In terms of challenging jobs, they don’t get much tougher than running your own medical practice. But equally, in terms of satisfying jobs, they don’t get much better than running your own medical practice. You have the chance to offer the kinds of medical services that you’ve always wanted to offer, and the chance to present healthcare as you see it. But of course, it’s not something that you just build once and then just let run its course. You need to always be looking at ways to improve your practice. We look at seven ways you can do this below.
Think Like a CEO…For a Bit
You’re a doctor first and foremost, but you’re also a CEO, and that means that you need to be thinking like one from time to time. By thinking in terms of your business, rather than just in terms of the patient and doctor dynamic, you might just find an angle that you’ve previously overlooked, and which greatly improves the overall health of your practice.
Bring in More Patients
If things are ticking along smoothly, then you’ll be ready to grow your patient base. This isn’t something that’ll just happen, however; you need to actively go out there and bring them to your side. You can do this by increasing your marketing budget, or perhaps just paying more attention to where the money in your current budget is being spent. You’ll also want to get feedback from your patients, who might be able to provide a valuable insight into the things that’d make your practice better. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know what they thought of your business.
Expand Your Services
You might not be able to offer everything that a full-sized hospital can offer, but it’s possible that you’ll be able to offer more than you currently are. You can buy a portable ultrasound machine, for instance, which would enable you to do much more at your practice, and which don’t require a dedicated ultrasound room. The more you’re able to offer at your practice, the less you’ll have to turn away a patient because you can’t meet your needs. Of course, you should take this slowly. Look at gently adding services over time, rather than making wholesale additions.
Have the Right Infrastructure
It takes a lot of effort to run a tight ship at a medical practice, but alas, it’s not something that’s optional. In today’s age, when people expect everything to be watertight and to have access to all the information they need, it’s important that you have a system in place that allows people to control things like they’re appointment date and time, after-care services, and so on. If its been some time since you last updated this side of your business, then it’s possible that you’re falling behind with the times.
Don’t Be Cheap with Salaries
It takes a lot of money to run a medical practice, but one area where you positively should not try to save some pennies is with your staff’s salaries. More than with most companies, when it comes to a medical practice, you get what you pay for. To be the best, you need to have the best staff on board. If you’re not offering competitive wages, then those people will go to work with a company that is. If you’ve got the best healthcare professionals working for you, you won’t need to worry about improving quite as much; your staff will help you grow.
Focus on the Patients
It sounds obvious, but make sure you’re focusing on the patients. They’re the reason that you’re in business! With the day to day stress of running your operations, it’s easy to get bogged down in non-patient details, but it’s not recommended to let your mind wander too far from their needs. A practice which always puts their patients first will naturally be at the forefront of the industry.
Review your Operations
You know just how fast things move in your industry. There are not too many opportunities to sit back and assess how it’s all going. But from time to time, it’s worthwhile finding the time to do just that. You can’t see where you need to go until you’ve figured out where you are, as they say.
It’s an uphill battle, running a practice, albeit one that’s immensely rewarding, and makes a positive difference to the world. Focus on improving, look to the future, and things will continue to go well for you and your patients.
There are a whole host of key components which go into making a business successful. Nowadays, one of the main areas of success revolves around a thriving online presence. This is because practically everything is online now and people see the Internet as a much more convenient tool, especially when it comes to finding and purchasing different products and services.
First impressions count
The main part of your company’s online presence will obviously be its business website. The first thing you see when you open a web page is the way in which it looks. If this first impression is a negative one then the chances are the individual viewing your page will simply close it and head to an alternative website. You need to ensure that your site looks clean and organized, that it has a strict colour and font scheme and that it is altogether pleasing on the eye.
Another important aspect of the web design of your site is how user-friendly it is. You may have a stunning web page, but if it is impossible to use and navigate then your potential customer will simply give up and go elsewhere. As has been said, the internet has become so popular largely because of the convenience it brings with it. Nobody wants to spend time and effort trying to figure out how to use a site because it is simply too confusing and complicated. There are a number of different ways you can enhance the performance of your website. It’s not just about navigation – it is about speed too. From using a VPS to host your website to compressing your files and discarding Flash, there are a number of ways you can make your website load quicker. You also need to think about matters such as website security and the trust signals displayed on your site.
In addition to this, another reason why web design is a crucial area of your company is that it gives an overall feel and impression of what your business and brand message is all about. If your website has a friendly and welcoming feel to it, then people will assume that your company mirrors this too. On the other hand, if your website is boring and uninspiring, then this will obviously reflect badly upon your business.
If you want to have a successful online presence, which let’s face it you’ll need if you want to be competitive in today’s current economic climate, then you need to seriously consider the look and design of your website. Web design is absolutely crucial in ensuring that you leave your potential customers with the best possible impression of your company.
