The business of hearing healthcare is changing. Consumers can buy hearing aids anywhere – on the Internet and even at Costco. Insurance companies are cutting benefits for hearing healthcare and promoting discount programs to their subscribers, while hearing aid manufacturers increase their presence in the retail market. What does this mean for the private practice owner?
Professional Hearing Services owner, Dr. Gyl Kasewurm, says, “with obstacles comes opportunity. To maximize opportunity, you must be prepared and willing to change.” Dr. Kasewurm advises private practice owners to take the following steps to thrive despite these changes.
Assess Your Business
You need to gather and review the right information to get your finger on the pulse of the business and truly assess the financial viability of the practice.
Cash flow is the gas that drives a business. Without it, a business can’t survive. If a business is operating profitably, then it should, in theory, generate cash surpluses. However, even successful businesses can and will experience temporary cash shortages.
Financial analysts report that poor cash flow is the #1 killer of small businesses for two main reasons:
• Companies aren’t realistic when it comes to predicting their income and expenses. They overestimate income and underestimate expenses.
• Companies don’t see a cash shortage coming and they run out of money because they fail to closely monitor the business.
Grow Your Practice
Historically, the number of patients who shop around or decide not to take our advice to purchase hearing aids is more than 50%. While most practices offer a diverse range of services and devices, most rely on profits from fitting hearing aids to sustain their businesses. Therefore, the close or help rate of the professionals fitting hearing aids has a dramatic influence on the profitability of a business.
Manage Your Business
Employers in every sector agree that managing employees is their most difficult task. When an employee doesn’t do what is expected of him or her, it’s tempting to blame the employee. But often the real problem lies with the managers. It is your job to communicate expectations to employees and train them in how to do their job. Don’t forget to monitor performance and provide ongoing feedback to make sure expectations are met.