Updated: Jan 16
You did it! Another year down and another year on its way. This is the perfect time to sit back and reevaluate your practice & contemplate how you can prepare yourself for any changes in the new year. Below I have outlined some things to think about when preparing for the coming year.
You should already have an array of goals you are working towards. However, it isn't enough to just have goals. Really consider your set of goals for next year, and then put together an action plan. Make sure your goals are realistic & achievable. Think about what you want to achieve next year and outline what goals need to be put into place to make that happen. I, personally set out time often throughout the year to review my goals and adjust the plan if needed to stay on track. However, my major goal planning for the year happens in December. That way I have the entire year to look back at to be able to revamp my goals for the coming year. If you need guidance on how to achieve your goals, I would suggest looking into consulting or coaching services. This is an investment in yourself and your practice that will yield an immense return.
I always say the best time to review your going rates is at the end of the year. By now you have a good idea of your profit and losses. If you are not making what you should be, this is the time to analyze where changes need to be made. It is also the perfect time to notify your clients of the proposed rate changes. In addition, if your practice accepts insurance it may want to consider becoming credentialed with other insurance companies to broaden your clientele, therefore, creating more revenue.
I happen to analyze my expenses semi-annually. I am not going to lie I am addicted to savings! Prices tend to go up every new year, so it's ideal to practice this method at least yearly, if not more. It is also a good idea to know if your current expense is worth the investment. For example, If you find you are paying for a directory but you are not seeing that you are getting many referrals from the directory, this may be an expense you can cut out altogether. If you have a social media manager and find someone else, that is more efficient and & cost-effective and at a cheaper price, then it may be time to change staff. Keep in mind making changes means learning new systems, so be sure this move is heading you in the right direction.
Processes and Procedures:
This is also something I review twice a year or on an as-needed basis, depending on the situation. Making sure your process and procedures are up to par, will lead to fewer mistakes, which will lead to fewer losses. Using a procedure manual will help you & your staff to identify if there are any issues and can provide insightful information on any adjustments that should be made. Sometimes the platforms we use change, and updating that in your procedures is important. I know you are probably thinking “why waste time on something like this?” Here’s why, having a set procedure manual will help in instances where if an employee that is assigned to a task, becomes unavailable, pretty much anyone on your team can pick up where they left off. This is the main reason to make sure processes and procedures are up to date. This will not only save you time training someone but will also work as a refresher to you on how your practice is run. You as the practice owner, always need to know how to complete each task that is a part of your practice. This review will help refresh your memory and allow you to make needed changes.
Every practice owner has a wish list of things that they think would make their practice better. A vision for expansion, a new skill set that you are looking to learn, etc. I bring this up because now is the time to come up with a list of investments you are looking to make for yourself and your practice and determine what to start saving for. Most of the time these potential investments do not happen because of financial reasons. Find out how much money you will need to invest and start saving. By this time in June of next year, you can be started on these investments!
Often we as business owners, get caught up with running our business and without intention, our mindset tends to drift a bit. Start the new year off right by getting your mindset in order. Bring to light why you have a practice in the first place. Brush up on the values you once said represented your practice. Make sure your practice is being run the way you first envisioned it. Ask yourself the hard questions. Be prepared for what is to come. Be mindful of the way you feel about being a practice owner. Embrace your wins and come up with a plan to resolve your losses. Most of all believe in yourself and your capabilities!
With the new year right around the corner, it may seem intimidating to think about some of the changes that need to be made. Don't be afraid to ask for help or even delegate. Start by making a list of goals and create the action steps needed to achieve the goal at hand.