Have you started your 2015 business plan?With Christmas decorations being pulled out the attic and plans of where to buy the turkey for Christmas day, it’s a stark reality that 2015 is just around the corner. Alongside all the plans for December, parties, lunches and gifts have you spared a thought for your business and how it could develop next year? Although the festive season is considered a family time for relaxation and over indulgence, it is vital to get this important task at least on your radar by noting your current thoughts.
Make a start: Prepare a SWOT AnalysisA SWOT analysis is an essential part of any business plan as it gives structure to your current position, in terms of it’s strengths and it’s weaknesses, whilst at the same time considering future matters that could affect your business, for the better (opportunities) or for the worse (threats).
Step 1: StrengthsWrite a list of all the things you feel work well in your practice, your business strengths. You can break it down further under the following headings for additional focus:
- Marketing & Sales
- Finance: Useful, easy to understand financial reports from your bookkeeping system and regular contact from your accountant
- Operations: A good supplier who delivers stock on time and at a good price
- Marketing & Sales: Those patients that enquire generally convert to new business for you
- Team: List staff that are performing well
- Strategy: Do you have a good work: life balance – i.e. do you feel your hours are worth the remuneration you get and you don’t feel stressed
Step 2: WeaknessesWrite a list of all the things you feel don’t work in your practice, your business weaknesses, under the same headings. An example of each of these could include things like:
- Finance: High tax bill
- Operations: Equipment is dated and needs replacing to increase efficiency
- Marketing & Sales: More new patient enquiries of a higher quality would help covering costs
- Team: Could do with an extra pair of hands on the front desk
- Strategy: An associate who can be developed in the practice would help with a retirement plan. Does everything currently rely on you?
Step 3: Opportunities & ThreatsConsider the current market place, the dental and medical industry at present, your location, your patients and the service you offer. 1) Consider any new opportunities you have to make more business or more profit
- Maybe you have a new associate who is a specialist and who’s expertise can be marketed to attract new patients
- Maybe a new practice is opening near by?
Next stepsMaking a start on your 2015 business plan this side of the new-year means you can come back to your practice in January with clear ideas on how to make your business more profitable. There is of course further work required to complete your 2015 Business Plan and the following areas are recommended to accompany your SWOT analysis: 1) Financial Forecast:
- Profit and Loss projection +
- Cash Flow Forecast