Only two weeks left of 2016. Another year has come and gone, and as you're cozying up by the fire this month you should also be taking the time to evaluate your business's performance over the last year and start getting your plan together for 2017. For many practices, it's easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day and never make the time to really take a look at how the business is performing and where your practice is exceeding expectations and missing them.
If you don't know where your optometric practice is performing it's best and it's worst it can be difficult to make the right decisions moving forward into the new year. Use these steps to finish off 2016 on the right foot!
How to Measure Your Practice's Year and Make the Right Moves in 2017
The first, and probably most important step of finishing 2016 off with a bang is by reviewing the year you're about to wrap up. Being a business owner is a 24/7 job, and sometimes certain tasks end up falling through the cracks - like consistently monitoring important benchmarks or key performance indicators throughout the year. For many busy practices you probably have certain goals you'd like to hit, but maybe you haven't had the time to sit down, crunch the numbers, and see if you're really hitting your goals or not.
Every practice has different goals, but for some it could be things like increasing overall practice revenue, upping total exam numbers, maximizing on insurance and accounts receivable trends, or lowering overhead costs. There are other important practice goals to look at that are a little harder to quantify. These are things like boosting staff morale, improving office culture, and increasing patient satisfaction. No matter how busy you are, it should be a priority for you to sit down and figure out where your practice stands at the end of the year.
Celebrate Your Successes
Once you've taken time to review your year, you'll be able to see the biggest successes your practice accomplished. It's important to take the time to celebrate with your entire office on the things your practice did the best. Holding an office holiday party or rewarding the team with extra cash bonuses is a great way to keep the entire team involved and working toward your overall practice goals. If you don't share these goals and successes with the team it will be harder for them to know what they should be working towards and how they can improve moving into the new year.
Plus, celebrating some of the quantifiable things in your practice is a good way to boost the less quantifiable things we mentioned before like staff morale and creating a positive office culture.
Budget for Travel and CE in 2017
After reviewing 2016 and celebrating on your successes, you can look at the areas you want your practice to improve upon next year. Once you have new goals lined up you can take a look at your budget and where you might need to allocate different costs in order to meet new goals.
Budgeting and planning for things like travelling to CE workshops and tradeshows will help you make commitments early instead of blowing off these events due to poor planning or high costs. If you and your staff haven't attended an industry tradeshow in a few years, 2017 could be the time to brush up on the latest trends and get a hands-on view of some of the leading industry products and services. It's important to keep your practice and staff updated on the latest technologies and trends to best serve your growing patient base that has ever-evolving needs and expectations of your practice.
Use our eBook, 8 Benchmarks Every Eyecare Practice Should Monitor, to help evaluate your practice's year.