Don't Follow the Flock - Embracing your freedom to choose

Practice Momentum - Healthcare Marketing Solutions
Don't Follow the Flock - Embracing your freedom to choose


Have you become a sheep?!!

Let's talk about a little thing called freedom - the kind of freedom that can feel a bit elusive when you're running your practice. It's all too easy when it comes to developing your practice, to fall into the trap of feeling like a victim of circumstance, being directed like sheep being herded by sheepdogs and to take the path of least resistance and follow everyone else in your profession.

Fellow practitioners in private practice, industry trends, regulatory requirements, patients, team members, and financial pressures can all lead you off the course you want to be on, and before you know it you've become a sheep, in a flock of similar practices, following where the masses in your industry are going. 


Picture this:

You've poured your heart and soul into building your practice from the ground up. 

You're passionate about providing great care and creating brilliant patient outcomes, and you've dedicated countless hours to honing your clinical knowledge and skills.

You've spent years trying to emulate the successful practices in your profession/local area, yet, despite all your best efforts, it's not working for you 😔, you feel trapped in a cycle of overwhelm, frustration, and disillusionment.

Sound familiar ðŸĪ”?



Do you get the picture? ðŸ˜Ē

It’s a condition, that here at Practice Momentum we call Practice Paralysis.

Having done everything you thought was right, you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and stalled in your practice by the constant juggling act of managing patient care, professional development, business administration, marketing, and financial concerns, which can leave even the most dedicated and efficient practice owner feeling overwhelmed and disheartened. And if you add in external factors like dealing with health insurance companies, shifting Industry dynamics, economic fluctuations, the progress of technology, and unforeseen challenges (hello, global pandemic!), it's no wonder that many private practice owners feel their practice paralysis is something that is happening to them because of external factors beyond their control.

Sadly it's an all too common condition among healthcare practice owners ðŸ˜Ē.


But here's the ðŸ’Ą (hopefully)

While it's true that running a healthcare practice comes with its fair share of challenges, it's also true that you have far more control over your destiny than you might think.

You don't have to be a victim of circumstance or follow the flock!!

Being the owner means you have the power to shape your healthcare practice into exactly what you want it to be - a source of professional fulfillment, financial reward, and personal happiness if you can rise above the noise of your industry and take ownership of your situation.


So, how do you break free from the fence,
stop following the flock,
and take control of your practice's future? 

The answer lies in embracing your freedom to choose.




Where to start?

Every decision you make as a practice owner is an opportunity to assert yourself and rise above your circumstances and industry norms (the flock), to create your dream practice.

In this blog post, I want to explore the 7 main ways you can exercise your freedom to choose and build a practice that is uniquely yours; clinically, financially, and personally.

So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a journey of empowerment and control. 

Just remember, the joy is - You get to choose 🎉 🎉!!

OK let's go!


1.      Choosing your own business model

This is an area of private practice that few owners get strategic about, tending to follow the model they see in their profession, but this is the first step in your "freedom to choose" journey.

So, let's start by exploring the different business models available.


a. A virtual model

Virtual online consultations, recovery support, and patient monitoring provide convenience and accessibility to many more patients and free up clinical space in your practice. However, establishing rapport and delivering hands-on care may present challenges. I know many physical therapy based practices may feel hugely constrained by this model BUT please don't be. Take the time to check out Karren Finnin an Australian physiotherapist who has been running a 100% virtual practice since 2013 💊🏞.



b. A Face-to-face model

This is the traditional healthcare model you know, and I admit there is a real allure to face-to-face interactions, the warmth of a handshake, the reassurance of a smile. Traditional brick-and-mortar practices do enable personalised attention and deeper relationships with patients. Yet, the overhead costs and geographic constraints may pose logistical challenges for some practices.


c. A membership model

Unlocking the potential of recurring revenue streams can make a membership model quite alluring. By offering subscription services patients can access benefits like discounted consultations and priority appointments. However, balancing the value for patients with sustainable pricing can be challenging. If you want to learn more please read my blog post – Patient membership programmes – are you and they missing out?



d. A hybrid model

Why choose one when you can have the best of all worlds 😁?
Blending in-person appointments with telemedicine follow-ups, or combining a membership with face-to-face options, gives you the flexibility to serve a range of patients in a variety of ways. But remember there is no one-size-fits-all solution, which is why it's crazy to blindly follow the practice down the road.

