I love spending time with health professionals and visiting clinics – it helps keep me grounded and aware of the struggles that health business owners face each and every day.
My current Physiotherapist is no different.
She is a great practitioner – highly skilled – and has excellent people skills.
She operates her clinic as sole trader – has no admin support – but is able to run her business around her family commitments – with very low overheads.
This practitioner is typical of a lot of health professionals in small single operator clinics.
As I understand it she has no immediate plans of expanding, does not want to employ other therapists, is happy doing her own bookings and admin – and enjoys being in charge of her own destiny.
Good for her I say.
She has decided exactly what she wants the business to provide for her and has structured it on her terms.
The lesson for you all as health business owners is that there is more than one way to run a health business.
For me – the sole trader model just did not suit.
I wanted freedom of time and freedom of money – and to do that I knew I needed to employ therapists and admin team members – to do the physical work of the business.
But as many of you know – this larger business model also brings a lot of potential headaches including staffing issues, meeting payroll, increased expenses – and more stress.
I speak to a lot of owners with larger clinics and teams – and many of them say they often wish they could just go back to the model they started with – ie being a sole trader with no admin in a low rent office.
So what is the lesson for you as a small business owner.
Firstly – make sure the model you choose to develop is the best one for you and your quality of life.
There is no value building a larger multi therapist clinic if you end up spending huge amounts of time away from your family and friends.
Secondly – be aware of the limitations you may be placing on yourself as a sole trader – especially issues such as being unable to take a holiday without losing lots of income, or the fact that as a sole trader you are not really building a business of value to a potential future buyer.
Thirdly – make sure you have evaluated all options before you decide to expand your sole trader operation and make it a larger enterprise.
And why don’t I wan’t my sole trading Physio to know what I do?
Simply because – if she followed my advice – she would instantly increase her fees as she is currently too cheap.
I just hope she does not read my emails – ha ha.
I hope this helps you in your health business.
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