In this episode of the Profitable Practice Podcast, we are going to talk about the Contract Trap and how you can either get away with it right away or just don’t fall into it to begin with. Stay Tuned!
“YOU SHOULD BE AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR THAT RUNS YOUR OWN BUSINESS; YOU ARE NOT AN EMPLOYEE OF THE CLINIC.”
“NO ONE IS GOING TO HELP YOU ACHIEVE THE SUCCESS THAT YOU WANT AND GROW YOUR BUSINESS TO THE LEVEL THAT YOU WANT IT TO, EXCEPT YOU.”
Many Practitioners often deal with Contract Trap as they set foot into the business. We have to understand that we have major responsibilities as a contractor of a clinic. You should not run any other business than yours and take on full accountability of your billings, expenditures, and most especially your clients.
Keep in mind that you should run at your own pace and do not fully depend upon the clinic itself, remember that it is not there to promote your business but rather be only as a place of revenue. Do not fall into the Contract Trap!
Stay Tuned to learn more!
In This Episode:
[1:06] What is a Contract Trap? Understanding Contract Trap and your responsibilities as a Contractor.
[2:07] “No one is going to help you achieve the success that you want and grow your business to the level that you want it to, but you.”
[3:55] Smart recommendations: The business owner won’t run your business, and is not there to help you succeed; only you yourself will. So be an independent contractor and take unto the role.
[7:52] Take full responsibility of every single person that book with you and all of the potential clients that you have.
[10:32] Be smart with your Marketing Strategy, promote no other business than yours only.
[12:15] It is important to duplicate every Patient contact that you see.
[15:15] ‘Get out of Contract Trap immediately! Don’t Fall into it to begin with, remember that the buck starts and stops with you.’
After You’ve Listened To The Episode, I Would **LOVE** To Hear Your Thoughts!
One of the best parts of any episode I record is getting to discuss the topic with you! So let me know your thoughts wherever you get social on the net, IG, FB, or email me – wherever!
Thank you for listening and learning with me on the podcast this week. Your commitment to improving the business aspect of your practice matters... Not only to you, but to your future patients and practitioners who want to be working with you. You were meant to help and heal people, so let’s get to work.
On today’s episode, we are going to talk about the Contract Trap, and how you can either get away with it right away or just don’t fall into it, to begin with, Stay Tuned!
Hey Guys! It is your host Andrea Maxim with another fabulous episode of the Profitable Practice Podcast, and this is a conversation that I had live on our Facebook Page Maximized Business, and I thought I would just repurpose it here because it’s a very important one to have. And this is all about the Contract Trap, and what this is, is when you sign a contract with a clinic, so you aren’t a clinic owner and you know they tell you all these wonderful things and all of these things that you can expect and they really set you up to think that there is going to be this massive referral going on and everyone’s going to refer to you and your business is going to explode, then reality kicks in and that just doesn’t happen. And there are a few reasons why and it’s not to discourage you from signing this contract, it is for you to understand as an independent contractor, what your responsibilities are and it really just comes down to this; No one is going to help you achieve the success that you want and grow your business to the level that you want it to, but you. And you just happened to be renting space out of an existing building as opposed to owning your own, so you’re collecting a lot more money that way. But when it comes down to it, the business owner, as good as their intentions may be to get you to sign that contract, to begin with. It is actually not going to work the way that we want it to. Meaning, if that clinic owner is managing their own schedule, if they are still working to see their own patients, if they have their own business to run concurrently with yours, their time is just as limited as yours is. So you can’t expect the business owner who’s running their own practice to also want to build and grow yours at the exact same time, because they’re still working on their own.
