Area Manager, Gary Nelson, makes some suggestions of things practices can check on to ensure they’re making the best use of their money over the next few months.
It’s beginning to look like another interesting winter ahead with the current state of the world. I guess we all must keep fingers and toes crossed that this “hullabaloo” as the ex-UK Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, called it recently, settles down and leads us all back to more settled economic times.
In the short term it’s looking like a tricky period ahead to navigate, so perhaps it’s worth reminding ourselves it’s been a solid growth period in independent dentistry since reopening after the Covid pandemic closures.
I like to focus on the – What can you do?
For me it’s going to be…
Control the Controllables
As things were with regards to the Covid pandemic, like many things in life there will be some winners, and they are most likely to be those who take the time out to focus.
Below are just some thoughts and ideas to explore, some of which would be best done with your specialist advisers
- Plan and adjust your own thinking on your profits, drawings, and personal expenditure. It is widely recognised the coming winter period will be a tough one. It is perhaps prudent that we all adjust our spending limits for a while until normality resumes. However, on a positive note, there is an economic school of thought that inflation may fall quite quickly, so hopefully, our pain will be short-lived.
- Ensure you have the right business structure in place. Talk to your accountants and tax advisers. Perhaps look at your accounting period and year end and discuss the merits of changing or extending it.
- Focus on attracting the correct type of new patients for your business. By that I mean those who may need the treatments you prefer and enjoy providing. Referral cards and asking for referrals cost precious little and have big yields in terms of success, yet many fail to take advantage of this simple area of communication.
- Check that you are planning for your pension effectively. Also make sure you’re utilising your annual ISA allowance, and where you are a limited company, check out the benefits of directors’ pension provision.
- Discuss Tax Planning with your Specialist Tax advisers and perhaps look at HMRC structured payment plans. This could allow you to retain cash in the business. However, it’s important you seek the right advice.
- Talk to a Specialist Financial Adviser regarding things like relevant life planning and policies for your business.
- Explore the idea of additional benefits for your team. Speak to your advisers about the merits of having a Private Healthcare Scheme for you and your team and explore benefits in kind. It can be a superb part of an employment package and could help with recruitment and retention.
- Capital Allowance – The Super Deduction ends in March 2023, so what are your plans for the business in relation to new chairs, digital investment, expansion and so on? Isn’t it time you discussed this with your tax advisers before it comes to an end?
- Clinician Profitability – these last few years have been frenetic with all hands to the pumps. Is it time you sat down as a team to discuss ways of increasing the weekly profitability? What about implementing strict Diary Zoning once again, as for many practices this has taken a battering over the past couple of years.
- Clinician Mentoring – Do you have an associate who could really benefit from some simple financial diary or clinical mentoring? Over the years, I have seen some big practice and business wins in this area. It’s often been recognised that ‘earnings can be traced to learnings’.
So, there are a few things to think about.
It’s likely this will be a period where we all try to continue the growth cycle, whilst planning and controlling the numbers to best effect.
Keep calm and carry on.