Finances

Set Goals Now for a Profitable New Year

By Laurie L. Sorrenson, OD, FAAO

Nov. 16, 2016

The time to start thinking about changes to your practice for the new year isn’t in January, it’s now.

I’m already thinking about the key improvements to my practice I’d like to implement next year. Here are some of the changes that I think will make my practice more profitable and even more primed for growth. All of these changes have one thing in common–they will hopefully enable me to increase income to my practice.

Frames on display in Dr. Sorrenson’s office, as seen on a virtual tour on her practice web site. Dr. Sorrenson says setting specific goals, like increasing sales of Transitions lenses, can help ensure a profitable new year.

ASSESS MARKETING ROI. My marketing calendar will be the first thing I set up for the new year. First, we will evaluate the previous two years of marketing efforts, and how each of those expenditures did in return on investment. Then we will determine how we want to spend our marketing dollars in 2017.

For example, we’ve found that our new patients find us through referrals, insurance lists and internet searches. So, we will be increasing spending on internet search engine optimization and working on getting more reviews by patients posted online.

IMPROVE BUDGETING. This year we really worked on budgeting and figuring out cash flow, which we will continue to be more disciplined managing next year, building on our progress.

SET GOALS TO INCREASE COLLECTIONS. Typically our main goal is growth in collections. We set a percentage to hit. We set a monthly goal based on the last two year’s performance that will leave us at our year-end goal for the coming year.

CREATE DEPARTMENTAL GOALS. We look at each department in the practice, try to set one-to-two goals, and then set ways to measure what we need to do to achieve those goals. For example, we might set a goal in our optical department of increasing Transitions lens sales, and would discuss specific ways our doctors and opticians could do that. We might then agree to implement strategies like mentioning Transitions to every patient, and determine how we will track sales. We are planning to create a checklist to use in the optical, so opticians are reminded to educate patients about all the lens treatments available to patients, including Transitions.

What are your top goals for 2017? What steps will you take to make them a reality?

Laurie Sorrenson, OD, FAAO, is president of Lakeline Vision Source in Cedar Park, Texas. To contact her: lsorrenson@gmail.com.

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