Hello.. do you ever feel like there’s so much going on in your Private Practice life, with patients and admin that you barely have time to breathe, let alone take care of thinking about the business?
I know what that feels like. Suddenly a year has gone by, and you realise that nothing has really changed, and you’re still chasing your tail? That’s why it’s so important to stop, take time out away from clinic, so you can reflect on what’s happening in Private Practice, and have time to make some plans which you can actually implement.
I’ve recently done just that, with a group of nine fellow clinicians when we ran our first Private Practice Ninja Business retreat. We had three days together in a grand old house in Faversham. Locked away from the rest of the world (with a private chef to keep us fed and happy)
We spent time brainstorming, clearing mental barriers, marketing planning for 2020, making videos, eating, drinking and laughing. It was an amazing experience and the attendees were an absolutely fantastic group of people. If you missed out this time, and would like to know about upcoming events, then sign up to our list, and you’ll be the first to know. Click here to be notified.
The key feedback we had was that whilst there was structure to the weekend, there was also plenty of unscheduled time to pause, reflect, make some plans, and to start putting some goals into action.
Pausing. Reflecting. Planning.
How often do you give yourself the chance to do that?
How can you know what’s working and what’s not working in your Private Practice, if you don’t allow the time and space to think on it?
Every year, my Ninja husband and I take time out twice a year, to do just that.
Thinking that you could do with your own little business retreat?
Here’s how to go about your own – DIY – retreat.
Getting set up for your DIY Private Practice Business Retreat:
Pick a date in the diary; even if it’s for just one single day (but two to three days is even better!)
Pick a venue. If at all possible, try to escape away to a completely different location, and if your budget permits, try to wrap a couple of night’s stay around this, so you’re really getting away. If this can be at the end of a week, even better, but at the very minimum, make sure you’re going to be in the clinic or at home.
Decide whether you go it alone or take a friend. I've done this both ways, but I think it’s actually a good thing to take along a friend who might also benefit from a retreat of their own. The best part is, they don’t have to be anything to do with the profession your in. I regularly attend a mastermind day with two ladies – one who works in print but is transitioning into full time yoga teaching, and one who runs an executive assistant empire. They both bring fresh ideas to the way that I’m working, so see if you have an entrepreneurial buddy who could co-retreat with you.
Make sure you’re taken care of and that you have a pampered ending to the day. Forget cooking and treat yourself to a delicious dinner, minus the kids or spouse.
Decide how you’ll break up the day, so that you get some exercise and fresh air.
Make a list of ‘data’ you might need to gather before you head away on your retreat. So for example, if you think that you might want to reflect on your patient numbers and finances as part of your overall reflections. The last thing you want to do is get distracted with patient admin, so can you print off any numbers and bank statements you might need in advance, so you’re not tempted to step in an answer any patient queries.
Let everyone know you’ll be away, and that it’s sacred time. Unless it’s a dire emergency, tell your admin buddies that unless the clinic is on fire, they can hold those messages and queries until you get back. Put on your out office and head on out.
Arm yourself with pens, paper, and Post-It notes. As much fan of tech as I am, I’m a firm believer in the power of pen and paper and scribbling.
Turn off as many alerts on your smartphone and laptop as possible – and ideally, put devices into airplane mode. Don’t worry, it will all still be there when you slide that little yellow symbol back on!
Ideas for how to run your retreat:
Brain dump your mind.
You might have some very clear ideas on things you want to achieve during your reteat, and that’s great, but for many of us, we can feel overwhelmed and unclear about where to start. I think it’s a great idea to empty out your thoughts so you can process them.
A good way to get this rolling is to grab a stack of Post-It notes and until you run out of things to think about, write a significant event that happened in your Private Practice business life that year, with each event being written on a single note. Stick them up on a wall, or onto a large piece of paper.
Some of these might be very positive events, e.g. opening a second clinic venue, or a negative event, e.g. sacking a member of staff. You’ll reflect on these later.
Run a health check on your Private Practice.
Do you know how much your practice earned in the last 12 months, and how much you spent? Many of us mentally shy away from the numbers, but it can be really helpful to see where you may be potentially wasting money (do you really need that subscription to that organisation whose events you no longer attend?) and which of your clinic days/locations bring you the most money.
Has you practice grown or shrunk? Are you working more or fewer hours?
What are you currently charging your patients, and when was the last time you increased your prices?
Which procedures are the most profitable, and was the expense of that shockwave machine worthwhile?
How do you feel about it all?
Reflect on your brain dump – consider these questions:
What’s the one thing you’re most proud about that has happened in your Private Practice this year?
What are the three biggest business lessons you’ve learned this year?
What was your smartest business move you made this year?
What three things really worked for you this year that you should do more of?
What marketing activity worked really well for you this year, and what didn’t?
What three things should you completely forget about doing next year?
Set some goals:
What five things do you want to achieve in your Private Practice this coming year?
Which of these goals will really push your practice forward the most?
What do you need to practically do to make these goals come to fruition?
Whose help do you need to help you achieve your goals?
What additional resources will you need to achieve your goals?
Finally, make time to celebrate your Private Practice Successes.
This is the most important part. We’re all too quick to criticise ourselves, and too readily forget to celebrate our successes. What’s your favourite ‘success’ and how will you reward yourself during your retreat?
Like to join us on a biz retreat or a course in 2020?
Then sign up to our list and join like-minded Ninjas doing amazing things in their Private Practices!