Book a call

Episode 67

Why don’t you just get a normal job?

Listen to our FREE podcast now...

About this episode

Welcome back to another episode of “Treat Your Business“. I’m Katie Bell, and today, we’re diving into the core of business fundamentals. Lately, I’ve been engaged in enlightening discussions with clinic owners like you during our business and marketing audit calls. Something intriguing emerged during these conversations – the absence of essential elements in their business strategies. Today marks the beginning of a series where we revisit some crucial business basics.

In this episode, we explore the vital yet often overlooked aspects of running a successful clinic business. Amidst the daily grind of patient care, administrative tasks, and marketing efforts, it’s easy to lose sight of foundational principles. Through insightful anecdotes and practical examples, we unravel the significance of strategic planning, profit prioritisation, and aligning business decisions with long-term goals.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Strategic Planning: Stepping off the treadmill of daily operations to focus on strategic planning is imperative for business growth.
  2. Profit Prioritisation: Revenue alone is not indicative of success; prioritising profit ensures sustainable business growth.
  3. Financial Projections: Establishing clear financial goals and projections helps guide strategic decisions and resource allocation.
  4. Time Management: Being proactive rather than reactive is crucial; effective time management allows for strategic decision-making and business development.
  5. Business Vision: Revisiting and realigning with your initial business vision is essential to adapt to changing circumstances and priorities.
  6. Business Support: Seeking external support, such as business and marketing audit calls, can provide valuable insights and strategic guidance for business improvement.

Remember, embarking on a business journey without a clear plan is akin to setting off on a trek without a map – you’ll likely lose your way. Take the first step towards strategic business growth by booking your complimentary business and marketing audit call today. Here’s to transforming your clinic’s future!


This podcast is sponsored by the team at HMDG


  • 0:00-Introduction and Overview
  • 2:56-The Challenge of Taking Time for Strategic Planning
  • 3:53-Understanding Short-Term Pain for Long-Term Gain
  • 4:50-Evaluating Operational Costs and Revenue
  • 6:00-Katie’s Personal Experience with Strategic Planning
  • 11:08-Revenue as a Vanity Metric
  • 12:49-Prioritising Profit and Financial Projections
  • 14:11-Assessing Operational Overheads
  • 16:10-Shifting Away from High Commission Structures
  • 18:23-Aligning Business Model with Vision
  • 20:56-Additional Intro Segment
  • 21:21-Inviting Business Support
  • 22:11-Closing Remark and Call to Action


[00:00:00] Katie Bell: Let’s get back to business basics today. I’ve been having lots of conversations recently with clinic owners like you guys who are listening in during a business and marketing audit call, which is a 60 minute call that we have together. It’s completely free. And it really struck me when I was reviewing my notes that on every single call, At least one to four key things that are always missing.

[00:00:26] Katie Bell: When I say always, like every single call, normally all four of them are missing, which is why they are desperately in need of our help. But when we focus on these four things, which is what we do in our business and marketing audit calls, the results are mind blowing. So I decided that today and for the next three episodes, we’re going to go back to some business basics.

[00:00:50] Katie Bell: So whatever stage you’re at in your business. Whether you’re thinking about starting, whether you’ve been open just a year, or you are listening to this and you are a fully fledged business owner, it’s always a good idea to revisit these foundations. So today we are going to go and talk about why you don’t just go and get a normal job.

[00:01:10] Katie Bell: So often as business owners, we find ourselves caught up in the daily grind, don’t we? Seeing patients, keeping up with all of your notes, answering emails, writing the exercise plan that you promised your clients four days ago but it fell off your radar, trying to keep up with the marketing, posting on social media, feeling like you need to fill all the other clinicians diaries that work for you, managing the insurance renewals, ordering stock, hustling just to keep up with the demands of our work and our business.

[00:01:42] Katie Bell: And it never seems to change. Last week, our members took a stop and they stepped off the treadmill for one to two days, depending on which program they were on. And it was powerful. We, we had music going on. We had, this is all on Zoom, by the way, we had breakout sessions, we had sprint sessions. It was packed full of amazing energy and the results speak for themselves.

