Welcome to our newest edition of “PT Reading Corner” where we introduce and talk about the books that our guests have found helpful in their journey of life and business. Matthew Laing came on our podcast and recommended “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber. This book was originally written in 1986 and the “revisited” version was published in 2005. All of the concepts contained inside still hold true.
Relevance to physiotherapy: Starting your own clinic is like opening up a small business. Statistically, 50% of small businesses will not survive past the 5 year mark according to this Globe and Mail article. This book provides some tips on how to ensure your small business not only stays afloat but develops via systems in operations.
The primary message of this book is that if you are a great professional in your field, it does not guarantee that you will become a great entrepreneur. You could have amazing knowledge of the anatomy and manual techniques and you could be great with patients. That would make you a great physiotherapist but not necessarily an effective clinic/business owner. To be a clinic owner, you need organizational, management and financial skills to run it like a business. Gerber takes this concept even further. He states that if you attempt to fill all of the roles within your business, it will not grow. The business will eventually own you and will become like a job.
What is the solution to this? Gerber has the answer. You have to run every clinic or every business unit like a franchise. This means that systems are at the core of all of the operations. Marketing, employee relations and patient relations require their own separate system. Once you have the system set up, you will be able to track which parts of it work and which ones do not. This will allow you to improve the parts that are not performing. Once the systems are streamlined in one clinic, opening up a second one will be easy if the systems are working.
This process of systematizing is the most difficult one. Solo entrepreneurs get caught up in doing all of the jobs at once like marketing and treating patients and hiring employees. Once that becomes too much, they hire someone else. If that person is good, the clinic is now dependent on two great people to run the operations. If one person leaves, the tasks they were responsible for fall apart as well. Therefore, Gerber advises to input the systems in a way that does not make the business dependent on any one person. Any person who is hired should be able to execute their tasks within an already implemented system.
This sums up the main points of the book. We hope we did not spoil the book for you. Gerber portrays these concepts in great emotion as he describes the journey of an entrepreneur through the common challenges of a new business. Thank you, Matty, for recommending this book!