Published - May/June 2020

Bye, Bye to Another Decade
By Dave Jakielo

As we embark on another decade, it is a great time to step back, catch our breath, and take a hard look at our businesses. It may be a cliché to say that the older we get, the faster time seems to speed by -- when I was a child, a day seemed an eternity -- but now that I have matured (such a nicer term than "getting old"), even an entire year seems to fly by so quickly.

Reflecting back on 2019, how many items did you cross off your to-do list that you created last January? Or did you find that you just added more pages of "to-dos," and that your list is longer than ever? It's funny that with all the advances in technology the past two decades, we are still busier than ever. Why is it that even when a new time-saving invention is introduced, we don't take advantage of that newfound time to relax or do something fun—we just fill up that time with more stuff to do?

So, before another year passes us by, here are a few major areas that deserve your review and contemplation:

Personal Development: What have you done recently to increase your knowledge base? One element of success is predicated upon acquiring and honing additional skill sets. The more we know about a particular area, the better equipped we are to achieve success. Given the many hats we wear as business leaders, we must have an understanding of our major areas of responsibility. For example, I often hear that a company would like to grow by increasing sales. When I question what books or podcasts the company leaders have read or listened to or which seminars they have attended relating to sales and marketing, they give me that "deer in headlights" glare. Increasing sales is a two-step process. First, learn the proper techniques for prospecting, presenting, and closing; second and most importantly, dedicate time to practicing and implementing them.

Team Development: Have you encouraged the folks around you to improve their skills? As leaders in our industry, it is imperative that we help others grow. Those who work with us must continue to expand their horizons in order to remain assets to our firms. They need continual development relating to their Leadership and Customer Service skills. A fast track to success is to surround yourself with people smarter than you. If you and your second in command think exactly alike, then one of you is redundant.

Expense Reduction: Fact: a dollar saved drops directly to the bottom line. It is much easier to save a buck in expenses than to earn an additional dollar through increased revenue. The biggest expenditure we have in our business is personnel salaries and the various costs associated with our employees. However, very rarely have I seen productivity standards put in place to ensure a business is properly staffed. When I query supervisors as to the number of employees they have, the usual answer is, "Not enough." Proper staffing will dramatically improve profitability. Investing your time to determine that you have the correct staffing level is priceless.

Process Improvement: If you are still doing things the same way you did them six months ago, you're probably wrong. The world is changing so rapidly that we must continually question all the processes in our operations. The most powerful question you can ask day in and day out is, "Why?" If you still believe the old premise, "If it isn't broken, don't fix it," or your mantra is, "Because that's the way we always have done it," trouble is lurking around the corner. Take the time to review and revise all the functions in your business. One area that is developing rapidly is the use of automated processes known as "bots." An example is that these software programs can automatically check eligibility and run claim statuses without human intervention. This is a huge time and money saver.

It's a new year and a great time to improve ourselves and those around us, plus we can shed bad habits. Remember, if you don't start today, before you know it, we will be flipping the calendar once again. And as always, I wish you continued success in 2020.

Dave Jakielo, is an International Speaker, Consultant dedicated to the Medical Billing Industry, Executive Coach, and Author, and is President of Seminars & Consulting. Dave is a Founder and past President of Healthcare Business and Management Association and the National Speakers Association, Pittsburgh. Sign up for his FREE weekly Success Tips at Dave can be reached via email; phone 412-921-0976.

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