Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year's Resolutions for your Business

As the new year approaches it's the perfect time to take a look at what is working, what isn't, and how you can improve. Many people are planning to launch into weight-loss goals, more quality family time, or stress-reduction resolutions. Why not make a resolution to improve the health of your business? For many healthcare businesses there can be cost savings and untapped profit potential. Here are 3 areas to examine to make this new year your best yet!

Product and Service Lines
The first step is to take a hard look at the products and services your business is offering. Is your offering keeping up the needs of the community you’re servicing? Possibly there are products or services you could delete that would allow room for more profitable or in-demand items. Run some reports to examine what services and products you are selling and who is buying. What are your low performers and do you still need to carry them? Also look at those low or mid-level performers and see if there are ways you can encourage growth. Another excellent source of untapped data is from your staff members.  The front lines hold a wealth of info. Ask your team their thoughts of what is moving, what isn’t, why, and how you can improve. If you are a home healthcare provider, it is time to dive into increasing retail products.  This can be an excellent add on with instant cash flow in light of reimbursement concerns.

Vendor Review
Make a resolution to review your vendors. Look for ways to consolidate purchases. Many times we don’t know all the products a vendor carries. You can conserve cost by buying more items at a time and reduce freight expenses.  Review your contract agreements. It is amazing how much savings most members aren’t taking advantage of. Look at your top spend items and your supply item disposables. These costs can add up fast so complete a value analysis review and see what savings you are missing out on.  Most vendors will offer assist with your review and ramp up your savings in no time.

Positioning and Promotions
For many in the medical field, there isn’t the typical discounting and promotions that we see in the consumer marketing, but there are still many ways you can promote your business. A couple of key concerns most patients voice is are they receiving the best care at a reasonable cost? Positioning your medical business as the industry experts, the leading providers, offering innovative services and products will encourage this brand message. Also educating patients on how you are cutting unnecessary costs and giving more value for every hard earn dollar going your way will go a long way. Create cost effective marketing flyers and brochures to hand out at events or in office. Additionally, get more involved in your community. Participate in cause-related marketing efforts such as health walks or community health fairs. Not only will get to engage with your potential patients but you are helping educate on health-inspired messages while supporting your neighborhood.

These are some high level ideas but the lesson is to make time to think about business resolutions. With focused goals and targeted tactics you can make this year a smashing success!  Have other resolution tips? Please share your comment below.