Now that we’re a month into the new year, it’s time to look at some of the goals you’ve set for 2023. While January always represents a new beginning, you can review and refresh goals any time.
Goals don’t need to be lofty or expensive to achieve, either. Perhaps some of your goals focus around improving workflows or tackling projects you just didn’t get to sooner. But when you’re developing your goals, do so with an eye toward improvement: improving the work environment, elevating the patient experience, growing revenues… you get the idea!
You’ve probably set some long- and short-term goals for your practice already — but if you’re searching for other goals or think yours would benefit from a little adjusting, here are some other ideas.
Prioritize patient experience.
The most important part of your practice is, of course, your patients! Make scheduling as easy as possible — a process you can automate. Provide clear, easily understood information about costs and dental insurance benefits. Update and modernize your office waiting area, with a focus on comfort and relaxation — helpful for nervous patients. Create a strategic, organized appointment schedule to keep wait times low and patients happy (because no one likes to wait!).
Implement automation technology.
If you haven’t already automated certain processes, now’s the time to do so. Automated technology drives resilience and increases accuracy by reducing manual paperwork and modernizing front- and back-office operations.
Expand your services.
You should already know about the services offered by other practices in your area. Expanding what you offer to fill a gap or need can give you a competitive advantage, demonstrate your commitment to your patients’ oral health, and increase your revenue streams.
Many people still lack dental insurance, especially as it’s a separate add-on to a regular health insurance plan. Talk to your finance people about the viability of offering a dental membership program. These programs help patients afford the care they need and create opportunities for your practice to expand and differentiate its services.
Find & take advantage of continuing education opportunities.
A study from the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) found companies providing or encouraging staff to take advantage of learning opportunities:
- Generate more than 200% revenue per employee.
- See a 24% higher profit margin than companies investing less on training
- Have a 6% higher shareholder return
Another study conducted by SHRM learned that 30% of employees consider career development important — and over 85% of Millennials rank professional development in a job as important. Prioritize professional development, and encourage your staff to attend virtual and in-person training to develop their industry knowledge, gain insights, and contribute even more to your practice.
Invest in your staff.
Recruiting staff will remain challenging in 2023, and continued economic instability isn’t helping anyone make accurate projections about the staff they’ll need. If you’ve put hiring in a holding pattern, focus instead on the staff you currently employ. We’ve already talked about continuing education, but you can implement other practices that don’t have a high price tag.
Focus on cultivating a positive, supportive work environment. Engage with your staff on professional and personal levels, taking interest in their lives outside of work. Show, through actions and words, that they matter and their contributions are valued. Often, it’s the little things — bagels and coffee in the morning or tacos for lunch, for example — that go far to demonstrate appreciation. Or if your patient numbers support adjusting clinic hours, consider opening half days on Fridays and closing early for everyone.
Refine your marketing strategy.
Marketing doesn’t always rank high on a priority list, but it’s important nonetheless. Think about what your clinic offers the community and how you can serve the market better. Then work on refining your marketing strategy.
What does that strategy look like? Do you rely on television or newspaper ads or word-of-mouth with a robust referral program? You should take time each year — or every six months — to review your plan to think about what you’re doing to build patient loyalty and attract new business.
Create and put a few well-placed ads on different social media platforms. Solicit online reviews from patients — you can automate your system to send an email or text requesting feedback after a visit. Update your website regularly by adding new content on a weekly or biweekly basis. Search engine results pages (SERPs) have algorithms that “like” websites with dynamic content. Posting a new blog or links to other published articles keeps content refreshed and can help your page rank higher on SERPs to catch the eye of someone looking for a new dentist.
Learn more about how MDent Consulting can help you set and meet your goals.