Usually most clinic owners, they want to have that team that integrates, they want to have that business that grows and as soon as somebody joins, you know, everybody’s business explodes, everybody’s happy. But in reality that just doesn’t happen unless that clinic owner has a really solid team structure and place, where they themselves are very integrative and they are making sure that the people that they bring into the business are also going to execute on the same vision as they have for their clinic. Usually, the reason why people are renting out spaces is that they needed more revenue to come in or they have the space available and it’s like a great, lucrative opportunity for them, so you just have to tease all that out. So here’s what I strongly recommend; is keeping that in mind that the business owner is not there to promote your business, is not there to help you succeed as an independent contractor you want to really take on the role that you are just lucky to have your business set up in a place that has already foot traffic. But you are still running your own business independently, which means the bucks start and stop with you. And here’s the contract negotiation piece that kind of comes in to play. If in the contract you are paying for reception, like most often will have a percentage or a flat rate that you spend every month, then that gives you an opportunity to make reception work for you in a little bit of away. And why I say it that way is because the reception is also managing the desk for 4 or 5 or 6 other practitioners, again they’re going to tap out really quickly, because it takes a lot longer to check somebody out than we kind of remember that it does, if we’re not doing that on a day to day because there’s a lot of talking, there’s a lot of waiting, it’s usually like a five or ten or fifteen-minute process sometimes. So a lot of time gets eaten up just by the day to day, let alone, calling back your people, working up with reminders, following people that have been into the office in a while. So here’s how I approach my office that I am an independent contractor in, is I wrote a script. And I wrote a script for exactly what I wanted the reception to say if anybody inquires about Naturopathic Medicine, here’s what it’s all about, here’s how I fit in, this is what my focus is, here are the companies that I can direct bill with, that is a huge one because a lot of people come in just to get insurance or use their insurance to pay as supposed to pay out of pocket. And of course, that depends on which province or state you’re in. But, I said, “Okay, so these are the things that you are going to say.” I also invited every receptionist to have a free consultation with me, when they did that, then they got to live that experience so they can talk about it a little bit better with better understanding. So that, when people are asking they can be like “Yes in the first visit this is how Andrea’s going to do it, here’s what you’re going to get as homework, here are some of the lab tests that she does.” Because in the beginning they just don’t know and they won’t know until you tell them or show them. Now what we are implementing it at the end of every shift, I’m also having them write down the list of all the patients cancel and don’t rebook, or at the end of their visit with me, they say something like “Oh, I’ll call you when I have my phone with me.” Or “I just don’t have my calendar, can you call me back?” or “I just don’t know if I’m ready to make an appointment today.” I need them to keep track of all of those things as well. Because when we are talking about the pillars of the Maximized Practitioner Program Business Essentials, which is talking about the systems, the automation, plugging up those holes, making sure we don’t lose revenue which is what that is. If a patient walks away or a client walks away and they don’t have another booking, that’s revenue that’s lost. That’s easy money that you could be making. So we’re now creating a task system that is very easy for the reception to handle, just write those names down, I will put it to my own task system and I will get it taken care of.
So as much as we want to think that the business is going to take away all of this time for us. If you show up to your shift at any given moment and you don’t understand why it collapsed, or where your patients are, or why somebody hasn’t returned back, that’s on you. It doesn’t matter that you are an independent contractor in somebody else’s clinic; you still need to be taking full responsibility for every single person that books in with you. Every single potential patient that wants to book in with you and that’s where you want to start implementing some of the business essentials like, creating a task system, or creating a system that the reception can do very easily without bombarding them, and then what I often do is I will delegate it to my receptionist at the clinic I own or I’ll just do it myself in my own time. The point is we need to be plugging up those holes as quickly we can. So that’s a big aspect of where a lot of the money is going and then another piece that I do, is I do all of my own direct billing, a lot of practitioners won’t do direct billing for you because it is a huge hassle, especially if there are partial payments or they’re chasing after money. Most clinic owners, especially if they’re not the same industry as you don’t want anything to do with that because it is a hugely costly endeavor. That’s why a lot of practitioners still just don’t direct bills at all. So I do all the direct billing in my office at the end of every appointment and I keep track and send them a list of all the appointments that I direct billed for, and then they will send me an invoice, I write them a cheque or put it in my credit card and then they will pay me back all of the rent I’m owed. So it seems like a lot of extra work, it literally takes like 5 minutes for us to figure that out and then we’re good to go every single pay. So I’ve had a student who wasn’t tracking the direct billing and ended up finding out that the clinic wasn’t chasing after payment that wasn’t owed and was out like thousands of dollars at the end of the year because the clinic wasn’t taking it on. So anytime there’s money involved, that’s a patient loss, that’s revenue that you’re earning, direct billing, whatever it is as much as you can have control over that, I strongly encourage you to do that. Because if you’re losing money and you don’t know why or you’re not tracking things perfectly, then that’s again on you. The clinic doesn’t know unless you tell them. So we always have to be controlling as much of our business as we can, and just remember; all you’re doing it renting a room that business doesn’t have your growth in mind, while it’s great for them because they make more revenue, they often just don’t have the time, or the systems, or the structures in place to cultivate that growth.
