Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about the ins and outs of starting a practice. I hope you’ve enjoyed the articles and put the information you’ve learned to use.
And today, let’s add the “final touch” to the series of articles. Because depending on where you are in the process, you might be ready to start your practice… now!
You know what you want to create, you’ve picked your business model, and you know your numbers! You bring a solid plan to the table and know what you need to do. Congratulations!
But now, let me share a few words of caution with you.
And please don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to dampen your enthusiasm. But what I want for you is have the right mindset, so you’ll be prepared and ready for anything.
Wait a minute…
Didn’t you just give me credit for being prepared, knowing what I want, and having a solid plan?
Yes, I did…
But here’s what I want you to know and prepare for.
You see, things rarely go according to plan! And I know you know this…
But few things are more disappointing than spending time and energy to map out your business, and someone or something messes it all up.
Like a landlord changing her mind last minute about leasing space to you. Or, you thought you had filled a key position only to find out that the person took another job, after accepting your offer!
These are some of the annoying things that could and will happen; you can count on it. And when it happens, it’s crucial you don’t let it throw you off your “game.” Remember, when one door closes another one opens.
Change is one of the three things you can depend on, in business and life; the other two are death and taxes.
Change is unavoidable. The only thing you can do is be ready for it. And then keep moving forward!
Death is a given, for all of us, we just don’t know when it will come.
While not a pleasant topic, you want to plan for the unthinkable.
Depending on your business structure, this may be mapped out for you. However, in some instances (like the sole proprietorship) the business automatically dissolves upon the death of the owner.
How your practice would continue without you is something you want to think about from the beginning.
Perhaps you’re the primary breadwinner in your family. Maybe you’re the only provider within a certain radius, or you employ several people in your clinic.
What would happen to your family, your employees, and your patients, if…!
And this brings us to the last item on the list of things you can depend on, in life as in business, taxes. Every one of us has to pay their share of taxes.
Unfortunately, sometimes taxes get lost in the excitement of starting a practice. But taxes are something you must pay attention to from the very start! Taxing authorities have little understanding of mistakes and oversights.
And of all the things that could threaten the wellbeing of your business, taxes have the potential to do the most damage.
Depending on the legal structure, in addition to income tax, business owners may also have to pay self-employment tax. And if they have employees, they must also withhold and pay state and federal payroll taxes, in addition to filing employment reports.
It’s crucial you know which taxes you must pay and the reports you are required to file. The IRS maintains an online Tax Calendar for businesses and self-employed containing all the dates you must know.
When you first look at the calendar, don’t let it overwhelm you! The calendar is comprehensive and includes the filing dates for various entities and different size companies. Simply print it out and high light the items that apply to your business.
There are three things you can count on in life: change, death, and taxes. You cannot avoid them, nor can you “opt out.”
Of all three, taxes are the easiest to manage. All the information you need to know is available to you; you know what to expect, what you must pay, and when.
Death is the great unknown, but it’s certain. And while we don’t know the timing, we can prepare by putting plans in place that will make it easier on those we leave behind.
In business, the legal structure of the company determines how, or if, the business will continue after the death of the owner.
This leaves us with change, which might be the most difficult to manage.
Things happen to us, around us, despite our plans. And unless we’re able to cultivate a mindset accepting of change, it may be difficult to manage life in the entrepreneurial lane!
Join the conversation by leaving a comment or question below.
By Johanna Hofmann, MBA, LAc; regular contributor to the NPBusiness blog and author of “Smart Business Planning for Clinicians.“