Are you the kind of person who likes to get to the exciting bits quickly? I don’t mean fast forwarding a DVD or leaping ahead in a book to see what is coming up (or perhaps you like that too), I mean do you get bored doing the basics. Of anything. Whether you are learning a musical instrument, acquainting yourself with a new smart phone or building a business or career.
Most physiotherapy clients I work with as a business mentor agree that the basics are really important, and then rush to show me their latest ‘bright shiny object’ – a new piece of equipment, gadgetry or tool. Or a new technique, system or software. Or a new person, place or whatever. And that’s the thing: basics are important but not exciting. Nobody seems in a great rush to boast about their new policy on personal phone use in the business, or how they check the references for potential employees, or a new procedure for handling incoming phone calls and message taking.
Not exciting, but absolutely mission critical. The examples above may seem minor in the big scheme of things, but when they are compounded by the multiplier of frequency they can make a huge difference to your business outcome.
I am about to embark on a tour of New Zealand to present business workshops for private physiotherapy practitioners and I just know they are hungry for ‘the next big thing’: the one secret of marketing or leadership that will boost their business outcomes. Well let me tell you the one big secret I am about to tell them….FOCUS ON THE BASICS. Especially people, service and cash flow.
I recall my very first patient when I graduated as a young and enthusiasic physio in Australia. She had recently suffered a stroke (CVA) and was wheelchair bound with a left hemiparesis. After months of neuromuscular rehab starting on the floor mat, progressing to four point balance, then to sitting skills and finally standing from sitting she was able to learn how to walk independently. This was the exciting part made possible by previously focusing on the basics and getting them right with repetition, coaching, practice and feedback.
The basics of business are just that: the base on which everything else is stacked – the exciting bits are the highest, most obvious and premium-priced items, but they are fragile if the basics are shaky. Not only that, but the foundations can shift or fatigue. Regular management reviews will indicate when repairs or updating of your boring basic systems is due. Which is often more effective at boosting your business than a new ‘bright shiny object’.