What is an opportunity mindset?
I know what you might be thinking: “Uh oh—must be another one of those Consult buzzwords!” But, at least it’s not another acronym, right?
All jokes aside, opportunity mindset is essentially a way of thinking and doing—an intentional, positive, and action-oriented attitude. And it relates to everyone in the practice, regardless of his/her position. A person can only achieve as much as he or she focuses on. So, if you focus on finding, embracing, and seizing opportunities, eventually, you’ll enjoy more opportunities. Make sense?
What does it mean to have an opportunity mindset?
Great question! I can sum it up in one word: PROACTIVE. It’s all about being proactive in creating as many opportunities as you can, not only to grow your business but to help more people in your community hear well again.
It’s not sitting around and waiting for the phone to ring, but rather picking up the phone yourself and initiating a conversation with your patients. It’s asking patients who are satisfied with your services if there is anyone they know who could also benefit from them. It’s calling Mr. Jones after he failed his hearing aid evaluation and refused to commit to hearing aids to see how he’s doing and whether he has any questions.
Everyone in the practice has the ability to do these things—providers, front office staff, patient recall specialists, even directors, and owners. If you have one person on your team adopt this mentality, it’s a plus. But if you can get your entire team on the opportunity mindset bandwagon, your practice’s entire energy will shift, and growth will happen naturally as a result.
How does one adopt an opportunity mindset?
So, how does one adopt an opportunity mindset? First and foremost, it’s a decision to commit. Once you decide this is what you want for your practice and its future, YOU become the trailblazer. Leaders need to set the bar, dedicate themselves to the concept, and demonstrate what exactly an “opportunity mindset” looks like.
To do this, your team needs to see YOU proactively:
- ask for patient referrals
- make Care After “No” calls
- create a waiting list
- pull patients forward on the schedule
- and call Out of Warranty patients, to name a few.
The entire team needs to engage in this behavior for the culture to shift. Yes, you read that correctly: EVERYONE. No one is exempt. If you are not focusing on it and would like to make it a priority or would like support for the processes you currently have in place, your Account Manager and Consult YHN’s experienced trainers would be more than happy to help. However, the buck cannot be passed. The only way for a practice to adopt an opportunity mindset is for its leaders to set an example, make opportunity creation a priority, hold their staff accountable, and follow up. Once you accomplish those items, the magic will start to happen!
Why should my practice adopt an opportunity mindset?
Now more than ever it’s essential for practice owners to adopt this mentality, especially because many are trying to make up for lost time and revenue as a result of the pandemic. It’s one of the core fundamentals of growing a business. Best of all, it doesn’t cost anything and is risk-free—you have far more to gain than lose by making a simple adjustment to your way of thinking.
Every Consult Account Manager is an expert in creating an opportunity mindset, whether it’s in a practice, Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic, hospital, or university. It’s what we do every day—just ask any of our thousands of engaged Associates. It’s also only one of many different areas where we can help practice owners grow their top-line revenue and bottom-line profit.
About the Author
Kate Thomas is an Assistant Account Manager and has been with Consult YHN since 2009. Before moving into her current role in 2016, she worked in the company’s Recruiting Department. Kate supports the East division and their accounts through front office and physician marketing trainings, community outreach support, and anything else needed to help practice owners achieve their professional goals. When not working, Kate enjoys gardening, yoga, meditation, running, hiking, cooking, and anything else that allows her to use her creative mind. Whatever she’s doing, it almost always involves her husband and three beautiful children.
Exactly one year ago, my uncle decided to set out for an adventure of a lifetime. He rode his bicycle across the country from Astoria, Oregon to Astoria in Queens, New York. He took his time to research his route, his stops, the equipment he needed, and the different types of terrain he would face. He also enrolled in classes to learn skills in wilderness survival and bike repairs. Once he started his journey, he logged and documented everything, including mileage, and set daily goals for himself.
If he didn’t hit one of his goals, then he looked for alternate ways to make up that time. His path continuously changed and challenged him—he rode on highways, gravel, paved roads, trails, and even over an international bridge in Sarnia, Ontario. With his focus, perseverance, and well laid out plan, he accomplished his goal: he rode 3,410 miles in 48 days.
His journey inspires me in so many ways. His work ethic and methods show that with proper planning and execution, anything is possible. Additionally, we need to spend less time thinking and more time doing.
The purpose of a business plan is to lay out both a short and long-term strategy for growth. It serves as the roadmap from where you are to where you want to be, outlining the individual steps and tools you need along the way. What’s your mission? Where do you see yourself in five, ten, twenty years? Where do you see your business in that same time? A business plan can help you answer these questions by allowing you to take a step back from the day-to-day demands of running the practice and focus on the big picture.
