As a Clinic Owner, you’re probably accustom to doing a case study for a patient or condition, but have you ever done it with your business owner hat on?!
You’re probably interested to know what other clinic owners are doing to grow their clinic!
It’s pretty common for us to see a clinic owner that is lost for direction, not sure what the next step is for their business journey.
You’re either in a position of pain, struggle or overwhelm and need some urgent help, or you’re happy, content and potentially complacent, meaning you’re missing a lot of the upside.
In any case, it’s great to learn from other health professionals in business because it highlights the opportunities for you to grow.
In this case study with Skye, we’re going to share a detailed insight into her journey as an Osteopath and Private Practice owner (Pakenham Osteopathy).
As you can appreciate, everyone’s journey is different, so, take what you see here and filter it through your current position and ask yourself, how could this work for you?
You’ll notice that we’ve included a lot of detail in this case study. We’ve been able to do that because of our 103 point self assessment business audit that we do at the beginning of every new member’s journey.
We are also constantly reviewing our progress with members and on a quarterly basis we do a business audit to review our progress so that Clinic Mastery can stay accountable to the clinic owner getting a return on their investment.
You’ll see in the answers below we have included Skye’s feedback throughout her time with us.
To be able to be our own bosses.
My dad always encouraged me to do something where I could “hang a shingle out” and not be at the mercy of other people.
Being able to have flexibility of days and times was also a big attraction.
Shane and I studied together at University and 6 months after finishing uni our student plans to open our own practice was realised in April 2004.
Our R&D began with the purchase of a suburban map of Melbourne.
Armed with sticky dots, a Yellow Pages printout of all the osteopaths in Melbourne and our map we set about identifying our opportunities.
Our sticky dots clearly identified Pakenham as the perfect fit, having a close friend in Pakenham I was familiar with the area so the decision was made.
Office space was short so we built a room in the back of a local health food shop and made it our home for our first 12 months.
Originally we worked half a week each in our business – the other half was spent at a busy South Gippsland clinic about 1 hr away so we had an income.
It was similar to a job-share. Our original idea was to create a health care business where we cared about our patients more than the rest!
In 2005 we departed the health food store and sublet a room in the back of an allied health clinic joining a local acupuncturist and massage business.
As opportunities unfolded we grew to 2 rooms and eventually the entire office space.
We engaged subcontract osteopaths, essentially all running their own business (treating and managing patients) under our banner.
We were oblivious to formulating systems and procedures that streamlined our patients’ experience.
We had almost no control over (and honestly weren’t even aware) how the other practitioners were managing patients.
We were naive and thought that as long as we hired good people, the rest would manage itself.
For a few years our attentions were elsewhere – marriage, home renovations and arrival of children – but thankfully the business continued to tick over.
In 2008 I enrolled in business coaching as an initiative offered from the local council.
From this I got Shane on board and we engaged a professional coach on a month-by-month agreement starting with a clinic audit and “systems” review.
We started to find out what we didn’t know. We got a lot out of this process but took what we needed at the time and went off on our own again to implement.
Our 3rd coach was a 12 month commitment.
Our coach stated our goal as a minimum should be to be a $1M business (we were doing less than $400k at that time).
We had the capability so why weren’t we delivering.
We thought he had lost his mind, in reality we needed to adjust our mindset.
The benefits an impartial coach could offer became further cemented in our minds.
We quickly realised an open mind was needed and if not willing to get a little uncomfortable (even after running through our own filter Shane Davis) then a coach was a waste of time and money.
“When the student is ready the teacher will appear” – Fake Buddha.
We were now coaching advocates. All our coaches to date have improved our business acumen.
In 2015 as we emerged from the fog of small children Shane announced the clinic was dated and an embarrassment.
Rather than spend money on a fitout to continue dealing with an unreasonable landlord, he had formulated an idea of how we could acquire a commercial property.
He had done the sums and challenged me to have my independent Financial Advisors review it, which I did, and we were away!
We engaged a Buyer’s Advocate to retain our anonymity and commenced negotiations.
After some exciting times with council and vendors we got the business done at the 11th hour over a protracted 6 month negotiation purchasing a building across the road.
