Tips for a healthy practice from the start
When you become a practice owner things change a bit. You now have more responsibility. On top of being responsible for your client's care, You are now responsible for your team members, management of the practice, strategic business decisions as well as the liability which goes along with it all. How can one person manage all of this? If you have the right mindset to take on all of these tasks. It is completely possible!
Here are a few strategies that can help you get on track to managing a healthy practice
Practice Values- This is SO important. Your practice values are the guide to managing your practice. If you ever have a tough decision to make and you are not sure what direction to go in, think about your practice values and choose the option that aligns best with them. You also want to make sure you take into consideration your values. Your practice values should not stray too far from your values.
I promise you, that if you master this portion of your practice everything else will run smoothly. From new hires, to finances, and everything in between. My company values consist of transparency, trust, and giving back.
Know your motivation- We all need a bit of motivation. For me when I think about why I have my own business the first thing that comes to mind is my family. The example I set for my kids, the inspiration I give to my husband to start his own business, and the feeling of knowing I get to spend more time with all of them because I chose to start my own business. It helps me on hard days to think about all of my reasons to be and stay motivated. I tell you to find your motivation for your practice because you will need it on the days that are hard. We all have those days and need a system in place to bring us back to reality.
Clear mind and workspace- It is important to put your practice into place, in a way that sets a clear tone for the valuable work you are going to be performing. If you have a clear workspace your mind is clear. If your mind is clear you can complete more tasks effectively. Here are some examples of things you may need to clear out frequently.
Email- Be sure that when emails come in you clear them out and do not avoid them. However, do not spend all day focused on checking your email. Pick a specific time of the day to check your emails and only focus on this task. You can also have a note at the bottom of your emails stating you check emails a few times a day and will do your best to respond to all emails in a timely manner. This allows you the freedom to only check during the day, during specific times and this lets people know this is how you operate. Be sure to go through every email when you are designated to check emails. Do not let them sit in your inbox. Another way to keep your inbox clear is to create folders to find everything easily and to unsubscribe to anything that does not pertain to your practice or junk mail that you do not need to spend time checking. Use your personal email when signing up for coupons so that you can separate work and home life.
Workspace- Be sure that you have a clean and simple workspace. If you choose to add photos or anything else in your space make sure you need it. Things on your desk can become a distraction so make sure it is worth taking up the physical space because eventually, it will take up your mental space too.
Digital organization- Let's talk about all of those open tabs. We are all guilty of having multiple tabs open that we want to go back to later. Make it a habit now to only have the tabs open that you are working in. I use chrome and I have a chrome account for all of my separate emails. If it is something that I want to view later I open a google document up and paste the link there instead of having 50 tabs open at once. Your desktop can probably use some cleaning up too. Make sure you only have shortcuts saved on your desktop that you need. Delete any outdated folders and other documents which can be saved as a favorite on your favorites bar. Also, delete anything in your google drive that you are not currently using. Create folders so that you can organize everything effectively. You will notice that finding things in your drive will be a breeze when it is organized.
Workflow- We all have gifts as business owners. If we didn't we would not be business owners. That gift that you felt and inspired you to start your practice is the same feeling I want to lead you when it comes to your workflow. Here are a few ways to analyze your workflow.
Optimize your working times- Not all of us are morning people. And that is okay. I like to wake up and spend some time with myself. I like to meditate, read, journal, go on a bike ride, wash my face and then start my day. So I am always up for getting calls out of the way in the morning. I like to take my afternoons to relax and focus on my family life. The best part about all of this is it is my choice. I know what works best for me and I can create a work schedule around that. If you are more of an afternoon person then schedule your calls in the afternoon. Whatever works best for you.
Prioritize essential tasks- What are essential tasks? Essential tasks are the tasks that only you can do. They are the tasks that make your practice different. For example, building referral relationships. If this is a task that you feel is best suited for you then make sure it is labeled as an essential task. Schedule when these essential tasks will be done and take ownership of them. Not every task needs your undivided attention. You are the best judge of what tasks do and don't.
Time management- Take a few weeks to track your time to find out how long things take to get done. This will help you in a few ways. First, you will know how long tasks take to run your practice efficiently. Therefore, when you are ready to hire a virtual assistant you will know what your practice needs and will have a clear expectation for each task. And secondly, it will also help you pass over tasks that you don't need to be doing. Unless it is an essential task which requires your full attention or a gifted task you should not be doing the task. This will help you take control of your time and to keep you focused on the tasks that are most important to your practice.
Delegate often- Once you track your time I am sure you will find that you are spending a lot of time on tasks that an assistant can do for you. Do not be afraid to delegate. A smart business owner is one that delegates strategically. You should only be spending time on essential tasks as well as those that bring out your gifts. All of the rest can be delegated.
Expectations- Be real with yourself. Make sure you are setting realistic expectations for yourself and your practice. Make sure you are taking time for yourself. Take breaks often. Establish a morning and afternoon routine. Get out into nature. Read a book or a blog that will help you grow. Go to a yoga class on your lunch break. Eat lunch. Be sure to reward yourself and speak kindly to yourself when you are looking to achieve goals. Motivate yourself in positive ways. Be mindful! Your body needs fuel to sustain a health practice. Be your number one fan!
Once you get your mindset where it needs to be everything else will flow naturally. Be sure to expect the unexpected. Things will come up that make you feel like you are failing. Don't listen to that lie. You are not a failure. You are learning through making mistakes. Make every opportunity an opportunity to learn and grow. Approach problems in a positive way and you will start to see your mindset shift in wonderful ways. Your practice will be just as healthy as you are.
If you find yourself feeling stuck or looking for guidance feel free to schedule a free consult call with me.