Setting Goals For 2023

Published on
March 4, 2024

Early in the year there is a lot of talk around goal setting and strategic planning. In his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey stated that one of the most important habits is: begin with the end in mind. For a dental practice, this means creating your vision and exactly what you want a year from now. You and your team can brainstorm and design the year you envision encompassing patient care, teamwork, and growth.

The goals you set should not be achieved by ordinary means. Effective goals are a stretch, unreasonable and something that makes you feel a little uncomfortable. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone brings on the true magic of personal and professional growth!

It may seem like a strange question: what is the point of a goal? Certainly it is to reach it! However if the outcome is a stretch, it is the growth of the team or the difference in mindset that made you achieve the goal! That is the true purpose of a goal: if you can achieve this… what else is possible? Goals also give individual team members a sense of purpose that is greater than themselves. No one can do it alone and the doctor needs the team as much as the team needs the doctor in order to achieve the best outcome.

Setting and reaching goals gives your practice the ability to take the very best care of your patients, delivering a high level of clinical care and creating the ability to re-invest in your practice. All expansion of the team, technology, clinical skills through continuing education and other investments come from having the financial resources to do so!

There are several areas to set goals in a dental office. Primarily, focus on setting production, collection and new patient goals. Beginning with the end in mind, you want to make sure the practice collection goals will cover the B.A.M. or basic amount of money that it costs to run the practice and create a strong level of profitability. With a CEO mindset, an analysis of your P/L and expense categories may be needed prior to even looking at your goals. Remember to keep in mind all practice debt payments, future technology purchases and budgets for other variable expenses.

If you have never set daily production goals it will be important to look at historic averages for each provider, each doctor and hygienist will have their own daily goal. Next, count all of the production days each provider will have next year, Taking into consideration holidays, continuing education days and vacation days. Typically, a four-day-a-week practitioner works an average of 180 days per year. Owner doctors especially need an extra day a week to work on their business rather than in their business.

Once you know how many days each provider will work, you multiply the number of days by their daily goal to get their yearly goal. Adding them all up will give you the total office production goals. A strong collection system should yield a 98% or above collection rate.

Having a robust Mastermind with your team to discuss how you will be achieving those goals is extremely important. Will you be adding any Specialty Services into the service mix? Will you be bringing in any new technology to enhance your patients' experience that will also increase production? What systems need to be improved in order to achieve set goals? What marketing strategies will you need to implement to attract more new patients? And finally, Will you need to recruit more team members to achieve these goals?

Have fun creating the ideal year for your practice. And remember, never leave the site of a goal before deciding on the next step to achieve it!