With the growing demand for mental health services, it is increasingly important that you have a strategy to create and reach goals in your mental health practice.
Goals are targets the company plans to achieve in a specific period and gives the business direction for its path to success. Therefore, goal setting is essential for all businesses.
Tips for Creating and Reaching Goals in Your Practice
Start With Getting a Pulse on Where You Stand
To understand where you stand, you need to look at your current situation and your business financials. What are you doing well? What are you not doing well? What would make the biggest impact on your success if you improved?
Document your net profit as well as your ratios by looking at your financial statements so you know exactly where you are financially.
It is important to also look at KPIs that do not show directly on your financial statements, such as patient retention. These are important to calculate so you can improve in the future.
Identify Where You Want to Go
Then, you should identify where you want your business and your business finances to be in a year, three, and five. This will help you set goals for the future.
Look at your profit, your KPIs, and your ratios and determine which can be improved.
Start Setting Goals
The best method for setting goals is by using the SMART method.
The letters in SMART stand for:
You need to be clear about what you want when defining your goals.
For example: Instead of saying you want to increase patient retention, be more specific with how, such as “Increase patient retention by reducing wait times.”
You want to be able to measure your goals so you know whether you are meeting them or not. It should be clear when your objectives are a success or a failure.
For example: “Increase patient retention by 10%” allows you to measure whether you are achieving your goal.
Make sure your goals are achievable. They should be challenging but not so far-fetched that you could never reach them. If you have never focused on patient retention and want to increase it by 90% in the next two weeks, that goal may be unattainable.
Allow your goals to be relevant to your business overall. Sometimes we set goals that do not push our business forward as planned.
Increasing patient retention will benefit your business because retaining existing clients is less expensive than acquiring new ones.
It is essential to avoid open-ended goals because they usually don’t get done. Set deadlines for your goals whether that’s two weeks from now or one year from now.
If you have a lengthy, challenging goal, break it into smaller steps so it is more manageable. Build goals for one year and then break them down into quarterly and monthly goals. Either way, each goal needs a deadline to hold you accountable.
For example: “Increase patient retention by 10% by December 31st of this year.”
Goal Setting Starters for Your Practice
Here is a list of goal starters for your mental health practice to get you started. Use these as a starting point but remember to utilize the SMART method.
- Improve patient outcomes
- Increase revenue/profit
- Reduce turnover of staff
- Increase patient retention rates
- Improve staff satisfaction levels
- Increase staff and patient training
- Improve finances/budgeting system
Why are Goals Important for a Mental Health Practice?
Goals are important for your mental health practice to keep you focused on your path to success. They are a way to measure progress and see how close we are allowing us to adjust and improve every day.
Goals also help us make informed decisions. When goals are aligned with the business overall, everyday tasks and decisions are based on whether they will bring you closer to your goal or not. It is important to always clearly understand what you want to achieve and how it will impact your work as a therapist and business owner.
Goals keep you accountable for your business success and improve your business rather than staying status quo.
Be Dedicated to Reaching Your Goals
Reaching your goals requires time, energy, effort, and planning. Determine if each task is moving you closer to your goals, and set aside time every day to work on the tasks that do.
You may realize you need to improve your processes or recruit additional help to reach those goals – especially financially.
Leichter Accounting Services can help you set appropriate goals for your practice and achieve them too. We specialize in bookkeeping, accounting, and tax service for small businesses with friendly, professional support but are also committed to providing financial direction to our clients. Contact Leichter today!