Philippa Kennealy over at the Entrepreneurial MD blog posted a timely discussion on key jobs that physicians should delegate – and which ones they should work on closely. Today, we’ll take a look at Kennealy’s list of the top four "must delegate” jobs" for smart physicians.
1. Housekeeping: Kennealy says that “a surprisingly large number of women business owners also feel compelled to do their own housecleaning and laundry.” The short response – don’t. Taking out the garbage in one thing – dusting, vacuuming and such can be done by an outside service. Watch the household employee rules- your accountant can help you with that. Your time and energy is much better spent on tasks that earn revenue.
2. Bookkeeping. While this is the harder one to outsource, it is only a time consuming, detail oriented task that is vital to your company. It’s the one area where small businesses often ignore. Take it from my personal experience – having up to date books makes the task of completing income tax returns much, much easier. If you have employees, use an outside payroll service. They are inexpensive, payroll will be on time, all tax filings are done on time, it will be right, and it is easier to use direct deposit.
3. Administrative support. A friend of mine who runs a small web development company, about 8 employees recently hired an admin person – and they are thrilled. He couldn’t believe how much of a relief this person brings to his workload. For a small practice, a part time person can be helpful as well – someone to handle the business support, various errands, purchasing, paying bills and so on. If you track your business tasks for a few weeks, you might be surprised what you will find. If you’re really lucky, you can find someone who can handle the basic bookkeeping and some of this support work.
I have read anecdotal stories of people who have used virtual assistants, and these can work well. Kennealy found at least one virtual assistant which offers services specific to medical and other professional practices
4. Managing technology. I had a client who loved to work with computers. Unfortunately, this client spent so much time working on systems that he wasn’t spending time building a practice. Managing your IT is specialized, it is constantly changing, and it not worth your time and energy. Develop a relationship with someone, and call them. You want someone who will be at your office within four hours of your call for urgent matters – you can’t afford to be down for long.
Spending money wisely is in investment that enables you to devote your time billing at a much higher rate. If you devote time to these tasks, there is a considerable opportunity cost in lost revenue that only you can earn. Your time – and your sleep – are basics for a successful practice.