It’s Never Too Late
OK, the year is well underway… and it seems like just moments ago we were wrapping up the prior year. How has it started for you? Are you ultra-focused on the goals you set and making measurable progress? Or are you just treading water and experiencing ‘same stuff different day’?
As business consultants and accountants, we see many clients who need to set (or reinforce) those goals, so here are six questions that will help guide you in your goal-setting:
WHAT ARE YOUR REVENUE GOALS?
The Top Line. If you are a mature practice, you may be looking for a small percentage increase (in dollar terms), but a start-up might aim for 100 – 200% growth. Perhaps you are interested in growing in terms of market share (in percentage terms). You may not want to grow revenue at all while you focus on other improvements for your practice. We like our clients to be really clear on these goals and then to ensure progress is properly tracked.
WHAT ARE YOUR PROFIT GOALS?
The Bottom Line. Perhaps you are looking to distribute more profit to owners and/or you want to build the cash reserves of the practice for an acquisition? Some owners (think early stage) may be ambivalent to profit as they ramp up sales, assuming they are well-funded through initial investment. Again, these strategies take careful planning (e.g. tax mitigation) but are dependent on your goals.
WHAT ARE YOUR EFFICIENCY GOALS?
Fewer practitioners will think of this (versus 1 and 2 above), but it’s important to measure how much you are investing (in personnel and other expenses) and what that investment is yielding (revenue and profit). Sometimes our clients tell us they used to make more money with fewer people, few customers, fewer products, less marketing expenses etc. but not anymore. What has changed? Efficiency (or capacity) has decreased. Let’s ensure you are measuring the right things in order to increase capacity.
WHAT ARE YOUR LIFESTYLE GOALS?
Are you happy with the way you work? Does what you do excite you? It is unlikely you’ll ever find the perfect role where EVERYTHING is stimulating, enjoyable and rewarding. But modifying your role could lead to more fulfillment. For some this may mean goals such as 20% more time on developing the practice, rather than working in the practice. Some may want to work LESS in which case the goal may be reducing the average work week from 50 hours to 45 hours. As trusted consultants who help our clients look at the ‘big picture’, we can help our clients be clear on the impact any of these decisions will have on the practice.
WHAT ARE YOUR COMMUNITY GOALS?
Your practice doesn’t exist in isolation. It’s part of an ecosystem comprising your patients, your employees, your employees’ family members, Chambers of Commerce, business groups, not-for-profit organizations, your neighbours etc. How do you want to impact that community? How can you contribute? Note, this is not necessarily entirely altruistic since we often reap benefits when we add value elsewhere. Modelling the implications of these decisions can be really important.
WHAT ARE YOUR SUCCESSION GOALS?
Nothing lasts forever. Every practice will undergo significant changes in ownership and management. It’s just a matter of time. It’s best to be ready for and control these changes when the time is right. Every practice should have goals related to succession even if they are not to be activated for a long time. A one-year goal might be to research possible merger partners, meet with a trusted advisor or determine how to calculate the value of your practice. Working with a team that has experience in sale/merger transactions can form an important part of this process.
This is not complicated. Start somewhere and write down a few goals related to the above. Pick a clear time frame – one year is usually good – and think about what would make you happy and proud at the end of that time frame. Remember, not everything above is of equal importance; it’s perfectly reasonable to ignore some factors and focus intensely on others. We feel it is essential to help our clients set goals because then we can help you achieve them!
If you have not yet registered, consider taking a short break in your day to join us in this session:
This 60-minute webinar, presented by Craig Yarndley and Jennifer Myers of Gener8 Solutions, is designed to help you:
– conduct a proper S.W.O.T. of your practice so that you can identify opportunities and be prepared for the unexpected
– clarify your ‘vision’ into specific goals and objectives you’d like to achieve
– help you SHARE that vision with your team in a compelling way