ADVISORY e-ALERT                 December 18, 2008
Advisory Law Group, a Professional Corporation
Featured Article
This article builds on my blog post - you can read it here.
I was recently asked what the three most important things I recommend one do for your medical group to thrive in a down economy.  I'll explain each in greater detail, below, but for those of you who want to get started right away, here they are.

1.  Control all that is capable of being controlled.

2.  Of what you can't control, influence all that is capable of being influenced.

3.  As to everything else, don't worry about it.

Control all that is capable of being controlled.

Success in practice comes from developing an overall business strategy for your group and then in performing in concert with both that strategy and with attuned sub-strategies. 

Events, relationships, and negotiations are all interrelated in terms of either moving your group forward, allowing you to stagnate or, worse, causing you to fail.

In a down economy, it's even more vital than usual to make certain that you control as many, and as much, of these events, relationships and negotiations as is possible. 

Examples of some of the areas of control are: 

  -  The internal structure of the group.
  -  The relationship among the group's owners.
  -  The relationship between the group and its subcontractors/employed physicians.
  -  The relationship between the group and its referral sources.
  -  The relationship between the group and hospitals/other facilities.

Of what you can't control, influence all that is capable of being influenced.

As much as you might wish otherwise, there's a limit to what you can control.  But, there's a lot more that is capable of being influenced.

For example what can you do now to:

  *  influence potential referral sources?
  *  influence potential political allies by playing to their needs?
  *  distinguish your group from potential competitors?
  *  create roadblocks for potential competitors?

As to everything else, don't worry about it.

It just doesn't pay to worry about what you can't control or influence. 
Devote whatever energy and time you'd otherwise spend worrying to thinking about what else you can control or influence. 
If you run out of ideas, take a break.  You deserve it.
Think about the typical retail negotiation between a buyer and a seller - perhaps the situation in which a customer walks into a car dealership. 
Assuming no extraordinary circumstances affecting either party, for example, the customer needs to buy the car today as a birthday present, who is under the most pressure to make a deal?
The buyer wants to buy, but generally has more than one choice of vendor.  The buyer may also be flexible as to the timing.
On the other hand, the seller must make sales in order to survive. 
In negotiation outside the strictly retail context, the labels of "buyer" or "seller" are not fixed and are not determined solely by which one is to give or take the cash.  Instead, the party that needs the deal more, or more accurately which appears to need the deal more, is functionally the "seller."
As discussed above, the seller needs to make a deal to survive - it's in the weaker bargaining position.
So, in your current negotiation, are you the buyer or the seller?  What circumstances can be created to flip the functional designations?  What opportunities exist to create an appearance that masks that reality?
This type of questioning, the introspection it causes and the solutions that appear, all support the fact that any negotiation requires long thought out planning, preparation and framing.
To learn more about the required process, click here
ADVISORY LAW GROUP, a Professional Corporation
Tel:  877-883-2803
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The materials presented in this Advisory e-Alert are educational only and are neither legal advice nor a substitute for it. Advisory e-Alert presents a general discussion which may or may not apply to your particular legal or factual circumstances. The distribution of Advisory e-Alert is not intended to create, nor does it create, an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send us confidential information without receiving explicit authorization from Advisory Law Group to do so. Do not take or avoid taking any action as a result of the materials presented in this e-Alert without first obtaining legal counsel.   
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Thrive in a Down Economy
Are You the Buyer or the Seller?
The Wisdom. Applied. Blog
Mentor Program
The Wisdom. Applied. Blog
Can't get enough free advice? 
Read Mark's new blog, containing frequently updated mini-articles on issues relating to the business of healthcare.
Wisdom. Applied. appears on ALG's website. 
Read it ... often!
Mark's mentor program, the Advisor Program, is designed to provide an extremely high level of personal guidance for solo physicians, including those just completing their residencies, as well as for physician group leaders. Its focus is on personal career guidance and on leadership skills, not projects.
Admission to the program is upon application only - space is highly limited. 
For more information on the program, click on the following link:  The Advisor Program
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