So then the final piece that I want to talk about is marketing and this is where again they’re probably scrambling their time just to do their own Social Media let alone yours or in a lot of professions they just don’t use Social Media that much at all because they’re just innately busy. This is where you should be asking ‘Can I have an editor or admin access to your Facebook page, or Instagram account, and can I post on that page on your behalf?’ Usually, most clinic owners are super happy to not be doing any more work than they have to like that’s no big deal at all. The other thing that you want to be very careful about on your contract is, are they stating that you cannot create your own website or have your own branding, you can’t be posting on your own Social Media, it has to be clinic related with their logo, and this or that or the other. That’s a bit of a red flag because they’re trying to again get you, to do, to promote the building and you’re not an employee of their business. You are renting a space to run your own business out of theirs, but you are not there to necessarily build their business and not your own. Your business should be able to travel with you anywhere you go, if you’re to pick up and leave, you should be able to pick them and leave it if the doors shut down. You should be able to continue to run your business, and I think this is glaringly obvious during the shutdown as to how little control people had over their business which brings me to the final point, the most important point and yet I forgot to talk about it which is, duplicating every patient contact you see. So every patient that you see, you should be documenting their address, documenting their email, putting it into your own CRM Software so that you can nurture them if you need to, you can email them about promotions that you have, send your weekly emails out, and that is something that again you need to be taking own as of. If you’re starting from scratch, just ask if it’s possible for them to export a CSV File of all of their contacts on their software and then you can upload it into your own. If you’re not then just continue to do what you’re doing, but double-check that you’ve been collecting all of those Emails and then all of the addresses and contact information that literally was what saved us during COVID shutdown is by having all of our patient contacts in our own system and we use Infusion soft, we were able to email them, we invited them into Webinars, we did a huge flash sale and made four thousand dollars a week, we now have our online program, Maximized Health Method which we sold all through emails only and we made just over twenty-five hundred dollars on that for the week, so you know having that list and building that list is essential to you being the CEO of your business, the Master and controller of your business and you need to be making sure that you aren’t letting anybody else who doesn’t have your growth interest at heart, preventing you from being able to grow your business, pick up and leave whenever you need to. So look at how you are approaching your business as an independent contractor and look at all those pieces you do have control over, look at all the pieces that you don’t, and get control over that ASAP. And if you’re curious how we get our students to get that and what’s involved in our business essentials pillar, plus all of the pillars that we have on the Maximized Practitioner Program, a foundational experience which is giving you that clear cut messaging around attracting your ideal patients and then, of course, modernize marketing, where you are now marketing yourself in a way that nobody in the industry is doing to really stand out and have people hear you and book in with you of course. Please go to our website maximizedbusiness.ca and check out our program in the courses tab and that’s the Maximized Practitioner Program and of course, if you have questions, topics that you want to hear, if you want to be on the show then drop me a DM @AndreaMaximND.
Alright, Guys! So fall out or get out of the Contract Trap immediately, don’t fall into it, to begin with, remember that the bucks start and stop with you, you are an entity running your business out of somebody else’s building and not an employee so don’t be showing up as one. Good luck! And I will see you in the next episode, I’m Andrea Maxim and I’m out!