When running a business, it is important to regularly assess all components of the business to ensure things are going smoothly and without any major issues – i.e. healthy. Private practices are no different.

There are four essential components of a business health check for private practices.

 

#1. Relationships

“Relationships” covers all people interactions your private practice engages with. Your service providers, referrers, clients, lenders, creditors and of course your team.

Regularly checking in with each of the representatives from these groups is essential. And in many ways, this is the most important component of an honest business health check. If your team are happy but your clients are not, then you won’t have a happy team for very long. Equally, it is hard to keep clients satisfied consistently if you have a high turn-over of team members.

Undertaking a regular review and obtaining feedback from all the people that make your business what it is will help ensure you have your finger on the pulse of the mood and satisfaction of all interested parties.

Remaining in regular contact with your financiers and lenders is also important. One mistake many business owners make is overlooking this until they need additional lending. Obtaining funds for expansion is much easier if you have regularly nurtured and maintained your relationships with those who can organise funding.

 

#2. Money

Staying on top of how your private practice is performing in a “real time” sense gives you the ability to respond and repair before a problem gets out of hand. Regular reviews of your profit and loss, cash flow forecast, aged payable and receivables should all be a part of regular management accounts process.

A health check though means that a more in-depth review of these key measures needs to be undertaken. While you don’t need to audit your financial accounts every month, doing a more in-depth review every quarter will help you to stay on top of the financial wellness of your business. Developing the necessary skills to undertake this component of your health check will lead to a reduction in your stress as a business owner.

 

#3. Products and Services

As with any business, conducting a regular review of the products and services you offer will help you stay on top of the needs and expectations of your clients. Thinking back to the first item – relationships – you have the opportunity through regular liaison with your clients to ensure your services remain current and relevant to their needs.

If the market is asking for renovated products or services it is absolutely vital that you stay in front of those needs. For many private practice owners, this part of the health check can be particularly emotionally challenging or, conversely, motivating. For example, you might find that one way to keep up with the changing demands of your client base is to offer online courses. This could be seen as an exciting new opportunity or a costly time drain, depending on how you look at it.

While some things will stay consistent and permanent, the needs of any market almost certainly change over time, and it is up to you as the private practice owner to remain open and flexible. Try to be objective and listen to the feedback you are receiving and respond accordingly.

 

#4. Business Owners

Remember the reasons you started your private practice? As a general statement, at least one of those reasons would (hopefully) have been for a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction. There is no faster way to bring a business to its knees than to have a disengaged business owner. Now that means that you need to include yourself, your motivation, commitment and satisfaction in any thorough business health check.

If, as the owner and leader of your private practice, you can feel your commitment sliding, then you need to explore avenues to reinvigorate, renovate or restore your enthusiasm. No one wants to work with a demotivated business owner. And in the long run that will filter through to your clients, team and other stakeholders.

Make sure to find ways to stay connected with your starting passion. Take steps to redesign your approach if you feel it starting to slide.

 

Remember that the first step to solving any problem is acknowledging that there is one. Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes can be helpful. So, don’t be afraid to reach out to The Practice Lab’s private practice business coaches for an arm’s length perspective. If you had the courage and passion to start a business, then you still have the courage to health check, adapt and change.