Productivity

Spring Clean Your Clinic

VIRTUAL RECEPTION, PRACTICE, CLINIC

Spring is here, and it’s both my favourite and hardest season to get through. Why? Well I adore the weather, but I have allergies to pollen so… you get the idea.

The colder months can be hard for clinics to navigate. Often clientele goes into hibernation, appointment numbers are down and morale can dip. But with the warmth comes new promise and an opportunity to dust away any cobwebs and get the clinic ready for the warm weather and swarm of clients.

Whilst everyone is getting back into the swing of singlets and integrating back into society, there are a couple of things you can focus on to be ready for when those clients walk through your door again.

Set some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your Clinic

Yuck! how corporate does that sound? I admit, it’s not the most joyful thing to work on, but setting up some targets and expectations for how your Clinic should be performing can give you and your team (if you have one) something to actually work towards.

  • Do you want to see 25 new clients a month?
  • Do you want to increase your revenue by 10% month on month?
  • Do you want to reduce the Did Not Arrives (DNAs) and Cancellation rates?

Put some numbers on paper, on a vision board or in a suave program like Cliniq Apps and start tracking it! Use the trends to focus your marketing efforts.

Take Stock of the Admin you’re wasting your time on

Just like stocktake for products, you should also take time to do a stocktake on your efforts. If you’re spending 30 minutes a day raising invoices, and that makes you unhappy, make a note to outsource it to someone.

If you’re constantly returning phone calls because you can’t answer them during client sessions and that drives you bananas because most times, you find out you’ve lost money, then outsource it.

Yes, you could think of it as a cost, but let’s think about the future, and growth and what you can do today to invest in your own happiness and the smooth operation of your clinic.

Review your subscriptions – cancel most of them

A $5 per month subscription here and a $9.99 subscription to that other program can eat away at your profits. I liken these subscriptions to the lucrative deals gyms make. You go in there with the best intentions of making improvements and changes, but you end up living life and soon its 2 years later and you’re scratching your head wondering what is this subscription to ClinicABCs that keeps taking $12.99 from your account every month.

Make your life easier

For the clinics out there still managing their business on paper, I both shake my head and applaud you. You’ve got grit to stick in there and do the work (applauds), but you’re missing out on so many opportunities to make your life easier and spend more time doing what you want to do.

Systems don’t take away your freedom, they help to keep you and your clinic on track. Yes, systems sound scary and they certainly don’t sound like fun BUT getting paid, reducing time on managing your diary and getting beautiful reports that show you how much money you are making IS fun, so take the time to look at your options.

If you’re already using a Practice Management system review the setup.

  • Are your templates still current?
  • Is your team accurately reflecting the times they are available?
  • Is your invoicing up to date?

Don’t make spring cleaning just about the boring stuff like sweeping cobwebs, get creative, get brave and get ready for that client stream.

               

3 Admin Tips to transform your working week

Admin is one of those things that, as business owners, we’ve come to accept is an unavoidable part of our business journey. Many clients and fellow business owners often say they are setting aside the day to do admin, or they need a Virtual Assistant to keep on top of things. Whilst a Virtual Assistant is a great option, you can certainly make yourself more productive and save yourself hours each week with these three simple admin tips.

1. Simply, get structured.

Hands up if your electronic filing system is either your Computer Desktop or local computer drive? Keep your hands up if you spend more than 30 seconds locating files. If your hand is still up, you are wasting time, not just finding your files, but your computer will most likely be SLLLOOWWW because the computer needs to use operating memory for no reason other than to maintain a messy desktop.

admin tips, time saving, organisation, virtual assistant
Messy Desktops are time wasters. Image Credit: About.com

Messy Desktops are time wasters. Image Credit: About.com

The great thing is, setting up a filing structure doesn’t have to be (and it shouldn’t be) complicated. It just has to reflect your business, and be intuitive enough for you (and your staff) to quickly and efficiently locate files. If you still don’t think having an efficient electronic filing structure is important, consider this. Every file that you cannot locate instantly, creates an unnecessary workload. If you have to spend more than 30 seconds looking for a file, being interrupted by a colleague to check if the file is saved on your personal drive, you’ve wasted everyone’s time. An example of a simple, yet effective filing structure is below. I use DropBox (Google Drive is also a great option) to store my files, as I can invite others in to folders to find and save files.

An effective, simple filing structure is an easy way to save time.

An effective, simple filing structure is an easy way to save time.

