Begin with the End in Mind

By Stacy M. Menz, PT, DPT, PCS

You will see the quote from Stephen Covey, “Begin with the end in mind,” mentioned quite a few times during this issue. Considering this issue is about succession planning, that quote makes sense. It also resonates with me at this moment. This is an area that some of you reading may struggle with as well. How are you supposed to determine the end? Doesn’t that limit your vision for your practice? What if you miss out on opportunities because they don’t line up with your end plan? These are all questions that may go through your mind when you start to figure out what the end result is for your company. Yes, I do suffer from “analysis paralysis” occasionally, and this is one of those areas where it occurs. I’m sure I’m not alone! Don’t worry, I have a plan if I get hit by the proverbial bus, but beyond that I just have a lot of ideas that I am pursuing.

This issue includes some great information on how a business owner can move forward with their succession planning. Paul Martin provides some great steps for you to follow if you want to take advantage of the current market in mergers and acquisitions. Even if this isn’t your preferred route, there are definitely tips that you can take advantage of to enhance the health of your practice.

Ann Wendel takes the time to interview Jamey Schrier, and during their conversation they highlight the importance of creating systems and not just creating them but implementing and using them. Even though they relate this to making your business attractive to buyers, my personal thoughts are that good systems support your business regardless of the size. It allows for standardization and a way to decrease errors. I also like the ideas of creating short- and long-term goals for the business. This is what we do for our clients; do we treat our business the same way?

Deb Gulbrandson shares the perspectives of several practice owners who have each handled succession planning differently. One of the owners she spoke with, Patrick Myers, made a comment that some of you may feel describes where you and your company are at. He said that he felt like his company was in middle school and either needed to grow bigger or get smaller, but they couldn’t stay right where they were.

Little did I realize how much this issue would resonate with me when we chose the topic over a year ago. I hope you each find your own words of wisdom as you continue to navigate your path in private practice.


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