“Take care of the Pennies and the Pounds will take care of themselves”
The above saying is supposed to mean that as long as you handle the little issues that make up the big issues then you won’t have to worry about the big issues themselves. However, in the context of small business such as in orthodontics, paying mind to the above saying could be a case of, “Penny Wise, Pound Foolish.” This means that if you focus too hard on certain mundane business functions, you will end up using too much time and eventually not make as much as you would have.
Where the money is Lost
There are certain business functions that are vital to the running of the business. Although these functions or processes are not part of the core business, it is these functions that ensure the core business can run smoothly. Vital as they are, these particular functions never actually bring in any money. As a small business owner, if you allow these functions to take up too much of your time, you’ll also be spending a lot of time not making money. Some of these functions include:
- Purchase of supplies: In a small business such as an orthodontics practice, there are supplies that are needed every day. However, the process of getting these supplies such as finding a suitable supplier and organizing for transportation can take up a lot of time and resources. These are things small businesses don’t have in plenty.
- Accounting and Payroll: These are necessary parts of any business whether large or small. Hiring a dedicated person to handle these functions can be expensive. However, the large amount of paperwork that comes with this particular function may mean sleepless nights for the business owner. Furthermore, any mistakes in these functions could have serious legal ramifications.
- Human resource management: Recruitment of employees and looking into their wellbeing can be a time consuming task. A single orthodontist will not have the time to sift through the hundreds of people who’ll apply to for the post of receptionist or assistant. And even having to interview ten random candidates will mean time spent not treating patients.
- Tech Support: If you have to attend to every mundane equipment malfunction or if you have to figure out why the computer with all the employee information is not powering up, you’ll be spending a lot of time not attending to your clients.
- Marketing: What business can survive without marketing? Marketing can consume a lot of money but it’s the only way people will get to know about the business. However, if the business owner has to spend time away from the business to handle the marketing, they may even lose the clients they already have.
In small businesses, time is money and this means that the core function of the business should be running regardless of any other activities. How then will a small business owner ensure that all the other things are handled while they focus on the primary function of the business? The answer is to simply outsource these functions.
Outsourcing is not a new concept and has been successfully made use of by large companies to streamline their operations. Small business can now also take advantage of such services.
For example, in the field of orthodontics, OrthoSynetics has come up with a business model where existing practices can outsource certain functions to them at a fee. OrthoSynetics don’t own any of the businesses that they work with but they have helped many orthodontists to concentrate on the healing function of their business while they take on the other tasks such as accounting, marketing, purchase, administration and even tech support.
What this means to the Business
Using the above example, the orthodontist will be able to have more time and thus they’ll be able to see more patients on a given day and also have some time to themselves. Because the outsourced functions are being done by people who are better qualified to handle them, the jobs are being handled with fewer errors. The end result is that by outsourcing certain processes, many orthodontists have actually ended up making more money while having more free time.