Do you have a Podiatry Business Coach, or are you considering getting one in the not too distant future? If you are, I think there are some fundamental questions you need to ask them to make sure you're getting the most value out of your coaching investment.
But before I dig into today’s topic, I want to remind you that my next 12-Week Podiatry Business Reboot will begin on Thursday the 6th of May at 5.30 pm AEST, which will be 7.30 pm in New Zealand and 8.30 am in the United Kingdom.
So, if you’re looking to give your podiatry business the reboot, it deserves, especially with everything that has occurred over the past 12-months, this is the coaching program to consider.
Before answering the questions, though, I think it’s important to understand the difference between a business coach and a business mentor.
Coach Versus Mentor
Business Mentoring and Business Coaching are often used interchangeably because both mentoring and coaching help business owners achieve more. Yet, they are quite different.
Business Coaching is more about helping the business owner with skill acquisition. A Business Coach focuses on developing particular skills to help the business owner achieve short, medium, and long-term business and personal goals.
For example, if your business does not have systems in place, then a business coach can help you acquire and develop this skill in many areas of your business.
In most cases, though, a Business Coach may have little to no knowledge of your actual profession, which can be a limitation in some circumstances.
However, even without specific knowledge of podiatry, a good Business Coach is still an asset to your business.
However, a Business Mentor has particular business skills and professional expertise, with a certain level of experience, who is prepared to share what they have learned with others of the same profession.
Therefore, business mentoring is about transferring knowledge from a more experienced person to a lesser-experienced person.
In simple terms, a Mentor is someone you learn from, whereas a Coach is someone you learn with. Therefore a Mentor can be a Business Coach, which is the hat I currently wear, I am a mentoring business coach, but a Business Coach cannot be a Mentor unless they share the same profession.
Now, onto the questions:
Question 1 – Are you a podiatrist?
This may seem like an obvious question, and if you’re dealing with an individual, such as myself, you’ll know the answer to this question pretty quickly, but if you’re considering coaching with a larger organisation, where there are many coaches, and you do not get to choose who you work with, which is often the case, you need to ask this question, “Is MY COACH a podiatrist”?
I’m not saying you cannot learn from a business coach that is not a podiatrist, as I’ve already discussed, and I’ve got some good friends that are amazing businesses coaches, and I’ve learnt a lot from them and still do.
For example, I recently went to a friend’s workshop, Sam Harrop, a great business coach, and he specialises in business coaching for tradies. My March blog was titled What I Learnt at the Tradies Workshop, but Sam is an individual once again.
And when you’re considering the coaching services from a larger organisation, not an individual, asking if YOUR coach is a podiatrist or, at a minimum, worked in the healthcare industry is extremely important.
It’s unfortunate, but anyone can put a hat on and say I’m a business coach or work for a coaching organisation, which is why you need to do your homework.
You’re paying good money; therefore, you want good advice, not a cookie-cutter monthly module approach.
So, let’s assume you’ve found a business coach, and they are a podiatrist.
Question 2 – How many years have you practised, where have you worked, and how many years did you have your business?
Here’s an important point; Two podiatrists with the same amount of experience in the profession does not make them equal. Time in the profession is important, but it is still ONLY one measuring stick.
Where they worked over this period of time is just as more important. What skills have they acquired and developed, and are they applicable to the business areas you want to grow and develop.
A podiatrist who has worked for many years for the government will probably have a different skill set from someone who worked in private practice or a more specialised sports clinic.
Also, the number of years of business ownership is significant.
I set up my first podiatry business on the Gold Coast in 1989. Every year, I made a conscious effort to learn more about myself and how to run a successful podiatry business.
BUT another thing to remember is anyone can own a podiatry business. The question is, did they own a successful podiatry business? Once again, you can own a business for more than twenty years and learn nothing.
Question 3 – What was the emphasis of your podiatry business?
The reason this question is important is that if you want more biomechanical and MSK type patients, and this is the type of business you’re trying to build. You need to get specific, tailored advice from a business coach that has done this themselves.
