Are you an entrepreneur looking for support with your business model during COVID-19? Attend the next 2-Day Pivot Camp on July 23rd-24th for guidance on how to rapidly iterate your product or service, reach new customers, and explore additional revenue streams.
In the age of COVID-19, entrepreneurs just may be the key to promoting and encouraging community recovery. That being said, the majority of the conversation around how to help entrepreneurs revolves around loans and grants, even though entrepreneurs need a lot more help than just monetary resources. While these are definitely important aspects of entrepreneurship, we wanted to find out what else is on the minds of entrepreneurs during these trying times.
With that in mind, SEED SPOT paired up with researchers at the University of Delaware to speak with entrepreneurs about their experiences dealing with this crisis. By talking to several SEED SPOT alumni, we learned some inspiring insights that are too good not to share.
Resilience is at the Forefront
One of the most motivating aspects of the conversations was that these entrepreneurs were even more passionate about their business and their impact than before, a testament to their strength and tenacity. Rather than let the negative news around the world bring them down, they are focusing their energy positively on how their social-impact businesses will make a difference globally. Though entrepreneurs are definitely facing added and different stress, entrepreneurship 101 teaches that it’s possible to turn every negative into an opportunity.
The New Networking Strategy
Another fascinating way that SEED SPOT alum are adapting to their situations is by using technological tools to stay connected and continue to grow. Resources like Zoom and social media have helped maintain relationships and connections, and virtual webinars and classes have been helpful as well to stay motivated. It’s not always as easy to network and build a relationship with somebody virtually, but technology makes it feasible and they are thankful for that.
Forging Routines of Connection and Care
There’s also a silver lining in all of this. Many entrepreneurs are reporting that they are having more time for self care as a result of being cooped up in the house all day. “[I’m] Doing a better job of following up with people I haven’t talked to in a couple months or even a year just to see how they’re doing. I hope after all this is done, that doesn’t go away”, reports one entrepreneur.
Deep Diving into Fundamentals
Lastly, SEED SPOT alumni entrepreneurs also had some advice to share with other leaders trying to make sense of everything happening in the world. One of the most consistent pieces of advice was to take this time to better understand your product and your market, and really dive deep during this down time to learn all the ins and outs about your business and your market position. They also stressed the importance of staying positive, and reminding yourself that this difficult period won’t last forever. Good things come out of difficult circumstances, and COVID-19 is no exception.
Thank you to the SEED SPOT alumni who agreed to speak with us, and thank you to the researchers at the University of Delaware for your assistance in this project! Together, we are stronger.
If you are an entrepreneur who can relate to the challenges that these alumni have faced, and you want to make a pivot with your business, then SEED SPOT’s virtual 2-Day Pivot Camp is for you. Sign up today to reserve your spot at the upcoming 2-Day Pivot Camp from July 23rd-24th.
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Whether you’re in the process of starting your own business, or you’ve been in business for years now but just never got around to writing your business plan, this blog post is for you. Here, we’ve compiled some great information to help you put together this ultra-important document. But before we get into the details of a great business plan, let’s cover the basics:
A business plan is a formal document detailing everything about your business. Venture coach Stever Robbins writes in this article on Entrepreneur.com that a business plan includes “your value proposition, marketing assumptions, operations plan, financial plan, and staffing plan.” He also points out that your business plan drives the future of your organization, because it contains goals for all major areas: sales, expenses, hiring, and financing. “Once laid out,” he writes, “the targets become performance goals.” As such, your business plan will act as both:
In short, anyone who is running a business should have a business plan—especially when working with investors, partners, or employees. According to another article on Entrepreneur.com, “…anybody beginning or extending a venture that will consume significant resources [money, energy, or time]…and that is expected to return a profit, should take the time to draft some kind of plan.”
Now, let’s dive into the specifics of your business plan. Keep in mind that, just as no two PT clinics are identical, business plans will differ from practice to practice. Furthermore, your business plan should be a living document that you can adapt as your practice grows and the market changes.
