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Tyson Franklin is a business savvy podiatrist. In this interview, you’ll get masterful insights into how health practitioners, and specifically dentists can better market and run their businesses. Tyson is a business coach and mentor who divides his days between running his very successful podiatry business in Cairns, being a business mentor to other podiatry clinic owners, and relaxing poolside. His awesome book It’s No Secret… There’s Money In Podiatry is well and truly worth the read for dentists.

In this episode we chat about:

  • How to do marketing the right way for health practitioners
  • The mistakes Tyson has made along the way, and how you can avoid them
  • The importance of really nailing your business processes
  • How to manage your workload between clinic time and business time
  • If you want to get off the tools, how to do it
  • Building a team
  • Getting up close and personal with your numbers
  • And more!

Links
Website: http://www.tysonfranklin.com
Buy Tyson’s book: http://www.tysonfranklin.com/it-s-no-secret-there-s-money-in-podiatry
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tyson.e.franklin
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/+TysonFranklin/posts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TysonFranklin2
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/tysonefranklin/

Transcript

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Jesse Green:                      

Ladies and gentlemen, today we are speaking to Tyson Franklin. Tyson’s a podiatrist, as you all know. He’s the author of the book called, “It’s No Secret, There’s Money in Podiatry” and is coming to us all the way from Cairns, in what is officially going to be called, “The Foot and Mouth Episode” today. Mate, welcome to the program.

Tyson Franklin:

It’s good to be here. I love that. Foot and mouth makes sense.

Jesse Green:                       

It does make sense mate. It’s really interesting because even though we’re in two different professions, we’ve got very similar kind of businesses that we run. I am really looking forward to exploring that because I reckon there’s going to be probably more in common, than meets the eye.

Tyson Franklin:

Considering we’re at completely different ends of the body, you’d think there’d be nothing. Yet, there’s a lot separating us but there’s a lot of things that actually join us back together. Even my book “It’s No Secret, There’s Money in Podiatry”, you could take the title off and call it “It’s No Secret, There’s Money in Dentistry”. You’ve read the book, so, you know what I mean.

Jesse Green:                       

Mate. I’ve even read the book from cover to cover. For anyone listening, I’m just going to encourage you, even if you’re not a podiatrist, most of the people listening to this will be dentists. It’s a great read. There is some really solid advice in here for everyone who’s in small business, including dentists. I’m going to encourage everyone to grab a copy of that. It’s a terrific read. I’ve read it cover to cover. It’s something I dip into regularly, as well.

Tyson Franklin:

I did mention to you, off hand, my brother’s a dentist. He was probably the first person to actually read my book. After he read it he just said, “One, I’m shocked that you wrote a book, considering you failed English.” He said, “You should send a copy to your English teacher.” He said, “I wondered, did you really write it? As I’m reading it” he said, “I could just tell you wrote this book.” He goes, “There’s all these Tysonisms all the way through it.” He was the first person that said to me, “Well, you can take the title “Podiatrist” off and put on “Dentist”, he said. “You’re certainly giving it the same message.”

Jesse Green:                       

I agree. I think, we’re certainly singing from the same hymn sheet and all this stuff. What I’m really curious to understand Tyson, for the sake of the audience listening, can you give us a bit of a background? I know you’ve got your podiatry clinic up in Cairns and I know you work with podiatrists to help them grow their practice and do cool things there. Just wondering if you can give us a bit of the back story how did you come to be in the position that you’re in? In terms of running the clinic, moving into the mentor and coaching space, what’s the story there?

Tyson Franklin:

I think my story started when I was actually at university when obviously I enjoyed podiatry and we had one business subject as they give you at university, you have one business subject so I did that subject and I was the first person in the history of the university to ever get 100% for that particular subject. The business school came to me and actually said “Have you thought about switching out of podiatry and doing business?” I went “I’m almost finished. I’m not going to start something new.” When I got out or just before finishing podiatry I picked up a book Noel Whittaker’s, “Making Money Made Simple”.

Jesse Green:                       

Yep, good book.

Tyson Franklin:

I read that book and actually met Noel a couple of months ago which was pretty cool. I read that book and all a sudden just something just clicked. As soon as I started working I enjoyed the business behind podiatry pretty much from day one. I had no idea what I was doing.

