Looks almost unbelievable, eh?
It can happen when there is no one at the helm plotting and steering a course; and I’m not just talking boating!
As a Management Consultant to physical therapy private practice owners, I am frequently reminded of the risk any physical therapy business might face.
If there is no one in charge managing the business, no matter how small, your chances of steady expansion, growth, and success are as slim as that captain has of winning the boat race.
As a physical therapist, you are a highly skilled professional in the field of the human body. With experience, you can spot a vaulting gait pattern at ten paces and know without doubt what needs to be done to remedy it. You love what you do and your patients love you for it.
But, a physical therapist that is also a practice owner may be at a disadvantage; your training does not include how to handle argumentative, bossy or lazy staff, how to negotiate a contract to get a better reimbursement rate, what actions to take to prevent that off-season slump before it happens, or when to hire new staff without having to lay them off next week due to lack of patients. Yikes!
So what happens? The physical therapist/practice owner treats 90% of the time and leaves the management to after hours, during the drive home, on the weekend, or worse yet, neglects it altogether. Hello rocks and shoals!
Some suggestions I have for practice owners in this boat are:
- Block out your calendar for at least some management time
- Make a list of the management tasks that are needed
- Work to complete each management task before moving on to the next
- Put your management requests/directions to staff in writing
- Keep your eyes open for those management best-practice techniques you are missing
You can navigate the waters and avoid the risks, but that starts with putting your captain hat firmly on! All aboard!