Three things to consider for your practice in 2020

A New Year tends to bring with it hope, excitement and ambition. We set resolutions and goals for the year ahead. We feel filled with possibility and inspired to tackle our goals head on.

The trick, of course, is keeping momentum throughout the year.

In between any remaining holiday festivities and re-adjusting to time back in the practice, I encourage optometrists to set aside time to think about their professional goals for 2020. What do you want to achieve? What have you been putting off? And better yet – what would be a business dream come true?

Answering this last question is a bit like magic. When I ask optometrists to think about their big dreams and goals, I see their eyes light up. They are transported back to why they pursued optometry in the first place. They think about how they could leverage more revenue. They dream about their dream house, or expanding their practice, or more time at home with their family.

So I’ll ask you now: what would you love to achieve in 2020?

Whether it’s more revenue, fewer unbooked appointments, a second location or less time at the office, knowing what you want is the first step. Here are three more to help ensure you get what you want.

1.    Tell your team

One question I find particularly helpful is the following: what would make my staff excited about helping me achieve my goal for this year? Commissions, bonuses, prizes and team opportunities are a few ideas that come to mind.

It is critical to get your team working with you to support your goals. Part of that includes incentivizing them to go the extra mile to help you achieve your goal. Part of it is simply ensuring they know what they are working toward so that they can help.

2.    Set targets for your goals

It is great to aim for success, but it serves no one to simply “hope” that we make our goals.

Ask yourself how much you should have achieved halfway through the year and three months into 2020. Walk those targets back further and breakdown what needs to happen each month and each week.

It is important that you also tell your team what these targets are. After all, they are the ones who will be helping you reach them. Prioritize open conversations with your employees so that you can determine whether your team has the right skills, enough time and the appropriate resources to meet the weekly targets that will get your closer to your overarching goal.

3.    Create a forum for feedback

It is not helpful to wait until the end of a quarter to find out whether your targets were met. It’s also unhelpful to obsess over your goals daily.

There is an important in-between that requires feedback from your staff and the team members who help you execute against your goals. Weekly meetings are a useful way to create a forum for feedback. Here, you can find out if your strategies are working, or if there are barriers that are getting in the way of success. It also creates a forum for brainstorming solutions to any challenges.

On top of this, a monthly recalibration can be incredibly useful. After four weekly meetings, perhaps it has become clear that a particular strategy isn’t working. Or perhaps one thing in particular is working really well. The end of the month – a third of the way through your quarter – is a good time to assess where you are, what is working and what isn’t, and pivot toward the strategies, people and tools that will bring you more success.

Happy New Year. Here is to a successful 2020 for you and your practice.

Feel free to get in touch with questions, ideas and feedback by emailing me directly: info@paulineblachford.com.

Make it a great day,

Pauline