Things are humming right along. Business is good. Your staff is good. Your financials look good. Life is good, so why bother updating your business plan?
Because your business could be better than good – it could be great.
by John DeMatte IV, D.C. in Business Plan on Sunday, October 23, 2016
It’s easy to forget your business plan if things go as well or better than planned. But, most experts will tell you that a business plan is almost always inaccurate within the first year. This is because financial assumptions fluctuate, market segments shift and change happens. By reviewing and updating your business plan, you’re opening the door to more growth, as well as staying focused on the mission and values you built your practice on.
What should you look for as you update your business plan?
When you opened or purchased your practice, it is likely you chose your location with a consideration of the neighborhood or community you would be serving.
What has changed? Has another chiropractic practice opened nearby? Perhaps the community has changed – businesses have opened or closed?
Maybe, as you review you client base, you realize you have a segment you didn’t anticipate? Ultimately, you need to ask yourself how has your market changed.
Don’t panic if it has, but adjust your projections accordingly. This may include revising your marketing plans or financial forecasts.
Evaluate Patient Relationship
More than identifying a market, you should also look at your existing patients. Who are your repeat patients? Are there similarities in their diagnosis or treatments that lead them back for more than one treatment?
How are you following up with existing patients? Are you notifying them about follow up appointments? Do you call patients to see how they are doing?
When you wrote your business plan, you likely had a patient profile in mind. Understanding the difference between the assumed and actual patient profile helps you be more responsive to your patients.
Evaluating available skills and talent
Often a business plan is built around the skillset and talents of the D.C., which may be necessary in the beginning, but it becomes burdensome as the practice grows. As you evaluate your business plan, look for areas you can delegate using the talents and skills of your staff. This allows you to focus on the care of patients, as well as freeing up time to keep an eye to the continued success of your practice.
Remember, in the end, your business plan is your blueprint to success, and even blueprints need to be updated as the landscape changes.