Business maturity refers to how consistently processes and procedures are followed, how efficiently established systems are utilized, and how individuals develop within the business to provide remarkable
patient care throughout the organization.
With these five steps, you and your team can increase your business’s maturity:
1. Establish and Adhere to Mission and Vision Statements
The mission statement reflects what your practice works to accomplish every day — “help the community hear better,” for example. The vision statement provides an aspirational look at the practice’s future — “be the most trusted hearing-care resource in the market,” for example. Both statements drive the efforts of everyone on your team.
Make sure that the mission and vision statements are:
- Clear and to the point, with no more than two to three sentences each
- Understood by all team members and ingrained in daily operations
- Reviewed annually to ensure they still match the goals of the business
Display the mission statement where staff and patients can readily see it — posted in the waiting room, for example, and included in patient-intake forms — to elevate awareness and consistently remind everyone of the ultimate goals of the business.
2. Standardize and Document Processes
The ability to effectively manage and systematically improve processes starts with standardization and documentation:
- Six Sigma, a leading quality control and improvement approach, demonstrates that for any process to improve, variation within the process must be removed.
- Documenting key processes facilitates consistency and, along with process standardization, provides managers the means to hold staff accountable for execution of said processes.
Start small. Begin documenting the patient-intake process. What forms are included for new patients? When are patients asked for updated contact information? Do front-office staff handle the patient-intake process differently? First standardize the process as it should be, and document it to promote efficiency and reduce unnecessary variation.
3. Create and Update an Operations Handbook
Do new or even tenured staff have questions about how patient information is to be entered into your office management system? If the credit card system is down for the day, what’s the manual process for accepting payments? What intake forms are to be included in the new- and current-patient packet? Treat your operations handbook as the central resource for all daily, weekly, and monthly processes and procedures.
Empower your staff to help in this process. Enlist the assistance of those who perform specific duties every day to map out the best approaches. They are the subject-matter experts in their field, and taking ownership over process promotes internal growth and development.
4. Ensure Staff, Owner, and Business Goal Alignment
A boat won’t reach its destination unless everyone on rowing duty moves in the same direction. This holds true in business, too. Establishing clear, measurable, and attainable practice goals — setting the direction — is the first key to success. The next is aligning the goals of the owner and staff with those of the practice, ensuring everyone is rowing in the same direction.
At least twice yearly, speak individually with each staff member about their specific personal, professional, and financial goals (PPFs). Celebrate accomplishments and seek ways to align their PPFs with the overall goals of the organization. If your rock-star patient care coordinator wants to earn more income to save for a summer trip to Italy, for example, create a compensation plan that rewards them with a bonus for each appointment booked from their outbound-calling efforts.
5. Establish Financial Reliability and Consistency
It goes without saying that most businesses can’t survive long without steady, reliable income. Private-practice audiology clinics are no different. Crafting consistent accounts-receivable processes, establishing reasonable cash reserves, and sticking to monthly and annual budgets mark just a few of the critical tactics for meeting the needs of your business today and planning responsibly for the future.
Work toward holding at least six months of average monthly expenses in cash reserves. Owner illness, provider turnover, or other unforeseen events can deliver a big blow to your business’s cash flow. Ensuring at least half a year’s reserves can help you weather the storm if necessary.
These crucial steps are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to successful business maturity development. Learn more about Audigy’s Practice Maturity Platform — which systematically measures where a practice stands in its business maturity across a variety of cultural, operational, and financial metrics in order to move members through their ownership maturity.