The theme of my articles around this time of year always revolves around planning and goal setting. Like it or not, we are just 45 days away from the end of 2012. It’s in the books, and that’s all she wrote…
Practice owners: If you don’t set time aside to write out your business plan or set your personal goals by November 15 it’s probably not going to happen this year. Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, followed by Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years.
Associates and practice owners: Set your personal goals for 2013 by November 15. Whether it is improving your clinical skills, planning for retirement or your kid’s college, or getting back in shape, the time to set your 2013 goals is NOW!
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of articles, books, and blogs have been written about the importance or writing a business plan and setting personal goals. I’d like to share a few of my favorites:
Eleven reasons to write a business plan:
- Achieve your long-term goals by developing a road map that details specific short-term goals and milestones.
- Prove to associates, employees, family members, and bankers that you’re serious about growing your practice. It allows them to see where they fit.
- Share your strategy, your priorities, and your plan of action with those who will hold you accountable, such as associates, employees, your spouse, and business advisors.
- Determine when you will have to say “no.” There is no shortage of good ideas. Each year it’s better to pick a few and execute them well, rather than saying yes to everything and not giving any of the ideas the effort they deserve.
- Understand your patients, your competition, and your opportunities better in order to grow. Writing a business plan forces you to do research on your market and the needs of your patients.
- Make your practice more attractive to potential buyers– five, ten, or twenty years from now.
- Making a plan gives you a reason to stop doing things in your practice that don’t make sense anymore (or never made sense in the first place).
- A plan determines your financial needs.
- It allows you to assess new revenue opportunities as well as rejuvenate old ones.
- It also gives you a chance to make mistakes on paper, or to prevent you from repeating those mistakes that you’ve already made.
- Establishing daily and weekly goals simply makes it more fun and rewarding to come to work in the morning.
If you have never written a business plan before, you will find the following article helpful:
Twelve reasons to write down your personal goals. (Today!)
- Writing transforms your goals from thoughts to tangible objectives. Once goals are written, they are easy to remember, track, and accomplish.
- Great minds have purposes, others have wishes. (Washington Irving)
- First you write down your goal; your second job is to break down your goal into a series of steps, beginning with steps which are absurdly easy. (Fitzhugh Dodson)
- One worthwhile task carried to a successful conclusion is better than half-a hundred half-finished tasks. (B.C. Forbes)
- All you have to do is know where you’re going. The answers will come to you of their own accord. (Earl Nightingale)
- A goal is a dream with a deadline. (Napoleon Hill)
- Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor. (Brian Tracy)
- You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change. (Les Brown)
- A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder. (Thomas Carlyle)
- The path of least resistance is the path of a loser. (Phil Weltman)
- Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk. (J.C. Penney)
- You must have long term goals to keep you from being frustrated by short term failures. (Charles C. Noble).
Written by Mark Kennedy, Owner/Managing Director of Executive Talent Search (ETS Dental, ETS Vision, ETS Tech-Ops). To find out more, call ETS Dental at (540) 563-1688 or visit us online at www.etsdental.com.