Evaluating Goals and Finding Opportunities: A Year End Checklist
The year is almost over, and that provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on your accomplishments and set new goals for the coming year. Evaluating the performance of your practice over the past 12 months allows you to learn from mistakes and note areas of improvement. It will help you order your financial records and take stock before the new year. You may even notice previously overlooked patterns becoming more evident. Here are some suggestions from SmileMakers on ways to learn from this past year and build momentum heading forward.
 Staff Performance Reviews
When considering your previous year, it’s best to start with your employees. Performance reviews often reveal more than you’d expect. Use these reviews as not only performance appraisals but also as check-ins. Discuss the past year with your team and ask for their thoughts. Together you may find room for improvement or discover how best to support them in achieving their optimal performance. Communication is extremely important for maintaining a good office culture and productive atmosphere. And as an added bonus, your staff may have creative ideas to grow the practice moving forward.
 Review Yearly Business Projections
Now is the time to check on your business plan and see how well you’ve managed to meet your projections for the current year. While you may have pleasantly surprised yourself, don’t be discouraged if things are off. Identify the areas where you’ve excelled and where you fell short, both are learning experiences.
 Check Financial Records
Money always requires attention, especially at the end of the year. It’s necessary to organize your financial records and prepare for tax season. Identify where you may have overpaid for stock or technology and mark the equipment that cost the most. Doing your homework throughout the year will pay off. If you’ve been tracking receipts, you’ll be able to find tax deductions easily and account for all equipment repairs or replacements. The more aware you are of your financial records, the more likely you are to allocate funds properly and save money in the future.
 Finish the Year Strong
You still have a few weeks left to get last minute patients in the door. Here are a few suggestions on how to get their attention:
- Mention Insurance Benefits. Remind patients to use the rest of their yearly insurance benefits. Recall cards in the mail or quick emails will ensure a few more friendly faces come through in time to take advantage of their benefits.
- Remind Them Of Their Appointments. The holiday season is busy! People forget their appointments or get caught up in the other details of their lives. SmileMakers offers fully customizable appointment cards as friendly reminders of their next visit.
- Promote Holiday Specials. It’s the gift-giving season, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t get involved. A discount on cleanings or teeth-whitening can encourage patients to perfect their smiles in time for the holidays.
- Call Inactive Patients. Loyalty goes both ways. Calling patients that you haven’t seen all year proves you’re invested in them and may inspire them to return.
 Set New Goals
Once you’ve reviewed your year and identified ways to improve, don’t stop there! You have a great opportunity to take these lessons into the new year. Customer service and patient satisfaction are a good start because they always require effort to maintain or improve upon. Sprucing up your office can also energize your practice in the new year. Check SmileMakers themed decor for fun ideas! With insights from another year of business, you can continue to craft more attainable and practical goals for the next 12 months.
 Optimize Your Online Presence
Take the time to optimize your website and curate your social media platforms. Giving your online presence a little TLC will improve your rankings and get attention from potential patients. The holidays are also a great time to show how you celebrate the season, helping you to build your online community and offering a piece of yourself for patients to relate to.
 Plan The Perfect Getaway
Don’t forget to schedule some vacation time. If you’re not looking after your own mental health, you might find yourself going into the new year exhausted and in need of a break. Instead of letting it progress, set aside time for yourself to get the rest and relaxation you need. Even if it’s a staycation, it’s an opportunity to take a break and recharge.
Looking for a way to celebrate the holiday season? SmileMakers has the solution!
If you’re looking to celebrate the season, we have a collection of Christmas themed items and decor. These are perfect for any year’s end celebration or festive gifts for younger patients.
Maly, L. (2014). Your end of year dental marketing checklist. Wonderist Agency. Retrieved from: http://wonderistagency.com/your-end-of-year-dental-marketing-checklist/
Rossi, B. (2005). Seasonality in dentistry. Dental Economics. Vol 95. Issue 3. Retrieved from:
DDS Logan, E M. (2011). Dentistry's Business Secrets: Proven Growth Strategies for Your New Or Existing Practice. AuthorHosue.