Last year I developed a real interest in learning how to smoke meat. Since then, I have noticed some of the tips I have learnt about smoking meat also relate to running a successful podiatry business. Who would have thought?
Below are my top ten tips that I think you will benefit from and find easy to apply in your podiatry business, and if nothing else, you'll learn a lot more about smoking good meat.
1. Don't over-season; keep it simple
When you're smoking meat, you want the seasoning to bring out the flavour in the meat, in addition to the smoke flavour you're creating. If you over season with too much salt or pepper, it can be over-powering and take away from the desired result.
I think this relates well to setting up systems in your podiatry business, don't over-complicate them; keep them simple. A good rule of thumb is getting a 12-year old to read your system, and if they don't understand it, it's too complicated.
In the 12-Week Podiatry Business Reboot, I talk about writing systems for average patients, not extremes. Don't try to write systems for what I call mythical white whales or patients that are pains in the butt, the blowflies.
Trying to write systems to cover every patient and every concern is a waste of valuable time. Remember, keep it simple.
2. Allow enough time to cook
Smoking meat is often referred to as cooking low and slow because the temperate of the smoker is kept relatively low, and therefore it takes much longer to cook the meat all the way through to the desired result you are after.
So, you must learn to be patient and respect the smoking process; you cannot rush.
When you think of different aspects of your podiatry business, you must also learn to be patient and respect the process. A new marketing campaign will not always give you instant results; sometimes, it takes time to gain momentum.
I say the same thing about business coaching; you need time to see the true results. Even though I know my 12-Week Podiatry Business Reboot gives some very fast early results, the program's true value is not fully experienced until the 12-Weeks is complete.
3. Make sure you rest the meat long enough
Meat needs to rest because the juices need time to redistribute; otherwise, it will just flow away as soon as you cut into it, leaving you with a brown, overcooked piece of meat.
Just like meat, you need to also rest. You need to permit yourself to take a break. If you've been flat out on a particular task or just been busy, take some time out to rest and recuperate. It's sort of like redistributing your creative juices.
You need to slow down before you can speed up.
4. Don't make big changes when you cook
If you want to get better at smoking meat, you've got to make continual small changes, review the results and then make another small change or tweak. Therefore, you should only make one small change at a time. When you make small changes and review the results, you become more aware of what works and what does not.
If you're evaluating a marketing idea because you think it's not performing as well as it should, the same principles apply, make one small change at a time, avoid big changes.
5. Look for the right signs
When you're cooking meat in a smoker, there are several things you're looking at. The colour, how does the bark look, is the fat rendering as it should? These are all important, but not as important as the temperature.
The internal temperate will let you know when the meat is cooked and safe to eat, and different meats have different temperatures. I don’t care how good my chicken looks; if the thermometer says it’s not cooked, then it’s not cooked.
With your podiatry business, there will also be particular signs or key performance indicators you should be looking at regularly to let you know if your business is running as it should. I discuss numbers in Episode 135 - The Importance of Understanding Your Numbers.
But not all numbers are equal or hold the same importance, just like the colour of my chook is not as important as the internal temperate of the meat.
Depending on the type of podiatry business you’re growing, certain KPI’s will hold more relevance than others.
6. Don't over smoke
When you first begin smoking meat, you think the more smoke, the better, but what you quickly learn is that it leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, and it is not pleasant.
How does this relate to your podiatry business? I believe you should stay in contact with your patients with regular newsletters and emails to keep them up to date with what your business is doing, but don't overdo it.
Don't bombard them with too much information. If you’re doing a newsletter, electronic or hardcopy, keep it simple and don’t make it too long. Patients don’t have time to read War & Peace.
7. Avoid wild temperature swings
One of the trickiest things to master when smoking meat is maintaining a constant temperature for an extended period of time.
If you have wild temperate swings, it will affect the cooking process and outcome of your cooking. If it's too high, the meat cooks too fast and becomes tough, and if it is too low, you may find you're getting takeaway for your dinner guests because it's not ready.
Your goal is to maintain a constant temperature and therefore cook at a steady rate.
I like to equate temperature swings to managing the patient flow or weekly patient numbers in your diary. What you don't want is hectic weeks followed by quiet weeks. This is not a good way to run a podiatry business.
8. Do not use low quality meat
When it comes to meat, you get what you pay for. It's like the old computer saying, garbage in, garbage out and smoking poor quality meat will result in a less than the desired outcome.
When it comes to your podiatry business, aim for quality in all areas.
For example, quality instruments may cost more, but they also last much longer and make your life easier. I bought a pair of scissors over 20 years ago that cost me about $110, and they are still going strong today.
In my podiatry business, I always had the philosophy of better before cheaper. I never went for the cheapest option, but I also didn't throw money away. Sometimes the best option was also the cheapest, but rarely.
When it comes to treating your patients, offer them the best treatment, not the cheapest treatment and let them decide if they can or cannot afford it.
9. Trim properly
Before smoking meat, you need to allow time to trim, meaning removing some excess fat, especially the hard fat and fat that's too thick in some areas.
You also need to trim off any thin pieces of meat that will end up burning during the cooking process. You're better to cut it off and put a smile on your pet’s face.
In your podiatry business, where can you trim the fat?
- Are you over-ordering, and have you got valuable stock sitting on a shelf for too long?
- Are you spending money on marketing that gives you little or no results?
- Are you offering services or have equipment that no one uses or wants?
- Have you got a spare room in your clinic doing nothing? Could it be a sublet?
- Are you hanging onto underperforming team members?
10. Learn from other’s with experience
The best advice I can give anyone learning to smoke meat is to learn from others that have gone before you. They say if you’re going to walk through a minefield, follow someone else’s footsteps, which sounds like good advice.
Most of my smoking knowledge has come from YouTube and friends that have smokers. If there were smoking classes available where I live, I would be tapping into those as well.
What I don’t do is take advice from people that do not have a smoker. As a podiatry business owner, you need to do the same. Learn from others that have gone before you and stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
If you need help with your business, read books, jump onto webinars and listen to podcasts. Consider attending online training, like my 12-Week Podiatry Business Reboot. You need to get into a habit of continual learning.
In Australia, LIVE events are starting to make a resurgence, which is great.
I know I’m running a face-to-face 1-Day Audio-Marketing workshop on the Gold Coast in June, and I’m also running a 3-Day Marketing Retreat – Unlock Your Creative Mind, in Cairns in August. Keep an eye on my EVENTS page for details.
If you’ve been doing all the above and want to take your podiatry business even further and grow it faster, get a one-on-one podiatry business coach who can work with you on specific areas of your business that need the most attention.
Believe me, if your podiatry business coach is any good, their fee will seem insignificant compared to the revenue they help you generate, but before you engage a business coach, please listen to Episode 137: 7/12 Questions to Ask Your Podiatry Business Coach.
If I could leave you with a bonus tip, stay on a path of continual learning, not just in your business knowledge but also in your clinical knowledge and skillset. Keep pushing yourself to be better.
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.