The joy is you get to choose.


2.      Choosing the patients you treat


Just as you can choose the business model you want to develop, you can also choose which patients you see in your practice, both in terms of pathologies they present with and the kind of people they are.

We’ve all had those days where we look at the schedule for the day and our heart sinks at the sight of a few names on the list ðŸŦĢ. They might be total mood hoovers, gossipers you can’t get out the door, moaning minnies with nothing positive to say, or people who grumble about the prices you charge.



➡ïļ ðŸ“Ģ You don’t have to see any of these people in your practice 🎉 🎊


Say farewell to feeling obligated to accept every patient who crosses your threshold. You own the practice, you call the shots, giving you the power to handpick your patient base. Whether your heart sings at the prospect of working with children, seniors, athletes, or individuals with specific medical conditions, curating your patient list is key to intentionally creating personal fulfillment and business success.

Building your marketing around certain kinds of patients will attract more of them into your practice, and saying no to taking on new patients who don’t fit the bill, will reduce the numbers of that kind of patients. Over time the balance will tip firmly towards your dream patients ðŸĨ°.

The joy is you get to choose.


3.    Choosing the services you provide

We all qualify into our chosen profession having been taught a huge range of treatment skills. What trips people up and creates unhappiness in private practice is the notion that to run a successful X (insert your profession) practice you must deliver all of the services you were taught during training.

This is absolutely not true!

A successful practice can be one that focusses on a specific, much smaller set of clinical services, gets good at delivering those services, builds a reputation, charges a profitable price for them, and where the practitioners are professionally, personally, and financially rewarded for providing that streamlined set of services.

Having a clinical niche sets your practice apart from the rest, makes your marketing easier and more cost effective, and generates a great reputation locally.

So, if you’re still delivering every service you were taught during training, plus more, PLEASE STOP!



Instead, choose to become really good at a smaller number of services. Review your clinical expertise and interests to create a menu of services that resonates with your vision for you as a practitioner and your practice. This might mean upskilling in certain areas or letting certain services (and patients) go, but that’s OK.

Services that will fulfill you professionally, get great clinical results for your patients, and build a great reputation are going to serve you better than being mediocre and offering many services that you don’t enjoy delivering and don't get great results for your patients.


The joy is you get to choose.


4.      Choosing your own pricing


Your pricing strategy is more than just a numerical figure it's a reflection of the value you place on your time, expertise, and the quality of care you provide. Yet I see way too many healthcare practices following the flock and setting their prices by committee. Asking in online forums what other practitioners charge for X Y or Z service, or looking at their local competitors and following suit, or worse still discounting a bit to get more business ðŸ˜Ŧ.

In both methods, you are following the flock and copying other practitioners, many of whom are making it up and struggling just like you. You are definitely not owning your pricing structure.

As the owner of your practice, you have the freedom to choose how you structure your pricing so it makes practical, financial, and personal sense to you.

Whether you opt for a value based model focused on the needs of your patients, choose a subscription based services to generate recurring revenue, or opt for a more traditional fee-for-service approach, there is a model that will work for you.

The joy is you get to choose.



5.      Choosing your dream team

I’ve lost count of the practitioners I've spoken to who are struggling with team members. People whose presence is holding the practice back. They resist change, refuse to increase prices ðŸ˜ģ, are not on board with the long term vision, are not a good cultural fit, or are controlling or toxic in some way.

If that’s your practice, please know that you are far from alone AND the great news is you do not have to work with any of those people 😁. You get to choose who makes up your team and who doesn’t.

Cut yourself some slack - A note about bad hires

We all make mistakes from time to time when it comes to hiring people who turn out not to be the asset to the business we thought they would be (guilty â˜đïļ). BUT nothing is set in stone and all bad recruiting can be turned around or undone.

Now it might :

  • Be difficult
  • Require a few uncomfortable conversations
  • Feel expensive
  • Take time
  • Create discomfort in the practice for a while
  • Require expert help
  • Call for more training


But it can always be resolved, so please don’t use a bad hire as an excuse not to push forward with your plans for your dream practice.

My top new team member tips are:

  • Always put new recruits on a trial period, then you and they have an easier out
  • Have all key processes documented for new recruits to learn and follow
  • Hold regular full team meetings to discuss all aspects of the business
  • Conduct 6 monthly individual reviews, with any negative issues being addressed, with action points and training needs identified, as standard procedure
  • Have frank but constructive conversations as soon as issues arise
  • Take action NOW - stop putting off addressing the issues they are not going away


If you are looking for expert HR help, I highly recommend Beth Evans from Barrow & Parker HR.


