8. Conclusion to Financial Module

Practice Owners are always a little more skilled at their professional craft v. business acumen because they went to university to learn how to become a great practitioner.  Practice owners often excel in their field of expertise, possess a unique passion, creativity, and dedication that drives their success. However, when it comes to managing the business aspects of their practice, many owners struggle. One reason for this disparity is that entrepreneurial + leadership skills and business acumen are distinct competencies that require different sets of knowledge and expertise. While owners may possess a deep understanding of their services, they may lack the necessary knowledge of finance, operations, human resources, marketing, and other critical business functions.

Practice owners are typically driven by passion and optimism, traits that fuel their creativity and ambition, but may also cloud their judgment when it comes to making strategic and/or financial business decisions. They may underestimate the risks of overpaying their clinicians to keep them from leaving. Or overestimate the potential benefits of bringing on poor revenue services from a government contract. Or overlook warning signs of impending challenges created by the chronically high cost of borrowing. This optimism bias can lead entrepreneurs to take on excessive debt, make rash investment decisions, or pursue growth opportunities without adequate planning or preparation, ultimately jeopardizing the success of their ventures.

Furthermore, the business journey is inherently challenging and unpredictable, requiring resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from failures and setbacks. While entrepreneurs may possess a strong drive to succeed and a willingness to take risks, they may lack the patience, discipline, and humility necessary to navigate the complexities of business management effectively. Without a solid foundation of business knowledge, skills, and experience, entrepreneurs may find themselves struggling to overcome obstacles, manage resources efficiently, and sustainably grow their ventures in the long run.

At ELEVATE, we understand the best way to compete and grow your practice is to be a great leader with an amazing storytelling ability.  Imperative to this, is an understanding of two things: clients don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and a client can never love your brand until your team members love it first.  When considering how to start your story, be mindful that we are not in the business of healthcare; in fact, we are in the people business delivering healthcare.  Also, at the end of each day, if you strip away your technical skills and business acumen, you are left with relationships.  Said another way; in the end, we are people, people caring for people in communities where we have a privilege to serve.

As a practice owner, you must understand what it feels like to be in service of something bigger than yourself. To give freely with no expectation of receiving anything in return.  To serve as an amazing leadership gift that embraces humility, empathy, humanity, self-awareness, and interpersonal relationships.  Shared purpose, shared impact, and shared values all deserve a great story.  Stories that are rooted in your competitive advantage and your brand’s ability to drive a world-class client experience. As an owner, when you talk with your clients host a town hall with your team members, or have 1:1 with a practitioner, you always lead with purpose and impact.  You never bring the need to grow revenue or profit into any conversation unless you are with your business advisory team.

At ELEVATE, we spend an inordinate amount of time with practice owners crafting their ‘why’.

ELEVATE-Nexus of Practice Purpose and Execution:
The symbiotic relationship between your practice purpose and operational execution is the cornerstone of successful business operations. Purpose provides the guiding vision, values, and impact that informs every aspect of a company’s activities, from strategic planning to day-to-day operations. Purpose, paired with the client experience, also known as your culture, serves as the practice’s North Star. This star aligns the efforts of team members, funders, vendors, and partners toward a common goal and infuses their work with meaning and significance. Purpose and impact inspire passion, commitment, and resilience, driving individuals and teams to overcome challenges, pursue innovation, and strive for excellence in pursuit of a shared vision.

Execution, on the other hand, is the tangible manifestation of purpose in action. It involves translating strategic goals and objectives into concrete plans, tasks, and initiatives and implementing them with precision, discipline, and accountability. Execution is about turning ideas into reality, making tough decisions, allocating resources effectively, and delivering results in line with organizational aspirations and expectations. It requires focus, determination, and attention to detail to ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the highest standards of quality and excellence.

Together, purpose and execution form a symbiotic relationship that drives business success. Purpose provides the overarching direction and motivation that inspires action and guides decision-making, while execution translates purpose into measurable outcomes and tangible achievements. Without purpose, execution lacks direction and meaning, leading to aimless activity and wasted effort. Conversely, without execution, the purpose remains an abstract ideal, disconnected from reality and unattainable in practice. When purpose and execution are aligned and integrated seamlessly, businesses can achieve their full potential, realize their aspirations, and create enduring value for all stakeholders.

Practice Purpose is Your North Star for Financial Success:
Competing on the purpose of your healthcare practice is the best way to drive financial success because it creates a strong foundation for long-term sustainability and growth. When your practice is driven by a clear and compelling purpose, such as improving patient outcomes, enhancing community health, or advancing allied healthcare research, it fosters a sense of meaning and alignment among team members, patients, and stakeholders. This shared sense of purpose inspires passion, commitment, and loyalty, driving engagement, retention, and satisfaction among both employees and patients.

Furthermore, purpose-driven healthcare practices are better positioned to attract and retain top talent, as practitioners are drawn to practices that align with their values and offer opportunities for meaningful work and impact. This leads to higher levels of team member engagement, productivity, and performance, resulting in improved patient care and experiences. Additionally, purpose-driven practices are more likely to build strong relationships with patients and communities, as they are perceived as ‘trusted advisors’, and genuinely invested in the well-being of their stakeholders.

From a financial perspective, competing on purpose can also drive revenue growth and profitability. Purpose-driven practices are often able to command higher prices for their services, as patients are willing to pay a premium for care that aligns with their values and priorities. Moreover, purpose-driven practices tend to enjoy stronger brand loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals, leading to increased patient volume and market share. By focusing on purpose as a competitive differentiator, healthcare practices can build a strong reputation, differentiate themselves from competitors, and ultimately drive financial success while making a positive impact on society.

The development of this financial learning module for healthcare practice owners represents a significant milestone in ELEVATE’s journey to empower practices to achieve their full potential. Through comprehensive research, strategic planning, and collaboration with industry experts, we have crafted a resource that addresses the unique challenges and opportunities facing healthcare practice owners today. By equipping practice owners with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to succeed in business, we are not only driving individual practice growth but also contributing to the overall advancement of the private healthcare industry in Canada. As ELEVATE moves forward, we remain committed to supporting practice owners on their path to success and fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the healthcare community. Together, we can ELEVATE the brand agency of owners in the conversion from practice valuation to personal wealth.

7. Tools & Resources

Business Plan Template

6. Case Studies: Real World Examples

Case Study-ELEVATE Practice Intelligence

Introduction:

In the increasingly complex landscape of healthcare practice management, the optimization of Financial, Operational, and People performance is paramount to the growth and sustainability of healthcare practice networks. This case study delves into the transformative journey undertaken by a renowned health management consultant engaged with a network of 15+ clinics to bolster their net income from operations. Cash will always be King.

Faced with real macroeconomic disruptions where 50%-60% of Canadians have renewed mortgages at rates often 5% higher than their previous term. The impact of less disposable household income has had a dramatic impact on healthcare practices that derive >60% of revenue from B2C (Business to Consumer).   Clients more likely than not, spend only what is covered by their employer-funded healthcare plan and not a penny more.  Canadians are saving money at a rate not seen in decades.

The ever-present challenge of delivering a world-class client experience paired with a high-quality care plan, while maintaining financial viability, continues to exhaust and frustrate practice owners across Canada.  In this case study, the owner sought the expertise of the consultant to navigate these complexities and chart a course toward enhanced efficiency, effectiveness, and engagement…or in other words, maximize the value of my practice network just in case the right business opportunity to sell comes along.

