We're racking up a great collection of clinic owner interviews that all have the potential to completely transform your practice.
Quite interestingly, one of the most recommended business books mentioned by clinic owners so far is The E-Myth by Micheal Gerber. If you've never read that book, Gerber talks a lot about working ON your business, not just IN your business. And putting systems and processes in place that can help automate the majority of things and make things easier for you to make more money in less time.
Many top entrepreneurs speak about the same principles in business. And today we've got one clinic owner who has used these principles to grow out of clinical practice, selling a multichain of clinics, and now travels the world as a business coach and consultant for healthcare business owners.
Meet Paul Wright. Australian-based physiotherapist, turned successful entrepreneur, business consultant, speaker and educator. In this interview, Paul shares some of his secrets on how you too can work on your business, design your business freedom blueprint, and live more of the life you want to live.
Here's what we cover:
- Learn Paul's journey of opening 10 clinics
- Why you always need to think about positioning your business to sell
- What to do BEFORE you think about opening your next clinic
- How to get the biggest bang for your buck on marketing
- One key thing to never put a monetary value on
Let's dive in...
1) Talk about the practices you owned before you sold them
What inspired you to own your clinics?
I have always had a strong desire to work for myself, succeeding or failing by my own decisions, and have never liked being told what to do, so I was really forced into business ownership as I was never going to be a great employee.
How long did you own your clinics?
I opened my first clinic back in 1990, the year I graduated as a Physiotherapist, and over the next 20 years I opened 10, sold 6, closed a few and was locked out of 1 – a great journey.
What made you decide to be a sole owner and not have any partnership deals in your clinics?
Again, my strong desire for personal responsibility meant I never wanted to be reliant, accountable or dependent on anyone else. I see way too many health professionals starting partnerships but having no idea about what could, and often does go wrong in partnerships as time goes on.
For those looking to go into a partnership, always have the difficult discussions and get professional help before you decide to go ahead with the deal – especially related to what happens in the case of death, divorce, disability, and disagreement.
2) Why did you eventually sell your practices?
I believe every business is always, or should always be for sale. It just depends on the quality of the offer that you receive and your personal circumstances at the time the offer is made.
In my case, I had been a health business owner for nearly 20 years. I was looking for a new challenge and the offers were attractive enough for me to decide to sell them.
I was also already moving into the area of health business consulting and online program creation, so I wanted to be able to help more business owners develop great businesses that gave them incredible freedom, just like I was able to do with my clinics.
3) What is your biggest business accomplishment in the past year?
In the last 12 months we launched the new ‘One Minute Practice’ health business tracking and management portal – a huge investment of time and money.
I felt there was a dire need for a program that allowed health business owners to oversee the internal systems and processes of their business, even when they were not at the actual clinic, thus the birth of 'One Minute Practice.'
4) What is your biggest mistake and lessons learned in owning a clinic?
I made the fundamental mistake of opening new clinics before I had earned the right to do so. I needed to fine tune and perfect my systems BEFORE opening new locations.
5) What's something you've recently learned that you're really excited to implement?
I am currently moving more into video marketing and the use of video to grow health practices. We are moving in a visual age and all health business owners need to get more into video content creation and marketing to stay in front of their perfect clients.
Here's a recent example of how I am trying to personalize my business programs and events through video.
6) If you had to spend $500 marketing this month to get new patients, how would you spend it?
The biggest bang for your buck in marketing is to make a lead generation offer to a joint venture partners client database. So I would approach a local business who had a lot of my ideal clients and give them the $500 in return for them making a great offer to their database.
For example, approach a local fitness center (who has a lot of your ideal clients) and offer them $500 if they contact all their clients and say you are offering all their clients a free assessment/ report/ lecture etc – so you get the chance to begin a relationship with the joint venture partners database.
7) What strategy do you have for work life balance?
I have always had a great work life balance. Again, this was why I wanted to have my own business, so I could determine when and how I worked.
The key here for most health business owners is to never, ever, put a monetary value on your family time.
Never compare the money you may make treating clients for an afternoon, to spending that time watching your daughters school play. You can always make more money, but there are only a limited number of school plays.
8) What is your daily morning ritual that get's you energized to go to work?
I am in the gym at 6am and have a swim in the ocean with a group of old Aussie surf club guys at 7am each day. A great way to get moving, especially in the winter when the water gets a little cool – well, Aussie cool anyway.
9) What can clinic owners look forward to in your Canadian Freedom Seminars?
I wanted these events to be somewhat different.
We have all been to events where you get all fired up, take lots of notes and leave the session feeling great about your new knowledge and ideas. However, you then go back to your practice and get overwhelmed by the same old issues and immediately forget all you have learned. You go back to what you have always done.
Well, I GUARANTEE that WILL NOT happen after you attend the “Business Freedom Blueprint” event, simply because, at this event you actually set up and create the exact systems and protocols you will use immediately when returning to your health business to start removing yourself from it, piece by piece.
You actually spend 4 hours working ON your business, not IN your business, with each and every step fast tracked by your personal health business mentor being right over your shoulder.
I want to use these seminars to make real changes to the lives of health business owners, so they can spend more time with their families, and still give great outcomes to their clients and patients.