A practice management consultant is a vital resource in reaching your business goals. An outside consultant offers the fresh set of eyes your business needs to identify pain points you may be overlooking, opportunities you may be missing, and a perspective you may have never considered. Finding the right consultant is the first step. You want to work with someone who gets results, inspires your team, and brings an enjoyable experience. Ask the right questions from the beginning to give insight into whether or not you’ve found the right partner for your practice.
Ensure the Practice Management Consultant Understands Your Vision
Do you aim to tweak and optimize your existing structure, effectively squeezing the most juice out of your lemon? Would you like to improve operations to bring more enjoyment, less stress, and more cohesiveness to the team? Do you want to grow quickly and ensure your systems are in order before you replicate them throughout new locations? Ultimately, is your goal to improve and streamline what you have, or are you in hyper-growth mode?
We have clients on both ends of the spectrum. In our experience, these business owners have different personalities with differing practices, goals, and objectives. Your consultant should be very clear on your vision and direction and should be aligned with you in achieving that vision.
Question to ask:
This milestone is more about what questions the consultant should be asking you. But you can preview the conversation by asking, “What questions will you ask early on in order to understand my vision?”
Identify a Clear Path
Once you communicate your vision, the next step is to create a roadmap. Where are you now? Where are you going? Create a path to fill in the gaps. At Skytale, we are financial consultants, so we create a financial roadmap. First, we identify what revenue supports your desired growth or current overhead expenses. Then, we strategize how to plan for and achieve that revenue. Lastly, we look for pain points that exist now or are likely to come up along the way. How will your consultant specifically identify those pain points and what is the plan to work with the providers or team to solve those pain points? Identifying the issues and setting a clear roadmap toward solving the issues is critical.
Often, practice management consultants try to tackle everything all at once, overwhelming the team. Your best practice will be to identify priorities that will have the biggest impact and most obvious success (a.k.a. the low-hanging fruit.) When you achieve success early on–when a problem is solved or a new procedure creates more efficiency– the team can see the results. When they see results, they are more inclined to continue to work hard with the consultant to enact change.
Questions to ask:
“What is your process for identifying pain points and enacting specific change?”
“How do you typically work with your clients and their teams?”
Look for a clear roadmap, system, process, or agenda that has been developed to specifically help you. Then, verify that the consultant is not just going to wing it and throw everything out at once.
Measure, Measure, Measure
How will you know if the consultant is on the right track? At Skytale, we set specific and measurable goals with our clients that, if achieved, show the pain points are being corrected. If growth is one of your goals, then what new patient volume, conversion of callers, or case acceptance is required to achieve that growth metric? Measure these key performance indicators regularly. In our monthly meetings, we review the actual data and compare it to the goal. Where are the variances? What needs to be revisited? We get specific and granular and let the data tell us if the consulting is successful and our plan is working.
Questions to ask:
“How do you measure our progress as we work together?”
“What specific key performance indicators do you track?”
Cultivate an Ongoing Coaching Relationship With the Consultant
If the greatest golfer of all time still has a coach, then we all can benefit from a coaching relationship. We see our clients as long-term partners. Your practice should aim for constant improvement, whether it be increased profitability, reduced team stress, or better patient care. As a result, there is always a way to improve or an opportunity to pursue.
Question to ask:
“How long do your client engagements usually last?”
Finding the right consultant can be a game-changer for your practice. An outsider’s perspective enables you to keep an eye on all angles of your business. Our clients share that, before hiring a consultant, they felt like they were on an island alone–owning and running the business without someone to talk to about their ideas, strategy, and issues. If this sounds familiar, find someone you can strategize with. You have a vision for your business, so surround yourself with partners to help you reach that vision. Additionally, be receptive to change and enter the relationship with the right attitude to get the most out of your consulting partnership. And most importantly, ask the right questions to help you find the right partner.
Would your practice benefit from financial, strategic, or M&A consulting? Maven Financial Partners is dedicated to helping businesses take control of their finances and their future. As big picture visionaries, we strategically position clients for future growth. Learn more about our services or ask us your clarifying questions about using Maven as a practice management consultant!