This is the third part of the chronicling of opening my second Men’s Health practice. As many of you already know, I am opening up a second practice location. I will be writing a series of “diary” articles to enlighten everyone on my progress as I enter these unclear waters. This will benefit me as it will help track my progress, but my main hope is that it will motivate many of you to get off your ass and get started building a niche side practice. I will also include little “tips” that I have learned along the way as I chronicle my journey.
So, good news! I actually had some folks show up for their interview. If you have read Entry #2, you know that I was having great difficulties actually hiring someone… I scheduled multiple people 2 weeks ago for in person interviews and no one showed up! This really was a punch to the stomach. It was very discouraging, but I stayed persistent.
Outside of that, I also finished furnishing and supplying my practice. I can officially say, IT IS READY TO GO! It only took about 12 hours total to set up. We also put in a small “beverage” station in the lobby. We have a Keurig and a small fridge with a window door on a beautiful wood table. The fridge is stocked with water, Gatorade (the police and fire fighters love Gatorade), soda, and juice. It looks great and really should help increase customer satisfaction
Tip #14: When operating a cash practice, having stellar customer satisfaction is paramount to your success. This is not a Medicaid accepting insurance practice where the patient has limited options. This is a high-end concierge type practice. The patient base expects a different level of service and convenience. Do everything in your power to make the experience as positive as you can. Having coffee and cold beverages in your lobby is just one of MANY things you should be doing if you operate a cash practice.
In addition, I finished putting up all my small ads around the lobby. These ads sell other products and services offered by my practice. For example, one ad says “Looking to improve your recovery times? Ask your provider about growth hormone optimization!” I have about 4 different ads in my lobby for peptide therapy, E.D. treatment, discount rates on treatment if buying in bulk, and weight loss services that are offered. I also strategically placed these next to the Keurig and fridge. Simple marketing techniques like this make me THOUSANDS of extra dollars a month at my established practice.
Tip #15: You seriously need to have marketing material in your waiting room. Yes, have a few magazines, but also provide material that sell and promote additional services and products to your patients. The CHEAPEST and MOST EFFECTIVE marketing strategy you can implement into your business is by soliciting the patients you already have. Obtaining new patients can be expensive, selling to your already established patients is FREE.
In terms of staffing, I took a different approach with interviewing people this go around. Instead of going straight to in person interviews, I had “first round” phone interviews first. These initial phone conversations were just to feel out the individual and to see who was serious and who wasn’t before extending an offer for a “second round” interview. It paid off!
Tip #16: Have two rounds of interviews. Not only will it help you weed out the trash, but it also gives off a sense of “importance” in terms of the job. Potential candidates will think more highly of the position if there are multiple rounds. The individuals who are more serious about the position will truly prove that to you during the process.
Now, was it a fantastical success? Not at all… I narrowed the candidates down to the top 10 after the phone interviews. Out of these 10 candidates, guess how many showed up for the in person interview…
A whopping four people! Jeez… the work ethic now a days (I swear I am turning into an old man at the age of 36)…
Regardless, 2 out of these 4 people were pretty stellar in my opinion.
The first candidate was an outgoing 26 year old female who just finished medical assistant school. She does not have a significant amount of experience, but she was confident, personable, and willing to learn.
The second candidate was a more reserved 35 year old female who has been a medical assistant for 15 years. She had an amazing resume in terms of experience, but she was on the quiet side. I just was not sure if she would fit in with my clientele.
The third candidate was a very shy 30 year old female who has been a medical assistant for 8 years. She has worked in a variety of settings and definitely had the skillset I was looking for, but she lacked any type of confidence… Patients would walk all over her.
The fourth candidate was a 28 year old male who was a medic in the Navy. I truly thought this was going to be my hire after the phone interview. He was confident, he had years of experience as an EMT, he ran his own video production business on the side, and he sounded enthusiastic. The problem? He was full of shit. I saw right through him during the interview and I immediately got a bad vibe from the guy.
Tip #17: ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCTS! If your gut says “no”, then follow it!
He was making stuff up during the interview and was trying to sell himself way to hard… I didn’t trust him. My fiancé was in the reception area listening and she got the exact same vibe. I just had the feeling the guy did drugs and would be unreliable. Usually my gut instinct is right…
Anyways, after the four interviews, I narrowed it down to the first 2 candidates. Who do you think I extended an offer to?
I extended it to the first candidate. Some of you might be thinking why I would hire a freshly graduated medical assistant with little experience?
Because I can shape her to fit my clinic!
Tip #18: Sometimes it is best to go with “fresh blood” vs. someone with experience. The reason being? You can train them how you see fit. Yes, there will be some additional training needed. Yes, there will be more headaches. Yes, they will be annoying. But you know what? Once they have it down, they will be AMAZING!
Not only that, but she had the personality that fits into the culture of my Men’s Health practice. I liked her and I believe my patients will like her as well. She just had that “voice” that was pleasant to the ears and she was confident. Also, I trusted her explicitly. I did not pick up one bad vibe from her.
Now, lets get to the bad news. I also did some phone interviews with 2 nurse practitioners. Remember, this practice is almost 300 miles away from me… I do not want to be seeing patients here. The whole point of opening another location is for it to build a passive income stream for myself, not to increase my work load.
Tip #19: Do not give yourself another job. You can get overload paralysis very quickly when you become an entrepreneur. The whole point of starting your own practice is to INCREASE your freedom, not DECREASE it. Therefore, choose what additional work you want to take on very carefully.
The first nurse practitioner I interviewed with was a middle aged female who had about 5 years of experience under her belt. Unfortunately, she had no experience with testosterone replacement therapy, but she sounded motivated to learn. She also has been practicing independently for the past 2 years, so that was a plus.
The second nurse practitioner was a middle aged male who has been a nurse practitioner for 20 years. He had experience with testosterone replacement therapy, primary care, and sounded very confident. He also has been practicing independently for over a decade. After speaking with him, I really thought I had found my “perfect” provider.
Well guess what? He didn’t even show up for the in-person interview… I called him, texted him, and even emailed him. Crickets… SO FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!!!
I really don’t care if I have a female or a male provider, but I would like to have ONE male in the practice, either it being the medical assistant (which is female) or the provider. I mean, this is a Men’s Health practice… Imagine going to an OB/GYN office and it being staffed by only men… So, this is the predicament I am in now. I don’t think it is a big deal from a business standpoint, the practice will still do well, but this is mostly a personal preference. So the questions are:
Do I have my second location be staffed by a female medical assistant AND provider?
Do I just do telemedicine consults with the patients at this new location until I can find a male provider?
Do I hire the female nurse practitioner and let the patients decide: If you don’t care seeing a female provider, then we can get you scheduled immediately. If you want to talk with a male provider, then it will be via telemedicine and will be a 1-2 week wait.
These men don’t really care who prescribes them the testosterone, BUT, this is a Men’s Health practice, and I think having at least one male on staff would help ease the anxiety for SOME patients. Most won’t care though…
Regardless of all of this, it is now time to get the phone line set up, train the medical assistant, and begin marketing. We should be fully open by October 5th!