Jesse Green:                       

None of us do when you first get into it because no one teaches you. You had one business subject we had none so it was like here’s the deep end welcome to it. Go swim, see how you travel.

Tyson Franklin:

It was pretty much something you just over a period of time, yeah, just make mistake after mistake and learn from it, make more mistakes, learn from it until … Moving to Cairns was probably one of the best things I ever did because originally I was on the Gold Coast and I remember one of my lecturers and Uni. saying “If you want to set up a good business go and find it where nobody else wants to go and go and work there for a while.” At the time when I came to Cairns there was only one other podiatrist so I thought “I’ll come up here for a drive and have a look.” 24 years later I’m still here.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, fantastic and what’s not to love about Cairns, tropical paradise it’s beautiful.

Tyson Franklin:

That’s what I just said I was in the pool.

Jesse Green:                       

Exactly.

Tyson Franklin:

About an hour ago.

Jesse Green:                       

We’re going to dive into that, no pun intended, in a moment. I’m curious to know as you kind of went through that journey as you said making mistakes, learning from them, making a few more mistakes. What lessons did you learn as you went through? What do you think would be some of key things that came out of that for you as you went through any big or hard moments?

Tyson Franklin:

Probably the biggest thing is I wish I’d listened to other people more, probably one of my biggest “Ah Ha” moments where I think my whole thinking changed was I went a long to a weekend workshop on business and up until then I thought I was doing pretty good. I thought I knew a few things and I went a long to this work shop and I sat in a room with 50 or 60 other people and I was bouncing off the walls when I came out and one of the things that I remember walking way from was them saying “If you want to make more money the only person that has a problem with your prices is you.”

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah.

Tyson Franklin:

I went “Huh?” I came out and straight away, a certain service that we provided, they were orthotics at the time I went “Okay, I’m going to put them up $50.” I did and nobody flinched.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, isn’t that amazing we all get hung up on our fees, dentists included, we all do. As you say, it’s our problem.

Tyson Franklin:

That was my biggest probably “Ah ha” moment was Going on to something that I was second guessing, should I go, shouldn’t I go? It was actually my wife said “You should go along to it, this sounds like something you would get a lot of benefit out of.” Going from that just changed my thinking. I put my prices up and it wasn’t just all about … The seminar wasn’t about all putting your prices up it was about running a sufficient business. It was the first time I really learned about having systems and developing systems, implementing something and seeing how it works and then making changes to make it work better.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, cool. That’s fantastic. Mate you just mentioned you had come back from the pool and I’m sitting here in Canberra at the moment where it is bordering on arcticly cold. You sitting in Cairns where you’ve just jump out of a pool. That’s a clue we’re in different ends of the country but one of the things I’m curious about because it’s a Wednesday, it’s middle of the day, you’ve had a dip, had a swim. Coming out of the pool that must mean you’ve got some pretty good systems going at your practice for you to be able to step away from the clinic to be able to take some time and we did speak a bit off air and I know you’ve throttled back your hands on the clinical stuff. How did you get your systems going? What ones do you think have made the most difference for you?

Tyson Franklin:

I think everything in your business can have a system developed for it and to me every system should be developed that a twelve year old could read it and understand. If you’ve written systems and they’re four or five pages and they’re very complicated you have to sit down with the person and go through them in detail and really explain how something works because if they read it, it doesn’t make any sense then you need to rewrite the system. We’ve pretty much, every time a question was asked of me I would write down what the question was and I’d write an answer and that could become a part of one system. We might have one big system and it might be how we handled the telephone but in that system you’ve got sub-systems like how do you answer the phone? What’s your rule around how many rings? What do you say to the person when you answer the phone? What questions do they ask before they make an appointment? Every system that is sort of a sub-set, how do you deal with an irate patient on the phone? The thing is the more systems you have in place the less time the staff is constantly bugging you.

