If anyone ever says that running a small business, balancing a family life, making patients happy all while trying to turn a profit while living a comfortable life, boy do I have news for you. I wanted to kind of elaborate about what goes into the scheduling, getting the best results and finding a work-life balance.
For the past year and a half we have been closing early on Fridays. It has become apparent that this is not a new phenomenon but we still miss a lot of phone calls on Friday afternoon and have a hard time getting out of the office at a decent time. I started doing this in order to get out of the physical office. I get a lot of quips about how I need to get to the golf course, which is the case some of the time but a lot of times I end up having to come home and finish up paperwork from the week. Whether it is insurance paperwork or a daily note, all of this has to get done in order for the staff to take care of their daily tasks.
The end of the day is a lot like this as well. By the time 4 o’clock rolls around, we are pretty much wrapping things up for the day. We are not opposed to taking later appointments than that but calling after 4 to get in that same day is probably not going to happen. Sticking around and waiting for a walk in appointment is crazy, most of the time I need to go pick up boys, finish up with some paperwork and get on with my day. I have always told people that I am an early bird. I would much rather start early and leave the office early, than start early and leave late.
Now time is just one aspect of people pleasing in this office, another thing is trying to figure out exactly what patients need/want in order to get the best results. Finding a happy medium with people is tough. Most people will come in with a specific complaint and will want it addressed, but most will have a pre-conceived notion as to how long it should take to fix. Balancing that is the trick, the patient thinks one time and you should be good to go. I’ve reached a point that I no longer feel guilty telling people to follow up with their care, if they need it, the patient gets to make the ultimate decision about scheduling, I get to make the recommendation.
The entire point of running a successful small business is to make people feel better and to make sure that if they have the same problem again that they return to your office. Being available and making sure that you provide value are the keys to making the business run efficiently. I’m huge of efficiency, we don’t like sitting around waiting on for the phone to ring at the end of the day and we are not big on making people come back for unnecessary/unwanted care, the philosophy of giving value to patients between care and price while limiting waiting time is a key for us. We feel that happy patients refer other patients and this is ultimately how you build a small chiropractic office in central Nebraska.
In ending, are we people pleasers in the office, absolutely we are. There is a point to this as well. Taking time for my family and professional life is always a priority and I try to take the opportunities as often as I can because they don’t come about all that often. I’m not out of the office much for personal time so if I’m able to get out of the office 30 minutes early during the week, I’m going to take it. Come in or call early, we are available.
We genuinely appreciate all of our patients and look forward for the years to come.