The old renovator gang was mobilised in to action (those ideal tradie patients, who we will forever treat as no gap clients) working 7 days per week over the xmas/NY period, delaying holidays, and in 7 weeks gutted and transformed the tired 1970’s space into a modern, purpose-built clinic.
The previous owners, also patients, could barely recognise the new space and surrounding grounds.
We changed our name, re-branded and re-launched in January 2016.
We made a few big changes – moving from subcontractor to employee structure and hiring 2 more osteopaths (one new grad, one with 10+ years experience) taking our osteopath count to six including Shane and myself.
An exercise physiologist was added for the gym and reformer pilates space we’d created.
With the excitement of the new surrounds, there was great energy about the clinic and we continued to grow month on month for about 6-7 months.
Then we noticed a slight slip in patient numbers and team morale.
Almost overnight complacency had set in and grabbed hold, TIGHT!
I happened to come across Clinic Mastery on my Facebook feed and a Melbourne seminar was coming up.
We went along, signed up on the day and haven’t looked back.
In addition to Shane and myself, we now employ 11 staff (clinical and admin). We have 6 treatment rooms that are utilised well but there is still room to grow – and we now have a clear plan in place to do that.
We have made some tough changes in the last 8 months – transitioning out a very experienced osteopath who was reluctant to change with us, dismantling the gym/pilates space and re-configuring it into 2 more treatment rooms (One currently used for admin), but we now have a clear vision of what we’re about, where we are going, and how we are going to get there.
Complacency had set in.
We were doing basic & uninspired KPI’s (individual info only, not completely transparent with everyone’s performance on show).
Our regular meetings had lost their original effect and impact, they had become very dry, predictable and ho-hum.
The impact was lost, we were trying different methods to inspire and reinvigorate but not realising change.
The KPI’s stopped, the meetings became less and we disengaged blaming the EOFY, the start of the financial year, the weather, the credit squeeze, the 2nd year blues or anything else that seemed to soothe us.
We were too reliant on our own personal exertion income. We thought we had a business. We didn’t.
The biggest challenges so far has been people management.
Changing the landscape of how we ran the clinic (eg. the setting of KPIs, technology implementation, non-negotiables like management plans) created push back from staff.
There was a lot of changes in the first few months as Shane and I really wanted to implement this stuff sooner rather than later.
It led to one practitioner moving on as they could not embrace any of the changes and this was a really bitter pill to swallow.
He was consistently >90% utilised but was not the ideal fit for the culture we were trying to establish.
You’ll see some real figures below…
What you need to know is that the comparison spans between October 2017 – May 2018 (~9m)
Remember, Skye runs an Osteopathy clinic and your numbers are likely to be different if you are in another industry.
Over that period, these numbers reflect how Skye has been able to engage and align her team, with the help of Clinic Mastery to be able to implement many of the (64+) practical systems (we give you in the business academy) to create a sustainable business.
You’ll also need to appreciate that these are sustained average numbers over a 9m period.
Monthly New Clients
Monthly Appointment Numbers
Patient Visit Average
Average Revenue Per Client
Our business finished in the top 25% of all businesses that entered the 2018 Telstra Business Awards.
This is a huge result for us, we entered on a whim of “why not?” and viewed the exercise as a learning experience.
We went conservative with our numbers as our application was last minute and rushed. Next year?
Applications for the next Business Academy enrolment are now open (only 4 per year), claim your strategy session now to see if we have what you need and find out if you’d be a good fit.
So, the question i have for you is this, do you want to grow your clinic?!
Unfortunately, you don’t get any extra rewards for doing it yourself…
If you want to take control of your clinic growth, just like Skye, you might as well take advantage of the entire done-for-you systems, policies, procedures and structures we’ve created and use in our clinics today…
There is no need to re-invent the wheel!
If you’re serious about taking the next step, then we should talk. If you’re on the fence, this is not for you. Just like Skye said, you have to immerse yourself to get the best results.
The Business Academy is not for the faint hearted, it demands high level of commitment and relentless execution. It is your business after-all.
Skye has put in an incredible amount of work, she epitomises what it means to be a member of this elite group.
We have all the resources you need and the support to help bring it to life, the question is, are you willing to put your head down and do the yards with us?
Until next time;
Live with Passion and Serve with Care!