As this case study unfolds, we will explore the collaborative efforts between the health management consultant, the owner, minority partners, the corporation, and a network of 150+ practitioners across 15+ practice locations. We will delve into multifaceted ‘needs assessment’ tactics like a 30-day listening tour, what is our collective ‘why’, what is our competitive advantage, understanding ‘how we play’, our ‘right to win’, and the team’s ‘capacity for change’.

Starting with the end in mind and having a full 360 view of where a Buyer would place value made the starting point for this engagement relatively straightforward, but never easy. Through a combination of data-driven analysis, understanding the strengths of the team, functional strategic planning, and functional financial planning, the consultant embarked on a comprehensive initiative to enhance free cash flow. This introduction sets the stage for an in-depth examination of the challenges faced, the solutions implemented, and the tangible outcomes achieved through this partnership between the health management consultant and the owner of the clinic network.

Problem Statement:
In the competitive landscape of Canadian private healthcare, practice owners face a myriad of challenges in maintaining financial viability while delivering quality care to clients. This case study centers on a healthcare consultant’s collaboration with a practice owner overseeing a network of clinics with a combined annual revenue of $15-$20M.

Despite the network’s substantial revenue, the practice owner identified a pressing need to enhance free cash flow to ensure long-term sustainability and facilitate strategic growth initiatives. The consultant’s engagement was prompted by the practice owner’s recognition of inefficiencies within revenue cycles, operational processes, and expense management, all of which were impeding the network’s ability to generate surplus funds necessary for reinvestment and expansion. Whether the expansion was additional practice acquisitions, E-commerce Store (product) launch, or Product development.

Within this context, the problem statement revolves around the imperative to optimize free cash flow across the network of clinics.  Optimizing cash flow creates different opportunities for the owner. Growth and expansion and/or sales. The practice owner, cognizant of the network’s substantial revenue streams, was nonetheless confronted with a critical deficit in available capital for crucial investments and operational improvements.

This challenge was compounded by inefficiencies and bottlenecks within financial and operational workflows, hindering the network’s ability to generate surplus cash beyond essential operating expenses. This problem was further enhanced by relationship and team dysfunction across all levels of the practice, ownership/corporate/network level. The healthcare consultant’s intervention was thus necessitated by the imperative to identify and address the root causes of team dysfunction, and cash flow constraints, implementing targeted strategies to unlock untapped financial potential and pave the way for sustainable growth and success across the network.

Objectives:

  1. Facilitate team-building exercises and 1:1 meeting to address team dysfunction and improve collaboration, communication, and cohesion among team members within the practice.
  2. Provide leadership coaching and mentorship to cultivate and empower emerging leaders within the organization, fostering a culture of accountability, initiative, and effective decision-making.
  3. Implement communication strategies and channels to ensure transparent and effective communication throughout the organization, fostering trust, transparency, and alignment.
    • Understand our collective ‘why’
    • Understand purpose, impact, and values
    • Understand our competitive advantage and how we create a world-class client experience.
  4. Create 100-Day Plans with every Leader (their accountability); all team members 100-Day plans rolled up to the Enterprise’s 100-Day plan.
    • Themes:
      • Lower the cost of every transaction across the practice.
      • Increase prices to preserve margin.
      • Lower risk to fixed costs.
      • Stop treating your business like a hobby–enhance the cash position of your practice to fuel growth or maximize the sale price.
        • Stop maximizing personal expenses/write-offs to lower your practice’s tax position.
  5. Conduct a comprehensive financial analysis and operational audit to identify inefficiencies, cost-saving opportunities, and revenue enhancement strategies aimed at increasing free cash flow. 
    • Adopt a: revenue minus profit = expenses mindset v. revenue-expenses = profit mindset.
    • Adopt a: cut costs to grow a stronger mindset.
    • Understand the value, in terms of Gross Margin%, for every service stream.
      • Kin’s: 60% GM (if they are responsible for billing $12,500/month)
      • PT: 50% GM
      • Chiro: 48% GM
      • RMT: 30% GM
  6. Upgrade our talent.
  7. Conduct a thorough review of expenditure patterns and implement cost-control measures to reduce unnecessary expenses, optimize resource allocation, and improve profitability.
  8. Facilitate strategic planning sessions to define long-term goals, priorities, and action plans aimed at driving sustainable growth and success for the practice.
    • Increase net new practitioners by10% v. last year
    • Improve schedule efficiency by 15% v. last year
  9. Monitor progress, track key performance indicators, and provide ongoing support and guidance to the practice owner and leadership team to ensure the successful implementation of initiatives and achievement of objectives.

Methodology:
Improving the overall cash flow of a healthcare practice requires a multifaceted approach that addresses various aspects of revenue generation, expense management, and operational efficiency. Here are the methodologies used by this healthcare consultant to drive free cash flow growth:

  1. Fee Schedule Analysis: Review the practice’s fee schedule to ensure that it is aligned with industry standards and accurately reflects the value of services provided. Identify opportunities to adjust pricing structures and maximize reimbursement rates.
  2. Understand your target audience and the impact of healthcare consumerism/amenities offered by your clinic.  The client must experience an emotional connection to the brand.
  3. A collective understanding that we needed to ‘manufacture volume’ across all practice units.  This was taken from a ‘lens’ of how do we imagine new ways to create a world-class client experience for every client we have the privilege to serve.
  4. Patient Access Improvement: Enhance patient access by optimizing scheduling processes, improving hours of operations, reducing appointment wait times, and implementing strategies to minimize patient no-shows and cancellations.
  5. Expense Reduction Initiatives: Identify and eliminate unnecessary expenses, renegotiate vendor contracts, and implement cost-saving measures to reduce overhead costs and improve profitability. Evaluate staffing levels, resource utilization, and supply chain management practices to identify areas for efficiency gains.
  6. Financial Performance Monitoring: Implement robust financial reporting systems and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track revenue, expenses, and cash flow trends in real time. Monitor financial performance against benchmarks and targets, and proactively identify and address variances.
  7. Revenue Diversification Strategies: Explore opportunities to diversify revenue streams by offering additional services, expanding into new markets (products) or specialties, or leveraging ancillary revenue sources such as telehealth.
  8. Accounts Receivable Management: Develop strategies to reduce accounts receivable aging and improve cash collections. Implement effective follow-up processes for unpaid claims, establish payment plans for outstanding patient balances, and utilize technology solutions for automated billing and payment processing.

By implementing these methodologies and working collaboratively with the healthcare practice, the consultant helped optimize cash flow, enhance financial performance, and position the practice for long-term success and sustainability.

Implementation:
The healthcare consultant embarked on a comprehensive initiative to enhance free cash flow for the network of 15 clinics, leveraging a multifaceted approach that addressed various aspects of revenue generation, expense management, and operational efficiency.  Important to keep in mind that enhancing free cash flow is a lag measure and we won early on by identifying lead measure KPIs and the processes required to win on those measures.

To begin, an extensive financial analysis was conducted across all clinics to identify areas of improvement and potential cost-saving opportunities. This involved scrutinizing billing processes, evaluating fee schedules, and assessing payer contracts to optimize revenue streams. Concurrently, the consultant implemented strategies to streamline operational workflows, improve productivity, and reduce overhead costs. This included revamping scheduling procedures (limiting blocking schedules by practitioners) to minimize patient wait times, implementing stringent expense reduction measures, and enhancing accounts receivable management to accelerate cash collections.

As the project progressed, significant milestones were achieved, demonstrating tangible improvements in the network’s financial performance (3% net income gain in the first 60 days). Winning early on a team-first mentality across ownership and corporate was imperative.  This was paired with full alignment to accountability, trust, and a psychologically safe workplace.

