as though I was a client. And I stopped at every section. So I stopped at the front desk, how is somebody going to greet me? How are they going to check me? And what's the check in process? Where do I go to sit down to wait for someone to call me to take me to the back of the room? When my medical assistant comes up to get me? What do they say to me? What do they do? What's the process they take me through? When I get in the room? What happens next? How long do I wait? Do I have anything there to read? Do I have anything to drink? You know, do somebody tell me here's a notebook and a piece of paper, write down any questions that you have while you're waiting, like really think this process through of taking your client through the entire process and document it document. Ideally, what you would like to see happen during that entire process. It's an incredible experience to go through, if you've never done it, you'll find a lot of hiccups in your practice. And they're all good, right? Because it's all about improving our practice. Now, the other thing we want you to do is document everything that you're doing document all the work that you do document all the processes that you do in either a video and or a written thing. Now, if you're, if you're better at talking than typing, you can actually dictate all of this into something like otter AI, you can go into otter, and you can just start talking about your process and it'll start typing it all out for you. And then you can just edit it, some people are better at things like that, some people are better at writing, do it however you want. We have it done two ways in my office, we have a written operational manual, or a procedure manual for our front desk for our medical staff and for our laboratory staff. And I also have a lot of these things in video, so that when somebody's new to me, they can watch videos of me explaining why I want them to do things a certain way. And they're typically short videos. And they can go through that. And my team can go through that whenever they need to if they forget something that we're doing, so think about how you're going to document this process. And then the model should be uniform in predictability for service, customer service client service, however, that is your clients should be greeted the exact same way by every single person in your office every single time. And I know that's really hard to comprehend to do. But there should be that process. It's no different than say when you go to Starbucks. And every time you go in Hi, how are you? Who am I talking to today? Can I have your name? I mean, their customer service is impeccable. You may not like their $5 coffee, but their customer service is something you want to try to emulate it. They're great at training their staff.
And then the model should you utilize even like the dress code that you have, and your lunch code, like get it down to that how do you want your employees to dress? How do you want them to talk to people? What do you want them to have for a lunch break or, or breaks throughout the day, write all of that down. It's incredible what you'll find. And it's incredible what you've missed when you go through this kind of process. Now, I also think it's really good to make sure that in this you're providing consistent value for your customers, employees, suppliers, lenders, and everyone beyond what to expect. You know, think about the value of what you're providing, not only the value of what you're charging somebody for what you're giving them, but the value. And I want you to think of if you were on the other side of that table, what is the value that you expect from you for the dollars you're exchanging for your knowledge? What does that look like? What would you expect? What would you want to expect? And then take it up a notch from there, pick it up one step higher, because if you go one step higher with it, you will deliver the most amazing customer service that anyone in our industry has seen. It's very easy in the integrative functional medicine world, for practitioners to assume that their knowledge is enough. And I'm going to tell you it's really not especially when we're talking about cash from patients and we're talking about high ticket offers, you really need to deliver above and beyond service. Otherwise your clients are going to be a one and done. And we don't ever want our clients to be a one and done. Why is that because it's way too expensive to acquire a new patient compared to keeping a patient in your practice for longevity. I have many patients in my practice that have been with me, over 20 years, I've seen their families, I've seen their grandchildren, I've seen their friends, they refer people to me. And building those relationships is not only rewarding, and fun and wonderful, and you get to see families grow. But it's probably the best compliment that we could get as a provider is to have our patients and trust us with their family and friends and their children and their grandchildren. So make sure you create that value that's like none other. You know, as an entrepreneur, we really need to be asking ourselves, what in business creates that value. And everybody's idea of value is a little different. And that's perfectly fine. I think it's good, but just make sure you're creating a good value for what you're doing.