My tips for creating an efficient filing system are:

  1. Don’t Over-complicate.
    • Have a few broad, but descriptive folders that cover the main aspects of your business. Being overly specific can cause confusion, and isn’t necessary in most cases.
  2. Keep Sub-Folders to a minimum. 
    • Sub-folders may seem like a great idea, and have you feeling super organised, but it can be like navigating through a stranger’s mind. You’ll spend far too much time going in and out of folders to find the correct files. I recommend 2-3 levels of sub-folders at most.
  3. Sequence your folders.
    • Create a sequence to display your most important (or frequently visited) folders first, rather than having the folders listed alphabetically. Simply name the folder 01 Folder Name, 02 Folder Name, and the second level, 01.1 Sub-Folder Name, 02.1 Sub-Folder Name and so on.

2)      Make your Inbox Sing!

Many of my clients and previous colleagues report feelings not dissimilar to anxiety, stress and overwhelm when faced with their Inbox. It is estimated that 212.1 billion emails are sent and received each day. Without an effective Inbox strategy, it is really no wonder people tend to avoid their Inbox. A complete Inbox Detox is a great place to start.  Consolidate your email accounts, organise your Inbox and introduce automation to make your Inbox work harder – not you.

Read about the Inbox Detox over here. http://www.pro-assist.com.au/blog/inboxdetox

3)      Standardise for Success

If you seem to always be creating documents and emails from scratch for the same type of purpose (Client Reports, Proposals, Letters), then you will benefit from creating templates.

You can customise these each time you use them, but get the body of the template correct and you’ll save so much time. CRM systems such as HubSpot integrate with many mail clients so you can effortlessly add templated responses to your emails.

The 3 admin tips are quick and simple to implement, but will drastically reduce time spent on admin, leaving time for the more exciting aspects of your business.

 

 

 

5 Tips To Save Time And Be More Productive

Time is a precious commodity; we all wish it would slow down or hurry up and we wish we had more of it. You may be surprised to know that nothing drastic has to change in your life to give you more time in your day. Just 5 simple tips will have an untold influence on how much time you get back in your day.

Following these 5 simple tips in my business saved me on average 4 hours per week AND I'm working less and being more productive because of these tips. 

1. Embrace Technology

There have been some mind boggling advances in technology, even in the last year. In my business, I do a lot of file sharing and collaboration with clients. At first, collaboration between my clients and I was done via email - back and forwards we would go, and it started to get confusing and time consuming. So, I embraced 2 technologies in this case: Asana and Google Docs. At commencement of a project/ task, I open Asana, create a new project, give my client access and set up step by step the tasks to be done, assign as necessary and add deadlines. Questions and comments are also made through Asana. Then comes Google Docs. I give my client access, and they can pop in whenever they like and see how things are going. Before embracing these technologies, I wasted on average 2.5 hours week collating and sending progress reports and answering queries. Now, that time is next to nil. Yep! I save on average 2.5 hours a week, just by embracing 2 technologies!

2. Automate Processes

This one is somewhat tied to the first tip, but we can take it a little further, and even make it more basic. For example, I tend to get the same questions asked over and over "What are your services?", "How much do you charge?", "What's your availability?" I took some time to collate these Frequently Asked Questions, and put the answers on my website, and I direct them to my website. For my availability, I signed up to a free Online Booking System, so I send the link to my calendar for people to see my availability for themselves. These are BASIC automation processes, but they have saved me untold amounts of time. Imagine how much time you can save if you automate your largest, most time consuming process.

3. Schedule your time

This one is important, as it not only saves you time, but keeps you productive, not just busy, because Busyness is the enemy of Productivity. Create themes for each day. For me, Mondays are Dreaming Days - I think about where my business is going, then document what I need to do to get there. Wednesday is Blogging Day and so on. Flitting between tasks not only wastes time, but it creates a false feeling of productivity. 

Busyness is the Enemy of Productivity - Tweet that!

4. Stop the distractions

The most common distractions are email and social media notifications. Lifehacker reports that after a distraction, no matter how small, it takes on average 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on task. If you receive 10 notifications in a day, how much time are you losing in Productivity? Inbox Pause is an amazing tool to manage email. Gmail users, can download it, here. It works by pausing emails from entering your Inbox; when you are ready, un-pause and TADA! They transfer to your inbox. You can even set it so the new emails enter your inbox on a schedule rather than one overwhelming wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am moment. So, stop the common distractions and enjoy more productivity time.  

5. Optimise Meetings

People view meetings differently. Some view them as the best way to be productive, and others sit there for the hour wondering why they are there. If you've been invited to a meeting, ask for an Agenda. If you are hosting a meeting, see if you can squeeze it into 30 minutes - you'll be surprised that most times you can. 3 x 1 hour meetings a week optimised into 3 x 30 minute meetings? Time Saving of 1.5hours.