A strong team is a necessity
if you want to build a successful thriving practice
It's worth the effort!!

Building respect and strong relationships with individuals who share your vision and values, will ultimately help you transform your practice into a great business with a nurturing progressive culture.

From the welcoming smile of your receptionists to the compassionate care of the practitioners, each team member plays a huge role in shaping the patient experience and ultimately the success of the business. Take the time to select individuals who excel in their role but also reflect your practice culture AND who you will enjoy being around.

The joy is you get to choose.


6.      Choosing how it looks


I have spent most of my married life living in bland and dated rented houses not of my choosing, with magnolia walls, old fashioned bathrooms, and wonky kitchens because this is the housing provided by the UK Ministry of Defense, at reduced market rent, to make moving so often a bit more palatable (15 moves in 23 years and counting ðŸ˜ģ).

 Yet in these unpromising spaces, we create a warm and welcoming, relaxed home, by adding in our own personality, and history, with things like pictures, rugs, curtains, photos, nice lighting, antique furniture, and ornaments from our travels.

Most practice environments start as similarly uninspiring blank canvases, yet I see so many where very little attention has been given to the aesthetics of the space.  Many look bland, cold, corporate, faceless, unimaginative, and clinical (yes I know it’s a healthcare clinic but . . .)

Just like my houses, your practice is a blank canvas where you can create a space you and your patients love to be. A space with personality, warmth, comfort, luxury, homeliness, or personal elements, anything you want.

ðŸŠī Plants, I always think plants are a great start ðŸŠī 😁

Whether you envision a sleek and modern practice or a cozy and inviting haven, the design of your practice sets the stage for the patient experience and importantly your working life. Please don't use clinical hygiene standards as an excuse to shy away from creating a unique space by adding unusual decor, soothing scents, gentle music, bold art, bright colours, smart storage (please put as much away as possible), and elements that reflect your personality or interests.


You can easily create a space that works clinically but is also a unique place where you, your team, and your patients love to be.


If you’d like some inspiration, I have a Pinterest board where I collect images of inspiring practice interiors, you can see it here – Dream Clinics.

Not all interior ideas work for every profession, but you can create something that's much more welcoming, personal, and relaxing than a bland, numb, clinical, formal, magnolia box.


The joy is you get to choose.


7.      Embracing technology (or not)

From the outset, I want to acknowledge that high-tech clinical equipment is neither essential nor suits every practitioner or practice, BUT there is a strong argument to be made for a tech-based business management approach, saving you time, money, and energy to boot, but ultimately you get to choose how much you embrace it.

I appreciate that clinically some practitioners want to stay hands on with patients and don’t want to fill their practice with technology in the form of clinical assessment, diagnosis, or treatment equipment. Some professions like speech and language therapy simply don't have as much tech available clinically as other professions.

BUT the transformative power of technology should not be overlooked in terms of helping you create an efficient, high performing practice. From streamlined electronic health records to immersive telemedicine platforms, tech tools to support your marketing or improved automated communication can all enhance operational efficiency and elevate the patient experience.


By now you know what I’m going to say, but it's absolutely true . . .


The joy is you get to choose âĪïļ.




Wrapping it all up – Taking control

As the owner and chief architect of your small healthcare practice, you hold the key to creating a business that serves you as much as your patients. Getting intentional about every decision you make, from pricing strategies to team composition, moves you away from being influenced by others. It's easy to feel trapped by the complexities of running a practice, and all the external influences, but embracing the freedom to choose, rather than following the flock, is a big part of the secret of practice success.


Work to break free from the chains of circumstance and the flock. Your practice is not a victim of its environment; it’s mainly a reflection of your aspirations, values, dreams, actions, and CHOICES.


From selecting the ideal business model to creating a winning culture, recruiting the right people, and delivering a brilliant service, each choice moves you towards or away from your dream practice.


The joy is you get to choose  ðŸĨ° 
Choose professional fulfillment, a rewarding life, and personal happiness



What are you going to do differently as a result of being here?
I'd love to know - so please leave me a note in the comment section at the bottom of this page.

Thanks for your time today and I hope you found this post inspiring.

Until next time . . . . stay curious.


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