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Practice management is a growing business strategy intended to help companies overcome the challenges of fluctuating markets and adapt to the ever-evolving needs of consumers. Though the term originally referred to medical practices, other types of businesses, such as lawyers and financial advisers, are adopting practice management strategies.
The key to practice management
The foundational principle of practice management lies in effectiveness. The rate at which a business functions each day must be fast, though it remains important to be flexible in order to properly react to changes in the market and any challenges faced by the business. Being able to accomplish this means having access to the right practice management tools to address each of these areas:
- Human resources. Effective companies place particular emphasis on HR best practices, from tracking employee records to keeping job applications on file.
- Facilities and machines. A company’s place of business won’t run itself, which means maintaining the building or suites and ensuring technology is available for the company to function.
- Ordering and expense management. Shopping for vendors requires comprehensive contract management whereas keeping a company adequately stocked for supplies requires inventory management.
- Legal. Keeping records of all legal documentation and providing sufficient documentation to protect against all shortcomings from server downtime to risk management is critical to a business being fully protected.
- Accounting. Companies place particular emphasis on accounting simply because it’s the life blood of any business, which means effective payroll practices and accounts receivable and accounts payable management.
- Marketing. Placing emphasis on marketing can create greater long-term returns in the form of stronger consumer trust with effective customer relationship management as well as identifying and tracking consumer behaviors.
- Strategic planning. Making a practice more effective entails keeping an eye on forward progression to determine new services, returns on investment and forecasts.
- Day-to-day operation. The ongoing operation of a business is key to it meeting any future goals, which means keeping on top of employee scheduling, office management and customer service.
- Remaining current. The needs of the industry are in a constant state of change, which means employee education should likewise be never ending. Creating opportunities for continuing education courses and tracking attendance helps create an expectation for professional development and improves employee value.
Practice management strategy
Practice management is made up of many different individual parts, but organizations create success for each of these parts through a comprehensive continuous improvement strategy. By focusing on individual departments or having each department create its own initiative, businesses facilitate change at a larger and more organized scale. Of the many best practices that exist, the most way to execute practice management are the following steps:
- Planning, assessing and setting goals. Before an organization can create strategies, it must first understand itself and what key opportunities exist.
- Developing goals into actions. Organizations make the leap from talking about goals to creating an action plan to accomplish those goals.
- Deploying or executing tasks. Properly executing tasks and meeting goals means putting the right people on the job, and an organization stands a greater chance of accomplishing that by identifying individuals with the strengths needed to accomplish the goal.
- Monitoring and measuring results. After a predetermined period of time, organizations then assess the progress made on goals and the results created.
- Analyzing and evaluating the strategy’s overall effectiveness. After obtaining necessary measurable data, a business then compares the results against the original goals and determines the strategy’s overall success.
The process of practice management is typically cyclical, which means after completing the evaluation of action items a business begins anew by setting new goals to improve upon previous goals or create opportunities in new areas of the business.