Effective business map ..We are all on a journey!
When a new business is set up, one of the first things it should do is create a visionary plan. There are few people who would argue with that – as well as being essential for acquiring funding, it sets out what you intend to do as your business is established and begins to grow.
However, fewer people use – or are even familiar with – a business map. At Horton Consulting, we believe a business map should be a vital part of every dental practice’s set-up.
For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a business map is a document which sets out what the business does, what its purpose is and, crucially, how it operates. This final part goes into the detail of how each part of the business is run, who is responsible for which aspect and how successful that operation is, within the context of the wider market.
As busy practice leaders, we can easily fall into the trap of failing to properly analyse how our business is performing. With a visionary plan in place, we know we are working towards a certain level of turnover by a set date, or to expand the practice to a pre-defined level in a certain amount of time. But how much does this plan benefit us on a day-to-day basis? Do we really use the visionary plan as a working document, or just revisit it once a year when we look over the accounts?
A business map is the ideal solution to this problem. It is designed to be a very realistic, practical document which you use to define the current position of your business. By doing so, you can then see how you are performing compared to your aims.
For example, if your visionary plan states that you want to achieve a turnover of £500,000 by the end of five years, and three years in you are only achieving £150,000, the figures themselves do not provide you with enough information to be able to improve your performance. A business map, on the other hand, could give you vital information about gaps in your business. Are you failing to convert enquiries to new patients? Are two members of staff responsible for the same task which could easily be done by just one? Are you losing patients to a nearby rival because they have a higher profile or better offers for new patients?
A business map addresses all these points. It challenges you to look at every aspect of your practice in turn and assess how it is performing, and whether improvements can be made. Trying to live up to your visionary plan can be a daunting task, but the business map allows you to take small steps along the way to significantly improve your overall performance. As well as that, it forces you to continually assess your business – something we’re all guilty of putting off. Not only does this give you a realistic idea of how you are doing, it also shows you any minor problems, risks or challenges as they arise and allows you to address them immediately, rather than waiting until the year end, or even the end of your visionary plan, when they may have become much bigger issues.
If you are interested in finding out more about how a business map could benefit you and your practice, contact us.
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