Now, the model operated by the level of skill set, I will tell you, I've made this mistake, I've hired people thinking that if their skill set wasn't there, I could teach them and I could teach them and train them the way I wanted them to be. That does not always work especially if you're not paying them enough for their skill set. And trust me when I say they will find out that you're underpaying them, or you're paying them less than another employee that's doing the same job as them. So respect them, be honest with them, and outline what your expectations for growth in that person are. If you're hiring somebody that's new, that doesn't have a lot of experience doesn't have a lot of knowledge in this space. That's okay, you can teach them. But just make sure that your expectations are clear. They understand them, they agree to them, and they're willing to go through the process of learning. Otherwise, you're wasting a lot of time, money and energy to train somebody to have them turn around and get frustrated and leave your practice. And you get to start this process all over again with someone else. And you'll continue to do that and spin your wheels. And it will be very difficult over time to make the money that you want to make, simply because you're turning over staff too much. And that's not good. It's not good for your clients, it's not good for you, it's not good for your culture, in your practice with your other employees, you really want to try to retain those good employees as long as you possibly can. And that means treating them right, and being good to them and not taking advantage of them. So treat your people right.
Now, your operations manual, is your repository of documentation that describes your company's how to guide. So when you're creating that operational manual, you're documenting everything that you're doing. That is your How To Guide, this is how you're telling someone to do what you want. So think about your cleaning lady, right? You have a cleaning lady, you write down for them the things that you want them to do for the day that they're there, right. Maybe you have a certain way that you like the cleaning done, and you're leaving them instructions. This is this a similar concept. But we need a little more detail. A lot of times, we want to get right down to that nitty gritty, like I had said earlier. And then the predictability of services to customers. You know, this goes a really long way. I've been in places where the customer service is so great, you, you feel so good, even if you walk in not feeling so great. And being a little crabby. The customer service is just so remarkable that it gets you out of that crabby mood, and that's the kind of customer service you want in your office. Now, granted, it's not going to be like that 100% of the time, because we're human and people make mistakes, and people have bad days. And sometimes people set us off and we get thrown off our game. So it's not going to be 100% 100% of the time. But it should be 95% of the time where you have that customer service that you're really looking for that you really want to create and the same type of customer service that you want.
And I know you know dress code can be one of those funky things that people don't like to talk about a whole lot. But it's really important. If you don't set guidelines for dress code, you will have people coming into your office with very low cut tops, boobs hanging out short shorts, pig tails. Trust me, when I say I, I've really seen it all over 25 years. And regardless of who the person is that you think normally dresses so great, they will surprise you someday. And they will show up in a manner that you don't want to represent your business in that fashion. And you have to be strong enough to discuss this with them. Either send them home and tell them to change, or have that conversation and put them in a different place. If they're in front of clients that day, it's really important to have a look and feel that's professional and the way you want it to be. So some people decide at this point to have all of their employees wear scrubs, because it's equal and it's even, and their front desk staff wears a different color than their back staff or their medical staff. And that's perfectly fine. I think that's professional, I think it's great. But I think you can also have a business casual practice where people dress nice, but you're going to have to deal with those one off strays that that happened once in a while. Again, I've seen quite a few very interesting things over my lifetime of working very short skirts, very low cut tops, things like that, it's just really not good. So make sure you're on top of that quite quickly.
Now, the last thing that I want to talk to you today about is setting your practice up for the success that it needs and that it desires. And if you do this structural foundation from the beginning, and you refer back to it often, it will be extremely helpful for you, you will have everything you need to be successful with onboarding your first employee and your 10th employee. And it'll be so much nicer and so much easier than just guessing or throwing them to the winds. So really take this seriously. I know it's hard work, but it's doable. And if you don't have these kinds of things documented, and you don't want to start from scratch, our functional medicine accelerator program has all of these documents already created for you. We've documented our entire process. And so we give these to you in this program so that you can use them, you can edit them, you can springboard from them give you ideas, there's some fill in the blank things that you have in there. So don't worry about creating them from scratch if you don't know where to get them from or what to do. Just check out our functional medicine, business accelerator program and all these documents are in there for you. So I hope this was helpful for you guys. Today. I can't wait to talk to you again on the podcast and give you our next episode which is going to be all about how you view business. Enjoy your day.
Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed this episode, and you'd like to help support the podcast, please share it with others. post about it on social media, or leave a rating and review. To catch all the latest for me. You can follow me on Facebook at FMBI, join our free group where we support one another and share our struggles. Thanks again and I'll see you next time.