As a Consult YHN Account Manager, I work with Associates across the nation and hear what’s consistently working in their practices. What I’ve found is practices that create and execute a business plan are more successful than those that don’t execute one. Studies show that business planning can help you grow your business as much as 30 percent faster!
There are several key benefits of executing a business plan, including:
#1: It allows you to prioritize and set achievable goals.
Business plans don’t need to be overly complicated, but they do need to be executable and draw a clear connection between your actions and the results you plan to achieve. Goals like increasing revenue by 50 percent won’t seem as daunting when you have a plan that breaks it down into smaller, achievable steps. More specifically, a good business plan outlines SMART goals:
Use your plan to guide your sales and marketing strategies. It will ensure you keep track of what needs to happen, when, and in what order. For example, scheduling marketing strategies to promote a new product launch.
#2: It minimizes your risk.
Establishing a business plan isn’t just about setting goals—it’s about consistently tracking your progress toward those goals and making changes as your business grows and evolves. This will give you peace of mind that your business is heading in the right direction. Or, you’ll know that you need to make adjustments or try a different route altogether. There are two key financial statements you should build and regularly review as part of your business plan: Cash-Flow Analysis and Profit & Loss (P&L) Analysis. These help you to closely monitor the overall financial health of your practice and identify any potential cash flow challenges or opportunities.
There’s always a certain level of risk that comes with starting your own business. Some risks you can see coming from a mile away, but others are impossible to predict (like a global pandemic). Either way, it’s easier to handle issues when you’re actively looking for them. And the sooner you catch them, the less likely they are to snowball into a crisis.
#3: It allows you to make spending decisions with greater confidence.
As your business grows, there are some important spending decisions you’ll need to make: when to hire a new employee, whether you can afford to upgrade your equipment, whether you should open another office, etc. If you have a firm understanding of your practice’s financial health, you will have the information you need to make sound business decisions. A business plan is also invaluable in devising and executing an effective marketing strategy. It will help you determine how much you can/should spend on marketing to achieve your revenue goals.
#4: It’s essential if you’re seeking a loan or investment or want to sell your practice.
Would you ever invest in a business without understanding its business model or financials? Hopefully, not. And, neither would any investor. If one day down the road you decide to sell your practice, it will likely be worth more if you have a plan that shows the business is in good fiscal standing and has the potential to grow.
#5: It can help motivate your team and increase efficiencies.
A business plan that clearly communicates your vision and goals is one of the best ways to ensure your entire team is on the same page. Rallying your staff behind a common goal can also increase your collective efficiency and lead to higher levels of engagement. Knowing how their daily duties and actions relate to the business’s bottom line gives employees a greater sense of purpose and pride in their work. Be sure to regularly review your progress with your team, either during your Daily Huddle or monthly or quarterly staff meetings. This way, everyone knows what’s expected of them and can be held accountable for contributing to the practice’s success.
With a solid business plan and the right guidance and resources, any practice can become a million-dollar practice. Let us help you get there! Consult YHN will be hosting several Virtual Managing Business Activities (MBA) workshops to kick off the 2021 business planning process. These workshops help our Associates define their financial and organizational goals through the creation of their Annual Strategic Action Plan (ASAP) and Annual Marketing Plan (AMP).
About the Author
“We’re excited to work with ReSound and expand our hearing aid offering. Together, we will continue to help our members grow their practices and help more patients,” said Consult YHN President, Bill Urwin. “Our partner relationships are essential to keeping practices ahead of the curve in this competitive market.”
Consult YHN is the nation’s leading network of hearing healthcare professionals dedicated to business growth and development. Since 1995, Consult YHN has elevated and united hearing care providers across the nation and services private practices, ENTs, hospitals, universities, and not-for-profits.
“This is an awesome opportunity! We look forward to working with Consult YHN members to bring ReSound technology to more people with hearing loss, helping them communicate better with family, friends, and colleagues,” says Tom Woods, ReSound U.S. President.
ReSound has long been recognized as a global leader in innovative hearing care solutions, including being the first to offer hearing aids Made for iPhone and with direct streaming to Android devices using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). It also pioneered the development of 2.4 GHz wireless technology, now an industry standard. It’s leadership in remote care through ReSound Assist Live also makes it possible for hearing care professionals to provide patients with advanced at-home hearing care during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Together, Consult YHN and ReSound look forward to growing hearing healthcare practices in 2020 and the years ahead.
