How to Work with Your Spouse
Most consulting companies discourage you from using your spouse in your practice. You, your spouse and some of your staff members may also believe it is a bad idea.
Yet your spouse may be an untapped resource that can increase your flow of new patients, your productivity and your profit. ExecTech clients, who were afraid to involve their spouses in their practices, are now using the power of their marriages to great advantage. Involving your spouse can actually improve your marriage as well, if the roles are properly organized.
Three Reasons Spouses Hurt Practices
1. No one trains spouses to do the jobs they are expected to do.
2. Spouses do not have or use enough authority to do what they need to do.
3. Spouses disagree with you, fail to follow office policy or abuse their power.
You can solve these problems by agreeing with your spouse on his or her exact role, training your spouse on that role, giving your spouse sufficient power to get the job done and agreeing on the rules.
Ten Ways Your Spouse Can Improve Your Practice
1. Create joy in your office. A spouse can act as a counselor, peacemaker and cheerleader. Morale is boosted when your spouse helps handle staff complaints, conflicts and personal problems.
2. Build community public relations. Spouses create goodwill by organizing charity events with the practice as the sponsor or representing your practice at functions and gatherings.
3. Help you blow off steam. Spouses who patiently listen are priceless. Twenty minutes of calm, supportive listening each night can help free your attention from your practice and get on with your life.
4. Promote the practice. Spouses can openly brag and boast about you and your skills with zero risk. No one can criticize your spouse for promoting you.
5. Manage professional relations. Referrals from colleagues soar when your spouse takes command of your current relationships and helps you create new ones.
6. Act as the practice host. Odds are good your spouse is a better socializer than you. When your spouse hosts internal events like open houses, study groups or parties, your image improves.
7. Manage your office. Some spouses are simply better managers than you. For example, getting staff members to comply with your rules and instructions can be difficult for you, but easy for your spouse.
8. Protect you from legal risk. Your spouse can resolve complaints from staff before they become major problems, e.g., discrimination or sexual harassment incidents. Malpractice risks are also reduced when patients are comfortable enough with your spouse to voice their complaints.
9. Boost income. Staff members are not as motivated to collect money as your spouse. For example, over-the-counter collections are always higher when spouses do the job. Spouses also prevent embezzlement.
10. Build your confidence. Every practice owner gets hit with criticism and doubt. Your spouse can raise your spirits with encouragement, appreciation and praise. This may be his or her most valuable role of all.
Behind every successful practice owner is a spouse who is confident he or she will succeed.