Something that you can say for certainty with any kind of business you might be running is that you want the operational side of it to be as effective as possible, despite how challenging that may often be to achieve. The truth is however that there are a few ways in particular in which you can ensure that you are achieving this, and it is well worth understanding them if you want to keep your business running as smoothly as you would hope. In this article, we are going to take a look at just three of the ways in which you can hope to improve the operations of any business type in the world. Follow these to begin with, and there is no reason why your business can’t succeed in exactly the way you would hope.
Whatever business you run, there are a number of supplies which you generally need in order to ensure that you can run that business in its ordinary sense day after day. You would be surprised how much of a difference you can make by simply changing up the suppliers of the items you need, so that you are getting your supplies in a more orderly or effective manner. There are actually a number of ways that changing the supplier can help. It could be that they offer a more complete version of what you need, such as choosing a Gas Oil Fuelbox supplier over a mere ordinary fuel supplier for a transport business. Or it might be that a supplier is simply cheaper, and offers the same as a more expensive option, in which case it’s a no-brainer. Whatever the reason, it’s always worth considering changing your suppliers as and when you might find it necessary.
Automate Parts Of It
You will never want to run a business which is automated in its entirety, but there is definitely always room for automating much of a business, and that is something which you should think about if you are to try and improve the operations of your business as much as possible. You need to make sure that you are aware of what to automate and what to leave alone, and that you know how to do so in the right way. But as long as you do that, you will find that it makes an enormous difference to how well the business as a whole works.
Train Your Staff
As ever, it’s important to remember that the people in your employ are hugely vital and central to the entire operation, and the better quality they are, the more likely it is that you will be able to enjoy a more successfully-run business. If you need to, you should always be keen to train your staff as and when it might prove necessary, as doing so is bound to make a huge difference to how well your business operates in the main. Just make sure you only train them where and when necessary.
Your future is the one thing that you build and work toward from the moment you get out of school. Planning your retirement, writing a will and even probate planning, as well as what you want from your life is something that should be at the forefront of your mind. Your future is completely unknown and you have to consider the risks that are ahead in life, from your career risks that you take to the family that you one day have. You have to consider what’s important in your life and making sure that those things are as protected as possible.
You need to plan your future, which is going to take some effort and some research. The whole picture of your life has to be considered when it comes to protecting your future, and you should follow the six tips below to be able to future-proof your life so everyone is secure.
Life Insurance. If you’re going to ensure that your future is secure, insurance is the right way to go. You’d buy home insurance to secure your mortgage and your house, and you’d buy pet insurance to make sure your pets stay healthy. You need to ensure your life so that your children are secure.
School Fees. Your children may be tiny right now, but they have college ahead and it’s now that you should be starting to save up for those college years that cost more than you think! Opening a savings account now is the way to go when you want to secure the future of your kids.
A Will. Security is important in life, but beyond that security for those you love after you die is vital. You can read about it when you look at the bigger picture of who you need in your future and probate lawyers are one such need. Writing a Will secures your family, your friends, and your children.
Savings Accounts. Retirement looms from the moment that you start work and the faster you realize that you need to have money to one side for the years that you aren’t working, the better. Save your money into various accounts – like backing up your back-ups.
Pensions. As with the savings that you accumulate over the years, you need to have pensions in place to help you to pay for your retirement. You’ll get a government pension, but you also need to consider that you need to have private ones to supplement the government one.
Pay Debts. Securing your future is far easier when you have no debts holding you down. Work hard at investing in yourself and paying off your life’s debts and once you do, you’ll be able to see that your credit being secure will help you financially later on.
Your future is going to be dictated by your present, so live wisely now and you’ll secure your finances as well as your life – every step of the way.
by Jerry Mooney
If you’re starting a business, then sooner or later, you are going to be in need of some space to build and grow your operation. The majority of people start off, around the kitchen table, or in their bedroom – yet, there is inevitably a time when things get too much to run from home and premises must be sought.
The challenge, with this, is that premises can be expensive. Space, particularly in popular cities can demand a very high premium to be paid and most start-up’s simply don’t have big enough pockets to get the commercial space of their dreams; meaning they often end up in a much smaller space than they would like.
There are two schools of thought with this, as on the one hand, it’s important to squeeze the most out of your budget and put up with a small stuff so that you have the financial resources to spend in other avenues, such as marketing and material costs – yet – at the same time, it’s also important to make a good impression on customers, and perhaps more importantly, employees who will be using the space on a daily basis.
Of course, if you have a digital business then you don’t need all that much space and working from home can work out well for many entrepreneurs, but if you have a business that requires production space, for instance a catering or manufacturing company – then the size of the space required is much more significant.
The interesting thing to note is that you don’t need to have a fancy office, or any office at all for that matter, in order to set-up a business… yet, if you’ve reached a turning, where you are no longer able to trade from home due to needing to employ people, for instance, or hold significant amounts of physical stock – then commercial space is what you need.
