This Time Next Year…
Where do you want your complementary practice to be this time next year?
Have you found yourself floating along from one day to the next with no real sense of direction? It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day work and forget about growing your practice. Before you realise, another year has passed and you’re in the same place as last year!
Imagine if you start driving with no destination in mind, you could drive around in circles or get lost miles from where you started. By knowing where you want to travel to, you will go in the right direction. From time to time you may go off course – maybe you stop for lunch, or there’s a diversion. This awareness will help you adapt your route and back on track quickly.
Now is the time to set a destination (or goals) for your business so you’re travelling in the right direction next year. First things first, review the last year so you have a starting point, read how here.
Love it or hate it, it’s important you understand your finances:
- How much do you need to earn (personally) to live comfortably?
- What’s the cost of running your business? (Include all expenses such as professional fees, staff costs, rent, insurance, etc.)
- What’s the gap between last year’s income and what you want to earn next year?
- Is what you want to earn reasonable? Possible? Feasible?
- How much investment do you require to reach your destination? (Create a budget by adding together what you need to do in the next sections)
- What contingency fund do you require for unforeseen expenses? (It’s always worth having a buffer for emergencies such as your laptop dying)
- Do you have money to invest in your business or do you need to find other options?
Enlist the help of your accountant, bookkeeper or financial planner if you need to.
Products and services
- Are there other elements which compliment your current offerings, or can you package them up differently? See this article for packaging up your services.
- Are there things you’re offering that you should drop because they lose money, or are taking up space in your business?
- What treatments you love doing but haven’t marketed yet?
- Are you charging enough for the service you provide? See this article on setting your prices for help here.
Provision of services
- Where do you currently provide your services from (home, a clinic, online, seminars etc.) and does this suit your business growth?
- What new places could you introduce to grow your business?
- Are there other practitioners or local businesses you could collaborate with to enhance your business?
You, your team and clients
- Where in your business do you need support and how can you go about getting it?
- What are the jobs you’re doing that you should delegate to others?
- How many hours will you be working in your business (providing your treatments or therapy) and how many hours will you be working on your business (marketing, planning etc.)?
- Do you have any sabotaging beliefs or thoughts getting in the way of your success?
- Who are your favourite clients?
- Which clients cause you the most problems? Should you continue to work with them?
Something as simple as a checklist can save you time, energy and reduce the chance of errors. They are particularly useful for repetitive tasks, or for handing them over to someone else.
- What systems could you implement in your practice to improve efficiency?
- Is there software or equipment available to support your business?
- What marketing activities do you want to do over the next year?
- What elements are you prepared to do (and have the necessary skills)?
- Which elements do you need to outsource to a professional?
Is anything really important to you and your business in terms of social responsibility? This could be working within your local community, the environment or supporting a particular charity you want to include in your business for next year.
Now you have thought about your business going forward, start to build up a picture of how you want it to look this time next year.
If you’ve done your vision, use that to help you decide where you need to be next year. If you haven’t, find out more about setting your vision here.
Use whatever feels right for you whether it is a whiteboard, mind map or post-it-notes, get really clear about what you want. How will your business look and feel this time next year? What will your turnover be? What will you be offering clients? How many hours will you be working?
Now summarise this into two or three clear goals for the coming year and make sure they’re SMART:
- Specific enough to be useful
- Measurable so you know when you have achieved them
- Achievable – is it challenging you to stretch yourself but possible to do?
- Relevant to your business and your personal goals
- Timed – set a deadline
Make the goals exciting, something you really want to achieve rather than just going for the boring, obvious goals. For example, I want to increase my turnover to £X by the 31st December. This will give you the figures but add in the reason for that goal such as ‘so I can increase my salary to £X’ or ‘to donate Y to charity’.
You now have set the direction for your business and they will help keep you from floating along aimlessly. Write them down somewhere that you can see them – writing them down increases the likelihood you will achieve them significantly. If you find yourself wandering, look at them and decide whether what you’re currently doing is moving you towards your destination or not.
If you struggle setting goals for your complementary practice, contact me for a chat to find out how I can help you.
Grow Your Complementary Practice on Your Terms
One size doesn't fit all and the best way to thrive as a practitioner, is to nurture a business based around your strengths and the people you help.
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