As a private practice owner, you’re accomplished in your area of professional expertise, but you also need some general business skills in order to succeed.
In fact, the success of your practice depends as much on how well you run the business as it does on how proficiently you perform in your specialty.
Top Business Skills for Private Practice Owners
Here are seven skills that you’ll need to keep your business healthy and profitable.
1. Problem Solving
It would be nice if everything always went the way you laid it out, but of course that never happens. You probably already have a good feel for the problems that relate specifically to the service you offer, and you have some ideas about how to resolve them. However, you’ll also have problems that involve accounting, managing people, customer service, and hiring and retaining staff. The better you understand these factors, the better chance you’ll have of dealing with issues as they come up.
2. Customer Service
Every business is a customer service business. While you already know how to cater to your clients during sessions, you also have to know how to work with them outside of sessions as well.
Some of the keys to customer service are maintaining a professional demeanor, putting people first, and considering every transaction from the customer’s point of view.
You have to cultivate listening skills and communicate clearly and consistently. It’s also critical to emphasize the importance of customer service to your staff both by word and by example. You must approach every customer with a service ethic from the time they make first contact through the moment they walk out the door satisfied.
3. Marketing and Advertising
You could be the greatest in the world at what you do, but if people don’t know who you are, where you are, and what you have to offer, you’re not going to get any business. Making yourself known isn’t as easy as many private practice owners think it is. It’s vital to sit down and layout a marketing strategy.
It starts with identifying who you are as a practice and where your clients are likely to encounter your advertising. Whether it’s online, signage, print, or broadcast advertising, there must also be a way to evaluate how effective each channel is.
4. Accounting and Financial Management
Financial management starts with accurate and effective record-keeping. Just recording numbers isn’t enough, though. You need an understanding of what the numbers mean.
You can do this by recognizing the key metrics for your line of business and tracking your performance against those metrics. Accurate tax reporting is also an important task that can’t be overlooked.
Accounting and financial management can take you away from time with your clients, if this starts happening, consider outsourcing.
You’re only as good as the people who work for you. Your clients assess you based on every interaction they have with your staff. You have to attract good candidates, evaluate them through the interview process, and identify the ones who will succeed within your practice.
Once you’ve made your hires, there needs to be a process to bring them on board and integrate them with your practice.
6. Team Management
Getting the top people hired and through the door is only part of the effort. They need to be working together as part of a team. It’s critical to communicate your expectations for them as employees and to get them to buy in to your vision for the practice.
They work for you, but they also work for themselves. If you have the right people, they want to improve their skills and build their careers. To retain the best people, you have to make them feel valued and give them the opportunity to grow.
7. Strategic Planning
Where do you expect your practice to be two, five, or 10 years from now?
You need a plan, of course. But you must understand where you’re going in order to figure out how you’re going to get there.
That’s why you should start with a long-term vision and work backward. Ensure that all of today’s actions are bringing you closer to your ideal tomorrow.
Strengthen Your Business Skills While We Manage Your Finances
It takes time and practice to master these essential business skills. Not many private practice owners are up to speed on them the day they open their doors, and you have to work diligently to acquire them.
That’s why it’s good to have an accounting partner, such as Leichter CPA. We’ll manage your accounting and financials while you concentrate on developing the other business skills that lead to success.
With Leichter CPA in charge of your books, you’ll have the solid information you need to run your business now and in the long run. Contact us today and learn how we can help you and your practice.