Solving Common Challenges When Scaling a Healthcare Business

Healthcare practice owners in dental, medical aesthetics, and plastic surgery have the opportunity to scale their businesses to incredible heights. As these healthcare verticals seize new shares of the market and continue to attract investor interest, many providers set their sights on growth. 

We’ve found that as practice owners scale from one location to three (to seven to fifteen), they experience similar challenges at each new threshold. In this article, we break down common challenges for scaling a healthcare business and how to put the right people, systems, and processes in place to take your business to the next level…and beyond. 

What are some of the challenges healthcare businesses face as they scale?  

Healthcare providers with one location often stretch themselves to handle business operations far beyond patient care. But once an organization grows, it’s impossible for one person to manage inventory, training, scheduling, accounting and every other process that makes their business run. Here are some common hurdles leaders face as their organizations grow: 

Not knowing what’s going on under the hood 

As a business grows, there can be a growing disconnect between the management team and what’s actually taking place on the ground at each practice. In a recent podcast episode about scaling, Skytale President and Head of Consulting Annie Hockey shared, “Knowing what’s going on under the hood is the first step.”

This is true for businesses of all sizes, whether a management team is in place or leadership comes directly from the practice owner. Regardless of an organization’s size, the leadership needs to create systems to collect data and feedback to understand exactly what’s happening at every level. 

Outdated SOPs

As you evolve, your SOPs need to evolve along with you. For rapidly growing organizations, it can feel hard to keep up. “The second you think you have something figured out, it will change,” Hockey shares. “The second you have an SOP written on a piece of paper, it’s an outdated piece of paper.”

The good news about needing to update processes is that it’s a litmus test for success. What worked for a small practice needs to be revised for a multi-location healthcare organization. Leaders who are scaling a healthcare business have to be comfortable with switching gears, and they have to learn to do it quickly. 

Getting caught in the day-to-day

One of the biggest challenges organizations face as they grow is getting caught up in day-to-day operations. If you don’t want to hit a plateau in growth, it’s imperative to have a clear vision and continue to work toward it.

Putting the right people, systems, and processes in place as you scale

Building a business positioned for growth comes down to three things: people, systems, and processes. Your organization’s future depends on the strength of these foundations: 


People are truly the heart of your business, and likely the reason your patients become loyal to your practice. Hiring, training, and retaining the right team members to carry out your vision and support your growth is crucial. Here are some of our top articles and podcast episodes that discuss building your team and culture: 


Great systems propel your growth, while weak systems will slow it down. Not only do these operational best practices create efficiencies, they are also your safetynet for when things go wrong. Building close feedback mechanisms within financial, HR, or other operational systems can surface crucial data to help you understand why your business performs the way it does. Here are some of our most popular insights about implementing systems at healthcare practices: 


No system will function well without a clear process that team members can implement. Building out SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for key, repeated processes within your organization, whether for providers or staff, will leave less room for error and inefficiency–and likely lead to a better patient experience. Here are some resources for critical processes for scaling a healthcare business.  

More best practices for scaling a healthcare business: 

With the right people, systems, and processes in place, you’re less likely to run into major plateaus at each inflection point of your business growth. Here are a few more tips for moving through the growing pains of scaling your practice:

  • Be diligent about tracking and measuring data. Your data is key to understanding what is happening within your organization, why, and how to move forward. Everyone within the organization should have ownership and understanding of their role in data input–as well as how they can individually contribute to KPIs. 
  • Keep your eye on the prize. One of a leader’s biggest challenges is balancing everyday operations while keeping their sights set on five or ten years down the road. It’s key to understand what is happening within the business, but it has to be understood in the context of where your company and the industry are headed. 
  • Surround yourself with support. Expert advisors, industry leaders within your network, and experienced mentors are crucial for overcoming all business scaling challenges. This critical support system can keep you informed of best practices, emerging trends, and what to look for as you scale. 

Scaling with Skytale

Our management consulting team offers extensive experience in scaling businesses in the healthcare verticals we serve. Contact us to learn more about taking your business to the next level.