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Posted by Percy A Lowe on July 15, 2013 at 6:30 AM

by Frank Coker

When you go in for a routine physical exam, the doctor has a short list of items to check to get a quick picture of your current health status. This quick check tells him with a high degree of certainty how healthy you are and where there might be problems. Some routine items are pretty easy to check such as blood pressure, weight, and pulse. Others are more complex like cholesterol and blood sugar; it takes a lab expert to get at this data.


The first thing the doctor wants to know is if any measurements are outside of normal limits. Secondly, where are changes occurring. Even if a measurement is in normal range, if the pattern from prior visits show that you are headed for a problem, the sooner you can get on top of the potential problem the better. The statistics on “preventative healthcare” are pretty dramatic. The cost of preventing a problem is typically a tiny fraction of the cost for treating a problem.


The parallels between healthcare and business management are quite obvious and very helpful. Here is my punch-list of business health management that comes right out of my doctor’s office:


Check business vital signs early and often (more in an upcoming blog)

Look for metrics that are outside of normal ranges

Treat high-priority problems immediately – don’t let them get worse

Look for trends that show a problem is ahead and where preventative action is needed

Set priorities

- Take care of the most pressing problems first

- Prevent problems from occurring in the future

Set goals in high priority areas

Define corrective or preventative actions

Monitor progress toward defined goals

Repeat process on a regular basis

The biggest problem with this proposed process is that entrepreneurs are generally resistant to routine and repeatable processes. Entrepreneurs generally respond to new opportunities and bright and shiny objects. I know this is true because I am one. It is one thing to know about a process and a totally different thing to actually execute it. But I do know that building discipline and structure into a business is the only way that businesses grow and stay healthy.


So, let’s eat our fruits and vegetables, minimize sugars and carbs, and stay healthy!

Categories: Small Business Managment

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