We all have dreams of what running our businesses looks like. Most of us imagine it being a smooth, simple endeavor. Working with our dream clients (and there’s always more than enough), paperwork and marketing that are just somehow done…and there’s no accounting.
Never any accounting.
Then, we finish work at a reasonable hour with enough time to get in a quick workout and head home to make a beautiful, organic, paleo dinner, walk our dog and enjoy a bedtime meditation (is that just my dream?).
The reality, as you may be finding, is a little bit different because there is A LOT that goes into growing and running a thriving health + wellness business. Lead generation, booking and admin, posting on Instagram, optimizing daily operations, providing exceptional service.
We want it all…but without doing the work. And I get it. You got into this field to help and to heal. To be IN FRONT of real people not behind a computer screen answering non-stop emails.
Lucky for you (and me) there’s a way to do the work without DOING the work…kind of. You always have to show up, have a strategy and make the effort. BUT you can have the “business stuff” running without you necessarily being tied to it every.waking.minute.
I’m breaking down 5 time-sucking tasks you can automate in your practice RIGHT NOW that will save you upwards of 20+ hours a week while showing up for your community, providing a better quality of service, becoming a STAND OUT practitioner in your field…AND making it home in time for dinner.
1. BOOKING APPOINTMENTS + REMINDERS
If you (or your front desk staff) are still booking appointments via phone or email then calling people to remind them of those appointments, put down your phone right now and run, don’t walk, to your computer. Immediately open an account with a booking software service and get it set-up STAT. Online booking is a must in the health + wellness world. This alone can save you up to 20 hours each week appointments AND can reduce your no-shows and cancellations to a mere 1%. Plus, reducing cancellation and no-shows by just 5% can increase your income by 10-95% which means more time AND money in your pocket.
Not only that, but online booking and reminders lets you provide better service to your patients and clients. Over half of people these days would rather book their appointments online at their convenience rather than sending an email or picking up the phone.
Depending on your practice model (and budget) you have a ton of options for software. I love Jane Clinic Management, especially if you’re a larger clinic or just want to get super automated. Acuity Scheduling is also fantastic. It’s affordable (readers here can get a 2 week free trial) and has a plethora of features.
2. LEAD GENERATION
You may have realized by now that you cannot build a practice that relies on a regular stream of incoming bookings without a way to consistently bring new people through your door. You may also have come to realize, that finding, meeting and connecting with new people every.single.day is very time consuming. Like the most time consuming.
Enter the automated lead generation system. In a few simple steps you can set-up a system to connect with people daily, bring them into your world, get to know them and invite them to book with you…all on autopilot. For free…and without any fancy software besides an Email Service Provider (Mailchimp is a great option if you’re just getting started…and it’s free).
I have a free online training that shows you exactly how to set that up in your practice HERE.
3. SOCIAL MEDIA
Ahh social media…the biggest time suck of them all. I’ve had clients spend more time planning, writing and posting to social media than they did with their own clients. Social media, while important for getting yourself out there and growing your business is NOT your actual business. It’s a tool to support you and really shouldn’t be taking all your time.
You can actually get it down to just a few hours a month with strategic planning, automated posting and re-purposing old content. Use tools like Hootsuite, Buffer or Later to pre-schedule all your posts for an entire month so you can set it and forget it ONCE rather than popping on everyday (then obviously getting sucked in for an hour).
THEN, after you’ve created a decent library of content, you can re-purpose and repeat it (automatically) with services like Meet Edgar or One Up App. Because the reality is, people won’t remember if you posted the same quote 3 months ago. They’ll double tap it all the same and you’ll save yourself 10 minutes!
4. WELCOME SERIES + INTAKE FORMS
The amazing thing about automation (and particularly this one here) is that it often lets you provide better service to your patients and clients with zero additional work on your end. So you can show up for them as the expert you are and really stand out in a crowded industry.
How do you do that? An automated welcome series of emails sent immediately upon booking their first appointment. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy or over the top…even ONE email before their appointment works. Ideally you want the email(s) to welcome them to your practice, introduce them a little more to you and what you do, fill them in on any common Q+A’s, or tidbits they should know before their first appointment. This is also where you can attach their intake form to be filled out before they arrive.
You can craft these emails as an automation series in your Email Service Provider (see Mailchimp recommendation above). OR you can customize a confirmation email with attached intake forms right in your online booking software.
And voila – no more questions about where to park, what they should bring and what forms they need to fill out.
5. EXPENSE TRACKING
If the word “taxes” makes you want to curl into the fetal position and hide in bed, you’re going to love this. The wonder of the online world has made it SO easy to track and categorize all your expenses so come tax-time you’re ready to go.
Quickbooks and Wave are two that I love. You can connect them to all your accounts and they’ll pull your income and expenses automatically, categorize them and give you all the analytics of just how much you’re spending (#sometimesscary). They also both have apps you can use to take pics off your printed receipts and they’ll add them to your online files.
The ONE thing I’ll say about this is that if you’re using personal credit cards and accounts for your business expenses, it’ll group everything together making it harder to track. My advice is you get a dedicated business credit card and run all your expenses out of there. That way it all stays straight and is easy to track!