In my book this is the one part of the book where I was actually laughing when I wrote it. My brother actually, after he read it, said “I bet you were laughing when you wrote that chapter about making the cup of coffee.” Yeah, I was cracking up because you can say to somebody “Tell me how to make a cup of coffee.” They go “Well, you get a cup, put coffee in it and sugar if you want it, put boiling water, maybe add milk. That’s a cup of coffee.” On the surface that sounds like a simple process but the simpler the process, and this is why people don’t write systems they go “Well, it’s so obvious I don’t need to write a system.” The simpler the system the more open it is to interpretation, that cup of coffee in the book I talk about “Well, what size cup do you want?”

I’ve used the story where there’s a 12 year old, my nephew, making a cup of coffee for me. He says “Well, what size cup do you have? Is it the big mug? Is it this one? There’s one cup here that says “I work with idiots” is that your cup?” We decided which cup then it’s “What sugar do I use? Which size spoon? Do I want the sugar heaped or little? What milk do you have in there? Fat free? Do you have light milk? Lactose free milk?” Just from making a cup of coffee you can see how many question there are so if you constantly have staff annoy you like a 12 year old making a cup of coffee then you’ll understand why you never get your freedom from your business.

Jesse Green:                       

That is fantastic. I love that and the fact that you’ve obviously got such a systematized approach to the way you do things and, correct me if I’m wrong, that frees up a lot of the hard drive in peoples minds as well? A bit of brain space gets freed up and we have a saying in our practice. We systmeize and humanize, we have the systems like the 12 year old systems but we then allow people to kind of put a bit of their personality into what they do as well. Is that something that kind of roles out a Pro Arch, at your place as well?

Tyson Franklin:

Yeah, very much so like I said when someone is working with us a system isn’t there to bind you like this rope tied around you and you got to stick with the system 100%. The system’s just to give you a direction of which way you’re actually heading. Instead of you sitting and thinking “What should I do next?” Perfect example would be, the reason toilet paper is white and why there’s only one roll on the toilet is because if you put four different colors there and had four different rolls people would never come out because they couldn’t make a decision. To make a system that works is saying to someone “This is the process that you go through.” They don’t actually have to think about that but as they doing a system their own personality and intelligence is going to be used.

Jesse Green:                       

Yes, of course because we’re not trying to create robots right? We’re just trying to give them some structure to play with.

Tyson Franklin:

Yes, it might be part of the system when somebody finds out … you might what the date of birth, you need the date of birth. You might get a patient on the phone that says “I’m sorry but I don’t want to give you my date of birth.” Then what? What’s your system on handling that? Our system is you don’t give us a date a birth you’re not getting an appointment because we require it. It’s just part of what we do, so everybody knows. If I saw them hang up the phone and I asked them “Didn’t they give you the date of birth?” They go “No.” I’m going to go “That’s fine.” They know I’m not going to go “It’s been quiet really should have bent over backwards for that person.” As soon as you start breaking the rules yourself you’re going outside the system then it confuses everybody.

Jesse Green:                       

Hey mate I know you are big on goals as well and coming back to how you managed to get yourself off the clinical tool so to speak and into the pool. Systems have obviously played a massive role in all that, you’ve documented things, no doubt you’ve got check lists and cheat sheets on everything you do there. I’m curious to know, what role as goals made to your success in practice and I’m aware through other mutual friends and acquaintances that you’ve had extraordinary success with your practice. What role have goals played in that for you?

Tyson Franklin:

When people say “I’m sure what it is that I want.” I say “Get a piece of paper and write down all the things that you don’t want and if you write down all the things that you don’t want, some of the things that you want are probably going to be the exact opposite.” I wouldn’t say that I’m magnificent at setting goals. Some people have said they had this vision in front of them of this grandeur, of I’m going to have this car, I’m going to have this.

What drives me, whatever we achieve one year, my goal is to beat it. That’s how I actually set my goals. I’ll go “The clinic turned over this, we sold this many patients last month, same time last year.” A lot of my goal setting is actually done month by month. I’m constantly trying to do better than the month before and I’m trying to beat what I did the year before for that same month. By setting those little goals everyone at work would ask me at any day of the week “What’s our turn over so far for the month?” I know exactly what it is. I know what percentage it is compared to last month. I know what it is to the year before. I look at things everyday. I look at things every week. I know at the end of each week we should be hitting a certain target, therefore we will hit the target for the month.

Jesse Green:                       

We do something similar. I’m guess you’re a bit of spreadsheet geek like me.