Before we get into squeezing the most from a small start up budget, let’s take a look at some alternatives to renting out or purchasing commercial space – as these can often prove to be beneficial from a cash flow perspective whilst also enabling you to meet your needs.
- SHARED SPACE
There are many shared spaces available to entrepreneurs, where the concept of hot desking means you can have access to office facilities without the burdensome long-term overheads; you can simply come and go as you please, and either subscribe to a weekly, monthly or yearly membership or pay-as-you-go.
Often, if you regularly rent a desk at such a place, you can use the meeting room or conference hall for a reduced fee (and sometimes no fee at all) which is useful as it gives your business a feeling of belonging somewhere, meaning you can have people come to meetings at your office, even though, in truth you simply rent a desk within a shared space from time to time.
The benefit of such shared spaces is not limited to cost saving either, indeed, the social aspect is of huge value – both in terms of meeting like-minded friends and also in terms of collaboration opportunities.
- OVERSEAS OPTIONS
If you were to travel to somewhere, for instance, Thailand, where the cost of living is much cheaper yet the facilities in most major cities – such as Bangkok – are to a western standard, you could save a lot of money.
The reason this is such an interesting opportunity, for many businesses that are able to operate remotely, is that when you head to countries such as India, Thailand and the Philippines you have access to highly trained local talent that are much cheaper than the amount you would pay in your home country.
That said, you could always use remote a site such as freelancer to locate such talent and build a remote workforce. There is, however, something to be said about the ease and simplicity of having everyone in one place where you can have face-to-face meetings rather than relate over the internet where the person at the other end could be working on a number of different projects at the same time.
The cost of living will be cheaper, by working in a country such as India or Thailand, as will the cost of space and the cost of labor. There are also many places, such as Ubud in Bali, that have well established startup communities which you can access with regard to the shared space option mentioned above.
- CREATE A HOME OFFICE
If your house has some redundant land, then you could consider building a home office that could accommodate a few other people – or a meeting room that can host client meetings. There are many options for this, but one of the cheapest and most efficient, would be to consider portable office hire that can easily be placed in your garden on a temporary basis.
The reason this is particularly attractive, is that a temporary portable structure is much less likely to require planning permission than a permanent building – which could, in some jurisdictions could be a challenge to get accepted on the basis of its intended commercial use.
Now, that we’ve looked at some options for not renting out your first commercial premises, let’s take a look at some ways to make the most of the opportunity to rent out a commercial property and the reality that it’s likely to be a smaller space than you would ideally like.
Now, small doesn’t need to be a bad thing, indeed small can be a good thing in terms of ongoing energy costs and so on – but the prospect of having clients turn up to a meeting in a cramped and cluttered office is not ideal… and the prospect of interviewing new employees in an office that feels like everyone is working on top of each other is not going to attract the best candidates.
For this reason, we need to look at optimizing your space in the sense of squeezing the most of the small space, to ensure it’s as productive and as pleasant as possible. In this vein, we’re going to look at five startup space hacks to create the impression of space which will lead to a more efficient and affluent vibe.
The final point to remember on this topic, is the core principle that it’s not the size of your office that counts – it’s how you use it… meaning, you can go out and rent the most fancy premises you can find, but if your competitor is creating more value to the market than you are – and is working in his or her basement… they will be much more profitable.
What you really need from a commercial space is the ability to focus, get things done, and create value for as many people as possible with regard to your value proposition and unique selling points.
This article looks at four ways you can aesthetically make the most of a small business space, on a budget.
The term “dark and dingy” tends to be used when describing small spaces. The darker a space feels, in terms of the amount of light entering the space, the smaller and more claustrophobic it will feel for people, when inside the space. In contrast, the more light in a space – the more spacious it will feel.
Now, you don’t have to be claustrophobic to appreciate a sense of space; after all, the effects of feeling trapped in a small space, for anybody, will start to grate on them and lead to a feeling of agitation as well as a lack of focus.
One of the most important principles to making the most of a small space, therefore, is to find a property that has lots of natural light – or, in the alternative, but not quite as effective, for there to be a lot of artificial light in the property that floods the space with brightness.
The more cluttered a space appears to be the smaller the space will feel. This is often one of the greatest challenges to working in a small space; it can often feel cluttered even when there’s just a few things left out on the side.
You might, therefore, want to invest in some intelligent storage solutions or find a property with a spacious cupboard that can be used to hide most the clutter that would otherwise be on display. A clean desk policy can also be very helpful to leading to a feeling of a space being uncluttered.
When a space feels hot and stuffy people get agitated; they will also tend to lose concentration as a result of feeling tired and drained due to the heat. It’s therefore pretty essential you ensure an adequate supply of fresh air to help people keep their cool.
Just because an office space is small doesn’t mean it can’t be trendy. Indeed, some of the most desirable start-up spaces today are bohemian in style with fairy lights, paint peeling from the industrial walls, and large tables made from reclaimed wood rather than fancy desks.