Dealing with uncertainty in your practice can be tough for revenue growth and staff motivation. Many external factors can cause uncertainty like political change, government regulation, recessions, and natural disasters. However, your own practice finances, corporate licenses, or HR changes could also create an uncertain atmosphere.
No matter the cause, the way you can tackle unexpected or unfavorable changes and keep up motivation are similar. Whether it's through mindfulness, teamwork, or leaning on others, we know of tried-and-true methods to manage workload and financial stress.
How to Keep Calm and Carry On
Support Your Staff
Whether it's having one-to-one chats or asking your employees what they need, this should be the first step during any stressful experience. Check in to make sure that your staff knows their options and that they feel free to express themselves. Not only will keeping them in the loop on changes keep everything moving more smoothly in your practice, but it'll boost camaraderie. If the situation calls for it, you can suggest online mental health resources such as Headspace or Better Help. You can also keep weekly group meetings and 1:1s in the calendar so that everyone has a space to talk about how they're handling the uncertainty themselves.
Lean on Mentors and Friends
Expanding your network through conferences and tradeshows is best when you're in a time of need. If you're unsure about how to proceed after a setback, it's likely another optometrist or practice owner has been through the same event. Ask for advice within your network and on Facebook groups like ODs on Facebook or Corporate Optometry. If you're part of any larger doctor alliances such as Vision Source, PERC, HEA, or SNAPP, then explore the resources they might have. Not only does advice help you take action where you can, but it can soothe your concerns and anxiety.
Call Your Vendors
The most important thing to remember is that your vendors don't want you to fail and they want to help you pay the bills however they can. It's likely they're also going through similar uncertainty if its an external event. See if they're offering extra support for special cases. Many software or medical equipment vendors have resources and contacts within the industry such as ebooks or webinars that might be able to help you manage large change or come up with ideas to help cope with a financial slump.
Remember that staff management is the key to getting through uncertain times. Read our ebook on Expert Staff Management here.