I see a lot of clinics that don’t have a working business plan, and it’s one of the most important parts of building a successful clinic.
Without a plan how can you possibly know what to focus on? Without a plan how can you avoid being a busy fool? You become someone who’s working really hard with their head down, simply ploughing through stuff, and never looking up to see where they’re going. All of which reminds me of a friend of mine called Johnny Themans from Good To Great. Johnny comes from a farming background, and he was telling me how when he was a youngster his brother taught him to plough a field. He got him in the tractor and told him to concentrate on the front wheel and keep that in the furrow of what had already been done, which was a dead straight line. Johnny ran the full length of the field and when he got to the end, his brother told him to look behind him at what he’d ploughed.
Johnny turned and saw something that was about as far from a straight line as you could possibly get. So, his brother took over, straightened up the furrow and put Johnny back in the driver seat. This time he said “watch the wheel and keep it in the furrow but also pick a spot on the horizon directly in front and keep an eye on that”. Again, Johnny ran the full length of the field, looking to the horizon and keeping an eye on the wheel in the furrow. This time, when he got to the end and turned around to look, he’d ploughed a perfectly straight line.
And that’s how everything works. No matter what it is you’re trying to achieve, you have to look to where you’re going, as well as have an eye on what’s going on now. I see too many clinic owners who not only don’t have a plan for the now, but aren’t really clear about where they’re going either. And that’s a bit like deciding to go on holiday, turning up to any old airport, pointing at an aeroplane and saying ‘that one will do’, and all without even having your passport or a suitcase. Actually, the average person probably spends more time planning their holidays than they do planning their life, which is clearly a completely crazy way of doing things!
Fail to plan is a plan to failure
By Alan Adams The Clinic Coach