7 deadly sins of healthcare business

LighhouseRunning is a small business is hard work, no matter what industry you’re in. Profit margins are tight and you’re probably checking your bank balance on a daily business. Sometime people just develop into a small business owner because they’re highly skilled at what they do. They then decide to take a risk (a big risk) and open their own clinic or business but they may not have much business acumen. Below are seven ways in which small business owners may be losing money without realising and some simple solutions to help.

Pride – You’ve started your business against all the odds, all on your own. Things are going great for the first few months but now you have less clients and you’ve blown your overdraft or reverse in case of emergency (if you had any). However you’re very proud of what you’ve done and think you’ll be a failure if you ask for help. Stop this nonsense now! All great business failed at some stage and had a to ask for help. Throw your pride out the window before it’s too late.

Indecision – It takes you weeks to make a decision and you have to make all the big decisions right down to the colour of the bin bags you use. People are waiting for you to make decisions on graphics, colours, design, software, products etc. Most decisions in your business can be outsourced  especially admin ones, all others you should be able to make in 24 hours and move on.

Poorly trained staff – Staff (including admin) are a reflection on how organised your business is. If your clients have a bad experience while attending your business it’s down to you to fix it. The reasons for this may be that you haven’t invested the time to train your new staff or you didn’t hire the more experienced candidate because they asked for more money. Invest in the right staff and train them properly – set regular meetings at a set time and date for training.

Unorganised – If you’re unorganised your business will be unorganised. Some people are unorganised by nature, if they’re to be successful in business then they need to delegate and outsource more tasks in order to focus on the core of their business. Having a good team around you can really help – especially a good admin team. I’ve worked in over 10 different private practice clinics and the best ones always have excellent admin teams.

Outdated Technology  – It’s the 21st century and its the 2nd decade of the 21st century, if you’re still using paper notes and doing stuff you did in the 90s then you need to review your business. Do you still use techniques you used in the 90s? -Probably not because technology and research has advanced at a rapid rate over the last 20 years. So bring your clinic systems up to date with your clinical expertise.

Improper accounting – Your business is losing money rapidly but you’ve no idea where. You try to cover the cracks by spending more money to get new clients in without having a proper marketing system. You should account for every penny that comes in and out of your business and have set budgets for each area of expenditure. Lazy accounting and burying your head in the sand is not going to help, talk to your accountant today regarding your system or software. If they don’t know any good software and want you to continue using an excel spreadsheet and keeping copies receipts – get a new accountant ASAP.

Mixing funds – This follows on from the above point. If you hope to sell your business or get audited for tax purposes then you must have proper accounts. If you’ve got four credit cards, using them all for your business and buying your grocery shop using the same credit cards then it just gets messy. Also, give yourself a weekly payslip to keep things transparent, and if you’re not able to pay yourself what’s the point being in business.

The above examples are all simple examples how not to run a small healthcare business. If you feel like you’re unorganised or struggling with your business see how PracticeNav can help develop your business by emailing info@practicenav.com or take our Free business audit. Also feel free to share your experience of how getting yourself organised helped your business.

Colin Phillips
Business Consultant


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