The SBA Entrepreneur Program: Universal Business Management with a Fresh Perspective

By John Lynch, MBA | Chief Executive Officer | August 14, 2019

Improvement. Growth. New ideas. Optimization. These are the critical elements of business management and consultation that our clients come to us for as they strive to run a successful healthcare organization.

As such, we as consultants strive to consistently hone our areas of expertise, expand our horizons, broaden our perspectives, and sharpen our skills. Since founding John Lynch & Associates in 2012, I have had the privilege of working with some of the most compassionate and impactful organizations – from healthcare providers to non-profit groups and beyond.

Today, I am grateful to be a part of the SBA Entrepreneur Program. Lead by Nicholas Rago and informed by Ivy League professors who know that not all business learning can be taught in a classroom, the SBA Entrepreneur Program takes the theoretical into the practical.

From universal business lessons that everyone can benefit from deploying right away, to more complex abstract principles that inform how we as leaders can empower and inspire our teams to do their best work, Rago’s program is proving to be a valuable asset to the John Lynch & Associates executive team and to the clients we serve.

Universal Business Management Lessons

Now halfway through the SBA Entrepreneur Program, I have begun to notice a pattern of universal business management principles that can serve anyone – no matter where they are in their business, what product or service they provide, or what industry they serve.

In truth, running a solid business comes back to the same fundamental principles, which are universal across all realms of business, but that are often forgotten when organizational leaders have their focus wrapped up in the day-to-day operations.

For example, to run a successful financial division, every business needs a clear understanding of their financial reports to ensure positive cashflow to ultimately create a profitable business. Yet, bookkeeping and accounting are often seen as tedious and boring “checklist” tasks.

However, being intimately aware of your business’s cashflow – whether you run a home-based business or a multi-million dollar healthcare organization – can provide powerful insight into the health of your operation as well as areas of potential improvement.

Similarly, “business strategy,” “marketing,” and “sales” are business buzzwords that many entrepreneurs use in passing without much mindfulness as to their true applications and values.

One of the most insightful takeaways from participating in the SBA Entrepreneur Program has been the reminder to return to these fundamental principles regularly, for there is much growth and improvement to be found in the small details that apply to all forms of business management.

People, Profit & Strategy

Though I have always been passionate about, and skilled at, the strategic side of business management, my colleagues and I here at John Lynch & Associates like to think of ourselves as constant learners.

We are perpetually hungry for new knowledge, which has been provided amply throughout the SBA Entrepreneur Program.

For instance, while serving as the interim CIO for healthcare organizations and in my work as CEO of John Lynch & Associates, I have always put people first. However, Nicholas Rago and his team of business management experts within the SBA Entrepreneur Program recommend a modified perspective of “Profit First.”

Within our company, we are intensely focused on the care, nurture, treatment, and development of our employees. So, naturally, the “Profit First” concept made me bristle at first, which is a likely reaction for many others in the healthcare space.

However, diving deeper into this new perspective illuminated a stark truth all business owners would be wise to consider: in order to protect and take care of great employees, you must first protect your business, which necessitates profit.

In my mind, people will always come first. However, the “apply your own oxygen mask first” way of thinking is a critical aspect to consider when formulating business and organizational strategies.

Business management strategy is another critical piece of the puzzle when building an organization that will be both sustainable and lucrative. If you are not strategizing, you will be unable hit your goals.

In the healthcare industry in particular where time and resources are precious, strategy is vital. Applying a “Profit First” perspective within healthcare can allow an organization to dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of care patients are receiving.

There are many ways to do this – such as adopting a value-based reimbursement system or creating concierge medical services for specific patient verticals – within the healthcare field that allow us to maintain our dedication to people while also building systems that provide the structure to maximize our impact.

Upward Mobility

With more than 25 years of healthcare and IT experience, you may expect a consultant with my history to be in the teaching phase of my career. While I do a fair bit of training and educating our clients, as well as members of our team, I believe there is no end to learning.

There is always more to learn, more to consider, and more wisdom to apply in the context of what will serve our clients to the fullest.

The experience of participating in the SBA Entrepreneur Program has opened my eyes to new perspectives, reminded me of universal business management principles that are too often neglected, and sharpened my ability to serve our clients with maximum effectiveness.

Taking opportunities to expand our repertoire of knowledge and skills allows us to elevate the level of strategy that we provide our clients and that we deploy within our own business.

As we all continue to grow and develop as leaders, always seeking out mentors and surrounding ourselves with growth-minded people, we will reshape the future into a healthier version of what we have today.

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