Operational efficiencies were realized through process optimization and staff training initiatives, resulting in reduced expenses and improved cost containment. Despite these successes, the implementation process was not without its challenges. Resistance to schedule changes from team members, practitioner self-efficacy challenges regarding executing full cycle care plans regardless of funding source, challenges with practitioners asking clients for Google review or friend and family referrals.

However, through proactive communication, ongoing support, and a collaborative approach, these challenges were effectively addressed, paving the way for sustainable improvements in free cash flow across the network of clinics.

Results: goal-enhance year on year, free cash flow by 60%

Quantitative:

  • Pricing adjustment between 5-8% at the start of the fiscal year: will generate between $300K-$400K in free cash flow.
  • Cut costs to grow stronger will result in free cash flow growth between $275K-$325K
  • 10-15 net new, full-time caseloads will result in $300-$350K in free cash flow growth.
  • Diversification to a new product initiative will enhance free cash flow by $75K-$100K

Qualitative:

  • Right team member in the right seat, on the right bus, moving in the right direction.
  • Productivity gains via purpose, impact, values, and winning on client experience.
  • Creativity and innovation mindset; product development in addition to services growth.

Analysis

  • Always start with the end in mind to whom you want to sell your business. A National Strategic company, A Private Equity firm, to your team members (Employee Owner Trust)
  • Find a consultant that understands the full 360 view of where a Buyer places value. Laser-focused tactical decision-making on things that will and will not create value for the Buyer.
  • Implement a revenue minus profit = expenses approach to your financial plan.
  • Stop treating your business like a hobby; maximizing personal write-offs to avoid paying tax is destructive to the future growth/value of your practice.  In other words, pay your taxes and maximize the cash position in your business.
  • EQ development of your team is imperative. Empathy, self-awareness, interpersonal relationships, etc. will trump IQ every hour of every day.  Developing leadership capacity is equally or more important than developing more technical skills as a practitioner.  Human skill development is your pocket aces.
  • Understand your competitive advantage and play to your strengths…always.
  • Every decision you make in your practice needs to be rooted through the lens of enhancing the client experience.
  • Know what game you are playing, how you are going to play the game, the right you have to win the game, and your team’s capacity for change. This is a capabilities-driven strategy.

Conclusion:
In conclusion, the partnership between this healthcare consultant and the $15M-$20M enterprise has yielded remarkable results in maximizing free cash flow growth and enhancing the practice’s overall sales strength. Through strategic initiatives and diligent execution, the consultant successfully navigated the complex landscape of healthcare management, driving a remarkable 60% increase in free cash flow. This substantial improvement not only bolsters the financial health of the enterprise but also positions it as an attractive investment opportunity for potential buyers in the future. Moreover, the collaborative efforts between the consultant and the enterprise have cultivated a culture of continuous improvement and operational excellence, laying a solid foundation for sustained growth and success in the dynamic healthcare industry.

Looking ahead, the positive outcomes achieved through this partnership underscore the importance of proactive financial management, operational efficiency, and strategic planning in maximizing the value and sale strength of a healthcare practice. By leveraging data-driven insights, implementing best practices, and fostering a culture of innovation, healthcare practices can navigate the complexities of the industry with confidence and achieve long-term financial sustainability. As the enterprise continues its journey of growth and evolution, the lessons learned and successes achieved through this collaboration with the healthcare consultant will serve as a roadmap for future success and prosperity.

Recommendations:
Based on the successful collaboration between the healthcare consultant and the healthcare practice to maximize free cash flow, several recommendations can be made to further enhance the practice’s financial health and prepare it for a successful sale:

  • Adequate Time for Preparation to Sell Your Practice: Recommend that the practice allocates sufficient time to prepare for the sale process.  Most Buyers will look back three full years of financial results.  Valuation is easier to determine based on historic results, especially the most recent TTM (trailing twelve months).  Attempting to add value to your practice valuation by forecasting a growth story for the NTM (next twelve months) is challenging.

Selling a healthcare practice is a significant undertaking that requires careful planning and preparation. Encourage the practice to start the preparation process well in advance of the anticipated sale date to address any outstanding issues, optimize financial performance, and maximize the value of the practice. This may involve conducting a thorough assessment of the practice’s financials, operational processes, and market positioning to identify areas for improvement and implement strategic initiatives to enhance its attractiveness to potential buyers.

  • Engaged Leadership: Stress the importance of engaged leadership throughout the sale preparation process of 2-3 years. Effective leadership is essential for guiding the practice through the complexities of the sale process, maintaining momentum, and ensuring that key objectives are achieved. Recommend that the practice’s leadership team remains actively involved and committed to the sale process, providing direction, support, and oversight to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to position the practice for success. Encourage regular communication and collaboration among leadership team members to align goals, address challenges, and drive progress toward a successful outcome.
  • Remove the value of the Practice owner from the Practice Value: Always remember, a Buyer is looking to take as much risk off the table before closing the deal.  The transferability of an asset to new ownership must have built-in mechanisms for both EBITDA predictability and sustainability and growth.
  • Advise a practice owner to remove themselves from the valuation of the practice: In the majority of cases, a practice owner will over-valuate the value of their business to an external Buyer.  Partnering with a Transaction Advisor, like ELEVATE Practice Intelligence is imperative to ensure an objective and impartial assessment of a practice’s value. Emphasize the importance of relying on professional expertise, such as that of a qualified healthcare consultant or business valuation specialist, to determine the fair market value of the practice based on objective criteria and industry standards. Recommend that the practice owner trusts the expertise of professionals to accurately assess the value of the practice, rather than allowing personal biases or emotions to influence the valuation process. This will help ensure transparency, credibility, and fairness in the sale negotiations and maximize the likelihood of achieving a favorable outcome for all parties involved.

Closing Leadership Nugget:
I continue to believe the greatest leadership character is that of COURAGE.  My favorite Courage passage comes from a BMW excerpt:

Courage and why we need it more than ever.

Courage is independent and disruptive.

It questions, shatters, and awakens.

We need bold creative voices, all of us.

We need fresh thinkers with optimism.

We believe in the front runners, the avant-garde,

Those who fight stagnation and backwardness.

Courage knows only moving forward,

Driving the pioneers of our culture to inspire tomorrow,

To create a sublime kind of now

And reach a superior level of excellence.

This is where a new kind of value is born.

Citations & Acknowledgments:

  1. CBV Institute Program of Studies Level One-Introductory Business Valuation 2020
  2. Gandz, J. Developing Leadership Character. New York NY Routledge Publishing
  3. Excerpt from The Art of Owning the Moment, BMW
  4. Mainardi, C “The Essential Advantage”2011 Booz and Company Inc.
  5. McKinsey & Company-Four Interrelated Trends are Poised to Unwind the Old Rules of Mgmt. 
  6. McKinsey & Company-Rewired Consumer Enterprises Adhere to Six Imperatives
  7. Heffernan, M. “Beyond Measure” TED Books 2025

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my colleagues and mentors at CBI Health who have provided invaluable guidance and support throughout my development as a Healthcare executive, especially in the areas of Financial Excellence, Operational Excellence and Leadership. Special thanks to the late Christopher Szybbo (CEO), David Maxwell (COO), and Avi Barkin (CFO) for their expertise, beliefs, and insights that spanned the best 15 years of my vice-president career at CBI Health.

Additionally, I extend my appreciation to all the healthcare practice owners who have trusted ELEVATE’s insights and expertise to achieve shared goals. 

