As a long-term entrepreneur with the benefit of a few great mentors, the best advice I have ever received is: “Operate your business like it’s for sale.” The idea that you should run your private practice or medspa like it’s for sale is another way of saying you should begin with the end in mind. That means regularly asking yourself an important question: “If I wanted to buy an existing practice, what would I be looking for?” The corollary to that is: “If I wanted to sell my practice tomorrow, what would I need to improve to get the maximum value for it?”
Now take a minute to create a working audit of your practice—think about your practice in terms of profit, people, processes and tools. In addition to reviewing your profit and loss statements, vendor agreements, and current treatment and procedure offerings, focus your attention on your staff, including the processes, protocols and tools they use to do their jobs. Is everyone in the practice working together the way you expect and the way you had originally envisioned? If not, what needs to change? For example, an inefficient team may benefit from written protocols and team meetings to review problems, share concerns and improve working relationships with one another. The key is to recognize the problem and then gather the information you need to address it.
When it comes to staff, there is something that owners and managers hate to consider, yet it is critical to success: If you bought your practice today, would you hire and keep everyone on the existing staff? If you find that the answer is no, think about what changes you would make by listing what you like and dislike about your team as well as each individual employee. This can guide you in implementing advanced training for your staff when needed, and provide insight into areas where employees could be shifted into different positions that are more in line with their goals and personalities. If change is necessary, make a change.
The next area to review is your protocols and processes. You likely have clearly defined protocols for all medical procedures that are delegated to staff members, but does your practice also have clearly defined processes for the nonmedical aspects of the business? These may include:
- How to answer phones and greet patients as they come into the office
- How to address the most common patient concerns
- How to increase patient conversion rates
- Incentives or strategies to increase referrals
- Processes to gather email addresses, obtain positive reviews and encourage patients to follow the practice on social media
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