In essence, the Executive Summary is a general overview of a practice’s purpose and goals—and it’s often the make-or-break section of a business plan. This section should clearly and succinctly describe how your practice plans to address patient health concerns while remaining profitable. It also works as a type of framework you can refer back to when developing the rest of your business plan. So, each element should be easy to expand on. If any part is fuzzy or unclear, it’ll make it difficult to hammer out later on down the line.
In the case of an outpatient physical therapy practice, this section should briefly summarize:
Now it’s time to dig into the nitty-gritty. What does your practice actually do? And what are your goals? If your business is already up and running, you can probably outline your objectives and services pretty easily. But even if you’re a seasoned veteran, it can be exponentially more difficult to explain what you want to accomplish long term without putting your goals to paper. So, in this section, start by thinking about where your business is now versus where you want it to be later on down the line—as well as the action items necessary for realizing that growth. Here are a few questions this section should answer:
Consider your clinic’s overarching purpose: are you focused on keeping athletes in top shape to help them perform their best? Or, are you more focused on raising awareness about health and wellness in a specific community? And what is your clinic’s treatment philosophy? Some practices may focus heavily on overall health and wellness, while others are intent on restoring function after injury.
No matter how you answer the questions above, the services you provide should align with your goals. For example, if you’re community-focused, services like employment health screenings are a great way to serve the population at large. Alternatively, fitness assessments and injury prevention services help athletes stay sharp and improve performance.
The point of this section is to justify your goals by identifying who your audience is—and making sure you can easily reach your desired patient population.
Look at the current market in your locale. Are there other practices in your area that focus on the same things that are important to you? This question is important, because:
Also, performing a SWOT analysis will help you understand how you stack up to surrounding PT practices. This analysis includes everything from practice location and niche services to the payers you’re credentialed with.
Now, it’s time to get out your crystal ball and gaze into the future. (If you don’t have one handy, your imagination will do just fine.) Think about some tangible goals for your practice, such as:
While your goals and services are unquestionably important, how you plan to market your practice is just as crucial—if not more so. After all, your services will have little impact if your target audience doesn’t know you offer them. Ideally, you should break this section down into three smaller subsections:
Your ideal patients need to know who you are and what you’re about, so ponder what you want your messaging to communicate. The contents of this section are informed by:
This section should talk about your target audience. It should explain:
Once you know who your target audience is and what message you want to communicate to them, research effective ways to engage with your audience. For example, social media marketing can be an effective tool for engaging with patients of all ages. However, some social platforms have a user base that skews towards the under-30 crowd (e.g., Twitter), while other platforms tend to attract users over the age of 30 (e.g., Facebook). Then there’s print marketing, which is a great way to market to people who are less likely to be on any social media platforms at all (e.g., people 65 and older). Remember, though, that you don’t want to make any assumptions about seniors and technology: depending on your specific audience, older patients may very well use digital platforms on a regular basis.
That’s why it’s important to do your due diligence and explore the varied ways in which your messaging reaches your intended audience. As we mentioned above, this also includes assessing your competitors’ marketing strategy, borrowing inspiration from similar practices, and filling any market gaps. Then, outline your marketing strategy for the next few years—while allowing some room for adjustment as the market changes.
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Here’s where the rubber really meets the road. Understanding your day-to-day operations—as well as who’s in charge of what—can make or break your success in private practice. According to this article from Inc.com, your operations section should answer the following questions:
I know, it’s a lot. However, if you’ve worked in a physical therapy practice before, then you should be able to answer a lot of these questions off the top of your head. As for the hypothetical questions, it’s best to glean some wisdom from your mentor or various owners of existing PT practices.
You can’t run a practice effectively without assessing the fiscal landscape, so you’ll need to dig into the dollars and cents as you pen your business plan. Start by laying out your initial start-up costs—as well as whether you plan to fund them through loans, grants, or savings—including:
Additionally, Inc.com advises that all business plans include—at the very least—the following five reports or projections:
As a final note, it’s absolutely crucial that these numbers be as accurate as possible, so we definitely advise working with your accountant to pull it all together.
There you have it: everything you need to know about putting together a business plan. Got any tips and tricks for creating an effective plan? Let us know in the comment section below!
The post 5 Elements of a Successful Physical Therapy Business Plan appeared first on WebPT.