Tyson Franklin:

Yeah.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, I think we’re going to get together and have a Microsoft Excel party or something. Which we’ll be the only people to turn up because everyone else will have more exciting things to do probably. What I really love that you’re talking about there mate is setting yourself A, the challenge of beating last month in equally the same period last year. That’s fantastic, but knowing your numbers is critical. I think there are so many business owners that kind of go into business and weeks go by, months role by, quarters, even years go by and they’re not really examining the financial performance of their practice let alone setting in place methods where they can be proactive about achieving whatever it is they want to achieve. I’m really keen to hear your perspective. I’m assuming that you have a forecast in place and you’re tracking that against your expenses as well, I’m guessing that.

Tyson Franklin:

Before the year starts I know what I want to turn over for the year and we do, we get spread sheets, we get things from the account so we know how much we’re spending in different areas. I’m always, regardless of how the clinic is going, I budget a certain amount for advertising and I don’t stray from it so if things do take me out, every business has a little dip or a quite patch, last thing I want to cut is my marketing that’s just something you should never mess around with. You should keep marketing because that’s one of the mistakes people make, they’ll market one minute and when things are busy they’ll stop.

Jesse Green:                       

Isn’t that just so common. They turn their marketing taps on and then when the books get busy they turn them off and there’s kind of this feast or famine approach it’s crazy.

Tyson Franklin:

I call it, it’s like the helicopter approach and what they don’t realize is if you’re marketing and doing all this stuff you gain all this momentum and then it doesn’t take much to just keep that momentum going but if you come to a complete stop it is so hard to just sort of get that momentum going again. We all get distracted. I had a period about three or four months ago all of a sudden I realized I hadn’t written a blog for my, for the podiatry website for like six weeks.

Jesse Green:                       

Oh, wow, okay.

Tyson Franklin:

Yeah, and I just went “What happened there?” All of a sudden I wrote one and as soon as I write one I go “I’m going to write another one.” Next thing I know I write four and then the next two weeks I had posted about eight different things, I’d done a frequently asked question and once you are doing just the excitement from doing it pushes even further.

Jesse Green:                       

It’s really interesting because one of things that I see with marketing is common mistake in dentistry and again you can tell me if this correlates with podiatry as well is I find a lot of dentist generally take the view “Look I just want to have full appointment books. I don’t want to think about marketing. I just want to have my hands in peoples mouths doing dentistry.” Do you find that is a bit of thing that comes up in podiatry and what would be a comment around that if does come up?

Tyson Franklin:

It comes up in podiatry all the time and like I said, my brother being a dentist, so my brother we joke around every now I said “If you won $10-$20 million in lotto tomorrow. Would you keep doing dentistry?” He say “Well, I probably would because I actually love being a dentist because I enjoy helping people. I enjoy taking somebody whose got bad teeth and making them have a beautiful smile again. I really enjoy that.” I know even as a podiatrist, you have a child that comes into your clinic who’s in pain and they can’t play a sport and a month later you’ve got them, you know getting on representative teams you do sit back feeling pretty good about yourself. I think a lot of podiatrists a lot of dentist love doing what they’re doing but they do struggle with the business side. One of the things that I introduced with my business, I actually think a lot of people should do. I haven’t even mentioned this to you so you’re going to hear this for the first time.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, I know.

Tyson Franklin:

Is I employed for myself what you’d call a Marketing Director so it was a girl that had been working in my business for a couple years. Really outgoing personality and I said to her “Do you want to help me do my marketing? I want you to help promote my business.” We call her the Patient and Community Relations Manager. Her job is pretty much harassing me and making sure I write the blogs. She looks up, does a lot of the Facebook stuff, does a lot of Google stuff for me. I’m showing her how to do stuff on the website. If we wrote a report for doctors we don’t post anything out, we hand deliver everything. She goes around a visits all the practice managers and we have all these bottles done up, prescription bottles with M&Ms in them and we deliver them everywhere.

Jesse Green:                       

Isn’t that great.

Tyson Franklin:

To me if someone’s got a good business, got a good income coming in, part with just a little bit of your money to get somebody to actually help you out to do some of that marketing work for you and if you don’t like social media then grab one of you kids and get them to do it for a payment. It’s their pocket money.

