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Does Your Practice Need A Strategic Plan?

Posted Dec 23 2009 10:50pm

Most businesses that don’t have a plan fail to become successful. Don’t enter into a new decade blindly…make sure you have a plan.

Have you ever heard the saying “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”? Well this holds true for your dental business as well. You can not start a business and proceed blindly and just expect that everything will work out and you will achieve great success. It rarely will happen that way. At the very beginning of each year you need to sit down outside the regular dental office atmosphere and make a plan. This plan needs to include the entire team. It starts your practice off on the “right tooth”. Well, it is one way to keep you in the black.

Without a plan you won’t know which way to progress, you won’t know what you need to do or where you should be when the day begins; let alone another year ends. The entire team will be confused about what you are working towards. What happens next? What happens in most cases is a loss of focus on the interest of the business of dentistry and loss of motivation to get where you need to go.

Would you take a journey somewhere you’ve never traveled without a road map? Of course you wouldn’t. Not if you want to successfully reach your destination. In the year 2010 you most likely have a sophisticated device such as a GPS to guide you directly to your destination.

Considering this, do you think you could successfully reach the goal in your dental business without a strategic plan?

If you are going to put your time and money into something, you don’t want to set yourself up for failure; rather you want to ensure your success.

When you have a plan, you will create direction for yourself and the entire team who follows your lead. You will now understand what you need to accomplish your tasks and move to the next step.

You don’t have to do this on your own. As the year ends many consulting/business firms are offering discounts to guide you to plan effectively, to travel in the right direction and end at the pot of gold.

Once you have a plan in place, you won’t have to guess what you should do next, as you will already know. You won’t spend your time wondering and waiting for success to come, only to be disappointed and clueless as to where you went wrong. I’m not saying that just any business strategic plan is going to ensure you success, but having a plan in place will significantly improve your chances!

This is your business…your lively hood. Having a well thought out business plan will also reduce your stress as you move along.

If you’ve ever been a parent or a babysitter of a young infant or toddler, you will know that if you go on an outing with a carefully packed diaper bag, you will feel a lot less stressed than if you just threw some things together right before you left. What if you forgot something? What if you forgot something important like diapers, bottles for formula, or the baby food?

While you are away trying to enjoy yourself your mind may constantly be stressed, trying to think if you have forgotten anything. Not a good way to run an outing at the park… or your business. Find yourself some business plan opportunities and get started!

Have all your cards in place and you will give yourself the best chance possible to be successful.

January is almost here and if you don’t have your annual strategic planning meeting on the calendar, now is the time to schedule that for you and the entire team. I want to suggest that it be held outside of your office. Make it a fun event for the entire team. There needs to be an organized agenda but make it fun, be concise and yet directive about what needs to be accomplished. Be sure to address what has been accomplished in the past year and decade as well. (Remember we begin a new decade on January 1, 2010!!) At this important meeting make it known to the team when you plan to have the office closed in 2010, holidays for the office, vacation requests and annual review dates for each team member need to be set or suggested at the least. This is just a short list to get you started on the “right tooth” when 2010 begins.

“If you don’t know where you are going; any road can take you there. Be sure to have your map in hand as you begin 2010!”

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

May you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2010!

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, is founder of Dental Practice Solutions, is a national coaching, full-service consulting, speaking and writing business focused on increased profitability in the dental office without increasing days of work in the office or more stress.

Debbie began Dental Practice Solutions in 2000. Her career has focused on all aspects of dentistry since 1975. Most recently she is known for increasing profitability in the dental office be driving the production in the dental hygiene department. Debbie has 4 specific ways to drive profits in your dental hygiene department.

You can reach Dental Practice Solutions by calling: 503-970-1122. Please visit the website for more free valuable resources: weekly newsletter, webinars and the membership center.

Does your practice have a strategic plan in place – annual or otherwise? Please share in a comment below.

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