A general practice is a business like any other, which means general practitioners (GPs) could benefit from having a business plan. Tristan Bond, Founder of The Healthcare Business Group and author of 7 Steps to Unlimited Patients, recommends an overarching plan for growth with separate plans for key areas of the business such as marketing, retention, service delivery and scalability.
“Personal goals will also play an important role,” he says. “I built my own business to support my lifestyle and I encourage my clients to do the same.”
“If you don’t include personal goals you’ll lose your vision and your mission,” adds Dr Karen Price, a GP, Co-chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners’ Women In General Practice Committee and a former practice owner. “Personal satisfaction is the reason we live and work and, when things get a bit muddy or you’re under pressure, it’s important to be able to revisit that aspect of your business plan and reassure yourself you’re still on track.”
She also believes a business plan should embrace workplace culture.
“The emotional intelligence of the workplace is particularly important for a human services profession yet it’s one of the most overlooked,” she says. “From a business point of view, it’s very hard to attract and retain staff when there’s a problem with the culture.”