A quick poll:
As a health provider in private practice, when was the last time you drew up a business plan?
a) Last year
b) Five years ago
If you answered b or c, you are not alone. The truth is, most health practitioners are too busy running their practice day-to-day to spend time on planning.
Yet, just as you advise patients to take responsibility for their own health, practice owners need to invest time and energy into business planning – and there’s no quick-fix magic pill.
A well-drafted business plan can help spell out exactly what your practice does and how it intends to do it with the resources available. It helps focus the direction that you want your practice to go in, influencing decisions on marketing, finance and management.
Are you just starting a new practice? A plan can determine how you handle the market competition.
Are you 5+ years into an established practice? A plan can rejuvenate your practice and avoid the stagnation trap.
Are you considering retirement in the next 5-10 years? A plan can help position your practice for succession or selling.
There are many scenarios that start from little niggles in the background before growing into larger symptoms of an inefficient business:
- Advertising doesn’t work as well as it used to
- Staff performance management is causing problems
- Patient communication isn’t effective
- IT systems are out of date
- More competition from other health providers
- Costs are increasing but income is stagnant
When these issues become too daunting to solve, where do you start?
With a plan. A care plan, if you will, for your business.
Working from a business plan helps you design strategies for growth, expand networks, make a digital transition, target marketing, and get you focused on purpose and progress. A well-drafted plan can help secure finance or capital, can underpin your business/digital/marketing strategies, and will also be valuable if you look to expanding or selling your clinic in the future.
How to get started
Templates for a business plan are available from the Business Victoria government website, and these are easy to follow and offer a great base to begin your short and long-term planning. However, they are time-consuming to do and it is hard for some to see them through from start to finish. Yet a practice with a plan can grow sustainably and meaningfully for many years to come by anticipating change and opportunities in the wider healthcare market. So if it’s too daunting to undertake it by yourself, ask a professional to work through it with you.
Spindle Consulting provides assistance with business plans, strategic design and management processes. Fill out the contact form below to book a call-back or to arrange a consultation.