You’re feeling burnt out
Running a practice takes a lot of tenacity. Burnout can creep in slowly and take hold in what feels like an instant. It’s important to balance your work life and home life, and that takes commitment and constant fine tuning.
You need to set boundaries to make it effective. If you don’t have a good handle on taking time for yourself, and you are just barely keeping things afloat, exiting partially (such as by bringing on a physician partner, engaging private equity, or joining a management services organization) might be a good option to help you reclaim time to yourself while still maintaining, and hopefully growing, your practice.
You aren’t doing what you love
You had an ambitious view of starting your own practice. You intended to bring outstanding patient care to a community. You were excited and ready to go. Everything started strong and innovative ideas were flowing. Then, you hit a wall or find yourself spending your time on administrative tasks.
If so, it’s time to take a step back and reflect on what you are doing and what you would like to be doing, then see who can help pick up the slack.
You’re having growing problems
Your practice has grown a great deal, but now you’ve reached a plateau. You aren’t performing patient outreach like you used to. You don’t have time to research your competitors. You aren’t bringing new ideas to your practice because all your time is tied up in making sure the practice stays afloat and doesn’t fall behind.
How can you continue to experience growth when you can barely keep up with your practice as it is? It might be time to consider bringing in a partner who can develop a synergistic platform to help take your practice to the next level.
We all know that anything can happen at any time. What will you do if something happens that requires you to step down from your practice sooner than anticipated? As a business owner who is responsible to your employees and patients, it’s important that you consider succession planning before it becomes necessary.
Remember, there are ways to plan so that you can continue doing what your love. Succession planning doesn’t necessarily mean leaving entirely, but it does mean being prepared for the future. Spend some time in thoughtful reflection about your goals, your reality, and any changes that you wish to make. Bring your ideas and concerns to a financial adviser or other trusted expert who can help you find the work-life balance you need, both now and in the future.
Nick Hernandez, MBA, FACHE, is the CEO and founder of ABISA, a consultancy specializing in strategic healthcare initiatives for physician practices. His firm helps devise and implement strategies that will allow practices to remain competitive and solvent. E-mail him here.