I’ve got a few members of staff here at the Clinic.

I’ve got a PA, a clinic manager, a front of house manager, a nurse and an IT guy.

We are having a bit of a rocky time at the moment with the front of house manager and are currently trying to recruit someone in to this role.

I have to say that I have found recruitment of staff to be the most challenging aspect of running my clinic.

The interesting thing is that it has been a month or so since we have been without the front of house manager and everyone has stepped up and is covering the work, but I have noticed a significant drop in revenue.

When I look at January, February and March, we were doing a lot better than we are now.

When I speak to other doctors about building their practice, they often feel that they cannot afford to take on more staff.  They think they need to share their secretary or can only have them on a part-time basis.

Because I have been in the position of having a full-time front of house manager and I know that she was always busy – I realise that I can’t afford not to have someone in that role.

It is great that everyone is chipping together to cover the work and on the face of it, you might think that I would not need to spend another person’s full-time salary on the post, because we can cope without them.

…but the numbers don’t lie and I have seen a definite drop in work.

The thing is, whenever I went to speak to the front of house person, it was difficult to get a word in, because she was constantly on the phone and so who is making those calls now?

We are coping with calling up enquiries and answering the phone just fine, but what about all of the other stuff?

…the stuff that it is more difficult to see.

Things like calling up the enquiry from a few weeks ago or having a chat with the person who came to clinic last week.

What about the fact that more calls are going to the call minders and we are having to call them back because everyone is busy.

It is hard to put a value on these things and I wouldn’t know what it was worth if I hadn’t already had it and lost it.

You don’t know what you don’t know

…but I would urge you to think about these things.

It is really important to make sure that initial enquiries are answered and dealt with promptly and sometimes you might be on the phone for an hour chatting with them – your staff has to have the time to do this.

It is absolutely essential to FOLLOW UP with people.

This means calling back if you can’t get hold of that enquiry when you first ring.

…or catching up with the person you spoke to last week to see if they have any more questions or would like to come to the clinic for a consultation.

…or checking that the patient you saw in clinic on Monday has received the quote and the copy of the GP letter and see if they need any more information or would like to come back for a second consultation

This stuff can take hours and it is very easy not to do it – it would not be missed.

…but as I have found – it can have a profound effect on the bottom line.

I have found that my bank balance is going down since the front of house post has been vacant, and rather than thinking that I need to save money on that salary, I am actually desperate to appoint someone because I know that they will make more money than they cost.

The next trick is to find someone good.

…and that is another story.

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