[00:02:09] Katie Bell: But the reason it was So powerful is because more often than not, we don’t take that time to commit to working full day on our business, not in your business because life takes over, business takes over. We have these grand plans at the beginning of the year that we’re going to stop and have this annual planning day.

[00:02:28] Katie Bell: We’re going to really work on our quarterly strategy meetings. We’re going to have regular check ins with our team. And it just doesn’t happen. And because life takes over, we then don’t make it happen because we just feel like we’re firefighting. But we also need to create the necessary space for it to happen.

[00:02:46] Katie Bell: And that involves getting off the treadmill, but it’s a catch 22, isn’t it? I understand that. The biggest barrier that I often hear is, Katie, I’d have to cancel clients. To do that. And I’m too busy, patients won’t go and see anybody else. If I don’t see the patients then the business earns no money. And you’re absolutely right.

[00:03:05] Katie Bell: You’re right. In the fact that you are too busy, but often I am going to say this very ineffective and you’re right. If you don’t see patients, your business doesn’t earn that 50 pound follow up fee for that 30 minutes that you’re going to see the client. But I explained on one of our live days, we’ve got to think about short term pain for long term gain, short term adjustments.

[00:03:30] Katie Bell: And stepping off the treadmill for anything to change in your business. What’s got you here is not going to get you to the next level. It’s just going to, it’s just going to keep you here. To get to the next level, we have to do different things. And I explained on one of our live days, I said, if you see 10 patients at 50 pounds, that’s yes, that’s 500 pound revenue in your clinic.

[00:03:53] Katie Bell: But now let’s deduct all your operational costs. Let’s deduct your stat, your tax costs. And let’s see what’s left. So let’s say that you’ve got 500 coming in through the top, and by the time you’ve deducted all of your operational overheads, and your tax, let’s say there’s 200 left over. I’m going to guess that there’s not even that, because most clinicators that I speak to are not making profit, even though they feel like they are working extremely hard.

[00:04:20] Katie Bell: And I said, so by taking a day, what we did on Thursday and Friday with our activating our Elevate members was to get them out of the grind, the day to day, and just to allow them that space to look at their business from the outside looking in. And the changes that they made on the two days that they were out of their business will have meant at least 10 times that in terms of revenue and profits made in their business.

[00:04:50] Katie Bell: Because they allowed themselves to find out what was making profit in their business, and what actually wasn’t making any profit in their business, that is taking up a lot of their time. That can be staff members, that can be certain services, it can be things that we think we need to do in our business, but actually when we stop and look and we deduct the operational expenses and overheads.

[00:05:11] Katie Bell: We’re actually making no money, but it’s taking an enormous amount of time and energy. It might be that they got on Thursday and Friday to stop and look operationally at what needed to change so they could save more than 500 pounds revenue. It might be that they just got the space to clear the crap out of the way and just really take stock of where they need to spend their time rather than being really busy fools.

[00:05:39] Katie Bell: It was about being more strategic, aligning all of their decisions with their growth plan. And for me in Thrive, if it’s not making you money, saving you money, or getting you loads of time back, we are not doing it. Now, I recently did this in my clinic. So as as as a listener, I still run a big physiotherapy and wellness clinic in the mighty Sheffield.

[00:06:00] Katie Bell: And I spent one whole day. From nine in the morning till seven at night, I did not leave that room. I went, I left the clinic. I did it externally. And I brought my team in the afternoon, my different service leads. And we talked about the growth plan for 2024 our next financial year, 2024, 2025, so April to next March for us.

[00:06:23] Katie Bell: And on a Tuesday, as you guys who also listen know, I am clinical on a Tuesday. I don’t see very many patients, but between half past 11 and half past four on a Tuesday, I have patients. And yeah, nobody, they don’t want to go and see anybody else either. And so yes, you could look at it and say Katie, you didn’t make your business 500 pounds that day.

