Years ago when managed care first reared its head, I participated for about two minutes. It quickly became clear that doing so was not in my best interest. If reimbursement came it was very tardy. At times I’d spend hours on the phone chasing it. I vowed to open a bait shop if playing in managed care’s game was the only way to run a psychiatric practice. Shunning them was made easier by the successful cash-based practices of several close colleagues. With time I grew my own.
Seven years ago life events led to a decision to move to Chicago. Over a year’s time I transitioned to Chicago by subleasing office space for seeing patients on Friday and Saturday, working in Dallas Monday through Thursday noon when I would fly off to Chicago. Laura Lee, my new life and business partner, and I started new practices as I closed the Dallas operation.
At first our business was branded as ChicagoPsychiatrists.org. I don’t remember who built our first website but it was quite primitive. We designed our first business cards using the photo on the site’s home page and printed them ourselves using perforated card stock and an inkjet printer. Two years later we were ready for an upgrade.
Soon thereafter we saw a colleague’s new business card. It spoke to us. Keith Morgan, now of Buckledown-Interactive, was the graphics designer. We contacted Keith who took us on an adventure of designing our new business cards, letterhead, and website. The process was interesting and fun and time-consuming. He had us look through a variety of magazines and tearing out images that appealed to us both. From that exercise he guided us through a design process which produced a look and feel of our practice that appealed to us both. The centerpiece was our name and website, ClearLifePath.
Since then we have gone through several design updates while staying true to the original. Keith continues to be a valued part of our business team, helping in the design of marketing pieces for our clinical work and now this consulting business. If you don’t have a relationship with a talented, creative designer, start looking around. If you’re lucky, they will become, as Keith has for us, an important ingredient of your ongoing success.