When I’m asked this question, I would say my podiatry business was 80% Biomechanical or MSK and 20% General podiatry; however, my Mackay clinic is was 100% Biomechanical & MSK, we had zero general patients…and it boomed.
In episode 100, I talked discussed Why I Think Niching is the Future of Podiatry.
Finding a business coach with a specific skill set in an area of podiatry and business that interests you will definitely speed up the growth and success in that area of your business.
Question 4 – When you owned your podiatry business, what was your average profit per year and how many days per week did you work in the business seeing patients?
Your business coach should have no problems sharing this information with you, and the reason it is important to know is that if you want to make $300K or more per year, it may be difficult for someone to teach you how to do this if they have never done it themselves.
They may give it a shot, and I’m sure some of their advice will be good, but nothing beats the experience from someone that has actually done it.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the Will Ferrell movie, Get Hard, but it’s about James King, a wealthy investment bank manager who is framed for a crime he didn't commit and asks the man who washes his car, Darnell Lewis, played by Kevin Hart, to help him prepare for prison.
The second part of the question is just as more important, though, how many days did you work seeing patients?
Making a profit of $300K or more per year is nice, but there’s a big difference between working 5.5 days per week and rarely taking a holiday than working two days per week and having six to eight weeks holidays.
Once again, it’s hard to teach what you have never done.
Side Note: A lot of coaches will tell you that you should be working on your business and not in your business, and I agree to a point, but I also believe you should be doing what makes you happy, and if you love treating patients, you should not have to stop doing that.
Question 5 – Why did you sell your business if it was so profitable?
I think this is an awesome question to ask, and it’s one I have been asked, so why did I sell my business if it was so profitable.
I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. The money was too good to say no. Plus, after I wrote my book, It’s No Secret There’s Money in Podiatry, I was being approached about business coaching and had a few clients, so for me, it was perfect timing, and at 50 years of age seems like a good time to transition.
I did a Webinar last October titled The Great Escape – Knowing When to Sell Your Podiatry Business, and on that webinar, I explained several other reasons. I’ll rerun it later this month, or you can watch the replay.
Question 6 – How many businesses have you owned, and have you operated multiple podiatry businesses at one time?
I think the more podiatry businesses you’ve owned, the better your business knowledge. Owning one successful business in one location for ten or twenty years is not hard to do, but owning several businesses in different towns is a whole different story.
At one stage, I was running 5 podiatry businesses spread over 1800 kilometres, and I can tell you there are benefits and pitfalls for doing this.
If you want to own multiple podiatry businesses and your business coach has never done this, their advice may be limited.
Question 7 – How many podiatrists and support staff did you employ?
As I mentioned before, some business coaches working for larger coaching organisations have not operated their own businesses and therefore have not enjoyed the pleasure and pain of employing another individual.
They may have a degree in business and leadership knowledge, but everything, in theory, sounds awesome, but it is a little more difficult in reality.
I’ve employed several podiatrists and support staff over the past thirty years, and I made some huge blunders, asked some old employees, and had a lot of successes with my team, and hindsight is a great teacher.
These days, when a coaching client is concerned with a team member, there’s not much I have not seen or do not have a solution for, but even with all my experience, every situation is still different, which is what makes business exciting.
To wrap up this episode 7 ½ Questions to Ask Your Podiatry Business Coach, I truly believe that business ownership is exciting and a lot of FUN, but it’s not for everyone. Some podiatrists should be great employees and not open their own podiatry business.
In fact, they’d probably make more money and enjoy life more by staying an employee, but if the business bug has got hold of you and you want to have a successful business, you’ve got to find the FUN in your business, and if you’re struggling to find it, get yourself a business coach and make sure you ask the questions above.
If you have any questions about this episode, one-on-one coaching or any of my group coaching programs, please send me an email at and we can arrange a quick ZOOM call.
If you're looking for a Competitive Advantage over other podiatrists in your area, please visit my EVENTS PAGE, and consider joining my next group coaching program, the 12-Week Podiatry Business Reboot or join the Podiatry Business Owners Club on Facebook.