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Strategizing for a Great 2015

As I sit here perusing the huge stacks of mail on my desk….. stacks that seem to expand significantly at the end of the year……my eye lands on a “to do list” sent by a CPA/Financial Planner (you DO have one of these, don’t you?) and my interest is piqued. Is there something new, is there something “different” I should be doing? No matter how long we’ve been in business, a year-end review is critical so that you can intelligently plan for the upcoming year and get excited about new goals, financial and otherwise!

Setting Goals with Your Team
Being an effective leader includes communicating your vision for your practice to your team. Do you have a vision statement or mission statement? Take the time to have a longer than usual team meeting. Your team is an invaluable resource to give you feedback on the ideas you already have, to come up with new ideas, to review the ideas that seemed to work well last year – could an idea be tweaked and be more effective? Strive to come up with at least ten “big picture” goals for the new year, i.e., increase new patients, expand an interceptive perio program, establish an incentive bonus plan, etc. Then go to the data that you have in your practice software to fine tune your goals and talk about ways to achieve those goals. Goals should always be high enough to motivate you….. but not so high as to discourage you or your team from sticking to the plan. If you achieve 80% or higher of your goals, that’s fantastic!!!

Where to Look
So what numbers should you be reviewing? Numbers of new patients….look at last year’s total as well as the average per month. If it is a healthy number, great. For example, if you’re performing 25 New Patient comprehensive exams each month, a realistic goal might be to increase that to 30 per month, which translates into 60 new patients per year and could easily increase your production by over $100,000. Asking for referrals from your existing patients is the BEST, least expensive and most effective way to drive new patients to your practice.

Production and collection figures would be the next numbers to examine closely…..not just totals and monthly averages, but what percentage of the total is Doctor’s production vs. hygiene production, and how much of Doctor’s production is generated by crown and bridge/implant/lab procedures. The numbers might surprise you. Some simple goals to keep in the forefront of everyone’s field of vision during the day can generate some big bottom line numbers. In addition, case acceptance, receivables figures (broken down between insurance balances and patient balances) will aid you in setting on paper some specific goals, and your team can help you brainstorm on ways to meet those goals.

Don’t Forget about You!
Don’t forget to spend some time thinking about personal goals and encourage your team to do the same. What do you want to accomplish in 2015? Consider setting some health-related goals, maybe as a team. What’s something new you want to learn to do this year? What relationships do you want to spend more time on this year? It can be a fun, eye-opening exercise to do with your team, or on your own. If you’re motivated to make changes personally, you’ll transfer that enthusiasm into your practice!

There’s always room for improvement. I’ve begun my 2015 goal strategizing and am looking forward to the process.

Wishing you the best for 2015!

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