It is crazy how time flies - months are going by like weeks and weeks like days. And as we head into February, there couldn’t be a better time to remind ourselves that it is the start of a brand new year: 2018. Every year, as the calendar turns, many people are ambitious about setting goals for the new year. Just go to your local gym in January to see an example of this. Come February, however, the gyms become less crowded. Why? Because although well-intentioned, there was not a plan in place.

successful dentist

When we plan our goal with a long view, it is clear to us what it is we want to do and where we want to go. However, we often get confused as to what that first step is, and our need for absolute clarity often times prevents us from ever even starting. It is a bold act of leadership to take that first step without the certainty of every point along the path, because steps evolve throughout the process.

Every journey starts with a single step, and it is important we focus on what will get us closer to that goal rather than plan every step of the journey, because we will come across things along the way that will cause us to grow and evolve.

Many doctors will tell their team they want to increase revenue by 15 percent. This is a great start, but how are you going to increase revenue by 15 percent? What does that mean in regards to referrals?

For example, maybe your goal is to increase revenue by $144,000. To do this, you would need an increase in four referrals per month x 12 months for a total of 48 referrals a year with an average case value of $3,000 (four referrals x 12 months x $3,000 case value = $144,000).

Remember, this increase is on top of what you already did last year. If you had 600 referrals last year, you would need to maintain those 600 referrals and then add the additional 48 referrals to achieve practice growth.

Establishing a goal that is both measurable and attainable creates accountability and awareness, and will allow you and your team to implement strategies that will enable you to grow your practice. Every journey will have both successes and roadblocks, but if your intention and vision are clear, you will be able to implement key strategies and acquire the support you need to make your vision a reality.

Creating both short-term and long-term goals is important for the success of your practice, and as the new year begins, it is a good time to address what goal you want to reach in 2018. Many years ago in 2014, the Masters Program was the vision and goal I wanted to get to. It has been a long journey to get here, and as the 2018 year gets underway, I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to be launching the Masters Program and heading on this amazing journey with all of you. I believe 2018 will truly be the best year yet.  

(Click this link to read more dentistry articles by Imtiaz Manji.)