Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about the ideal future for your dental practice, and for motivating you and your team to turn those visions into a reality.
Whether short or long term, they provide a clear understanding of what your dental practice is striving to accomplish.
‘Wouldn’t it be great if…’
If you said to yourself, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if…’, how would you finish that sentence in relation to your dental practice? Take a minute or two, allow yourself to dream a little with no ‘barriers’ or ‘reasons why not’, unencumbered by everything that is going on in your practice at this point in time.
Did you think: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could reduce my days in practice but increase my profit levels at the same time?’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could attract and retain more new patients?’ Perhaps you thought: ‘Wouldn’t it be great if all the team were working that the top of their game?’
For each statement that you come up with, ask yourself how you can do two things – firstly, quantify it, secondly, stretch it. For example, take the sentence ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could attract new patients’:
- Quantify it. ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could attract 10 new patients a month’
- Stretch it. Go beyond your comfort zone. ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could attract 10 patients a month with an average first-year spend of £2,000 each’.
Stretch your goals
By doing these two things you have created a stretch goal for your dental business. A stretch goal is a goal that cannot be achieved simply by doing what you currently do. It is a specific goal that can only be achieved if you and your team focus on doing something ‘different and better’.
By their nature, if used as a starting point, stretch goals can encourage creative thinking and new ideas within team discussions and strategy sessions. Be prepared to approach them with an open mind and explore lots of different ideas before applying any judgement of their relative merits.
Challenge how and why you do things currently – is there a specific reason why you do things in a certain way, or have you simply just always done it that way?
Think around any problems and explore alternative ways in which you could approach a stretch goal. At times you might discover a solution that is a combination of different ideas – sometimes the best solutions can often come from the most unlikely of sources – so involve all the team.
Once you have come up with a few ideas, narrow them down to a few that you believe have the best potential to help you achieve your goals. The next stage would be to formulate a plan, with clear timescales, priorities and responsibilities. Your planning will then enable your aspirations to become tangible commitments and motivational actions towards your ideal future dental practice.
If you’d like to know more about how Practice Plan could help you make a greater success of your practice, visit www.practiceplan.co.uk or call 01691 684120.