If you’re going to drive somewhere in your car, what’s the first thing you do?
Decide where you’re going!
Could you imagine what it would be like if you were driving faster and harder without any idea of where your destination was?
This is exactly what it’s like when you don’t set goals for your practice. If you’re pushing yourself and your staff to do “better” and to go faster and harder without any real direction, things can get chaotic, and you’ll feel as though you’re not achieving enough.
So as the new year gets underway, I thought it would be a good idea to share my tips on how to set goals in your practice so that you and your staff can be extremely productive and reach new achievements in 2022.
What is your purpose?
It’s important to set realistic goals, but even more importantly, you need to have a purpose for each one.
The first thing you should figure out is what is your purpose? Why do you own a practice? Why do you have a team of employees?
Most likely, your purpose for the practice as a whole is to get as many patients healthy in your community as possible. We can assume that each goal will be to further that purpose.
(Related: Want to Hit Your Production Goals… Every Month?)
So, if your goal is to get more new patients, the purpose isn’t just so you can make more money—it would be to get those patients fully healthy from an oral perspective. The money is simply an indicator of how well you’re carrying out that purpose.
Your employees, by the way, share that purpose as well. Otherwise, they’d work in another field.
By naming what your purpose is, you can then set specific goals that will help you carry out that purpose.
Setting goals—look at your existing resources
As you create goals for the new year, look at your existing resources (your patients, your employees, your practice facilities, how many inactive patients you have that could be reactivated, etc.)
Keeping your existing resources in mind, look at what you did in 2021. With those same resources, what were you able to produce? From there, you’ll want to set your goals higher while taking into account your end purpose.
For example, let’s say your office collected $1 million in 2021. That dollar amount represents how many patients you helped get healthy. So, let’s say in 2022, you want to double that. From there, you’d work backwards.
(Related: 5 Clever Ways to Make Your Practice Production More Consistent)
You should look at the following areas of your practice and see how well those areas did. Successful actions should be continued and anything that needs attention should be improved:
- Your patients—how many are active vs inactive? How many new patients are you seeing per month?
- Employees—are they all fully trained? Do they work well together? Is every staff member 100% competent on their jobs? Will you need more employees to carry out your goals and purpose for 2022? If you find that your staff need more training so they can work together as a team, I suggest looking into DDS Success.
- Marketing—how much did you spend on marketing in 2021? What were the most successful ads or sources of marketing? Double down on successful marketing actions and remove ones that didn’t amount to much.
- Outstanding treatment—how much outstanding treatment is there in your charts? Do you have a plan for how to get those patients in and started on their remaining treatment?
(For a more complete list of things to look at to see where you can improve, read our blog post from Chris Menkhaus, 12 “Key Performance Indicators” for a Dental Practice.)
By going through each area of your practice and seeing how they did in 2021, you can figure out where you’d like to see those areas next year and create goals based on what you find. And instead of just assuming you’ll achieve your goals by “working harder,” you can create a plan to make it happen.
Create realistic due dates
I’m sure you’ll have many goals you’d like to achieve in 2022. It makes a world of difference if you set realistic due dates for each goal, rather than hoping that you can achieve them within the year.
Setting smaller goals per quarter and per month is a great way to make sure you stay on track towards each main goal.
For example, let’s say you have a goal of seeing 480 new patients in 2022. This is the main goal, which can then be broken down into smaller goals, so you know that each month you’re looking to see at least 40 new patients.
(Related: Turning New Year’s Resolutions into Real Success)
Similarly, you should have monthly goals for the number of recall visits, number of patients reactivated, amount of treatment accepted, production, etc.
Doing this makes an otherwise daunting goal seem more attainable throughout the year.
Coordinate with your team
Your goals should be created by you, the owner—but your office manager should also be a part of working out how to get all your goals carried out. If you don’t have an OM, you need to get one because as a dentist, you’re not going to be able to manage all the moving parts on a day-to-day basis. While you’re working with patients, you need someone who will be able to run the show and manage your team.
Speaking of your team, they need to be dialed into your goals as well. When your employees all share the same goals as you and are on the same page, they will become a team and work together to carry out the common purpose of your practice. So have a staff meeting at the beginning of the year where you can lay out the primary goals for the year, as well as individual targets for the staff to achieve that lead to achieving the overall practice goals.
I hope these tips help as you set your goals for 2022! If you’d like help setting realistic goals for 2022 and creating a plan to achieve them, request a free consultation here or call us at 800-640-1140.
We wish you a happy and prosperous new year!
I really like the points you have lay out here to achieve our yearly goal. Key is to start small and be consistent towards our end goal.
Thank you Mary.
Glad you found this helpful!