Lastly, to the healthcare practice owners that ELEVATE will engage with in the future…I am excited to share what gets me up every morning.  I continue to be amazed at ELEVATE’s ongoing impact on eradicating entrepreneurial healthcare poverty across Canada.  Our competitive advantage of being able to 2x the profit of healthcare practices is a powerful statement. Empowering practice owners to win on Brand Agency is an impactful ‘why’.  We collaboratively achieve this by converting practice valuation into greater personal wealth. 

Best,

Gary

5. Fusion of Right-Brain and Left-Brain Themes

Integrating right-brain themes, focusing on purpose and values, with left-brain themes, emphasizing precision and financial planning, results in a synergistic approach that enhances the overall financial plan for a healthcare practice.

Aligning Purposeful Vision with Financial Precision:
When the purposeful vision of a healthcare practice is aligned with financial precision, it creates a cohesive framework for decision-making. By defining the ‘why’ behind the practice and aligning personal core values with the mission, practice owners and clinicians establish a strong foundation. This foundation guides strategic planning, ensuring that every financial decision is rooted in purpose and contributes to the creation of a world class client experience.

Crafting a unique identity within the community and leveraging values for competitive advantage not only differentiates the practice but also enhances its financial viability. A SWOT analysis further strengthens this alignment by identifying strengths that align with the practice’s purpose and transforming weaknesses into opportunities that support the overarching vision.

Ensuring Core Values Echo in Every Financial Decision:
Incorporating core values into financial decisions ensures that the practice remains true to its mission and principles. Crafting a functional strategic plan with monthly and annual milestones that reflect these values allows for alignment between purpose and action. Building a comprehensive financial framework involves allocating resources effectively, and prioritizing expenditures that resonate with the practice’s values, and strategic goals. Monthly monitoring of financial wellness enables practice owners to assess whether financial decisions align with core values and make adjustments as needed. Strategies for sustainable profitability are grounded in the practice’s purpose, ensuring that financial success is achieved in a manner consistent with its values.

Enhancing the Overall Financial Plan:
The fusion of right-brain themes of purpose with left-brain themes of precision planning, practice owners and clinicians create a holistic approach to financial planning. This approach not only fosters clarity and direction but also enhances the overall effectiveness of the financial plan. By ensuring that financial decisions are aligned with the practice’s purpose and values, practice owners can build a financially sustainable and ethically grounded business. Ultimately, integrating purposeful vision with financial precision leads to a stronger, more resilient financial plan that supports the long-term success of the healthcare practice.

 

ELEVATE YOUR PRACTICE WITH GARY THORNE

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4. Left Brain Themes: Precision Planning

Left Brain Theme

Crafting a Functional Strategic Plan: Monthly and Annual Milestones
Crafting a Functional Strategic Plan is paramount for healthcare practices seeking to navigate their path to success with precision and foresight. In this module, we delve deep into the intricacies of strategic planning, focusing on Monthly and Annual Milestones and the critical alignment of actions with long-term objectives. We will define what a strategic plan is, why strategic planning matters, and three themes all healthcare practices should include in their plan.

Strategic planning is the cornerstone of business development, providing a roadmap for practices of all sizes. However, despite its significance, many practitioners struggle with the process due to its perceived complexity or time constraints. Throughout this module, we aim to demystify the strategic planning process and equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to craft an effective plan tailored to your practice’s unique needs. Despite their importance, many healthcare practices find it hard to create a strategic plan for their business. They’re either too busy wrapped up in the day-to-day operations or are intimidated by the work required to establish a good plan.

A strategic plan describes the company’s current state, desired future state, and how to go from one to the other.

The components of a strategic plan usually include:

  • An executive summary.
  • A company description.
  • An organizational chart
  • Mission, vision, and purpose statements.
  • SWOT analysis
  • A description of your business goals and an outline of how to achieve them.
  • A 6–12-month action plan that highlights specific initiatives, who will carry them out, a timeline for doing so, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to track progress.

If digesting the components listed above feels overwhelming, you’re not alone. Many practice owners grapple with the daunting prospect of navigating the costs, time demands, and intricacies of strategic planning, particularly when resources are limited. That’s where a functional strategic plan comes in. 

Implementation of a functional strategic plan requires a concise, adaptable, timely, and practical approach that focuses on 3-5 main issues that you put a tactical plan around.

“Strategic Planning is not a lengthy action plan. It’s the evolution of a central theme through continually changing circumstances.”—Jack Walsh

Functional Strategic Plan-Aligning Actions with Long-term Objectives
In developing your yearly functional strategic plan, it’s crucial to incorporate three core themes that can significantly impact your practice’s financial health and long-term success.

  1. Reduce risk to fixed costs.  Said another way—how can you lower the cost of every transaction in your practice? Here are some ideas:
    • Create a new labor model that allows your practice’s Gross Margin to be >45%.
    • Create a new service delivery model that allows your practice’s Gross Margin to be >45%.
    • Lower your cost of administration staff if total expenses are >8% of revenue.
    • Reduce bad debt.
    • Increase practitioner productivity.
    • Increase practitioner performance on metrics like patient visit averages.
    • Validate pay sheets and billing daily.
    • Cut costs to grow stronger-SEM/SEO, marketing spend, subscriptions etc. Negotiate new lease terms on your rent, or move, if your occupancy rate is not >$400 sq.ft.
  2. Increase your pricing to preserve margin.  Pretty straightforward.
    • What EHB or Private pricing adjustment will your market bear.
    • The second part of this theme is to shift your revenue mix (% of total revenue by service stream—EHB, Auto, WCB, Disability, etc.) to the highest gross margin$ service stream. In most provinces, EHB and Auto have the highest fee-for-service rates and as such should make up >80% of your overall revenue.
  3. Liberate working capital via A/R, A/P, inventory, and cash.  Ways to achieve this include:
    • Stop running personal expenses through your practice.
    • Current assets should have a 1.5-1.8x ratio v. current debt (balance sheet)
    • Optimize accounts receivable through timely invoicing.
    • Delay accounts payable by extending payment terms.

Most practice owners have a normalized net income of 5-10% and would benefit immensely from integrating the above three themes into their 2024 functional strategic plan. Owners should also continue to pay attention to retaining team members and always be on the lookout for new ways to grow sales. These two components are important, but the perfect pairing for the above three themes would be enhancing the performance and productivity of your team members.

Integrating these themes into your functional strategic plan can significantly impact your practice’s financial performance. Moreover, prioritize team retention and sales growth while fostering a high-performance operating model. By aligning these strategies with your long-term objectives, you can ensure the financial sustainability and growth of your practice.

Building a Comprehensive Financial Framework
As mentioned earlier, always start with the end in mind.  A Buyer of your business whether Strategic (National Rehab or National Telecom.) or Financial (Private Equity), will typically rank acquisition targets by how CASH rich they are.  Financially solid private healthcare practices operate in the 20-26% maintainable EBITDA range. 

Creating a robust financial framework is essential for the long-term success and stability of your healthcare practice. Clearly defining your practice’s financial objectives, whether it’s achieving profitability, covering startup costs, or expanding services, is the first step is the budgeting process. Here’s a detailed guide on how to establish both monthly and annual budgets or forecasts:

Foundational Budgeting Factors:

  • Billing Days per Month: Billing days based on a Mon-Fri work week. A practice owner who has forecasted revenue would divide the forecasted revenue by the number of yearly business days (251 or 252) to derive per-day revenue. Then calculate your monthly revenue by multiplying the revenue per day by the number of business days in each month (19, 20, 21 or 22)
  • Seasonal Indexing: Assigning seasonal index numbers to each month of the year helps account for variations in revenue or expenses that occur seasonally within a private healthcare practice. These index numbers indicate the relative strength or weakness of each month compared to the average for the year, with 100 representing the average level of activity.  Typical monthly index from slow to busy: 0.80, 0.85, 0.90, 0.95, 1.0, 1.05, 1.1 or 1.15.
  • Billing Cycles vs. Payment or Receivable Cycles: Differentiate between billing cycles and payment or receivable cycles to ensure accurate cash flow management and revenue forecasting.

