I wrote this blog a few months ago, but it is even more important today. Who knows how long businesses will be shut down during this pandemic? It’s critical to investigate any and all expenses and to eliminate any unnecessary spending. Take this down time to really dig in and find any Stumps that may be showing in your business.
When you own and work in a business, you have many hats and it’s easy to get overwhelmed between seeing patients, managing employees, creating marketing plans, nurturing referral sources, monitoring profit and loss and the list goes on and on and on … however, these details are critical and ignoring them can derail the business.
I had a tough year in business in 2008 and I know that 2020 won’t be any different. I recall a consultant telling me “High water hides the stumps. When business is good, it’s easy to let costs get out of control and when profitability declines, the stumps start to show”. I knew exactly what he meant. 2020 is a time to get rid of some stumps and during this slow down is a great time to dig into your numbers and investigate where those stumps are.
These challenges necessitate the need to pay attention to every detail in the business.
You may have already laid off employees or that may need to happen in the future. Or, if you keep employees on staff, you will need to examine every duty each one is responsible for and change responsibilities. Employees can still add to a business whether your doors are open or closed. This is a great time to update your database or to investigate a new one. Reach out and touch the patients that haven’t been in the office in six months or more and call patients that don’t have access to your social media so they know what you are doing in your practice during this time.
- Are you charging for everything you should be charging for? Some people are having luck with online stores during this time of social distancing.
- Are your cost of goods in line with the cost of doing business?
- How’s the ROI on your marketing plan? Take the time to check every recent marketing activity to see which ones actually paid off. It’s still critical to continue to market during this time. Social media may be the most cost effective way to get your message out.
- Costs for telephone and internet services can vary greatly by provider. No cost is too low to investigate and negotiation is always an option.
- Check to see how much you are spending on little-used yellow page ads and get rid of those expenses.
- Do you use a credit card to pay expenses? Look for one that offers 0% interest for a given period of time or investigate one that gives cash back.
- Investigate shipping charges, as many suppliers fail to notify businesses of small increases and those small increases can dramatically affect profitability.
Use this slow down to make your business better. It’s critical to focus on the cost of running your business and get rid of those stumps that you uncover. Don’t give up. Better times are ahead!
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