Is your practice a business or a self-sustaining hobby?
As many small towns do this time of year, those near us hosted their annual Harvest Day Festival. This is when a town shuts down the main street, invites in local vendors, food trucks, and even car enthusiasts. My family decided this kind of event was perfect for our fall Saturday afternoon.
We made our way through the classic cars, ate BBQ, and even indulged in fried Oreos (if you like Oreos, you’ll like them fried). Ultimately, we made our way through the vendors selling their wares. We found the ubiquitous network marketers, the local insurance agents, and the town craftspeople.
My wife and I stopped at one craft table as their offerings were fairly unique. This woman and her husband took old plates, drilled a hole in the middle of them, and made three-tiered trays for food and snacks. Essentially, if you had just a piece or two of grandma’s old china, you could create something with them that was both usable and practical. Their creations made for a good story for guests as well.
I told her, “What a great business.” She responded, “It’s more of a self-sustaining hobby. It gives me something to do with my husband.”
I was stunned. Not by her statement as it related to her and her husband. They seemed to love their little business and what it provided for them. No, I was stunned because the description of a “self-sustaining hobby” is the description of many eye care practices (and general businesses to be honest.
How do you know if your practice is a business or a self-sustaining hobby? Let’s apply this woman’s definition.
One: The business takes in only enough to pay the bills.
Two: It’s something they do in partnership together.
Three: It offers something unique.
Is that your eye care practice? Does it only do enough to pay the bills? Do you run your practice with your spouse or another doc or manager? Do you offer good service? If so, your practice is functioning like a self-sustaining hobby.
Hear me, please. Maybe you are making a good salary and are able to employ some folks and offer good service. You do this with thin margins that are just enough to cover your expenses. That is a wonderful option for your practice. But know this: the cost of business never stays static. If you aren’t actively trying to grow your business, its community imprint, and its revenue, your practice is at risk.
Every practice has to grow in revenue because expenses all increase. That means the self-sustaining model can’t last for long. Hopefully, you know that and are taking actions to grow in all the areas mentioned above.
If you would like help in growing your practice, please let me know. ProSight Success would love to help. We have several resources listed below, specifically designed to help you grow your practice.
Additionally, if you would like to listen our podcast that covers this same topic, you can find it anchor.fm/prosightsuccess.
Thanks so much,
Gordon Duncan is the CEO/Consultant of ProSight Success. He has worked in the eye care industry for nearly 20 years. He has consulted in the medical field, manufacturing, accounting, and many other disciplines. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
ProSight Success offers a host of resources for your personal growth:
Streamlining Planner (the most practical daily planner on the market)
Digital ProSight Success System
And our best value: the ProSight Success Workbook that includes a digital copy and a free hour of consulting.
As always, I will be glad to help you towards your goals in any way I can.
Gordon Duncan is an award-winning educator, salesman, teacher, manager, and writer. He has taught in the public school system, lobbied for school's accreditation, managed eye clinics, led sales' teams, and also publishes books on theology, church, and culture.