[00:06:44] Katie Bell: Okay, fine. I didn’t make the business 500 pound revenue. The business never takes that amount because of the operational cost that you have to deduct from it. But by spending the day out of my clinic, working on our growth plan for 2024 2025, looking at what’s gone really well last year, what’s not gone so well, what needs to change, where we’ve spent a lot of time and energy and not got the return for it, what has been great that we’re just going to leverage and do more of, we worked out, hang on to your knickers here, we worked out how to make 300, 000 300, 000 more additional revenue without having to increase our operational overheads at all.

[00:07:28] Katie Bell: For us, this year is all about team performance. It’s all about, we’ve built the infrastructure, we’ve got the team, we’ve got the space, we’ve got the clients coming through the door. Our marketing works incredibly well. But now I don’t have to get any more team, but we can make 300, 000 more.

[00:07:47] Katie Bell: So without that, okay, I’d have made the business 500 quid, I’d have deducted all the expenses and the overheads and whatever. We might have got 200 net out of it. But I will have missed out on the opportunity of really stopping and looking at what my business can do. So for many of you, it’s short term pain for this long term gain.

[00:08:07] Katie Bell: You’ve got to get off the treadmill. That is the first thing, but then what? So you need to get clear on what this roadmap is. There is not one call I do that has a business owner with a growth plan mapped out beautifully on it. And I say that with no judgment. That is why you guys need our help. We are not taught any of this stuff when we go to university.

[00:08:29] Katie Bell: I don’t know about you, but there was not even one hour spent on our, on, on business. It was just assumed we would go and work in the NHS. And then, Hey, if you don’t, and you actually go and work in the private practice, you just got to figure this out for yourself. And there’s lots of changes happening in our industry and there’s lots of clinic owners that really need support and they are done with figuring it out for themselves.

[00:08:51] Katie Bell: But when I get on these business and marketing audit calls and I say, okay, so what’s the plan for the next 12 months? Where are you going? How do you make your decisions? How do you know what marketing budget to spend? How do you know when to hire? How do you know when to price rise? How do you know when to stop and consolidate?

[00:09:05] Katie Bell: How do you know when to market? How much to market? What to spend? What not to spend? How much to give away to your staff? And the answer is they don’t know that. And here lies the problem because too many of us have started our business without this in place. And we’re now just chasing our tails. We’ve created this monster and it is big and it is ugly.

[00:09:27] Katie Bell: And we think to fix this, we just need to grow and you cannot grow out of your problems. To create a business that serves you because that’s what you deserve. We have to stop and we have to consider the foundations that your business is built on. Now, even if you’re an existing business owner, we’ve got to revisit this.

[00:09:48] Katie Bell: We’ve got to check that the why. that you started your business has not changed. It’s not grown. It’s not shifted. It will have done. That is normal. What we start out to achieve is, it’s going to move. It’s going to change. Different things become more important to us. Our lifestyles change, our priorities change, and therefore the business has to reflect that.

[00:10:10] Katie Bell: So the first key business foundation is the why. This helps us create your growth plan, your financial projections. It helps us get really clear on the decisions that we need to make strategically in your business so that it gives you the income that you deserve and want and need, and it gives you the time that you deserve and want and need.

[00:10:36] Katie Bell: And the fulfillment and the confidence that you want and deserve and need. So when you wake up on a Monday morning, how many of you go, okay, what’s this week? What do I need to do? What pages have I got booked in? What’s on my to do list, which is about 65 pages long. And I’ll just write a whole new one.

[00:10:54] Katie Bell: It’s, it feels very reactive, doesn’t it? It feels very like in the now. And that is just means we just constantly chase our tails. We just feel like we are sprinting on that treadmill and really desperately trying to keep up.

[00:11:08] Katie Bell: So we don’t want you to wake up on a Monday and think, okay, what’s this week? We want you to be planned much, much further ahead so that you can say yes to the right things. You can say no to the things that aren’t going to serve you and going to move the needle forward in your business in the quickest, simplest way.

[00:11:26] Katie Bell: But here’s the thing, you might be thinking that you just need to make more money and then you’ll be able to get more time back. Or you might need to, oh I just need to get some more clients and when I get more clients then this problem’s going to go away. And it’s not going to. You might think I’m going to just increase my revenue, but that is where you’re wrong.