By incorporating these foundational budgeting factors into your financial planning, you can build a comprehensive framework that supports your practice’s financial goals and objectives.

Allocating Resources Effectively
In the world of healthcare practice ownership, effective resource allocation is paramount for financial success and long-term sustainability. Properly allocating resources ensures that your practice operates efficiently, maximizes revenue, and minimizes unnecessary expenses. In this module, we’ll delve into strategies and best practices for allocating resources effectively within your healthcare practice.

  1. Identify and Rank Revenue Streams: Begin by listing all potential sources of revenue for your healthcare practice, including service streams, product sales, grants, sub-rent, or any other income sources unique to your practice. Rank the value of each revenue stream based on its contribution to your practice’s overall financial health. Understanding your revenue mix is just as important as understanding your revenue per day, as it provides insight into your practice’s revenue composition.
  2. Estimate Revenue Per Day: Utilizing the information gathered in the previous step, estimate your practice’s revenue per day. This calculation is essential for assessing your practice’s financial performance and identifying areas for improvement.
  3. Determine Direct Costs: Identify and estimate the direct costs associated with delivering healthcare services, including labor, supplies, equipment maintenance, and other variable expenses directly tied to client care. Aim to keep direct costs below 52% of your total revenue to maintain profitability.
  4. Determine Indirect Costs: Identify and estimate your practice’s indirect costs, such as administrative expenses, health benefits, CPP, EI, and vacation pay. Keep indirect costs below 8% of your total revenue helps ensure efficient resource allocation.
  5. Determine Gross Profit and Gross Margin: Calculate your practice’s gross profit by subtracting direct costs from estimated revenue. Aim for a gross margin >40%, as it indicates the profitability of your core healthcare services.
  6. Determine Operating Expenses: List all operating expenses, including rent, utilities, salaries, marketing, insurance, and administrative costs. Differentiate between fixed and variable expenses and distribute annual operating expenses across each month to ensure accurate financial planning. Rent <10% of Revenue; Other G&A Expenses < 8% of Revenue.
  7. Determine Net Income Profit or Loss: Finally, subtract total operating expenses from gross profit to determine your practice’s net profit or loss. This figure provides a comprehensive overview of your practice’s financial health and guides future financial decision-making.

Remember, effective resource allocation is not just about managing expenses but also maximizing revenue and profitability, ultimately leading to financial stability and growth.

In conclusion, understanding and implementing effective resource allocation strategies are essential components of financial management for healthcare practice owners. By optimizing resource allocation, you can enhance profitability, minimize costs, and drive the success of your practice, ultimately achieving your financial goals.

Navigating Financial Health: Profit & Loss Statement
As a healthcare practice owner, mastering financial management is essential for long-term success. One vital financial document that offers valuable insights into your practice’s profitability is the Profit and Loss (P&L) statement, also referred to as the Income Statement. This document provides a comprehensive summary of your practice’s revenues, costs, and expenses over a defined period, usually every month. By generating a monthly P&L statement, you gain the ability to evaluate your practice’s financial well-being on a timely basis, make data-driven decisions, and strategize for future growth and sustainability.

It is critical to remember that the P&L statement can only generate lag measure KPI like gross margin%.  As the owner, you are accountable to win on all your lead measures. If you do this, it is unlikely that you will have surprises on the P&L.

Monthly Monitoring for Financial Wellness
In the realm of financial management for healthcare practices, the monthly income statement emerges as the primary tool for assessing critical metrics like Gross Margin (GM%). Timeliness is key; it’s essential to compile your Income statement within five days of each month’s end.

For instance, the April income statement should be ready by May 5th. We cannot stress this next point enough, as a practice owner, you must find your own way to complete this on a monthly basis.  This is not the responsibility of your accountant. Your accountant will furnish you with an annual income statement, complemented by a balance sheet and a cash flow statement.

Understanding the components of the Income Statement is fundamental to financial oversight. Here’s a breakdown of its key elements:

  1. Revenue (Sales): Kick off your P&L statement with total sales from services or product during the month, covers all service streams.
  2. Labor (Costs of Goods Sold): Deduct direct costs tied to service delivery, encompassing direct and indirect labor, EI, CPP, and health benefits, revealing gross profit ($).

    Direct Labor Spend < 52% of revenue.

    Indirect Labor Spend < 8% of revenue.


    ***Labor is the greatest expense faced by any private healthcare practice. As an owner, you must win here.  Winning on culture, purpose, impact, leadership, fun, productivity, and performance are must haves.  Disengaged practitioners will leave you for a 2% fee split increase, while it often takes a 20% increase in pay for an engaged team member to leave an owner.


    ***Remember, team members leave their owner, not the company.

  3. Gross Profit$: This figure, derived by subtracting COGS from total revenue, offers a snapshot of business profitability before factoring in other operating expenses.
  4. Gross Margin%: A pivotal efficiency measure, calculated by dividing Gross Profit by revenue and multiplying by 100%, with a target exceeding 40%.
  5. General and Administrative: Classify all operating expenses, rent, utilities, salaries, and marketing, to determine operating profit. Aim for <18% of revenue.
  6. Operating Profit: The outcome after deducting operating expenses from gross profit, signaling the profitability of core business activities.
  7. Other Income or Expenses: Account for any supplementary income (e.g., interest) and expenses (e.g., loan interest, taxes) unrelated to daily operations.
  8. Net Profit or Loss: The final calculation, subtracting other income and expenses from operating profit, reflecting the overall financial standing of the business.

Mastering the intricacies of the Profit and Loss Statement empowers healthcare practitioners to gauge financial performance accurately and make informed decisions. Through meticulous monthly monitoring, practice owners can steer their businesses toward sustainable growth and fiscal stability, a cornerstone of financial acumen in the healthcare domain.

Strategies for Sustainable Profitability
Crafting a monthly Profit and Loss (P&L) statement isn’t a one-and-done task; it’s an ongoing commitment. Regularly scrutinize and interpret your statements to discern patterns, evaluate financial health, and guide strategic choices. This continual assessment enables proactive management of your business’s financial well-being. As an owner, it is important to be able to analyse trends over a three-month span (quarterly).  It is wise to compare:

  • Current quarter to previous quarter.
  • Current quarter to the same quarter in the previous year.
  • Resist the temptation to make to make changes (monthly) in the absence of a trend (quarterly). Tweak your tactical plan where needed.

Efficient management of labor and operating expenses is paramount for optimizing profitability. Routinely evaluate each expense category, seeking avenues to trim costs without compromising your world class client experience. Engage in vendor negotiations, explore cost-effective alternatives, and ensure expense alignment with your 3-5 practice priorities. By consistently generating and analyzing P&L statements, you equip yourself to navigate the intricacies of business finance, adapt to evolving circumstances, and guide your business toward enduring prosperity.

In Conclusion, the Left Brain Theme module provides practical solutions to common financial challenges faced by healthcare practice owners and clinicians. Precision planning equips owners with detailed monthly, quarterly and annual milestones that align with long-term objectives. Additionally, the focus on financial precision and functional budgets helps practitioners combat the tendency to treat the business as a hobby. They establish a comprehensive financial framework and effectively allocate resources. Navigating financial health through monthly monitoring for financial wellness and sustainable profitability tackles issues like underutilized business plans and resistance to change. This ensures the continued success and resilience of healthcare practices.

