How to create good systems for your practice in 5 steps

Daniel Gibbs, ClinicMastery ·

Daniel Gibbs of Clinic Mastery

A system is a set of procedures that guide how something is done. The beauty of a system is that it’s the same, regardless of who is doing it. Whatever process you decide to systemise in your business, document it so that anyone could do it. If you follow the five steps below, you will be on your way to organising your business, be less exposed to problems if there are staff changes, and free up your time to grow your clinic!

After working with hundreds of private practice clinic owners, and as part of the Business Academy, we’ve discovered how you can successfully implement systems in your clinic so that you can automate and delegate low level tasks, allowing you to focus on how you Grow Your Clinic.

Grow your practice with the help of systems

You can’t do it all. Putting the structure in place for your business to run successfully in your absence is key to growing your clinic.

I remember going from six days consulting as a podiatrist to none in twelve months. I got criticised, it took a lot of focus, but it was incredibly rewarding. In fact, my plan started as a five year plan until a mentor challenged me to do it in six months. My mentor also challenged me to replace my income, and also increase the bottom line in my business by 20% over the same time period.

That bit seemed unbelievable, but I have the results to prove it is possible.

I realised that I needed to invest more of myself into my team, create a “wow” experience for my clients, be more focused on working on my business, and be more present with my family.

I couldn’t do it all, and the answer for me was to take this journey of systemising the business – putting the structure in place for it to run successfully without me.

Daniel Gibbs with his 2015 Telstra Business Award

How to write a quality system

1Write down your outcome

You should always start with the end in mind, what are you hoping to achieve, and why.

2Make a list of the resources you’ll need

Consider what is needed to make it happen. What tools or resources need to be made available to be able to successfully complete the procedure?

3Be clear on who is involved

Identify the person or people who are responsible for using this system

4Write down the steps

Write down simple steps to outline the procedure. Write down when to use the system, and include checklists or flowcharts to make it easy.

5Create a way to track the process

The final step is to create tracking for your new system. You need a way to monitor the results, with simple visual cues to know whether or not there is a problem with the system at one glance.

An example system using the five steps

One thing that a lot of clinic owners find themselves doing is paying the bills, and it’s not an easy task to hand over, but as a business owner is that you need to be working in a high earning capacity. That means, time taken to pay the bills is not as valuable to your success as time taken to form relationships with potential referrers.

So, create a system around it, you’ll have a situation where you’ll never have to pay a bill in your business again, because someone else is doing it for you.

Here’s my example system for paying bills at your clinic

1The outcome

All bills to be paid on time – not too early, and not late.

2The resources

  • An accessible bank account (If you’re worried about letting someone access the main account you can ask your bank to set up a “bills” account, and keep a nominal amount of money in it for bills).
  • You’ll also need 2 in-trays to keep all the bills that are outstanding, and the bills that are paid.
  • Access to your accounting software to enter the bills and record when paid

3Who is involved?

Nominate one person who’ll do this task regularly. It could be one of your team members, bookkeeper, or virtual assistant.

4The steps

There are a few ways to write down your steps. Here are some ways we like to do it:

  • Writing your steps on a Google Doc including pictures of your computer screen as you do each process
  • Flowchart the process (You might like to use LucidChart to do this)
  • Take a screencast video of you paying the bills on your computer (you could use Snagit or Jing to do this)
  • Or do all three and enter one or all of them on a page called “Paying Bills” under the “Procedures” tab in your website

Bonus tip:

Remember to test the procedure by having a team member follow your instructions to see whether there are any problems with the instructions.

  • You might like to monitor which bills are being paid by adding a step to make sure you’ve signed the bills before they actually get paid
  • You can monitor if bills are being paid by checking the in-tray system, your accounting software, or the bank account

Whatever process you decide to systemise in your business, write the system so anyone could do it.

If you follow those five steps, you will be on your way to organising your business around systems, and less exposed to problems if people come and go.

For more insight into systems, read why you should consider implementing good systems in your business.

Author information

Daniel is a 2x finalist, and winner, of the Telstra Business Award as the owner of Posture Podiatry. His specialty is systems - the kind that build, grow, and sustain thriving clinics. Daniel also works with businesses, and clinics, globally through the Clinic Mastery Business Academy. His favourite moments in life are with his young family, and he believes effective treatment starts even before a client walks through the door.

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