Has 2016 been a satisfying year at your practice? Are you pleased with the customer service you’ve provided, the professional growth of you and your staff, the practice’s financials, and the progress you’ve made toward creating your ultimate practice?

Or not?

Just as the transition from one year to the next leads many of us to reflect on the past and make resolutions for our personal future, it’s a good time to take stock of your practice. Based on working with thousands of orthodontists, I’d like to offer some suggestions for getting off to a great start in 2017:

1. Review and reset your annual performance targets.

First, if you haven’t been using such targets, start now! Without going into the psychological underpinnings, suffice it to say that targets motivate people to an extraordinary extent. If you’re not using them, you’re missing a huge opportunity to stimulate practice growth. If you have used targets in 2016, sit down with your whole team for a year-end review, at either a monthly or special meeting. Talk as a group about how you did and how you can do better in 2017… setting new targets where needed.

2. Develop a new marketing program.

Work with your marketing and treatment coordinators to find ways to strengthen all aspects of practice marketing… patient-parent and doctor referrals strategies… observation program… case presentation scripting and techniques… special promotions… community outreach… and so on. Increase the flow of new patients and the other aspects of practice and career success will be within your reach.

3. Beef up your training program.

A well-trained team not only works more efficiently and productively. It also makes for a more pleasant, less stressful environment for your staff, for patients, and for you. Conduct performance reviews that include discussions of personal training needs and interests to ensure strong buy-in, loyalty, and job satisfaction.

Will 2017 be better than 2016 for your practice? What you do right now—with targets, marketing, and training—will be the deciding factor. OP
2017 Ortho Seminars: Dr Levin’s speaking schedule for the first half of next year has been posted. Make plans now to see him in one of the following cities: Tampa, Fla; Chicago; Austin, Tex; or Columbia, Md. Click here for more details.