Exercise: Reflective Questions:

Answer the following inquiries and connect them to your healthcare enterprise, be it existing or planned. This exercise will reinforce your comprehension of Financial Principles, thereby ELEVATING your brand or business’s position.

  1. How can you adapt the outlined components of a functional strategic plan to fit the unique needs and circumstances of your current or future healthcare practice?
  2. What % of revenue are you currently paying for direct and indirect labor. <60% is the target.
  3. Reflect on how you can integrate the three core themes (reducing risk to fixed costs, increasing pricing to preserve margin, and liberating working capital) into your current or future practice’s strategic plan. Also, how will implementing these themes impact your financial performance and long-term success?
  4. Reflect on the barriers that are keeping you from completing a functional budget and a monthly P&L.
  5. What tactics can you identify to lower the cost of every transaction in your practice.
  6. Reflect on your ‘why’ to keep running personal expenses through your practice vs. enhancing available working capital levels to fund practice growth or scale to a second location.
  7. As an owner, reflect on your ongoing leadership development that fosters culture, high performance, and fun. Do you have a pulse on possible team members that are poised to leave.

 

Need Further Help Analyzing Your P&L?

Book A FREE CONSULTATION with Gary Thorne, ELEVATE’s Founder!

Tailored solutions to address your unique challenges & ELEVATE your Practice.

3. Right Brain Themes: Igniting Purpose

Right Brain Themes

Power of Purpose-always starts with “Why.”
Embarking on practice ownership demands a deep understanding of your practice’s purpose—the driving force behind every decision. Beyond services, it defines your practice’s essence and direction, impacting both internal teams and clients.

Internally, a well-defined purpose unites teams, igniting motivation and focus. Externally, it solidifies brand identity, fostering loyalty and meaningful connections with clients. Throughout startups or transitions, a clear purpose steers strategic choices, fostering sustainable and ethical practices. Ultimately, it shapes a resilient, purpose-driven practice, transcending mere financial goals.

For Example:
ELEVATE’s “Why” – ELEVATE Practice Intelligence – to eradicate entrepreneurial healthcare poverty in Canada.

Simon Sinek People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

Golden Circle: The golden circle helps us understand why we do what we do. Always remember, “We are in the People Business Delivering Healthcare.”

My True North – A Values and Performance-Driven Practice Model
Understanding how to align your personal core values with those of your healthcare practice is fundamental to creating authenticity, trust, and a cohesive practice culture. This module delves into the importance of this alignment and its impact on your practice’s success.

When your values resonate with your business, it establishes a strong sense of purpose and integrity that permeates every aspect of your practice. This alignment fosters genuine connections and a commitment beyond profit margins. It guides your actions and those of your team, promoting a positive work environment and higher engagement. Patients sense the sincerity behind your services, leading to increased trust, loyalty, and referrals.

By aligning your values with your healthcare practice, you’ll create a unique identity that resonates with your team, clients, and community, paving the way for a sustainable and values-driven business model, and laying the foundation for long-term financial success.

For Example, CBI Health Values (sourced from www.cbihealth.ca)

  • Heart: We are passionate about making a positive difference
  • Respect: We accept and value everyone
  • Reliability: We do what we say we will do
  • Teamwork: We work well together and support each other
  • Innovation: We are committed to learning, improving, and growing

Creating a Unique Practice Identity through Community Engagement–What Impact Do You Make in The Communities Where You Have a Privilege to Serve.
A community-centered approach isn’t just about making a difference—it’s also about creating a competitive advantage for your practice. By aligning your practice’s purpose with the needs of your community, you’ll attract and retain more clients, leading to long-term financial success.

When launching a healthcare practice, it’s more than just about the services you offer—it’s about making a real difference in the communities you serve. By actively involving yourself with residents, community groups, and stakeholders, your practice can become a force for positive change. This might involve organizing health awareness events, starting preventive care initiatives, or hosting educational workshops tailored to your community’s needs. By providing healthcare that’s accessible to all, you not only improve community health but also strengthen social connections. 

As your practice gains trust as a reliable source of health advice, it helps build resilience in the community and sets a shining example of corporate responsibility. Ultimately, by becoming a hub of health and compassion, your practice leaves a lasting mark on the community it serves, enriching the lives of all involved.

Example: ELEVATE’s Impact Statement:
“ELEVATE Practice Intelligence: maximizing a practice owner’s ability to convert practice valuation into personal wealth.

Aligning Purpose to Competitive Advantage – How a Brand Creates Value
Let’s explore how aligning your practice’s purpose with your core values can be a catalyst for financial success. Understanding the intrinsic connection between purpose and profitability is essential for navigating the complex landscape of healthcare business. Let’s embark together on the path to maximizing both purpose and profitability in your practice.

In a highly competitive healthcare environment where services are often perceived as commodities, differentiating a healthcare practice can be challenging. However, there are strategic approaches that can help a healthcare practice stand out and compete effectively even in a commodity market.  The way a practice delivers care, engages with clients, and communicates its value can set it apart. By strategically focusing on differentiators like amenities, hours of operations, products and services, price, location etc., a healthcare practice can compete effectively and build a strong position in the local market.

Leveraging Values as a Competitive Advantage – Your Ethos, Your Credo
Let’s explore the significance of developing and leveraging your practice’s ethos or credo to establish a powerful brand identity and gain a competitive edge in the healthcare industry.

The brand agency of your practice plays a critical role in shaping its identity, reflecting its core values, expertise, and resonance with your target audience. Defining your ethos serves as the guiding philosophy that underpins your values, principles, and overall mission.

In an industry where trust and credibility are paramount, a well-articulated ethos establishes the foundation for your brand, emphasizing ethical standards, patient-centricity, c world class client experience and a commitment to delivering high-quality care. By aligning your ethos with your practice’s values, you create a consistent and trustworthy environment for patients. 

Your ethos becomes a promise to patients, setting expectations for the standard of care they can expect. Through compassionate patient interactions, evidence-based treatments, and a dedication to continuous improvement, your ethos becomes a source of reassurance, fostering positive relationships and encouraging long-term loyalty.

Furthermore, your practice’s ethos serves as a powerful tool for differentiation in a crowded market. As patients increasingly seek providers that align with their values, your well-defined ethos becomes a unique selling proposition. It helps your practice stand out by showcasing its distinctive approach to care and attracting both patients and healthcare professionals who share in your ethos.

Crafting and leveraging your ethos can enhance your practice’s brand identity, build trust with patients, and gain a strategic advantage in the healthcare market.

For Example: At ELEVATE our brand agency is simple: We convert practice valuation into maximum personal wealth for practice owners.

SWOT Analysis
Welcome to the “SWOT Analysis” the final part of the Right Brain Themes.

The SWOT analysis is a powerful strategic planning tool which helps identify and evaluate internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats facing a business or organization.

‘SWOT, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, provides a comprehensive framework for assessing both internal and external factors that impact a business’s performance and competitiveness. Through this analysis, owners and practitioners gain valuable insights into areas where they excel, areas needing improvement, potential avenues for growth, and potential risks or challenges to navigate.  Let’s explore how harnessing the insights gleaned from SWOT analysis can drive informed financial strategies and enhance overall practice performance.

Identify Strengths and Align with Purpose
Situated within the Right Brain Theme, this module delves into the strategic application of SWOT Analysis, specifically focusing on identifying strengths and aligning them with your practice’s overarching purpose.

