5 Basic Business Skills Every Osteopath Must Master

No matter your version of success, you should know these skills inside-out. Here are 5 basics every osteopath should be exceptional at.

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About Alan Zaia M.Ost

Ethical osteopathy business and marketing advice delivered in a British accent. You’ll find me coaching, travelling in a van or inside our courses helping osteopaths create their perfect career and work-life balance.

5 Basic Business Skills Every Osteopath Must Master

Being successful in business

Success means different things to different people.

You could aspire to have multiple clinics with a big multi-disciplinary team or you could be aiming to be an associate in 2 clinics because that supplements your lifestyle.

No matter your version of success, there’s one common theme that will help you achieve your version of success faster.

Be consistent and be exceptional at the basics.

It’s not flashy or exciting but if you do the basics to a high standard, you’ll get to where you want to be faster.

Here are 5 basics every osteopath should be exceptional at.

1. Building your lists

There are 2 lists you need to build so you’re able to treat more patients and hire the right staff.

Patient list:

For all osteopaths, we all understand that we must build a patient list where you need software or a system and store patient details so you can access and contact them at any point.

Recruitment list:

The second list is a where you’re looking for potential staff to grow your practice when the time is right. Here you’ll use a spreadsheet to store details of potential staff and refer back to when you’ll looking for a new role to fill.

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2. Putting your lists to work

Now you have your lists, you must utilise it. So, what do you do with them?

Avoid digital dust.

Patient list:

  • Working on your patient list requires being in contact with them on a regular, consistent basis because you want your patients to be expecting it, which goes beyond appointment reminders.
    • For example, it’s key to avoid random bursts of contact like sending out a monthly newsletter for a few months in a row then ghosting. Consistency is key.

The two primary avenues:

  • Email
    • Newsletter redirecting to longer blog or video
  • Text messages
    • Typically CliniqApps since it’s automated

So, if you’re going to start working your patient list, if you can automate it, great. If not, consider how consistent you can be with it, then stick to it. Block time out in your working calendar to do it.

Recruitment list:

Luckily, your recruitment list requires less frequent attention. No matter how big or small your current workplace, even if you’re an associate, you’ll need a recruitment database so that when you are in a place where you need to hire staff, you have a magic list of contacts.

Next time you attend a:

  • CPD course
  • Conference
  • BNI group meeting
  • Or speak to university students…

You need to remember your recruitment list so you can store details of potential staff like new grads.

3. Connecting with local businesses

Networking with other local small to medium-sized businesses is essential if you’re going to grow your reputation as a trust-worthy osteopath. Even if you’re networking while representing your business (so to build trust with all practitioners at the practice), creating connections with business owners who are likely experiencing the same struggles and problems as you is a fantastic way to grow your business. Extend that olive branch!

4. Knowing your clinic figures

Having spoken to hundreds of osteopathy clinic owners, one of the most common themes in those who run fantastic practices is to know your numbers. It may sound confronting to face how much money comes in and out of the practice, patient visitation averages, utilisation rates, rebooking rates, marketing efforts etc. However, I promise you that you will feel in more control of your practice and less stressed as your numbers highlight what you’re doing well, where to improve and what to cut ties with.

Be strict with yourself by booking in a day every month where you review your practice figures then make a plan of action for the next 30 days. Also, don’t forget to utilise your, practice manager, accountant or bookkeeper if you have one.

5. Communication, communication, communication

Finally, no matter where you are in your career, you can always improve your communication skills. Whether that’s to your patient, co-workers, boss, associates, staff, there will never be a time when you’ll say, nah, I’ve mastered communication.

Here’s some listening and reading material:

  • For osteo-specific communication, subscribe to Dr Oliver Thomson’s Words Matter Podcast.
  • Increase your persuasiveness using emotional intelligence and intuition with Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss with Tahl Raz.
  • Learn techniques and tools that can transform your conversations and relationships with How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
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