Jesse Green:                       

It’s really funny mate because I really agree with you. I think having consistency in your marketing is really critical and if the dentist or podiatrist themselves is not inherently interested in it as they might otherwise be then of course build a team to support the process which is what you’ve done with your Marketing Coordinator there. What I really love that you’re doing mate is there’s a lot of high touch in what you’re doing so it’s about relationships really. You’re building relationships with your doctors when you hand deliver the report as opposed to just mailing it and being a nameless face. You have a name obviously but it’s just another thing that comes through the mail. Now you’re creating the relationship as your marketing girl goes around and meets their front office people of their medical practice, it’s great.

Tyson Franklin:

Well, the good part of her being out there is she’s almost like a sale rep. for us. She’ll handle the letter but at the same time everybody that’s sitting in that waiting room will see her name tag and where she’s from. It’s gotten to the point now when she walks into a place everybody’s gone to grab their M&M bottles because she does top offs when she drops in and sees them. The thing is you need someone who’s a very social person and you want someone who probably does not have a marketing background because you don’t want them coming to you with “I’ve got all these marketing ideas on how you should do your business.” It’s you’ve got to really be a people person.

Jesse Green:                       

What I love about that is that it’s basically people being people. It’s human interaction isn’t it? At the end of the day marketing is about people as opposed to the latest CEO tactic. It’s really about people.

Tyson Franklin:

It is. It’s like social media. I see a lot of, I’ll use my brother as a perfect example, when I said that “You don’t have a Facebook page for your business?” and he said “No I’m just not really into it and my wife…” She’s a dentist as well. “She’s not really into that side of things.” They don’t realize but your patients are and if you do set up a Facebook page for you business don’t make it all about dentistry. The word there that a lot of people miss is the word social.

Jesse Green:                       

Yes.

Tyson Franklin:

Perfect example on our Pro Arch Podiatry Facebook page I put a thing up there, there’s person had a toe chopped off and I put up “If this makes you sick you might be lack-toes-intolerant.”

Jesse Green:                       

That’s a dad joke, I love it but it is fantastic.

Tyson Franklin:

The amount of people that commented on that and had a bit of a laugh or I posted something the “Who’s on First Base.” The Abbott and Costello skit so at least once a week I will post something that is just funny. Nothing to do with anything but we also post a little bit who we are, not just as podiatrist, who we are as people. What the staff are doing. We celebrate birthdays, that’s what social medias for.

Jesse Green:                       

For anyone that’s just tuning in I’m talking today to Tyson Franklin who’s a podiatrist up in Cairns and he runs an uber successful practice up there. He’s also the author of the book “There’s No Secret, There’s Money in Podiatry” We’re going through some marketing stuff here and if you’re just tuning in I’m going to encourage you to go back and listen to the last few minutes because Tyson has just dropped a couple of marketing bombs there which just full of goodness. I really love what you’re talking about there mate. It’s just about people being people. It’s about letting people see behind the curtain so to speak that you’re a person too. You can have a laugh. You can celebrate a birthday. You can mark an occasion just like everyone else and let people into your life a little bit. I think it’s nice, it’s good for the soul in the first place but it’s also really good for business.

Tyson Franklin:

I’ll argue the other thing you got to realise that every person that I do mentoring with, other podiatrist, I tell them the same thing right from the start. Business is fun. The reason we get into business is a lot of times people will work for somebody else and they’ll work for them for a couple years and they’ll realise the person I worked for is an idiot. I could do better then this, they’re making all this money, driving a car, nice home. I’m going to go work for myself. They work for themselves and they’re still working for an idiot, they’re working for a lunatic.

Jesse Green:                       

Well, they become the idiot that someone else works for.

Tyson Franklin:

They become that person that they wanted to leave and it’s just a cycle and they forget that business is fun.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, business is fun. We were talking off air before and other than my wife and kids, business is my first love and I know it’s yours too and you’re doing some wonderful things there. Hey mate what I’d love to talk about as well, podiatry when you went to Cairns you were one of only two podiatrist up there because there was someone there before. I’m guessing the market place is considerably more crowded now. You’ve mention a couple things you do that set you part from your competitors, the prescription pills filled with M,Ms and the ability to get a script refill so to speak and few other things there. What do you see as the main thing that sets you apart from the other guys practices there? What are you doing differently because in dentistry, one of the things that happens much commonly is everybody starts to look a little bit vanilla. A bit of beige, really beige and beige is the most boring color in the world.

