As an independent nurse practitioner you are a lifelong learner, including the many lessons you’ll learn as you establish and run your own practice. These valuable lessons from the previous year can carry over to next year’s planning. The close of the year is a good time to take stock of what keeps your business running, growing, and serving the patients who need you.
Benefits of Business Planning for the New Year
An annual review of your small business plan is much like an annual wellness exam. You can see what has been working well for your business and then reevaluate goals that were not met. By making an objective assessment of the previous year, you can start business planning for the new year.
How to Conduct a Year End Review as an Independent Nurse Practitioner
The standard business plan usually contains the following sections. Consider including all of these for a complete business plan.
- Executive Summary
- Company Overview
- Scope of Practice
- Market Analysis
- Strategy and Implementation
- Marketing Strategy
You can begin your year-end review by updating the Executive Summary section to include an overview of the past year. Here, you can reinforce your mission by reiterating why you have chosen to take the independent path as a nurse practitioner entrepreneur and highlight your successes.
Your Company Overview
Your company overview may have changed dramatically over the past year, especially if you are in the early days of owning your own business. If your business model has not changed, it may be helpful to provide supporting evidence to explain why it will stay the same as well as add or update the following elements as necessary:
- Your value proposition and a description of your private practice as it stands today
- Your experience, including any new certifications or continuing education
- Your patient panel, including growth and new insights
The purpose of this portion is to paint the big picture of your business. Relevant business data, such as charts illustrating revenue fluctuations or growth, are materials that strengthen your case. End-of-year business planning is most effective when it is as comprehensive and detailed as possible.
Review and Set New Goals
Reviewing your goals and setting new ones can be a catalyst for continued success when business planning for the new year. By drilling down into your data and evaluating your key performance indicators (KPIs), you can assess your goals from last year, and, if met, document how you accomplished them. For those goals that you did not meet, think about whether they are realistic – or relevant – and adjust them accordingly. From there you can lock in your NP business goals for the new year by outlining a detailed strategy for how you will achieve these goals.
Identify Any New Opportunities
As an NP entrepreneur, seizing new opportunities leads to real growth for your business. Some potential avenues for business growth include:
- Getting credentialed with payers and enrolling in new contracts
- Expanding marketing efforts, such as updating your website and social media presence
- Growing your referral network, through patient referrals and networking with other providers
- Adding telehealth services
- Strengthening ties within your community
Host a Strategy Meeting with Your Team
Just because you are an independent business owner, that does not mean you have to do your small business planning alone. If you are working with a team or NP business consultant, they may have valuable insights to share to help your business planning for the new year. Examples of potential team input include ideas for internal improvements, such as streamlining workflows or clarifying responsibilities, that will contribute to the success of your practice.
Involving your team also can help with employee morale and retention. A strategy meeting can be a celebration of the successes of the past year as well as an opportunity for your team to share their own professional goals.
NP Advantage Can Help
NP Advantage has over 25 years of experience helping nurse practitioners build and market independent practices. We are committed to providing the tools and support nurse practitioners need to provide access to high-quality healthcare for their patients. Our services include:
- Credentialing and payer contracting
- EHR implementation and optimization
- Operations consulting and practice marketing
- Billing and revenue cycle management
- Analytics and reporting
Our experienced consulting team is here to help you make the most of your business planning for the new year. Contact us today!