Learn how leveraging the right data at the right time can help you stabilize your practice, in spite of the volatility other businesses might be facing.
Is it possible to “recession-proof” your practice?
While we don’t have a crystal ball that enables us to see into the future, there are certainly some tried and true strategies for protecting your practice from the volatility of an economic recession.
Consider the following suggestions for recession-proofing your practice, and also consider implementing these strategies into your business no matter what the economic conditions might be to build a more stable, nimble, and autonomous organization.
Free up your practice’s working capital
It should come as no surprise that when we’re facing a slump economically, that cash is king. Having a clear, real-time understanding of your practice’s assets versus its liabilities will allow you to make wiser financial decisions as your practice endures a recession.
Remember, having this basic but crucial financial knowledge about your practice gives you a short-term understanding of your financials.
If you have the opportunity to do things like pay down debts or sell unused equipment, then you should make the effort to free up that cash to give your practice even more runway during unsure financial times.
Be cautious about making new investments
Every practice owner should be considerate when making important investment decisions for the business, but especially so when we’re experiencing a slowdown.
Moving forward with big moves like opening a new location, investing in new equipment, or even bringing on a new provider should be very carefully considered, and in many cases, postponed until you can create a clearer sense of predictability in the business.
Check in on vendor and partner relationships
Have longtime vendors you rely on? Referral sources that help drive patients to the practice? How healthy are those relationships? No matter what the economic environment, having a strong relationship with vendors and other partners to the practice can be precisely what your business needs when you find yourself in a tight spot.
Remember, if we’re in the midst of a recession, then they’re probably finding themselves in less than ideal conditions, as well.
Seek out ways in which you can support each other, explore different payment options, nurture the relationships, and by all means make sure you’re doing these things well before you absolutely need to.
They’ll remember. And they’ll act accordingly.
Lastly, always keep an open mind toward new or different partner opportunities that are out there. Sometimes businesses close, are acquired, or aren’t able to fulfill certain services for all sorts of reasons. Don’t box yourself in when you need help the most!
Keep your practice nimble. Stay lean!
You can keep your practice on track by focusing on the things that bring the most revenue into your business while allowing you to deliver top-tier care and services to your patients.
All too often, practices will spread themselves too thin by trying to do much, or by focusing on services that require too many resources and don’t bring in sustainable revenue for the practice.
Still others will let their staff become bloated because they’re allocating patient load appropriately. Avoid morale killers like layoffs by carefully and strategically adding new team members only when the practice maintains KPIs that reflect growth and sustainability.
Focus on your internal culture: Be a leader
When things are going well for a business, it’s a leader’s job to get out of the way, make subtle adjustments in the background, and let their team take credit for the practice’s successes.
Conversely, when you’re experiencing a period of difficulty, the tone of the practice’s shoulders lies squarely on your shoulders. Your team, quite naturally, is looking to you for guidance.
If you want maintain positive culture, a productive work environment, and a long-lasting business with a healthy, happy staff, then you need to be present, set expectations, and hold everyone (including yourself!) accountable to the goals in your current environment.
People will be willing to stay by your side if they see that you have a gameplan and you have follow-through.
Train and develop your team
Another way of having great practice with a productive team and delighted patients? Invest in your team!
Your practice is filled with people who are looking for the next step in their careers, and you have the opportunity to foster their professional and financial growth by making training and development time available to them.
A sustainable business model requires a stable workforce, and helping them be their best benefits them, your practice, and your patients!
Make your marketing work for you
Do you really know your current patient mix? Do you know how many new vs. existing patients you have in your database? Do you know how much a new patient lead costs? Are you regularly cultivating your database?
Having a clear understanding of your marketing ROI can help you in lean times by knowing what to make bigger investments in, what to lessen, and where your patients, new and existing, are looking for your services.
Never forget about your patients’ experiences in your practice
Just because we’re in the middle of difficult economic times, it doesn’t mean that your patients have to feel it in your practice.
The world’s perception of your brand is a summation of every interaction they have with you, whether that’s in the practice, on the phone, or online.
They should always feel safe and supported in the care you’re providing to them. This will not only create patient loyalty to your practice, but it will often also lead to them advocating for your brand. This level of trust is invaluable.
Always have a strategic plan in place for your practice
Do you hold annual planning sessions for your practice? Do you and your staff go over quarterly updates about your practice’s performance on a quarterly basis? Does your staff have a clear sense of what your practice’s short and long term goals are?
Providing this level of transparency about the practice does a number of positive things for your practice.
One, it gives your team an understanding of what the practice is doing from a business perspective.
Two, helping them understand how their role contributes to the practice’s success gives them a clearer sense of purpose and creates greater accountability.
Third, when you find yourself in difficult financial or economic situations, you have something to refer back to that can help you make adjustments so you can weather the storm.
A practice with a plan has a plan that can be changed to meet the moment. A practice without a plan is rudderless, and likely doomed to fail.
This is why we created DataDx. We wanted practices to be able to see their real-time practice and business data so that they could make critical decisions with confidence.
All the info you need is there: financials, marketing ROI, vendor data, provider stats, patient details, and more.
You can tailor reports to your specific needs, sort data by location, procedure, or provider — whatever you need in order to organize the data that matters most to you, analyze its contents, and adjust to your current environment.
No matter what our economic conditions might be, data is a key component to your short- and long-term success. We encourage anyone interested in learning more about how DataDx can help your practice improve its operations, increase its profitability, and deliver a higher level of care to their patients to visit DataDx to learn more.