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Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet!

Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet!

Sour economy or not, there has never been a better time to help more patients achieve great oral health! I don’t suggest burying your head in the sand and ignoring the economic realities, but I am firmly convinced that you can make strategic decisions that would lead to making 2012 your best year ever! Pardon my enthusiasm, but why not??

One of my very favorite quotes is the following:

If you only do what you have always done, you will get what you always got.”

This quote strikes me as especially appropriate regarding planning for 2012. If you are not getting the results you desire, time to try some new things.

Consider starting your year with a planning meeting with your entire team with the purpose of goal setting and developing an action plan to achieve the goals you have set. Think of this meeting as a planning retreat. These types of meetings are common with executive teams in the corporate world, yet not a common occurrence in the dental profession. I have conducted planning retreats for my clients for many years now with excellent results. Following are some recommendations to make this meeting a productive experience.

I’d suggest scheduling your planning retreat as a half-day event. That length is long enough to accomplish something yet not so long to become tedious. Pick an ‘off campus’ location for your meeting to avoid the distractions that happen at the office. The location does not need to be anywhere exotic. It could be at your home, a private room at a restaurant, or a meeting room at a local hotel or country club. Ask your team members to come to the meeting prepared to discuss how you can improve your practice in the next year. To make the meeting as productive as possible, come to the meeting with specific goals defined along with an agenda to discuss how you plan to achieve each goal.

Here is an example of a planning retreat I am conducting for a client in early January. Our goal is to grow the practice 20% over 2011 Production & Collection results with the same team and the same hours! Aggressive, but I like the idea of ‘stretch’ goals. Here are the five things we plan on doing to achieve this goal:

  • Develop a comprehensive marketing plan involving internal, external, and digital marketing that results in 30-35 new patients each month
  • Make whitening a core element of the practice resulting in 15-20 whitening cases each month
  • Develop a system to take a series of 6 digital photos on all new patients
  • Get serious about diagnosing and treating perio disease with goal of increasing the incident of 4341, 4342, 4355, and 4910 CDT codes
  • Create an awesome new patient experience that leads to increased case acceptance

During the meeting we will discuss the specific Action Steps under each topic. Under each Action Step we will decide two details; Who is responsible, and By When? This creates the accountability necessary to move these projects forward.

Consider holding a planning retreat with your entire team to make 2012 your best year yet.  Here’s to your success! Keep Smiling!

If you would like more ideas about how to make 2012 your best year yet, I am holding a FREE Teleconference on Thursday evening, December 8 from 5-6pm (Pacific Time). Participating in this teleconference is super easy and convenient. Just dial (712) 432-0900 and enter the participant code: 758343.