As an ambitious 23 year old, Brad Dredge and a friend decided to go into business together doing podiatry because that’s “what others thought they should do”.
They started the business with no business knowledge or training on how to run it; they were simply amazing podiatrists. Each had a desire to help people live their best lives, and provide high quality healthcare. The business started out in a rented building, but grew so rapidly that they decided to purchase their own building and begin hiring staff.
Brad and his friend worked tirelessly in their business, the passion was there but the business know-how wasn’t
“There weren’t enough hours in the week, there were more patients coming in the door and more money going out the door, and things were not progressing… I couldn’t work any harder.”
Brad’s business partner ended up leaving and it got to the point where he was certain he had to either do something different or throw in the towel.
The business growth was too rapid and began to snowball, Brad’s passion had outgrown his knowledge and he decided it was time to enlist the help of a business coach. Brad turned to Outcomes Business Group for help and Ray Strongman started as Brad’s coach and mentor. Through coaching, Brad learned how to implement many positive changes in his business that have led him to the place he is now.
One of the key changes that had to be undertaken was for Brad to spend less time with his patients, and more time working on his business and learning how to grow it in a healthy way. This took some time to get used to, as Brad was so accustomed to spending 6 days a week doing podiatry, but the change was worth it as he now has a 50/50 split in time working on the business and working with patients. Learning how to delegate tasks better and providing more training and mentoring for his staff has helped increase productivity within the business. In turn this has dramatically reduced Brad’s working hours. Prior to starting business coaching Brad was working up to 50 hours per week and is now working a 35-36 hour week.
Brad also learned that it was ok to raise prices, and that he wouldn’t lose clients by doing so. Part of why the business was snowballing so badly was that not enough money was coming in, and raising prices has made Brad’s finances far more manageable.
Ray also taught Brad the value of systemising important processes such as staff management and the value of inspiring and engaging the team to build a culture that attracted a high performance team.letting go of staff. Sometimes it can be difficult to recognise which team members are most valuable, but with coaching Brad has the understanding to keep track of his employees progress.
Hiring the right person from the start avoids so many problems Brad says. His recruitment process is so in depth now that they rarely get the wrong person. “It’s like chalk and cheese compared to how we used to hire staff”.
Brad says his best advice he received from Ray was to read; read books, audio books, listen to podcasts, just keep educating yourself and keep pushing yourself.
One of the best books Brad has ever read was the ‘One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey’ by Ken Blanchard. It’s in Brad’s nature to help others and he says this book really helped him stop trying to do everybody’s job for them.
Brad says “Don’t use [coaching] as a last resort; don’t wait until it’s too late”. “Every day that you put off coaching is a day that you haven’t started growing. So if you put it off 6 months that’s 6 months of growth you won’t get back, if you put it off for a year, that’s a year worth of growth that you won’t get back. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. “
As a successful businessman Brad and “Walk on Podiatry” now have 5 locations. Brad is mentoring podiatrists coming out of university to impart the knowledge he has learnt along his business journey. Brad feels safe knowing that if he wanted a change in career he could change without hesitation, knowing that “Walk on Podiatry” would run without him and still generate income.
“We are at a point in the business where our best podiatrist can leave and it wouldn’t be detrimental to the business, we would survive, we have so many structures and systems in place. “
Walk on Podiatry is about to have their third partner buy into the business and they have big plans for the years to come. “These last 10 years with Ray we really worked on the systems and getting things automated, getting the training right… By the end of 3 years we aim to have 3 clinics that are all hitting $100,000 profit each which we are well on track for”.