My car has been making an odd noise recently.
It’s a BMW 3 series I bought for the missus when she was expecting our first child to save her running around in the unreliable old bangers I used to favour. She flatly refused to get on the back of my Kawasaki either so a new car it had to be.
Now I used to quite enjoy tinkering with cars. So much so I even started up my own company building racing cars, but that is another story.
But I was never one for servicing them. My view was always to hack around in them until they went bang and fix them then (or in the panic run-up to the MOT). But if it wasn’t actually broken or on fire I’d leave it alone.
This contrasted with my relationship with the bike though, because that got a proper dealer servicing as required and anything out of kilter got fixed right away.
Because whereas very little breaking in a car whilst you were driving along would cause you much damage, if almost anything failed on a bike at speed you were very likely to die.
So time spent looking after my bike – working ON it – was time well spent.
Now consider your private practice. It’s ticking along nicely in all probability. But what would happen if your private income suddenly fell through the floor?
It could easily happen. You could be taken ill. A new colleague in your locality could start up in practice and rapidly take most of your patients (I’m helping many do precisely that). BUPA (or AXA, or PPP) could suddenly change the way or amount they reimburse you, and if they suddenly reduce their payments for one or more of your bread-and-butter type patients…
Meeting the mortgage, private school fees etc. etc. could all suddenly become a Problem.
Just ask an orthopod, or a dermatologist or….
So Private Practice Success Tip #5 is to allocate and spend time working ON your private practice, not just IN it. Do so every week.
Work on promoting what you do and getting more patients in through the door. For want of a better word, get your business serviced and tuned in the same way you would your car (or motorbike). Because not only will that increase your income, it will insure you against changes imposed upon you by outside forces.
Like BUPA, AXA, PPP…
Or me working to grow one of your colleagues’ practices…
Because a crash in your practice income for whatever reason is unlikely to be fatal.
But it would still hurt like Hell.
By Dev Lall FRCS