Karen Finnin is a self-proclaimed accidental entrepreneur, but also a pioneer of the online healthcare movement. We talked to Karen to find out how she went from rural physiotherapist to telehealth pioneer.
If you’ve ever been frustrated that no one ever does the tasks around the clinic as good as you, so you tend to ‘just do it yourself’, then it’s time to let go of your ego, because you’ll never create the business you truly want. To overcome this issue, you need to implement systems into your practice. A system is a set of procedures that guide how something is done. The beauty of a system is that the system is the same regardless of who is doing it.
A really common question that clinic owners ask is, ‘how do I successfully implement systems in my business so that my team actually use them in a way that gets the desired result every single time?’ When you implement systems into your clinic, your job is to keep it simple so that everyone on the team can consistently achieve the same results as you. You’ll have more confidence to hand over responsibility to your team when systems are easy to find and follow. You can then focus on growing your clinic.
Why you don’t use systems
I’m sure you’d agree that systemising your business is simple, but it’s not easy… It takes real work! What typically holds you back is that:
- Implementing systems takes too long
- You don’t know where to start
- You’re not sure what to put in the system
When it comes to consistently getting great results in your business, there’s no doubt about the importance of systems and structure. Great clinic owners are very deliberate about the process of designing their future; they don’t leave it up to chance and they certainly don’t just hope that it will evolve naturally. The problem is that as a clinic owner, there is only so much you can do. Your passion is not enough, and there are real barriers to your time, energy, and resources.
If everything that happens in the business needs to go through you, you are the bottleneck, and you are slowing progress.
Systems don’t work for us…is B.S.
A quality system is a procedure, designed to achieve an outcome that is consistent, measurable, and ultimately benefits your clients. The key to making your systems work seamlessly is that they are easily accessible, relevant, and there is a trigger that tells your team members when it’s time to use the system.
94% of all failure is a result of the system, not people.— E. Deming
We rely on our systems, and have a culture in our clinic where we blame the system, not the person.
The key to making your systems work seamlessly is that they are easily accessible, relevant, and there is a trigger. Whenever there’s a problem, we look to the solution in the form of implementing a new system to make sure it will never be a problem again.
Quality systems will allow you to build quality into your delivery. They are the essential building blocks of your company, whether you realise it or not.
The outcome of a good system is consistency, predictability and reliability. There’s safety in systems.
You can trust that systems will work. They will remove waste and inefficiency out of your business and help you give customers what they want every single time.
Even if your business is full of great people, you are still limited by their individual capabilities - that’s why you need great systems.
But, as business owners, most of us are flying by the seat of our pants – because most of us don’t have the tools to be able to make the right decisions. It’s easier than you may think.
The best place to start is to document every process in your clinic and put them all in a place where everyone can access them.
You have a place to put the systems (Google Sites Template or Google Drive), so now I’d like to show you how to write the systems, and use them effectively.
What systems should you create first?
You could pick any process in your clinic and choose to systemise it:
- Taking a message
- Sending a letter
- Doing a special offer
- Sending an appointment reminder
- Backing up the computer
- Paying the bills
- Taking a phone call
If you’re struggling to know where to start, think of the top five things in your clinic that frustrate you, and write a system around them.
Your systems always need to point towards a specific outcome or objective. That’s why when we write a system in our business, we start with the end in mind.
To get started on your own systems, read how to create good systems in five steps.
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