Setting Business Goals for the New Year

Last update on Dec, 02, 2020

The year is coming to an end. 2020 has had its fair share of challenges and learnings, and many are happy to leave it behind. But have you looked ahead to 2021?

If you haven’t yet, now is the time to start establishing goals that will set you up for success as you navigate the next twelve months.

Why is setting business goals important?

It may feel like your practice is having success (or not) but setting and measuring goals provides actual evidence of that success. The degree to which you are able to meet goals will help you make important business decisions moving forward. Goals are key in small business management in that they help you achieve positive business outcomes, plan financials and budgets, set a direction for employees, and ultimately, grow your practice year over year. 

Tips for setting goals

How do you go about establishing your goals and know whether they are effective? Follow the SMART model, ensuring they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. 

Specific

Let’s say you want to increase revenue in 2021. A sensible thing to aim for, but it doesn’t exactly work as a goal on its own. What actions need to be taken, and by whom, to increase revenue? The more specific you can make your goals, the clearer expectations are for employees and the better the likelihood of success. So, for the instance above, rather than communicating the goal as “increase revenue,” consider what is required to accomplish it. “Increase revenue by $5,000 by boosting patient acquisition by 10% and hearing aid sales by 15%” is a well-defined goal that lays out how it can be met.

Measurable

The purpose of setting goals is to reach them, so you must be able to measure whether you’ve done so. Goals with defined metrics allow you to visualize success and impact over time. Goal measurements don’t need to be numerical; they can be a simple “yes” or “no” answer to whether something happened. When recording your goals for 2021, include what you will measure and how you will measure it. Using the same example as above, if your goal is to increase hearing aid sales and new patient acquisition, implement the necessary processes to get there and task your practice administrator or other members of your staff with tracking hearing aid sales (both quantity and price) and how many new patients visit the practice. 

Attainable

Are the goals you set actually achievable? It may seem obvious, but all too often businesses set lofty goals that they soon discover are impossible to reach given the time and resources available. Goals are meaningless if they are beyond what is reasonable. Consider what is realistic within the parameters of your staff, processes, and budget. 

Relevant

Every specific goal you implement should align with your broader business goals. If you want to increase your practice’s revenue, boosting hearing aid sales is a relevant objective that contributes to that larger goal. Ask yourself the simple question, “does this line up with our mission, values, and aspirations?” If the answer is no, adjust as necessary so that the objective plays a pivotal role in reaching overarching goals.

Time-based

Without a deadline, you are less likely to hit your goals. Set a timeframe within which goals should be achieved to create a sense of urgency and motivate your staff. That timeframe should be sensible – not so soon that the goal is unattainable, but not so far away that it leads to employee procrastination. If you have an annual revenue goal, break it up into months or quarters to keep everyone on track.

Potential goals for your hearing practice

Developing effective goals requires an evaluation of your practice’s current state. To get started, use a SWOT analysis – a method for recognizing all factors involved in making a business decision. A SWOT analysis helps you identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors, like available resources and existing processes. Opportunities and threats are external factors, like industry trends and regulations. Involve other members of your practice in your analyses to get different perspectives.  

Your final list will likely be a mix of quantitative and qualitative goals. Quantitative goals can include increasing patient acquisition, patient retention, hearing aid sales, and patient and/or physician referrals. Qualitative goals can include enhancing patient and employee satisfaction and expanding your online presence. 

SMART Goal Guide

Setting goals lays the foundation for small business management in the year ahead. Download our SMART Goals Guide to assist you in your 2021 planning.

Elite Hearing Network Blog

Discover the latest in hearing health care.
Explore more

Get in touch

Become a member

Ready to become a member of Elite Hearing Network?

Contact us

Looking for more information?