Think you're the first and only business owner to suffer a particular problem? In almost every case, someone worked through the misery before you. They might even have learned lessons that could help you.
When things start feeling out of control, it's easy to think you're the first and only business owner to suffer this particular problem. But in almost every case, someone worked through the misery before you. And often they survived to tell the story. They might even have learned lessons that could help you.
Marnette Denell Falley
Dr. Brian Huss talks about the challenges he faced when his practice experienced a big growth spurt. And he says, rightly, that every business experiences predictable transitions as it grows. I asked consultant Gary Glassman, CPA, a partner with Burzenski & Co. P.C., about the most common transitions in veterinary practices.
At each of these points, he says, you'll need to think about marketing, employee management, and financial issues, because your needs in those areas naturally change. Here's a look at when you may feel growing pains:
For example, you'd develop a formal reporting structure, written job descriptions, written mission and vision statements, and an employee manual. Those changes can be uncomfortable for team members who've been used to a more free-flowing environment. They may chafe against systems that are now critical to efficiency, communication, and work flow.
On the financial side, when you add a doctor at any stage, you might buy additional equipment and inventory to support the additional doctor, which can put pressure on cash flow. And you'll pay the doctor's and additional team members' salaries, so your costs increase before you see much additional revenue. "Regular review of key financial indicators will help you track cash flow issues and adjust," Glassman says.
Yes, it's frustrating when your formerly smooth-running practice seems to fall apart. But you'll pop out the other side of the transition a more mature, stronger business.
Marnette Denell Falley, Editor