5 reasons you need a clear business plan 

A BUSINESS PLAN IS THE BLUEPRINT OF YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS AND THE BACKBONE OF ANY SUCCESSFUL MEDICAL PRACTICE. BY MEGAN SWEENEY AND GILLIAN HUGO.

The Rio Olympics has finished and many athletes achieved their goal of winning gold, however the majority did not.

The major difference between an athlete’s success and failure is their ability to develop a strong plan and execute it seamlessly.

The ability to plan and execute is just as important when it comes to running a successful clinic.

Some of the leading reasons for small business failure are poor management decisions, cash flow, growing too fast and ineffective marketing. These factors can all be addressed and managed with a well thought through business plan.

Veda General Manager Moses Samaha says, “The biggest risk isn’t in the first year, but in the years they have to be brave and grow”. Which is why it’s important to view your business plan as a live document that is reviewed regularly and changed if required to ensure your business adapts to the environment.

The Australian Cosmetic Medicine market is now worth more than $600 million and is growing in double figures year on year – but is your clinic?

Having a strong business plan is the first step to building a business for success. It’s an opportunity for you to outline your goals for the future and present information in a way that others can gain insight into your vision, to help you achieve them sooner and with less stress.
Here are six benefits to creating and reviewing a business plan for your clinic.

Investing in the creation and ongoing development of a business plan provides a tool that allows you to objectively test your ideas, identify those that warrant further consideration and prioritise those that are key to achieving your short and long term goals. Once your clinic strategy is developed, it becomes easier to map out a path of achievable steps to success.

1 Turn your ideas into an achievable plan

Before and during your time as a cosmetic clinic owner you will undoubtedly generate many ideas to create success for your clinic.

Many of these ideas will seem daunting due to the time and investment required, however they may be the ideas that drive you to business success.

2 Align your team with your vision

Turn your ideas into an During the process of building or reviewing your business achievable plan plan you will identify what success looks like to you and your clinic – this is your vision.

Communicating a clear vision to your team empowers them to align their daily clinic activities. This vision becomes a reference point for practice processes, it gives context to potential changes required to achieve your goals and it is easily tied to your clinic activities.

3 Understand your financial position and options

It’s best practice to regularly update and review your financial position irrespective of the size of your business or the industry that you operate in.

Your clinic’s financial plan or budget is an essential element of your business plan. It’s a way of identifying and tracking activities that create economic benefit to your business and helps in reducing those activities that are unprofitable. Cash flow, pricing, stock and staffing are some key financial areas that a business plan and strategy will address for a clinic. These are also key areas of risk to the success of a clinic and should be regularly monitored and adapted to remain competitive and profitable.

4 Know your target

Investing your time and money into building and growing your clinic is only effective if you position your clinic for your target client within your competitive environment.

As part of your business plan, a situational analysis will help test your business ideas and develop your competitive strategy and positioning. This analysis is vital in shaping your marketing strategy, aligning this strategy to your strategic business goals and then developing an integrated operational and marketing approach to attract and retain target patients to your clinic.

5 One team, one voice

It’s more important than ever that you have clear messaging for your team when you have a service-based business. From your social media presence to your front desk and in-clinic, all messaging around your offering and the business’s vision needs to be consistent and clear. This willenable clients to easily understand what your business stands for and how it is different to other clinics.

6 Establish benchmarks to track your success

A business plan documents short and long term goals for your clinic, effectively setting a benchmark for success to be measured against. As part of your plan you will assess the current position of your clinic across a number of metrics and what your target is for these in the future. Identifying which clinic and market metrics are most relevant to you and your team can be an excellent way to better understand the drivers of your business, identify when to make strategic changes to your plan and helps you monitor your performance in this dynamic market. Measurement of key metrics, for example, revenue per patient, repeat rate and net profit can also provide tangible achievements to motivate and celebrate both team and individual success. AMP


About the authors:
Megan Sweeney and Gillian Hugo are co-founders of eight10, a management consulting agency that specialises in the cosmetic medicine industry. Eight10 offers business strategy, marketing and finance support.

For enquiries call Gillian on 0420 222 810, visit www.eight10.com.au or email info@eight10.com.au for a free Business Plan Template.