I ran into a friend of mine at a party last week, a dermatologist who had opened a cold-start practice two years ago. (A “cold-start” practice is one where the physician is new in town, having no significant ties, did not train in area nor live there). He was busy, has added a range of cosmetic and lifestyle services in addition to the mainstay clinical care. What was so interesting was that he had pretty much done it himself, aided by an office manager with unusual skills and talent. His advertising looks professional, has a clear message and a “call to action”, his materials are clean and clear to the reader, and he clearly is reaching people.
How did he do it? He talked about reading Jim Collin’s classic book, “Good to Great”. One of the central themes of the book is “get the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off”. In short, when building your organization, focus on the “who” – the people. Then focus on the “what” you are going to do. My friend found an office manager who also had a flair for marketing and promotion, and she has been invaluable in building the practice.
At the end of World War II, Ford Motor Company hired a group of people dubbed “The Whiz Kids”. This group included future leaders of Ford as Arjay Miller, Robert McNamara (also
The takeaway here is this: recruiting and hiring are the most important decisions you will make. Spend on ads – too many people become cheap when it comes to placing ads. Use web services, professional organizations and word of mouth – I’ve never understood people who become shy when looking for new talent. Finally, interview thoroughly – have others interview the candidates (one on one), and always bring your best candidate(s) back for at least a second interview.