So we are almost 3 weeks into 2020 and hopefully, this year will be an improvement on last.
Which brings me neatly to the idea of goal setting for 2020.
Some private consultants did not reach the goals they intended to last year.
Why is that?
There are numerous reasons. The main one, however, lies in the definition of the target itself.
For example, I want to see more patients.
Alternatively, I want to make a lot more money.
The problem with such targets is they are not really targeted at all.
They are nothing but wishes.
Much better goals would be: I want to see 25% more patients.
Or I want to make 50% more in 2020 than I did in 2019.
It matters little what the target is.
What is important is that it’s a clear and precise target.
This is much better for a number of reasons.
The first reason is that they are measurable.
This means it is possible to compare the 2020 performance against that of the previous year.
Is it better or worse?
In either case, the answer alone will enable the private consultant to take action.
If it is better, ask yourself why?
If worse, also ask yourself why?
The very fact you have the data available means you are in a better position to move the business forward.
Further, you will be making decisions on how to progress based on information rather than “feeling”
The reality is, is that it is extremely dangerous to run a business based on guesswork.
Any consultant needs data upon which to base his/her business decisions.
It is alarming, however, how many do NOT have the basic information.
In the majority of cases, the data is actually right under your nose.
It should be anyway.
All MHM clients have a weekly report available to them.
It details how many patients the consultant saw that week, that month and even that year.
How many patients attended a new consultation?
This number of new patients is crucial.
If a practice is not attracting new patients, eventually it will lose money. Sounds obvious?
But do you know how many new patients you saw in December 2019?
How many new patients did you see in December 2018?
Did you see more patients in December 2019 than you did in December 2018?
In the answer is yes, then that’s positive.
But if the answer is no, then that could indicate a problem.
Either way, the supplementary question, in either case, is: WHY??
Once you have the data and once you have decided if you are moving towards your target or away from your target, then the next step is easy.
Take an action that you think will move you toward your goal.
Or take an action that will replicate any improvement you have made.
Of equal use is realising what you are doing is not working.
If by the end of March 2020 you are, despite your best efforts, seeing fewer patients than targeted, you have identified that fact very early.
Early enough to think about an alternative strategy.
Set specific goals to be achieved by specific points in the year.
Monitor your actual performance against such targets those pre-defined points (s) in time.
Make sure you are either exceeding or meeting your goal.
Now you have a better perspective on what is really happening in your practice and also what it should be accomplishing for you.
And all because you have set goals and not just made wishes.