A few weeks ago, one of my clients – a successful entrepreneur – took me aside. “You should scale Banter Speech,” he said. “Open more branches. Franchise!”
He wasn’t the first person to give us that advice. From a business perspective, the suggestion made sense. We’ve invested a lot of time and energy over the years in training, building quality systems, and creating resources to help people with speech, language, stuttering, literacy and other communication challenges. With work, we could probably double or triple our size pretty quickly.
But, something about the idea didn’t sit right with me.
Cut to yesterday. As I cleaned up my man cave, looking for our battered Christmas Tree box, I came across a classic: “A Pattern Language”, by Christopher Alexander and colleagues. It’s a book about planning ideal towns, buildings and services for people and communities.
As I flicked through it (procrastinating), I came across this great quote:
“Services don’t work if they are too large. When they are large, their human qualities vanish; they become bureaucratic; red tape takes over.”
If you are providing quality care to real people with challenges, there are big benefits to staying small:
“We have concluded that no service should have more than 12 persons total…the largest number of people that can sit down in a face-to-face discussion.”
So – although we are grateful for the support – we’re not looking to scale or franchise our clinic. We love our small, but talented team. Our independence. Our active relationships with our clients, their families and our local communities.
We revel in the absence of red tape and the freedom it gives us to try new things, to improve our client care, and to create useful resources.
Speaking of resources, Teachers Pay Teachers is throwing a huge cyber sale on 2 and 3 December!
To inspire you, here are some of our most popular resources. But check out the terrific resources of other speech pathologists, too!
Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the PreLit early literacy preparation program by MultiLit, the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.
David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP). David is a part-time Associate Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney’s Graduate School of Health. David sits on Speech Pathology Australia’s Ethics Board and Professional Standards Advisory Committee, and is a Board Member of SPELD NSW.