[00:11:44] Katie Bell: Revenue is just a vanity metric. If any of you tell me that you want to be a million pound clinic, I’ll just end our Zoom call. I’m smiling because I will want to end the Zoom call, but I won’t end the Zoom call. I only say this because I’m like, great, okay, but what does that mean for you in terms of your take home?

[00:12:05] Katie Bell: The owner’s pay, the profit. Your time, your freedom, your flexibility, because if you have a million pound clinic and you’re having to do a hundred patients a week and you are completely tied down, but one of your key values in life is freedom and flexibility, that business ain’t working for you.

[00:12:22] Katie Bell: So revenue is a vanity metric. We really don’t need to be focused on revenue. Revenue only is the focus when we’ve worked out what profit we want, what take home we want. We need to then decide What our capacity for revenue is in terms of the team that you’ve got, the infrastructure that you’ve got in your business, the number of rooms that you have, your hours that you’re available, all of those things build into your revenue.

[00:12:49] Katie Bell: We need to be running a really cost effective business. Then we can be focused on, okay, now I know what profit I want to make. Now I know what owners pay. I want to take home consistently. Now I know what my operational overheads are. I can now think about how I’m going to make that revenue. So for many of you, you have a P& L, a profit and loss in your business, which is, and I’m going to applaud you because most people don’t, but if you have a profit and loss in your business, great, well done, but it’s useless because a P& L shows you after the event has happened.

[00:13:25] Katie Bell: So we go, Oh, I’ve got to do all my month end. I’ve got to do all my month end. And then a week later, your accountant send you a P& L report back and you’re like, Oh, okay, that didn’t go as I thought. There’s no money left. Oh I’ll just have to take not that much again. We want this to totally reverse your mindset in that your profit is priority.

[00:13:47] Katie Bell: It’s a habit. It’s baked into every transaction in your business.

[00:13:53] Katie Bell: We did an activity on our strategy days last week. I’m talking to loads about them because they were so good. But we looked at what isn’t making profit that we are still doing in our business. And it was very revealing. One of the biggest costs in our businesses is our team. It’s the type of model that we run, okay?

[00:14:11] Katie Bell: And there’s no massive change in that. You are always going to have a a business unless you change your model completely that relies on staff delivering services. But really understanding that a pound coming into your business doesn’t actually mean a pound coming into your business.

[00:14:28] Katie Bell: It’s going to be the biggest mindset shift that you can take because understanding that those of you who are giving away 50 to 70 percent commission to your self employed people or your associates, quite frankly, are ruining it for our industry. And I know this sounds bold, but there is not one business owner that is making this work unless their overheads are nothing because they operate from a tent in their back garden or they’re charging big dollar for each session.

[00:14:58] Katie Bell: Now we work with a lot of clients. I have a lot of conversations with clinic owners across the whole of the country. And this is a big problem. 10 years ago in our industry, our cost of delivery was a lot less than it is now, a lot less. And so we got away with it. The offering these massive big commission structures to our freelance and self employed.

[00:15:23] Katie Bell: But when we actually, when you actually look at the figures. If you’re giving away sort of 45, 50, 60, some 70 percent commission of your top line figure like the fee that the patient pays, 100 for example, you’re giving away between 45 and 70 of that, then you deduct all your operational overheads and your costs and your tax.

[00:15:48] Katie Bell: You are making nil. You are making not very much money. So if you then want to grow your business and you’re like, Oh I need to make another thousand pound a month. You’re making between five and 20 quid a session. Then that’s a, there’s a lot of 20 quids in a thousand pound. So there’s a lot of sessions more that you need to be doing to hit your growth plan.

[00:16:10] Katie Bell: Roll on 10 years. We are now facing a massive increase in our cost of delivery. In our operational overheads, in our marketing costs, in our cost of acquisition, everything, our insurance, our rent, our rates, our, you name it. I nearly dropped dead when one of my team members told me how much we were paying for massage wax the other day.

