Reflections on growth of our clinics and profession, with integrity.

Written by practicing Naturopath Bree Jenner

The last few weeks have allowed some time to reflect on the information gifted by the generous hearts and keen minds of Jeff and Megan at the Love Your Practice (LYP) Retreat held in Katoomba in early August.  It was a weekend spent surrounded by passionate natural health practitioners whose contributions echoed a shared vision of the importance of supporting the natural health profession by supporting each other, and having a strong vision for the practices being built, nurtured and grown.

A common thread that ran throughout the different discussions through the weekend, from the moving smoking ceremony welcome by a local indigenous elder, engaging speakers, or connecting with practitioners from all over Australia over lunch, was that we are all in this together.  By supporting each other, sharing our knowledge and building each other up, it not only grows our own business, but also builds our profession, and the respect and understanding of the place our profession has in healthcare, for patients and our healthcare peers.  It can also give us the confidence to step out of our comfort zone.

LYP also shared practical tools that are relevant at any stage of the practice lifespan; whether the business is its embryonic stage of inspiration, excitement and brainstorming, to start-up, building multi-modality clinics, nationally or internationally respected and sought programs, shifting focus or direction or delivery method.

The key to any beginning or change is to have a plan, and to have a vision of the endgame.  What does the ideal business look like, what does life around and within that business looks like?  Every element speaks volumes of the vision that is shared with the target market.  Continuity of the brand, the service, the personality that shines through the practice, attracts the tribe and drives patients towards it, to return to it, to refer to it and will become the best marketing tool, allowing more work within the practice for a greater number of people who need it.

Setting up processes at the birth of a business can take a great deal of stress away from practice start up, often reducing the amount of decision making and time wasted working on or reworking repetitive tasks.  It gives transparency to patients who can come to expect a certain experience and level of service from you, and can be replicated by other people who may become involved in the practice, from support staff or other practitioners.  Incorporating systems into practice, and pre-prepared evidence based information and tools to provide patients can also provide them with additional information to reinforce the advice and support given, and save valuable time and resources when preparing treatment plans.  Time that can be spent in practice, helping more patients rather than pouring energy, time and stress into reinventing forms and rewriting correspondence, plans and handouts, helps the business thrive by growing patient reach and income.

Having a clear vision of where the practice is headed, also allows for opportunities to seek help or collaboration with other practitioners within the same field, or supportive modalities.  Growing support within the natural health profession reinforces the foundations.

Sharing strengths to provide desired results and empowerment for patients, driving interest and funding into research and education, gaining further respect and awareness towards the profession, promoting wellness and preventative medicine to the community.