A strategic plan is essential to every upper cervical practice that has big goals and big ambitions.  It is your road map to get from point A to point Z while navigating many decisions, changes, and problems along the way.

Strategic plans are significantly different that business plans.  On the outside, they may look relatively similar, but when you dive down into the nuts and bolts of each, you will recognize how they have separate functions as you grow your practice.

The Business Plan

A business plan covers the basics of your practice.  It describes the Who, What, Where and Why of your unique practice.  This includes:

  1. What is the mission of the practice?
  2. What is the basic practice model that you are using?
  3. Where will the practice be located?  How can the location be used to grow the practice?
  4. What are your initial resources and equipment?
  5. Who is on the team (ie. doctors, massage therapist, physical therapist, manager, staff, etc.) and what kind of value do they bring to the practice?
  6. How do different departments work and how do their functions overlap?
  7. Who is your target customer? How will you reach them?
  8. What is your fee schedule and how do you plan on ensuring proper collections to run a practice profitably.
  9. What is your timeline to hit profitability?

Business plans are mostly used in acquiring loans and defining the initial structure of the practice.  There is value in having a business plan, but if that is your only document, your growth can be limited and the operations of the clinic can become disorganized as the practice grows.

The Strategic Plan

On the other hand, a strategic plan is used to navigate your path and clarify decisions as you embark on a journey to grow your practice into streamlined organization.  It outlines the phases of growth and the timing needed to accomplish those goals.

Strategic plans take the Who, What, Where, and Why of the business plan and adds in the How and the When. This plan will include:

  1. The vision for the practice, including the measurements of its success (which are set by you).
  2. The goals that need to be met in every department to ensure an efficient execution of the plan without missing essential needs of the practice, the staff or the patients.
  3. The phases of growth of your practice (ie. Single Doctor > Associates > Training Facility > Multiple Offices)
  4. The timing of each phase or major change that needs to be accomplished to see your vision become reality.
  5. The “triggers” that would need to be reached to implement certain changes.
  6. The people who will need to be in place or hired immediately as the strategic plan progresses through each phase of growth.
  7. The resources needed to implement each change or phase of growth.
  8. The strategic marketing necessary to grow you through each phase.

The strategic plan helps define the timing and execution of each change your practice must go through to help you accomplish your goals and make your vision a reality.  Getting to the practice of your dreams is difficult, but any practice can do it if it is properly planned and the plan is carried out with discipline.

Starting the Strategic Planning Process

As you look at your plans, you need to ask some important questions.  Do you have the end in mind as you make business decisions?  Do you know what the next major phase of growth needs to be?  Have you set goals that need to be reached in order to take the next step toward your business growth?  Do you know the exact timing that you should hire your next doctor based on your business model and practice goals?

If the answers to these questions are not clear, you need to start putting together a strategic plan.  Writing a strategic plan is a unique skill set.  It requires detail, patience and diligence.  Here are a couple first steps that you can take toward crafting your unique strategic plan:

  1. Write out a clear vision of what your dream practice would look like at its biggest and best.  For one doctor, this may be a large research facility.  For another, it might be 10 offices surrounding a major city.  Still another may want a large practice with 8+ doctors, and the main doctor assumes the role of a technique trainer.
  2. When you finish clarifying the details of your vision, break the vision down into specific goals and metrics that need to be met in each department of your practice for the vision to be fully manifest.
  3. Track this plan backwards to where your practice is today.  Here you will identify to differences between the practice you have today and the practice you want five, ten, or even fifteen years from now.
  4. Create a series of phases that your practice must transition through to get to those end goals.  Some of these phases may include staff change, hiring doctors, changing hours, buildout of the facility, move the facility, and strategic marketing.
  5. At each phase change, identify smaller goals that need to be accomplished for you to transition efficiently to the next phase.  These smaller goals may include financial capital, resources, equipment, staff and sustaining certain stats.

There is a tremendous amount of detail that must go into an efficient strategic plan, but every detail will be worth it in the end.  It may also require training to learn the essentials of a strategic plan and how the pieces fit together.  To learn more about how Strategic Solutions can help train you and work with you on developing and executing your unique strategic plan, visit The Strategy Room.

Your success in your business will be proportionate to the amount of work you put into the planning.  The more successful your practice becomes, the more doctors you will be able to hire, and the more people will be helped through upper cervical care.  That is a win/win scenario for everyone involved.