Tyson Franklin:

I saw a beige car the other day.

Jesse Green:                       

You’re kidding me.

Tyson Franklin:

My daughter who’s eleven went “My God, who would pick a beige car?”

Jesse Green:                       

Hey mate, don’t knock the beige car though because in the 1970s we had a beige Sigma no less, if you’re old enough to remember what the Sigmas were. It was a shocker. Very ’70s.

Tyson Franklin:

Well, anyway, with the other businesses I think one of the main things is try to be first. Stop watching what everybody else is doing and then try to copy them “Oh gee, that’s a good idea. Wish I had thought of that.” You’ve seen something you go “Should we or shouldn’t we do this?” You go nobody else is doing it. If nobody else is doing it try and be first. My example of this if you thought of which business does take away breakfast. Which fast food place?

Jesse Green:                       

Maccas I’d assume.

Tyson Franklin:

That’s it but I know Hungry Jacks have dove in there. I know KFC have dove in. I know Subway have tried. Whether they’re still doing them I don’t know but of course McDonald’s got in first then it doesn’t matter what the others do all it does is remind everybody about McDonald’s.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, true.

Tyson Franklin:

What I’ve found in Cairns is now every time another one opens I seem to get busier. They’ve come in and they’re all copying each other. You can have a look at their ads and they all look the same. I’m sure in dentistry, how many ads do you see and there’s a smiling face?

Jesse Green:                       

It’s absolutely the same and typically the advertising in dentistry is either “We’re just like them but better.” Or “We’re just like them but cheaper.” Either marketing tactic I think is suicidal marketing. In fact I think it’s really poor marketing in general but what I love that you’re doing is lets be the leader. If your not the lead dog the views always the same really and so it’s get out in front and set the pace and that’s fantastic.

Tyson Franklin:

Occasionally, we’ll introduce something and it’s crap.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah.

Tyson Franklin:

We’ve spent the money, we’ve invested in it, we’ve given it some thought and we just you know what, no one really cares about that and it doesn’t work. You have to do that because every time … eventually keep throwing off mud some of it sticks. Yeah we were the first ones, we still are, when it comes to making orthotics. We having a milling machine on site so we scan feet. It takes us 12 and half minutes to make a pair of orthotics for somebody so we can do it the same day but most of the time we do it 24 hours because we don’t always have someone running the milling machines. That technology is out there, every podiatrist in Cairns could go and spend $100,000 and set this up but they won’t because they’re tight. They don’t want to spend and invest money in themselves so they don’t get a cost loss and they don’t want to spend and invest money in their businesses and they wonder why they’re just amongst the pack and nobody even notices them.

Jesse Green:                       

Wow, looking at it there’s certainly no sugar coating it there but I’ll tell you what guys that is marketing and business advice that is so practical, so useful. I certainly would second everything Tyson said there it’s really good stuff there mate. I’ll tell you what I love the fact that you don’t just pull punches I love that fact you hit it straight.

Tyson Franklin:

I have been pulling punches sorry.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, mate? This is the sugar coated version?

Tyson Franklin:

This is me holding back.

Jesse Green:                       

Well geeze. We’re going to have to go and have a beer. I want to talk to you a little bit about building a team because clearly with your practice you built a team around you and when you’re in Cairns, a bit like Canberra in a sense that it’s not a major metro area. What I’m curious to know is how have you gone about attracting talent to your particular practice? Sometimes with smaller centers there’s competition for talent. How do you go about that?

Tyson Franklin:

Over the years, I think you’ll find the same with Canberra, is trying to attract people to your area. It’s sometimes been difficult because a lot of people are from capital cities, they go to university in a capital city or even if they’ve come from regional areas and then they go to University in a capital city and they don’t want to come back. Over the years it had been a little bit difficult but what we found now is by setting up a really good business, it attracts people. If you have an average business, providing an average service and not really doing much else then you’re sort of comparing everything and everything looks the same so they’re going to take one that’s probably closer to home, capital city where their friends and family are. If you’ve got a business that’s set up that’s extraordinary and they go “Wow that really looks like a great business it’s somewhere I’d like to work.” The last probably ten years I’ve had very little problem at ever finding portraitist.

