I recently had the pleasure of speaking as part of a panel at the Lloyds Bank in Manchester to a crowd of new entrepreneurs.
They asked many questions about the hard won lessons.
Hands-down, second to none, the panel of four business owners said cashflow.
The reality of being in a bank and saying this was not lost on anyone – in fact, it brought into stark realisation that, it wasn’t that cash doesn’t exist, it’s that its existence needs to be managed correctly.
For us, I shared the story about how we needed to change our payment receipt processes for MedicRooms. As an advertising and advisory service, our services require prep and creative labour, which all run at a cost to our business. At the time, we had a “we’ll-invoice-you-pay later” system. I was conscious that other very experienced suppliers in the industry that we worked with insisted on being paid in full and upfront. When clients failed to pay on time, we found ourselves massively stressed as a team!! What was required was a massive boost in our confidence to say, “we know the industry and we’re good at our jobs. Please pay us upfront”.
It was reassuring to find out that other business owners had similar stories.
One business owner shared how he took his eye off the ball on what he calls “constant business development”. Depending on what kind of healthcare business you run, this might be GP meetings, attending education conferences, meeting new practitioners or networking with referrers. We’ll cover this more next month.
Another mentioned not having the infrastructure in place to handle challenges. In our book, Medical Business Management, Leanne and I dedicate a huge amount of time to detail the kinds of staff training and processes you need to have in place so that your practice is equipped to keep running – even whilst you’re not there.
As a practitioner recently said to me in a 1:1 session – “it’s not a business, unless you can step away and still be earning something. Otherwise, it’s a very expensive job.” That’s so true. If you’re thinking of selling, that’s the value that someone is going to pay you for your business also.
For articles on constant business development, stay tuned next month and make sure you’ve signed up to our newsletter and consented to receive emails from the Periop Partners businesses: MedicRooms and Medibusiness. Or schedule a free 1:1 call, by calling 1300 799 438.