How to Set Monthly Practice Goals

November 20, 2017
Click here to view a copy of the monthly goals spreadsheet!

The first step in setting monthly goals is to determine your annual goal. Growth in your practice can come from either an increase in fees, an increase in starts, or both. In a younger practice, a reasonable growth target might be 20 or 40 percent or more; in a more established practice a realistic goal could be 5 or 10 percent.

Now that you have identifies your annual goal, the trick is to divide it up into monthly goals that make sense!

One option is to divide by 12, giving you the same goal every month. This is what I used to do, but my treatment coordinator and I felt it was frustrating when we were falling short in a month we knew was historically slower or where we had fewer patient days scheduled. It also was a little bit of a hollow victory to beat our goal in August, which is usually the best month for most practices.

Another popular alternative is try to beat the same month or quarter last year. This is better, but a little too arbitraty for my taste, especially if you had an unusually bad or good month last year. It also doesn’t take into account what your schedule will be in the upcoming year.

I have developed a system to set monthly goals which I love. Initially, it might sound complicated, but it is actually very easy to do once the spreadsheet is set up. First, I calculate what percentage each month contributed towards total production for the previous two years. Using two years evens out any weird spikes or dips in production. Then I determine how many days we are scheduled to work in each month of the upcoming year as a percentage of total days scheduled. The average of these three percentages for each month – 2016 production, 2017 production, 2018 planned days worked – gives me the percentage of my annual goal we should produce each month. All that is left is to multiply these percentages by our yearly production goal to get awesome monthly goals.

We used this system for the last year and it was amazing! Our goals each month were challenging, but doable, and reflected seasonal trends as well as the amount of days we actually worked. The fact that the number changed from month to month seemed to increase the engagement of our team, since we had a novel challenge each month. There was also increased perception of the validity and importance of each monthly goal, specified down to the dollar, as opposed to an bland rounded figure.

Scroll back to the top of this page to download the spreadsheet needed to do these calculations.  I will also post this spreadsheet in our Elevate Orthodontics Facebook group and take any questions you may have! Empower yourself and your team with great goals for each month of 2018 and then go out and make it happen!

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