Understanding the symbiotic relationship between strengths and purpose is crucial for building a resilient and successful healthcare practice. Strengths represent your internal capabilities and advantages, while purpose embodies the deeper meaning and mission behind your practice’s existence. By aligning these two elements strategically, you can unlock the full potential of your practice and drive financial growth.

To begin, let’s explore the concept of strengths within the SWOT framework. Strengths encompass your practice’s unique attributes, resources, and competencies that give you a competitive edge in the market. Through introspection and analysis, you will identify the key strengths that differentiate your practice from others in the industry.

Once you have identified your strengths, we’focus on aligning them with your practice’s purpose. Your purpose serves as the guiding light that defines your practice’s mission, values, and long-term objectives. By aligning your strengths with your purpose, you can create a powerful synergy that drives decision-making, inspires action, and fosters a strong sense of identity and direction within your practice.

By mastering the art of aligning strengths with purpose, you’ll not only enhance the sustainability and profitability of your practice but also enrich the overall patient experience and make a meaningful impact in your community.

Probing Questions:

  • As the owner of the practice, how are you developing as a leader to create a competitive advantage for your practice?
  • How can you continue to enhance the client experience for your patients? 
  • How have you adapted your practice to the new demands of healthcare consumerism?
  • What aspects of your practice’s services or products resonate most with your patients?
  • How is your practice creating greater access to care vs. your competitor?
  • Can you win on price or location?
  • In what areas does your company excel compared to others in your industry?
  • What positive attributes define your brand?
  • What sets your practice apart from competitors?
  • What exclusive resources does your practice possess?

Transforming Weakness into Opportunities
Recognizing and addressing weaknesses is a crucial step in fortifying your practice’s financial foundation and unlocking its full potential. In this module, we’ll delve into the art of transforming weaknesses into opportunities, leveraging them as stepping stones towards achieving your financial goals.

Weaknesses represent areas where your practice may be lacking or facing challenges. By identifying these vulnerabilities and reframing them as opportunities, you can uncover new pathways for growth and innovation. Through strategic analysis and creative thinking, we’ll explore how weaknesses can be transformed into catalysts for positive change and advancement.

Throughout this module, we will provide practical and actionable questions on how to identify your practice’s weaknesses and leverage them to your advantage. Identifying your weaknesses or blind spots takes courage -ask someone for their feedback.

  • What aspects of your services or products receive negative feedback from customers?
  • What recurring issues or complaints surface in low Google reviews?
  • How well does your current team align and live values that drive client experience?
  • Why do customers disengage, cancel or no show for their appointments?
  • In what areas could your practice enhance its performance in the eyes of a B2B funder?
  • Which brand attributes are perceived negatively? Consider esthetics of your practice.
  • What challenges hinder your abilities to drive new patient volume into your practice.
  • How well do you understand healthcare consumerism?
  • How can we streamline our new patient paperwork process?
  • How thin is your clinical bench strength? Where will your next clinical hire come from.
  • Do you know who your target audience? Do you know what she values most!
  • How can we further engage our most vocal brand advocates?
  • Which advertising channels have overperformed, and what contributed to their success?

In the realm of finance, the ability to transform weaknesses into opportunities is paramount for achieving sustainable and predictable financial success. By leveraging strategic insights gained from SWOT analysis, healthcare practice owners and clinicians can identify areas of improvement and capitalize on emerging opportunities to drive financial growth. Through this transformative process, you’ll not only enhance your practice’s financial viability but also cultivate a culture of innovation and resilience in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape.

Threat Questions
Threats are external factors that can jeopardize the success and stability of a healthcare practice. While it may seem straightforward to compile a list of potential threats without prior inquiry, adopting a structured approach through targeted questioning can yield deeper insights:

  • What are the looming competitive threats posed by emerging or established competitors in the market?
  • How aware are you of clinicians that might be poised to leave you?
  • How might shifts in regulatory landscapes or market dynamics impact the financial stability of your practice?
  • Are there internal vulnerabilities, such as high team member turnover rates, which could impede current growth trajectories?
  • What are the broader environmental factors, like economic volatility, which could pose risks to your practice’s financial health?

By posing these critical questions, practice owners and clinicians can gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential threats facing their business or project. Armed with this insight, they can proactively devise financial plans that mitigate risks and capitalize on opportunities, ensuring the resilience and prosperity of their healthcare ventures.

To conclude ELEVATE’s Right Brain Theme module, it’s apparent that the subjects discussed – from defining your purpose to utilizing SWOT analysis – offer helpful insights and methods for tackling common financial troubles encountered by owners.  Understanding your purpose and matching personal core values with business goals, owners can overcome the absence of a clear exit plan and start treating their practice like a business and not merely a hobby.

Crafting a distinct identity in the community and leveraging values for competitive edge not only combat underused business strategies but also foster resilience against the resistance to change frequently seen in healthcare ownership. Furthermore, by pinpointing strengths and matching them with purpose, as well as converting weaknesses into opportunities through SWOT analysis, owners can curb the risk of their practice failing within 5 years.

Exercise: Reflective Questions:

Take time to study these thought-provoking Right Brain questions. Thoughtfully addressing them will deepen your grasp of this educational segment.

  1. How does understanding the purpose and impact of your healthcare practice impact decision-making and strategic planning? Reflect on a time when a well-defined purpose united your team and motivated everyone toward a common goal. What were the outcomes?
  2. Consider the values outlined in the CBI example provided (Heart, Respect, Reliability, Teamwork, Innovation). Could you identify the values that resonate with you personally and how can you align them with your current or future practice ethos?
  3. Reflect on your practice’s current level of community engagement. In what ways can you enhance your involvement with the communities you serve to create a more meaningful impact?
  4. As the owner, how can you create a ‘trusted advisor’ status with your B2B or physician referral sources.
  5. How can you leverage your practice’s purpose and values identified above to create a competitive advantage in the healthcare market?
  6. Think about the strengths, weaknesses, and potential threats of your current or future healthcare practice. How can you capitalize on your strengths.  Take a bold step and go on the offensive.

 

Have Questions?

Book A FREE CONSULTATION with Gary Thorne, ELEVATE’s Founder!

Tailored solutions to address your unique challenges & ELEVATE your Practice.

2. Navigating Success

Did you know a Business Plan is DIFFERENT from a Strategic Plan?

Welcome to a captivating exploration of two indispensable tools in healthcare practice management: the Business Plan and the Strategic Plan. In this topic, we will embark on a journey to decipher the nuances between these vital documents, empowering clinicians, and practice owners to chart a course for success in their healthcare ventures.

The key difference between a business plan and a strategic plan is the function they have in business development. Practice owners will use a business plan to help start a business or develop a new entity within an existing business that’s expanding to a new region or broadening into a new market. Owners typically create a business plan to apply for external funding (bank). A business plan usually lays the foundations of a company’s business decisions and strategies at the ownership level.  It has been our experience that once financing is secured from the bank, business plans are relegated to a shelf to collect dust.

A strategic plan typically establishes the foundations of responsibilities and operations within a start-up practice. It explains the strategy for the owners and each team member and defines the functional outline and significant outcomes of every process and project within a company. It also establishes a company’s operations and key performance indicators. 

The only element a strategic plan shares with a business plan is a company’s vision. A vision can guide the company’s strategy, which then drives its operations.

