Last week Veronika discussed the importance of strategically planning for growth in your practice. Today she digs deeper into each stage of growth - systems, outsourcing and hiring. Enjoy!
Systems can seem like a big word meant for big companies. However, there are no size requirements for a system, as long as it fits your business. I bet you already have some systems in place, although you may not think of them as “systems”. It could be a routine for registering new patients, a scheduling tool for non-emergency services, and a way for you to receive payment from clients - all systems in their own right.
An effective system should allow you to more or less detach from a process that otherwise takes time away from your core business.
Look around and think through how you spend your days. Notice anything that is:
● not billable
● requires little to no personal judgment or involvement
and not the least, is quite possibly causing you a fair bit of frustration!
Whatever you find, it is likely something that is ripe for a system to take over. You can create your own or buy something “off-the-shelf”. If it’s something not too unique, there is a high probability that someone out there has already created a system and brought it to market.
“That’s all great”, you might think, but what about the things that are all that, except they do require that someone gets personally involved?
Fair enough. Not everything can be delegated to an automatic, impersonal system. It may have to do with customer service, social media management, administration or finance. Things that require personal judgement, creativity or frequent decision-making and cannot simply be fed into a “machine”.
The big question here is: do these tasks need to be performed by YOU? My guess is they’re not the best use of your time.
The answer is most likely “no” and it’s somewhere around this point where many business owners start to feel the pressure to hire. Especially if systems are not in place, it takes an inordinate amount of time to manage the day-to-day operations and it’s hard to keep the revenue flowing when you get caught up in paperwork all the time.
However, there is no need to hire yet! Far from it. These types of tasks are perfect for outsourcing.
Take bookkeeping and the services Rocsy provides. Not only does it free up your time to focus on your patients (the not-unimportant-revenue-generating activities), but it puts your books in the hands of someone who has highly specialized expertise and can give your finances the personal attention you could never do yourself even if you wanted to. Someone who can provide expert advice in the area, and in extension, reduce your risks of doing business. All done by someone who does not get frustrated but loves doing it!
In addition to bookkeeping, other areas that provide a great return-on-investment are project-based tasks (new website, design, IT support), administrative support (virtual assistance, social media management), legal support, advising, customer service, and more.
Let’s not forget, together, systems and outsourcing create a scaffolding upon which you can grow, without the many financial risks and legal intricacies of hiring. Outsourcing can take you a really long way towards your business goals.
So when should you hire? There is no absolute answer to his question of course, but in general, I’d say hire when you’re ready to truly scale and you need a very high level of control. When you need to leverage the full potential of having a close-knit team with you on the ground.
Some systems will grow with you, others will need to be switched out, but many can be scaled. The same with outsourced services, they can often grow with you. As a matter of fact, outsourced service providers can be invaluable advisors when you plan to scale up. Not only do they understand how things work within their area of expertise, but they also have intricate, specialized knowledge of your particular operations. That is a very powerful combination.
Whatever level or kind of growth you aim for, you want to be strategic about it. Doing things in a certain order, with a deliberate plan (that may need to be adjusted along the way), will help you avoid cumbersome mistakes and set you up for quicker results. And it’s never too soon to start.
The earlier you begin systematizing and outsourcing the better. Things don’t get out of hand and you get to focus on what you love doing - and what brings in the money.
Have things already gotten out of hand? Are your operations messy and lacking systems? Is it too late? Of course not.
Here’s where outsourcing really stands out as the best of both worlds - because you can outsource the creation of your systems! For example, a (Virtual) Assistant can set up your customer service and scheduling systems, then run them for you. A bookkeeper can straighten out your books, then make sure they stay sparkly clean moving forward.
Here’s the strategy in a nutshell: systematize, outsource, hire. When in doubt, outsource.
The risks are low and the benefits high.
What’s keeping you?
Veronika Ambertson is a former Human Resources professional with experience ranging from the private staffing industry, being a direct employer herself and spending close to a decade with the United Nations Development Programme. Having always been excited about the potential in change, Veronika is now back in her native Sweden, from where she coaches outwardly successful but inwardly (and secretly) struggling women across the globe. You can reach her and find out more by going to www.veronikaambertson.com.