Jesse Green:                       

That’s fantastic and again build that remarkable business not only will your patients come, your key staff members will come and you’ll retain them right?

Tyson Franklin:

Yeah, pretty much. I know a lot of podiatry clinics, they always ask me “How do you keep your staff? What bonuses do you pay? Do you do this? Do you do that?” Years ago I used to pay bonuses and I was constantly replacing staff because the people that were working, were in it for the money.

Jesse Green:                       

I don’t pay bonuses either mate.

Tyson Franklin:

A couple of years back, five or six years ago, you know what I’m not paying bonuses anymore. I’m going to pay people good money and I’m just going to look after them. I’ll walk into work on a Friday afternoon with a carton of wine and put it down and say “Everyone just grab one on your way out.”

Jesse Green:                       

Nice.

Tyson Franklin:

That $20 wine will give me more mileage with everybody than if I said here I’m giving you a $20 pay raise, they’ll thank me that day and they’ll forget about it by following week and it’s just cost me $1000.

Jesse Green:                       

Lovely mate, that’s a really great little tip there. For those listening just listen to that and recognize your staff, reward your staff in ways that make sense as opposed to just throwing cash because there’s a great study and I’m going to kind of be caught short here with who the reference is but there was a study I think in Harvard Business Review indicating that one of the motivators around staff retention actually was not so much money. They needed to make enough money to be able to get through but it’s building a great and remarkable practice, it’s being recognized in a way that’s meaningful to them and the Friday afternoon with the wine I think is a fabulous thing mate. That’s cool. I like that. I might pinch that for myself.

Tyson Franklin:

It was good because we do a lot of advertising you get perks, you get movie tickets but occasionally we’ll just take them out for lunch or give them the movie tickets or you give them bottles of wine and like you said people want to work somewhere where they feel proud that they’re working there. If somebody says “Where do you work?” They go “I work at such and such dental practice.” People go “Oh yeah I know that place it’s really good.” They probably want to be somewhere they’re thinking of long term “I might actually be part of this down the track.”

Jesse Green:                       

I love that again it’s about getting the buy in, the emotional buy in of the staff. You can’t stress the importance of that. It makes such a difference not just to the fun you have at work, it makes a difference to the patient care, makes a difference to the stability of the business. It’s just fantastic. The importance of getting that right is critical. Mate I know you’re going to have to get back to the pool at some point because I know you have a pretty stressful day ahead of you.

We will wrap up in a second but one of the things I just wanted to quickly touch on with you. I know listening to your story, getting off the tools so to speak and getting that balance. One of the things I’m imagining when you first started in your practice and is common in a lot of small businesses not just dentistry or podiatry is many people find themselves kind of providing a service by day and running the business by night. We’ve kind of touched on the importance of systems. We’ve touched on the importance of having a good team. We’ve spoken about building a remarkable practice. Are there any other one or two or three tips that you could give guys who are thinking “I feel like I’m working harder and harder and I just need to kind of get a bit of breathing space back into my life.” What would be one or two or three tips you could suggest for those guys?

Tyson Franklin:

First one would be if they don’t have a coach or a mentor, get one. It was probably one of the best things I did other than, earlier I mentioned that seminar I went to on that one particular weekend, but that was one of the things I got out of that seminar is they were providing a coaching service afterwards. I went “Okay I want to do this.” I did it for 12 months and I out grew them so that’s why I say that if you’ve got a coach or a mentor, you may have had one in the past and you feel like you’re not getting what you want there’s nothing wrong with changing because sometimes you can out grow that person. You need something new. You need something fresh. That’s the first thing, get outside advice because you can’t work it all out yourself. Tips you get from other people is going to save you a lot of time and money.

The second thing is don’t pull out to early. What I mean by that is, I’ve seen a lot of people who will have a business that’s going along pretty well. It’s making pretty good money so they employ somebody too early. They go “I don’t want to do the work. I want to employ somebody else. I want them to do all the crappy work that I don’t want to do so I can just do the good stuff.”

