Small Details, Big Difference
By: Mercedes Eustergerling | Vida Health & Wellness
Business owners make a lot of decisions. One of the reasons why we’re entrepreneurs is so we can have that decision-making authority to do things our way. We’ve seen the impact of others’ choices and we believe in taking a different path.
Within each choice there is a potential for social impact and improving the lives of others.
Let’s take a look at some of the decisions that may be overlooked and how those little changes can add up to a significant impact.
Location & Hours
When you work for someone else, it can be difficult to choose your location or to avoid a long commute. As an entrepreneur you can examine the possibilities and make an impact for yourself (reduce burnout), your clients, and the planet.
A perk of working for myself is that I can walk or bike to the clinic. This means that I’m getting fresh air and physical activity every day, which puts me in a positive mindset and results in better care for my patients. As a mom I value time alone with my thoughts and I keep a notes file open for the ideas that bubble up on my walks. In the summer when my bicycle is in the clinic, it’s an opportunity to discuss physical activity with my patients and lends credibility to my recommendations.
When I lived farther from the city centre, I worked during off-peak hours. This drastically reduced my commute time and influenced my personal disposition. It also impacted my environmental footprint and provided patients with healthcare access before or after their work times.
It’s almost impossible to go plastic-free as a business. It’s a great goal to have but in order to get there, we first need to identify all the ways that plastics intersect with our companies. Did you know that point of sale receipts are typically printed on plastic “paper” that can’t be recycled?
Here are a few other examples of hidden plastics
- Packaging for supplies
- Printer cartridges
- Building access cards
- Cleaning products
If you’re working for a large organization, eliminating these sources of plastic is a daunting task.
As an entrepreneur you have all the power!
In my business I’ve streamlined my supply ordering to reduce the number of shipments and the amount of packaging involved. There’s a local business that will refill my printer ink within walking distance so I can avoid throwing out the old cartridge. I also send e-mail receipts by default and only print receipts by request. The clinic has an old-school metal key for the door and I take the stairs to save little bits of electricity.
As for swag, I’ve never been a fan. Most people have plenty of pens, t-shirts, mugs, and water bottles these days. I prefer to provide valuable digital content and excellent healthcare. A business card has all necessary contact information and is recyclable.
Lastly, for any BOSSI readers working in health care, I encourage you to take a look at which plastics are truly necessary.
Of course we need vinyl gloves and plastic face shields for infection control. However our draping sheets can be made of cloth. We can also use washcloths and spray bottles instead of CaviWipes. Hand sanitizer and other cleaning products can be purchased in bulk and refilled to minimize plastic packaging.
Hopefully this post has prompted some reflection and ideas. Innovation is exciting and it’s fun to be the one to do things differently! This week, take a look at your business and find 5 ways to make small impacts.
Be sure to share your ideas, successes, and shortcomings with the BOSSI community. We’re all learning together.
Mercedes Eustergerling, BKin, MPT, MHM
Founder, Vida Health & Wellness
Fed up with the systemic mistreatment of women in our healthcare system, Mercedes founded Vida Health & Wellness to offer a better option. She helps women with complex health histories and makes their lives easier through physiotherapy and breastfeeding support.
Join the community at www.vidahealth.ca