A lot of doctors complain of a summer slow down. They just slow down July and august, everyone is on vacation. I hear the same thing around the holidays. Well, June was just our best month ever, and we just had our best week every in July. So, i don’t believe it! well, what happens?
Do people go away in the summer more? Of course they do, i am not going to argue that. However most people do not go away longer than a week. Only in really wealthy areas where people have summer homes do you see that. That is not a problem for most of us. If you practice in one of those few areas, I suppose you would just have to prepare for the slow down, cut back staff, store cash and take some time off. I cant imagine there are all that many areas like that.
So, what happens for the rest of us.
Few things. Usually the doctors and therapist want to take a lot of vacation time. This is the main reason for the slow down. If your not treating people for two weeks or more, it will take 10 weeks to recover the lost volume for volume business like chiropractic and physical therapy. SO, you think your only taking two weeks all summer, but it will take the rest of the summer to recoup. Now, this depends on your practice size, etc. The bigger the practice and more coverage you have the less of a setback. But if your still the major treating person, this is the ratio about 1 week vacation 6 weeks to get numbers up 2 weeks 12 weeks to get them back! So, what do i want you to do, never take vacation? Of course not.
Small vacations are great, a long weekend every 90 days is good, take a Friday, or Thursday and Friday every 90 days. Do that all year. I would highly recommend it. Then take your week. Just plan when you take it, and realize what is going to happen to the practice.
What else can you do about summer slow down?
Make sure you continue to run promotions. I do the TV promo during the summer which works well
Stagger staff vacations so you don’t loose too much momentum
I am not a fan of shutting down the whole clinic for a week or two for summer break.
Make sure you have coverage. If your a solo doc or therapist, hire a fill in per diem. You want to continue treatment and be available for emergency.
Don’t get the summer head, where you want to leave early every night and BBQ. You have to keep your head into the practice!
ENJOY THE SUMMER!!