Knowing when to expand

Please Note! Due to the high volume of irritating spam and slow-down of participation here, we are no longer accepting new comments, questions, or subjects on this Forum. We are keeping all the subjects and comments for review as there is a lot of good stuff here relating to practice-building subjects. So, dig deep! Thanks to everyone who participated here but it is time to move on to bigger projects educating the public about acupuncture! Matt Bauer

31-Oct-2012 09:04 AM


Posts: 35

Hi Matt, Can you share some more about how you determined when it was the right time to expand – both for when to hire front desk help and also when to move into a larger clinic?  For me, both of those will have to come at the same time – I have two treatment rooms and a waiting area where my desk is (which currently serves as “reception” as well).  So in order to hire front desk help, I will also need a bigger space.  And by eliminating my hybrid “pseudo-community” room and making it a second private room, I can see there might be a need for a third treatment room.  I know I’m not financially ready for an expansion quite yet, but would love to  hear how you knew when it was the right time.  Thanks! 

31-Oct-2012 05:00 PM

Matthew Bauer

Posts: 211

Yes  – when to hire support staff and when to look for larger office space. A sticky wicket. What I recommend is that it is time to get some support staff when your patient-load gets to the point that it is difficult to manage by yourself. Work at spreading the appointment times out when you are by yourself so you have time to manage a reasonable number of patients then when it starts to get to be too much, look to bring someone in part time say for two days a week or three ½ day shifts. You then look to shift most of your appointments to the times you have the front office help there and less on the days/times you are by yourself. In other works – the Middle Way between being by yourself or hiring a full-time person.  

My first front office person was a patient of mine that was very supportive of what I was doing and was happy to work for minimum wage part-time as that allowed her to get out of the house now that her son was in school but without making too big a plunge into the working world.  Anyway – spread the patients out when you are by yourself and squeeze them closer together in the hours you do have some help.

As for expanding – best to hold off as long as you can unless you find a great deal that give you more space without much more cost. In these hard economic times, you may be able to find a better space for less especially if you have been in practice for a few years with a track record of paying your rent. You can read more about that in chapter 18 of my book. 

Please keep me informed how things go for you in making your decisions regarding your office. I will give you all the advice I can and it will be great to see how you make out.

Matthew Bauer