Keeping Life and Business in Balance

I like mobiles. The subtle movements when the air shifts, along with the delicate balance of all the components are somehow soothing to me. As I look at these pieces of art, it occurs to me how much our lives and businesses are similar to these delicately balanced compositions.

In business, it is vital that we balance supporting our staff, controlling our inventory, pushing out our marketing, serving our clients and patients, and monitoring our finances. When any one of those components becomes too heavy, the other pieces lose their balance. Too much inventory limits our cash flow. Improper marketing sends the wrong clients to our doorstep. Not tracking our finances causes our business to have little to no value. Not supporting our staff translates into poor customer care.

So how do we keep all of these components in balance? The answer lies in delegation.

It’s common to see practice owners or managers try to do it all. The result is none of it is done well. Their mobile is out of balance. To control inventory, you must keep accurate counts. But counting inventory is a team effort. Assigning areas to different staff members to count and track and report back to the inventory manager any discrepancies is the easiest way to monitor this large expenditure. Having multiple hands in the counts also helps with internal theft prevention as one person does not control the entire inventory process.  (Check out my new Loss Prevention class at https://www.pattersonvetuniversity.com/learn/course/loss-prevention-in-veterinary-practices/introduction/about-this-course )

Financial information is gathered from the practice management software. The day-end reports are only one component of financial tracking. We should be asking our software to show us the productivity of our doctors. We should be looking at specific fee sales such as laboratory work, dental cleanings, number of exams, that each of our doctors is performing.   But those are just the basics. We should also be digging into our financial reporting to see compliance and missed opportunities. We have to audit for discounts and giveaways. Again, if we are not monitoring the financial side of our business all the rest is going to be out of balance.

Creating a marketing plan that shows clarity of your brand keeps people who fit your customer profile coming into your hospital.

Developing a mission statement that establishes the reason for your company and what it brings to your community, your team, and your family is the basis of building your brand. By having a strong mission statement, you are able to build marketing content that speaks directly to your audience. We don’t need everyone to come to our practice, we only need people who desire care the way we choose to serve it.   Having a disconnect between your brand and your consumer leads to conflict and dissatisfaction and a stressful and frustrating work environment for your team.

And then there’s our staff. The staff members are the cross pieces of our mobile keeping all of the elements attached and aligned. When we don’t build a strong team, each one well-trained and holding up their piece of the mobile, our artwork is just a bunch of paper, string, and wires. The beauty is in the balance.

Keep in mind that a mobile moves with the changing wind. If your business is not flexible, if it is not capable of change, then it becomes stagnant and uninteresting to those who would participate with it. In order to create interest and art, a mobile has to shift, spin and float in harmony with its surroundings. In order to be successful and flourish, a business has to move and change. Using new technology tools like #Weave helps us create a better balance.

We can also use the same principles of the mobile for our lives. Work, family, friends, exercise, education, fun, faith, nature, quiet, all have to be a part of our mobile. There will always be times when a piece gets a little heavy. Sometimes the circumstances are out of our control but we always need to come back to balance.

If you need help getting your veterinary practice in balance please contact me here.