As another year comes to a close, there are several things you can do to prepare your practice for an even more successful year ahead. But, for many people, especially business owners, the end of the year can be an excruciatingly busy time between both your work and personal lives. To help make things easier on you during the last month of the year we have put together a list of 4 things we think are critical to push your practice through the winter months and give you a strong head start moving into 2017. What are some of your must-dos at the end of each year?
4 Things Every Eyecare Practice Should be Doing at Year's End
Motivating Your Staff
The end of the year isn't busy just for you, but your entire team of staff as well. They could be suffering from burnout, or stressing about the holiday season. What can you do as a leader to make the end of year rush easier for your entire team?
One important piece of keeping your team motivated around the holidays is how you manage time off in the office. This can get tricky with many employees wanting the same days off in a practice where everyone is responsible for specific jobs. Cross training your team can help make it easier to cover tasks and make adjustments with a limited staff over the holidays. It's another idea to be flexible with changing your office hours if necessary to keep staff morale up and the quality of patient care to provide the best visit possible from a full team of staff.
If your team is feeling extra stressed with the costs of the holidays you could provide extra cash bonus incentives for goals hit in the months of November and December. This will likely keep your staff motivated from taking extra time off if they are being rewarded for time in the office and hitting certain goals.
Preparing for The Rush
As we mentioned, the end of the year can be a crazy busy time. Are your processes and workflow as efficient as they could be, or is your team spending too much time on redundant tasks? Evaluating your office workflow is a great way to make improvements for the coming year. How do you place your product orders? Do you use a clearinghouse solution to submit claims? Are your accounts receivables stacking up? Are there bottlenecks in your workflow caused by inefficiencies in your EHR software? Taking the time to really understand where the problems lie is the best place to start if you want to make changes moving forward.
The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the successes and failures of your business in 2016. If you're not measuring the performance of your practice it will be hard to know where you can make improvements and what mistakes you can learn from. If you're not sure of the things you should be focusing on to evaluate performance, you can use our free resource, 8 Benchmarks all Eyecare Practices Should Monitor, to get started. This eBook will help you understand the formulas you need to know in order to evaluate your practice against common industry standards. And, if you aren't up to par on all the benchmarks you'll get tips and ideas for improving in those areas.
Picking a New Year's Resolution (or Two)
Once you've looked back at your practice's performance this year and evaluated your office workflow you might have some good ideas on resolutions and goals you want your practice to accomplish next year. Based on what you learned about your practice you might want to make resolutions along the lines of increasing your optical capture rate, improving on chair cost, or making a new optometry software purchase to improve your workflow inefficiencies. Some other popular resolutions could be things like:
- Plans to open, buy, or partner an independent practice in 2017
- Pass boards
- Lower overhead costs in the practice
- Graph the last 4 years to monitor practice trends