Business PlanStrategic Plan
Short-term Goals
And Objectives (30%)
Long-term Vision
And Direction (70%)
External Stakeholders
(Investors, Lenders, etc.)
Internal Stakeholders
(Management, Employees, etc.)
Operational Efficiency and
Financial Focus
Strategic Objectives and
Flexibility

Components of a Comprehensive Business Plan

  • The Financial Plan: The financial plan serves as the backbone of a new practice’s journey toward financial health and stability. It encompasses projections of liabilities, assets, expenses, and income, offering insights crucial for securing external funding. Careful attention to detail, thorough preparation, and forward thinking are essential in crafting a robust financial plan that guides decision-making and resource allocation.
  • The Organizational Plan: An organizational plan is a cornerstone of the business plan, illuminating the values and purpose of the practice. It aids owners in assessing the growth potential and viability of the business, providing a roadmap for sustainable development. By conducting thorough market research, owners can gauge the marketability of their venture and its potential for attracting funding.
  • The Sales and Marketing Plan: A well-crafted sales and marketing plan lays the groundwork for attracting customers and establishing a strong brand presence in the market. This plan, characterized by realism and actionability, encompasses sales forecasting, brand development, and market penetration strategies. Through meticulous planning and goal setting, practices can define their target customer base and outline strategies to achieve market share objectives.
  • Understanding the Strategic Plan: Launching a healthcare practice without a strategic plan is akin to building a house without a blueprint. You might possess all the necessary materials and tools, but without a clear plan of action or a vision for the result, your efforts may crumble like a house of cards. Collaboration among your healthcare team members is vital, requiring a shared roadmap to navigate the journey to success.

Crafting a strategic plan not only furnishes a roadmap for the future but also enables you to assess your current standing and meticulously outline the steps needed for success.

Components of a Comprehensive Strategic Plan

Why is a strategic plan indispensable? It ensures alignment throughout your team, from envisioning success to evaluating outcomes and adapting for the future. Strategic planning instills clarity and purpose, enhancing organizational efficiency and productivity.

Benefits of strategic planning include:

  • Heightened decision-making by identifying potential biases or blind spots.
  • Enhanced focus, alignment and motivation among team members.
  • Efficient resource allocation leading to improved EBITDA outcomes.
  • Increased profitability through enhanced employee performance.
  • Clear vision to what an exit plan from your practice needs to look like.

Basic Strategic Planning Model
The basic strategic planning model forms the foundation of strategic planning, focusing on core elements such as mission, vision, values, and objectives. This model is ideal for teams new to strategic planning or those with limited resources, providing a cost-effective and straightforward approach to developing a strategic plan.

How to use the Model:

  • Craft Your Vision, Mission, and Values: Initiate a collaborative session with stakeholders to articulate or refine your organization’s vision, mission, and values, ensuring they are aligned with your current trajectory and aspirations.
  • Set SMART Goals: Utilize the SMART goal framework, focusing on setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound ensures clarity and accountability.
  • Develop a Strategic Approach: Engage your leadership team in devising an actionable and feasible strategy to achieve your established goals. For example, if the objective is to enhance customer engagement by 15% within the next year, consider implementing a customer feedback system and launching a customer loyalty program as part of your strategy.
  • Construct and Implement an Action Plan: Break down your strategy into actionable tasks and milestones, mapping out a clear roadmap for execution. Assign responsibilities and set deadlines for each task, ensuring accountability and progress tracking among team members.

By following these strategic planning steps, you can effectively chart a course for financial success and ensure alignment between your organizational objectives and operational activities.

Exercise: Reflective Questions:

Practice owners often view a business plan with a compliance mindset to secure external financing. Are you a practice owner that neglected to use the plan for ongoing operational reasons? Practice owners who value business planning use the plan as a living, breathing, dynamic document that guides all practice decision making. Unfortunately, this group is the minority.

  1. Do you feel there has been a lack of accountability on your end, as the owner, to implement the business plan into your ongoing operations because there is no formal compliance with the bank after funding has been secured.
  2. As a practice owner, reflect on why you continue to prioritize other practice related tasks over the importance of continually updating your strategic plan. 
  3. A business plan or a strategic plan is often considered obsolete the day after it was written.  In the moment, these things were important to the ongoing success of your practice. As we are aware, funding sources change, referral sources move away, cost of borrowing increases. It’s normal to say ‘I don’t understand this stuff’ and it’s a sign of strength to ask for help.  What stops you from putting your hand up?
  4. As a practice owner, how aware are you of blind spots or biases that you operate your practice from. For example, do you struggle with time management or delegation.  Does the whirlwind of ‘busy work’ keep you rooted working in the practice vs. on the practice because in the business is where you are most comfortable.  What is it about change that you fear most.
  5. Reflect on the capacity you have for change.
  6. If you had three things you can change or do next week to create capacity to focus on a strategic plan, what would you change?

 

Book A FREE CONSULTATION with Gary Thorne, ELEVATE’s Founder!

Tailored solutions to address your unique challenges & ELEVATE your Practice.

1. Introduction to Financial Module

Introduction:

Welcome to ELEVATE’s Launch Financial Module, where we unlock the secrets to financial excellence and empower you to navigate the dynamic landscape of healthcare practice management with confidence.

Financial excellence is not just a buzzword — it’s the cornerstone of success for any healthcare practice. It’s about more than just balancing the books; it’s about mastering the art of strategic financial planning and operational efficiency.

Picture this: Financial excellence thrives at the intersection of business planning, regulatory compliance, and operational effectiveness. Shaping the competitive advantage of healthcare practices. We’re here to guide you through this nexus, showing you how to prioritize financial efficiencies to propel your practice forward.

Forget the traditional approach of revenue minus expenses equals profit. We’re flipping the script to a more strategic equation: revenue minus profit equals expenses. Why? Because we understand that every dollar counts, and maximizing your profit margins is key to sustainable growth.

Cash will always be King. We’ll teach you why free cash flow is the lifeblood of your practice, laying the foundation for resilience and growth in the face of market fluctuations and industry challenges.

With our guidance, you’ll not only master the numbers but also harness the power of financial excellence to drive your practice to new heights of success. Let’s embark on this journey together and unlock the potential of your practice’s financial future. 

At ELEVATE, we believe that you should always start with the end in mind. Understanding where a potential Buyer places value is a ‘game changer.’ We apply our intimate knowledge of ‘Buyer’ value creation across every component of this financial module.

The Initial Challenges we explored involved the absence of a defined exit plan and approaching the practice ownership as a pastime rather than a profession. Consequently, maintaining financial liquidity and strategizing an eventual transition or retirement path from the outset are crucial for preparedness.

Value of Launch Financial to Practice Owners/Clinicians

Imagine this: You’re embarking on the journey of opening a new practice or taking your existing practice to new heights. You know operational excellence is crucial, but did you know that a solid financial and strategic planning is the foundation on which all successes are built. 

To Outline: Operational excellence is all about fine-tuning day-to-day processes, but without a strategic plan, you’re navigating blind. That’s where Launch Financial comes in. We’re here to simplify strategic excellence into bite-sized, digestible themes, tailored specifically for practice owners who may be new to the world of business.

But why is this so important? Think of it this way: Would you start a road trip without a map? Of course not! Similarly, launching or growing a practice without a strategic financial plan is like driving without directions—you might get somewhere, but you’re bound to hit a few messy roadblocks along the way.

The ELEVATE’s Launch Financial Learning Module equips you to tackle key hurdles – developing an exit plan, treating your practice seriously, maximizing your business strategy, embracing change, sound money management, and strategic goal setting. Our lessons address common pitfalls head-on. You’ll gain invaluable insights to propel your enterprise forward with clarity and purpose.