[00:16:31] Katie Bell: Guess what? We don’t have massage wax anymore. Wow. It was mind blowing. But until you really dig into all of this and you really get an understanding of where, what’s costing you, what’s not, where your your biggest costs are. Then how can you make the right decisions in your business? So there’s many clinic owners right now, particularly anybody that’s working with us, are having to make this shift away from giving away all of their money and their profits and their margins because their business is not serving them.

[00:16:59] Katie Bell: It is not a sustainable business. It is not a business that is going to still be here in five years. And we’ve got an overinflated rate of pay. And I’m really sorry if you are the self employed person listening to this, but it is massive. If you’re taking 45 to 70 percent, that is 45 to 70 if I’m using 100 as an example.

[00:17:22] Katie Bell: 45 to 70 in terms of pro rata salary is something outrageous like 80, 000 a year to 130, 000 a year pro rata. Now I appreciate you don’t work all the hours and blah, blah, blah, you don’t get paid for holiday whatever. But I can promise you, as a business owner, you ain’t taking anywhere near that, yet you’re prepared to give it away to your members of team who have no risk, who don’t have to work the hours that you work because you’re the business owner and we never switch off.

[00:17:57] Katie Bell: So I ask you this question, why the heck are you running this business? Why not just go and get a normal job? I live for getting business owners like you off this treadmill. And one of our members said last week, Katie, I feel like I’m getting my life back. Now, I cry a lot at everything. And we had a cry because this is why we have to look at the why.

[00:18:23] Katie Bell: We’ve gotta get this business serving you. So do you want your life back? Then I want you to know that it’s absolutely possible. If you want a clear financial plan or you need a clear financial plan, you can, so you can start taking a consistent salary and a wage. Plus you can have profits left in your business to reinvest, to grow, to invest in great equipment.

[00:18:47] Katie Bell: Then I invite you to start by asking for help. I would love for you to reserve your slot now for a business and marketing audit call. There’s no cost to you. This is a one hour call just for you and me, and we get to look at your business from the outside. I get to strategically, which is what I do best, come into your business and really explore the four key foundations and get super clear on what needs to change in what order.

[00:19:13] Katie Bell: I will give you the simplest action plan for the next 30 days. And if you want help implementing it, to get your life back, to make more money, to feel super supported, then we can talk about our coaching programs if we feel like it’s a mutual fit. But whatever happens, you’re going to go away with a really simple action plan and feel like somebody else is guiding you in terms of making the decisions and helping support you in the next steps We are great aren’t we as entrepreneurs at envisioning the future, but we’re not always that great at executing on our vision and that’s okay because we can go and find support in implementing our ideas.

[00:19:52] Katie Bell: But first we’ve got to align our business model with our vision. We’ve got to ensure that every aspect of our business is working towards a desired outcome. You need to start by being ruthless about how you spend your time, what decisions we make in our business, how we can bake profit. into everything in our business.

[00:20:14] Katie Bell: And you’ll probably say the why is because you love what you do. You love treating clients. You love helping people. I didn’t get into this industry, Katie, to make loads of money. And I say, Oh, good for you. Great. But you could go and do this working for someone else. You can treat clients. You can love to help people.

[00:20:31] Katie Bell: So why do you want this? This is what we need to get clear on. It is often an area we find the most difficult to figure out because we think we just have to focus on the money. And this is why we need to do an audit because I need to look underneath your floorboards and check out your business foundations before we just jump in and start telling you to spend more money on marketing, go and get a digital marketing agency.

[00:20:56] Katie Bell: Just spend on Google ads. It doesn’t matter if some of these foundations. We can fix that, but we’ve got to fix these first for you to have that sustainable growth and create a business that is going to serve you. Now you can head over to the link in the show notes to book this conversation and let’s get you on my calendar for next month, because it’s too good an opportunity to pass up.

[00:21:21] Katie Bell: I will look forward to seeing you right back here for the next episode. And remember going into business without a plan is like going on a trek without a map. You’ll eventually get lost and starve.

Subscribe to our podcast

"*" indicates required fields

Ready to transform your business?

Book a call with our team of experts and let us audit your business and share your next steps.

Schedule an audit

Ready to be fully booked without social media?

FREE eBook