If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to grow your practice, and then manage it in a more businesslike manner, your most important task between now and December 31 is to set goals for what you want to do in terms of practice revenues and profits in 2012.
Goal setting does not have to be a complex process. Nor should your goals be overly complicated. In most cases, simpler is better.
Thousands of books have been written on goal setting, but I’ve found that it mostly comes down to these five criteria.
1. Don’t let perceived obstacles keep you from getting started. Yes, the obstacles are there. Every private practice owner in America, all 18,000 of us, has to deal with a sluggish economy, low reimbursements, corporate competition and the challenges of managing a staff.
But, so are the opportunities. Of those 18,000 private practice ODs, about 20% or 3,600 practices, gross over $1 Million per year.
2. Goals need to be very specific. An OD emailed me recently for practice building advice. When asked, he said that his goal was to provide outstanding customer service. Another young doctor told me that his goal was to be booked up two weeks in advance.
I agree that providing outstanding customer service and being booked up two weeks in advance are laudable objectives. But, as Zig Ziglar would say, they aren’t really goals, they’re wandering generalities.
Here is a good example of a simple, yet specific goal. “My practice goal is to produce $600,000 in collected gross revenues with a net income of 30%.”
3. Goals must be dated. Well-stated goals need a start date and end date.
Example: “Beginning January 1, my practice goal is to produce $600,000 in collected gross revenues with a net income of 30% by December 31, 2012.”
4. Your goal should be big enough to create a little excitement or anxiety. If your practice grew 4% to $580,000 gross in 2011, setting a goal to grow another 4% to $600,000 is not going to excite you or your staff. So why bother?
But, a goal of $600,000 in 2012 for a practice that grossed $540,000 in 2011, 10% growth, is going to require some enthusiasm and hard work. That’s what goal setting is all about.
5. Goals must be in writing and reviewed on a regular basis. It takes a higher level of commitment on your part to not just create a goal and think about it, but actually put it writing. Only then does a goal becomes real.
Just so you will know, I have been an active goal setter for decades and attribute a large part of any business success I’ve had to that activity. And yes, I have created my business goals for 2012.
Best wishes for a Happy Holiday and very Prosperous 2012!
Jerry Hayes, OD
PS: Feel free to send any questions you have about creating goals to me for a completely private andf confidential response. Click here to send me an e-mail.
Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are for discussion purposes only and are NOT intended to serve as legal, accounting or investment advice. ©2011 Jerry Hayes, OD. Not to be reproduced without written permission of the author.
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