Your Year in Review: Setting Goals for 2017

  • Posted on: Mar 3 2017
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Your basic goals probably stay generally the same from year to year: attract new patients, grow your practice and make more money, while upholding the ISAPS standards of skill, ethics and safety. But how? As you know, it’s easier said than done. Having a list of concrete goals to assess at the end of each year will help you plan for the next. Here are some suggestions for targeting growth in different areas:

  • What makes your practice unique? If something has happened in the past year to set you apart from your competitors, you need to make patients and prospects aware of this on your website, in your marketing materials and via press releases. Perhaps you’ve gained a significant number of new patients, or you’ve attended a professional conference, published a scholarly article or achieved some other distinction. Any of these that you have not yet achieved can be goals for the coming year; patients need to know that you are constantly striving for perfection and achieving excellence. Maybe you’re the first plastic surgeon in your area to offer a particular procedure, or you are poised to surpass a previous benchmark.
  • Perhaps you want to make a specific amount of money each year, increasing each year at a rate you determine. How can you achieve this? Bring more patients in? Raise your rates commensurate with your experience?  Ethically save on costs while maximizing return on investment (ROI)? Rather than employing a single method, you can develop strategies in each of these areas that will combine to work toward your larger financial goals.
  • You can call it branding, professional development, whatever you like, but ultimately your success as a plastic surgeon rests on one thing: your reputation. Not just among your patients, who are your best source of referrals, but among your colleagues as well. How have you demonstrated exceptional commitment to education, safety and ethics? How does your public image shape the way your peers and patients perceive you? How will you maintain – or change – this image in the coming year?

A few more tips to better position you for the future:

  • Once you’ve decided on your goals, write them down. If they remain only in your mind, they’re much less likely to be realized. You may even want to post these goals in areas where your staff will be reminded of them.
  • Determine how realistic each goal is, and revise downward if you need to. Also, try to estimate how much time each goal is likely to take; a few weeks, or a few months, or a few years? Can you pursue any of them simultaneously, or are they contingent on one another?
  • The more specific a goal is, the greater its chances of achievement. “Get more publicity,” for example, is quite vague, whereas “Average two media appearances per month” gives you something more specific to strive for.

No matter how much planning you do or determination you have, there is eventually only thing left to do with your goals: pursue them! You’re no stranger to hard work and determination; after all, they’ve brought you this far. Trust your own judgment, plan thoroughly and realistically, and you’re on the way to the growth you desire.

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