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah.

Tyson Franklin:

Then they wonder why they constantly have to replace staff because that persons just doing crap work. Sometimes I think people need to work a little bit harder, sounds terrible, you’ve got to work harder before you can actually employ that other person.

Jesse Green:                       

That doesn’t sound terrible it makes perfect sense mate. It’s makes absolute perfect sense.

Tyson Franklin:

When you do employ the other person, don’t give them rubbish, share the work load with them. The whole idea of having them there is to take some of your work load so let them have the good stuff as well as the bad stuff and then free up some of your time. Then keep working harder again until you can employ another person. Once you’ve got a few in there then you’re going to set a goal and say this is when I’m stepping away.

Jesse Green:                       

Nice. Fabulous. That’s just some really good advice, solid advice for anyone looking to get off the tools. I really think that’s fantastic getting yourself a mentor. The best golfers in the world can’t observe their own golf swing get somebody to have a look at what you’re doing there. Plenty of people around that can assist with that. Equally employ great people, work hard before you bring someone else in and don’t pass off all the rubbish to them. Give them a share of the good stuff as well and then work harder again to bring on your next person. Mate, that’s solid.

Tyson Franklin:

The other thing too is you don’t have to give up the tools. I’ve had other coaches, this one group in particular in podiatry and they’re constantly just saying to people “Come with us and we’ll show you how to give up working and let’s be enjoying the business.” If they ever said that to me, I’ve been in podiatry 28 years, if they ever said that to me 18 years ago I’d be going “Hang on I enjoy what I’m doing. I don’t want to have to give it up.” It’s not about giving up your business it’s just about making your business run better so you can enjoy it more.

Jesse Green:                       

Completely because ultimately we go into business to create a business and a life right? It’s not just run a business that runs our life so again, if you love being a dentist or if you love being a podiatrist absolutely continue to do it. That makes perfect sense but if you’re looking to give yourself a bit more breathing space then the stuff Tyson’s already gone through there I think is really good advice and you’re right mate there is no one size fits all strategy. Some people want to stay full time clinical. Others want to kind of step away a bit and some want to step away completely and whatever it is, is fine.

Tyson Franklin:

That’s the years, I felt different at different stages. First 10 years, loving it. Next 10 years enjoying it but not loving it as much as I did and then the last 8 years I’ve been wanting to step away and that’s what I’ve worked towards.

Jesse Green:                       

Yeah, cool. Hey Tyson I wanted to say thanks on behalf of all the audience today for coming on the program. I know you’ve got some extraordinary stuff to share and I hope we can get you back on the show to share some more. I know you’ve got to go today but again I really wanted to take a moment to say thanks for coming on the show. There’s been so much good stuff that you shared with us about building successful business we’ve covered heaps of territory. If anyone wants to find out a bit more about Tyson, what he does. I’m just going to encourage you to go and check out his website tysonfranklin.com and check it out because there’s some really interesting blog posts there. There’s a whole lot of things there that I read and draw inspiration from as well. I’m a big believer that sometimes the best ideas come from outside dentistry so I mate, I wanted to say once again, thank you so much you’ve been a gem.

Tyson Franklin:

No thanks for having me on the podcast. When you asked me to do I was like “Oh, Oh, this is good.”

Jesse Green:                       

It’s been fun mate and we’ll have to do it again.

Tyson Franklin:

I like the way you’ve had different speakers from different industries and one of the last things you just said then. One of the things I always said to people was “Your best ideas will come from outside of your profession.”

Jesse Green:                       

Completely. In fact I think most of my good ideas I’ve ever had have come from outside of dentistry.

Tyson Franklin:

I think mine have too.

Jesse Green:                       

One of the things I always, just a last little bit of goodness I can share with the audience as well, don’t copy things. Model the thinking but don’t copy and I’ve always kind of taken that on board. I look at things and draw inspiration from it. I draw inspiration from what you did Tyson and this is also again mate thanks so much you’ve been really wonderful and generous to come on the program.

Tyson Franklin:

Yeah, it’s been awesome, thanks.

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