Nurse prescriber Natali Kelly outlines her five
steps to better utilise clinic time
When running a busy clinic, we are often juggling all aspects of the business, from bookings, consultations, treatments, aftercare, sales, admin, accounts, brand awareness, PR and marketing. All of these tasks can be time consuming, and it’s often hard to manage your time effectively. This was the case for me when I started my business 10 years ago. This article will discuss the solutions and tips I have developed in order to manage my time effectively and increase my revenue.
1. Planning ahead
Diary management is paramount to running a successful clinic. We use the Pabau CRM system to manage the daily bookings and I’ve hired a clinic coordinator to oversee the effective handling of all of the practitioners’ diaries. We have no online booking system, preferring the personalised service of booking over the phone or email, which the clinic coordinator handles. While this may take a little longer, I believe it’s essential to building strong relationships with patients because it’s much more personable, which keeps them returning to clinic and ultimately enhancing your revenue.
For me, to be as productive as possible, I prefer to use Mondays as my admin day: ensuring stock is up-to-date (which I accomplish with my clinic coordinator), setting weekly goals, developing my brand and planning social media. I am quite hands-on with the social media as I feel it’s more authentic if it’s conceived by me personally, but the clinic coordinator also assists.
I have tried several applications to make the scheduling easier: Later.com and Hootsuite both had their benefits, but I prefer an app called Planoly which allows you to schedule posts for the week and review engagement, meaning that we can get it all done at once and keep on top of maintaining a very visible presence across my social platforms. Furthermore, I try to have any meetings and in-house training sessions (on clinic systems and treatment protocols) on Mondays, so as not to interrupt my clinic days and my focus on patients. We have put in place many different changes to conform to COVID-19 protocols and, whilst we inherently are able to get fewer patients through the door, the positive is that it has allowed me to coordinate strict appointment times, which has given me the chance to perform very detailed consultations, as well as allowing me to upsell and to ensure patient satisfaction. I imagine many others are doing similar but, if you’re not, I would highly recommend it.
2. Enhancing personal development
Do not underestimate the importance of investing in your own expertise. I allow time each week to enhance my skills, whether this is CPD, online studying, reading, training courses or teaching, as well as attending educational talks. Not only is this a great opportunity to learn but also to network and increase your support system. These talks have included business management education which has taught me about focal points and priorities, as well as many more specific elements of running your own business.
From a networking point of view, these have really helped me to build links with practitioner with whom I can cross-refer and perform activities such as Instagram Lives, which help to build my brand and patient base. From a time-management perspective, these elements really help as they facilitate the brand to grow organically whilst I focus on my craft.
3. Recruiting a team
Employing and training a team can be challenging, in particular trusting others to deliver the same standard of care that I do. For this reason, I have been an independent practitioner for a long time.
Nevertheless, I now realise the limitations of this and am expanding my team and moving my clinic to a three-story townhouse with three treatment rooms and a wellness lounge. I will collaborate with a small team in-house and work with established visiting practitioners to provide a 360 approach to aesthetics, beauty and wellness. Delegation is one of the most important things I have learnt as, now I have brought new people in, I can focus on the treatments I love and feel that I excel in.
Furthermore, I have invested in people who specialise in very different fields so as to expand my clinic’s offerings.
If you don’t yet have the budget to recruit new team members, I would recommend looking at ways to upskill your existing team. For example, is there a social media course that your receptionist could attend? Or perhaps you could train your therapist how to take bookings or offer a new skin treatment? And if it’s just you working in your clinic, consider outsourcing other tasks to support partners, as detailed next.
Doing so can save you time, help to build revenue and be more cost effective than employing new staff!
4. Investing in support partners
I work with digital skincare platform Get Harley which helps me to carry out virtual skincare consultations with existing and new patients. It is a great service, combining technology and skincare with global delivery, and this really assists us in managing stock as they organise product logistics. It also saves us time by giving our patients amazing postconsultation care and service through 24/7 support and auto-sales, which help to scale my time and increase my turnover.
As mentioned previously, Pabau has proven to be a Godsend when it comes to organising the day-to-day business. I also work with PR and marketing agency Mantelpiece PR who take off some of the burden when it comes to promoting the brand and helping to gain press coverage, while I outsource my legal and financial issues to an accountant and a law firm who have special expertise in these areas.
5. Making time for yourself
I believe it is imperative to have a support system in place including family, friends and colleagues, while it’s also vital to take time for yourself. As an energy healer and empath, I can find the job of an aesthetic clinic owner and practitioner to be quite energy draining. I take aromatherapy hot salt baths after every clinic, as well as often using Palo Santo wood sticks and crystal healing in and out of clinic to cleanse my space. My brand’s ethos incorporates wellness, so for me, using meditation, exercise and a healthy diet allows me to perform at my best, to destress and to retain a positive and calm manner. Doing so allows me to better manage my time, which has a beneficial impact on my patients and, thus, leads towards increased revenue opportunities.
I think it is important to implement strategies and solutions to ensure you are working efficiently. Being an aesthetic practitioner and owning your own clinic can be a very rewarding role emotionally, mentally and financially, if you can manage your time effectively. Being committed to managing your time, investing in yourself and having a support system will give you the security and balance to keep you grounded to perform at your best. This continued level of excellence will no doubt result in increased revenue. I hope that incorporating some of the proven solutions discussed will increase your profitability and happiness.
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