Long-term goals can be tricky because they’re long-term and require more planning to make sure you stay on track. It can be easy to lose focus and put your long-term goals on the back burner.
But, it doesn’t have to be this way. My goal is for you to make good progress with your long-term goals so that in one, two, five, or more years, you’ll find that you’re right on track.
Below are a few quick tips that can help you as you move closer to your long-term goals this year.
1. Dream big
The goal to hire a new hygienist or get more new patients is great, but those are short-term goals you can reach quickly. For your long-term goals, don’t be afraid to dream big!
In my father’s practice, his long-term goal was to have the practice exist beyond his lifetime so that the practice could continue helping patients get healthy for many more decades. In the end, he was able to successfully turn over his practice to his associates who continue his mission in the practice.
Maybe you want to open five or ten locations, or perhaps you want to hire associates and eventually reduce your work hours to just one or two days a week while still being highly profitable.
Those are big goals, and you don’t need to have those exact goals, but it gives you an idea of how big you can go with your long-term goals.
Your long-term goals should be where you envision your practice in 5, 10, 15, 20 years, and beyond.
2. Create smaller goals that align with your long-term goals
For example, let’s use my father’s long-term goal as an example:
Long-term goal: To turn over the practice to associates so they can continue my mission of the practice beyond my existence.
- Increase the size of the active patient base and production to be able to support multiple providers
- Hire on the first associate and successfully groove them into the practice
- Figure out a way to train all staff on successful actions of the practice, and train them so everyone is coordinated
- Build a team of amazing staff who share the same purpose of the practice
- Create write-ups of each job within the practice so new and existing employees can easily learn any job within the practice
There may be more short-term goals in order to carry out the long-term goal, but these are all goals that can be worked towards on a daily basis. They also serve as a way to see how well you’re progressing towards the long-term goal.
3. Hold a quick executive meeting every week
It’s easy to get sucked into the day-to-day activities and before you know it, it’s the end of the month and you’re not sure where you stand on your goal progress, and then the cycle continues the next month.
The thing that most dentists don’t realize is that someone has to be wearing the “Owner/Executive Hat” to ensure all long-term goals are on target—the person who wears that hat is always the owner of the practice. So, if the owner heads right into battle without any sort of plan, no plan will be made, and it becomes overwhelming.
However, if you instead hold a quick weekly meeting with your Office Manager each week to review the practice’s statistics and progress on various targets, you’ll know exactly how you’re progressing toward your goals.
During this weekly executive meeting, you can go over things like:
- Specific tasks you’re working on that week
- Specific tasks your OM needs to get done that week
- What needs to get done in order to stay on top of your goals
- Which tasks should be delegated to other staff
- What areas need troubleshooting because they aren’t going according to plan
4. Reassess your long-term goals frequently
Sometimes your long-term goals can change and that’s okay. So, it’s important to look at your long-term goals frequently and make sure that they still align with the vision you have for the future of your practice.
From there, you should look at how you’re progressing on those goals (or create a new plan to reach a new long-term goal). Are you on track to meeting your long-term goals? Great! Keep going. Are you behind on reaching your goal or not sure where you stand? This is the perfect time to better plan out how you’re going to reach those goals.
If you’re feeling stuck, we’d be happy to help you with your long-term goal planning. Click here to request a free practice analysis today.
I hope these quick tips help! Until next time!