What do you get when you mix a global pandemic + unprecedented unemployment + peaceful protests for social justice mixed with destructive riots? The answer: a world in crisis mode. How does that make you feel? Defeated? Like there’s nothing that you can personally do to change the course of events? Of course, we all feel that way to a certain extent. It’s the easiest, most natural reaction to everything that’s happening. So, then I ask myself, “what can we tell Associates to keep their staff motivated?” When their business has been significantly impacted and they’re considering how to keep the business afloat, what should they access? What steps should they take and what changes should they make immediately? What can they do to bounce back? And, how does a setback impact overall goals for the year?
Staying Positive and Motivated
Staying positive (and motivated) amid a crisis is difficult, but it can be done. When is the last time that you paused to think about why you do what you do? How often do you share that with your staff? Do you have a mission statement? Does it effectively communicate your passion for helping people to sustain a higher quality of life? During this crisis, healthcare and connections with loved ones are more important than ever. While hearing may not be a life or death matter, it is directly linked to mental health and cognition. Has there ever been a time in recent history when it is more important for anyone, especially patients in our target demographic, to do all they can to preserve a sound mind (no pun intended)? So, start by reminding yourself of why you do what you do, and communicate that to your co-workers. After you do, you might find that their reactions will inspire and motivate you in return.
Focus on What You Can Control
Next, we need to remember that there are factors we can control and factors that are out of our control. Let go of the items that are out of your control and focus on the three items that you can control:
- The thoughts you think
- The images you visualize, and
- The actions you take.
Every person in the practice can control certain aspects of their day, including how they interact with patients. There will come a time (or several times) that we all need to take a good look in the mirror and ask ourselves if we did everything that we could to help our patients move forward with hearing treatment. Keeping in mind those items that we can control, I’ve compiled a checklist for some of the key players in the practice:
In the chaos of our world today, we know that the hearing industry will continue to change and fluctuate, but we also know that more and more patients continue to struggle from hearing loss. The changes in society and our industry are out of our control. The number of patients seeking help for hearing loss in these crazy times is also out of our control. However, our actions in response to the people who are seeking help are 100 percent within our control. By tackling this checklist, you can be confident that you are doing everything you can to effectively provide a solution for your patients’ hearing challenges. If and when you ask for help, rest assured that Consult YHN has the knowledge, skills, resources, and experience to guide you through any and all of the items on this checklist. We, too, are focusing on what we can control so that we can help you to do the same. Taking these steps together should give us all peace-of-mind that our businesses will continue helping more people hear well – both now and in the future.
About the Author
Dr. Kari Londo joined Consult YHN in 2019 with more than 12 years of experience as a clinical Audiologist. She received her doctoral degree in Audiology from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. Kari has a deep understanding of the hearing industry, having previously worked directly with patients in private practice and ENT, as an Account Manager for a hearing aid manufacture, and now on the business side as a Consult YHN Account Manager. She is passionate about improving the lives of individuals with hearing loss and helping hearing practices grow by helping these individuals. When she’s not working, Kari can be found playing volleyball, socializing with friends, or enjoying the outdoors.
In the March/April 2020 issue of Audiology Today, the magazine published by the American Academy of Audiology, an article titled, “Party Like it’s 1999,” featured a comparison of 1999 predictions on the future of the audiology profession from top leaders in audiology with today’s 2020 professional status. Revealing their hindsight perspective on those predictions, the authors humbly and humorously fessed-up to whether they were on or off the mark of where audiology would be 20 years into this new millennium. The reflection views on the then versus now are enlightening.
Lisa Hunter, Ph.D., professor at the University of Cincinnati, cautiously remarked that 20 years ago she predicted that the doctoral status of audiologists would grow slowly into the title through the integration of evolved procedures that define best practices in audiology. Unfortunately, commenting on her current students’ externship experiences, she indicated that to her things had not progressed in hearing care at all stating, “By and large, these students are witnessing audiology practices similar to what I saw 30 or more years ago.” The tone in the statement reflects caution in the lack of progression in the profession. In a similar light, David Fabry, Ph.D., Editor in Chief of Audiology Today, commented that, “Telemedicine is easier than ever and yet clinicians have not adopted it widely as a means to combat commoditization of their role in hearing health care.”
Dr. Fabry’s sentence springboards the discussion of, “Can I still party like it’s 1999 in 2020?” Well, “not really” is the answer. However, you can party like it’s 2020 in 2020.
About the Author
Suzanne Younker, Au.D. is a 30-year audiologist with extensive experience in Quality Assurance, Customer Service, and Operations in the corporate environment. In the past 7-years, Dr. Younker has devoted her career to cultivating full-service TeleHealth/TeleAudiology methods in the hearing healthcare industry including research, education, protocol development, implantation, provider and facilitator training, and patient engagement techniques. Currently, Dr. Younker is the Director of TeleHealth for Your Hearing Network, leading a team with a turnkey solution for a modern method of healthcare towards a successful outcome for your practice.