5 changes for a more productive and profitable 2015
The vast majority of dental practice owners and medical consultants would like their business to be more productive, and more profitable. There are a minority who say that they feel they are maxing their output and their profit meets their goals and aspirations but these are the small few within the profession. Increasing productivity goes hand in hand with the opportunity to make more profit as well as improving the work to life balance.
Business – it’s a case of balancing plates
Frequently business can be referred to as a “balancing plate exercise”. Although it is rare that business owners do this well.
The reason for this is their focus is just on treating patients as well as fire-fighting tasks that land on their desk that day.
When I say, “just” of course, treating patients is the core activity and the one that can’t be put off for a rainy day. However, by building a better business structure around your core activity means that everything can be streamlined giving you more time and energy to focus on what is important – your patients.
5 key business areas to get on your radar
“Planning is about bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now” Alan Lakein
Planning is often an illusion, or a delusion. Scribbling notes for that day onto the back of your junk mail doesn’t suffice as planning – although, setting out your day in a structured manner is helpful, but what about more long-term?
If you are not taking a day out of your diary every quarter (minimum), month (ideal) to plan your business then here is the first opportunity
for change in 2015.
A business needs direction, goals and targets and this comes from reflection, adaptation and change. All of these can be wrapped up as Planning.
Consider writing a Business Plan for 2015 using our FREE downloadable templates:
- Analysis of your business Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
- Financial Forecasting Template
- Marketing Budget Template
“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have the time to do it over?” John Wooden
Systemising your business is the key to freeing up hours and hours of time. Hours which can then be put to better use earning income or leaving the practice in time for dinner.
If you or a member of your team carries out the same task over and over without a suitable, time saving system, then here is opportunity number 2.
Fortunately, computers do a lot of the work for us these days, but systems still take setting up and maintaining whilst continually considering ways to improve them.
Spend time today to save time tomorrow and the day after and the day after.
Ensure, at the least, you have:
- Scripts for all regularly sent emails and letters and even phone-calls
- Spreadsheets with formulas to work out your business KPI’s, new patient process and anything else that you don’t have a more sophisticated system for
- A time saving bookkeeping system to record income and expenses
Figurit provide FREE bookkeeping and management accounting software to all our dental and medical clients, which means many less hours in data entry!
“You can do anything, but you can’t do everything” David Allen
Delegation is one of the trickiest skills in business and “effective” delegation is trickier still. Often the mindset preventing effective delegation can be one or all of these:
- “It is quicker if I do it myself”
- “I am the only one who can do this task well”
- “The patient will want to hear direct from me”
- “I don’t like to ask”
In reality though delegating tasks that someone else can do will keep the workload flowing and ensure that there isn’t a bottleneck somewhere in the process, opportunity number 3.
There are many delegation techniques and it is a learning process. Remember for starters:
Before doing anything, consider this – does it have to be me who does this? If the answer is “no” then delegate it (effectively).
- Delegate, don’t abdicate – take responsibly still for the end result
- Give clear instructions
- Ensure the person delegating to has the skills to fulfil the task in hand
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success” Paul Meyer
Communication is often the missing link in making a business tick. A lack of communication demonstrates a lack of leadership and direction.
Do you hold daily or weekly team meetings? Do you share with your team the results of the business? Do your team have regular one-to-one appraisals so they can communicate with you their ideas, thoughts, aspirations and concerns.
There is most likely a big opportunity number 4
here to increase the level of communication you have within your practice.
By involving everyone in little pieces of the bigger jigsaw they will start to feel more connected and subsequently more motivated.
“Some of your activities should be viewed as an investment not a sacrifice”
Last but not least is the topic of investment. Assess your situation to see how much time and money you can re-invest back into your business.
If the business is nicely afloat, expand your team a little. Perhaps recruit someone into a new role, like marketing or sales that will ultimately increase your business potential, for opportunity number 5.
Ensure you are always investing in new technology and equipment, more advanced systems and ways to improve output and save time.
Figurit work with dental and medical practices of all shapes and sizes. These are 5 common areas of diffculty in business productivity, which ultimately restricts profit potential. We will cover each of these areas in more detail in the coming months. Watch our blog and sign to our newsletter to keep informed.
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– Forecast your financial position for 2015
– Have you started your 2015 business plan?
– 5 Simple proactive marketing initiatives to generate new patient enquiries