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Do you have any big plans for your dental practice this year? If so, do you have a strategic plan for those plans? Last week, we talked about the difference between a vision and a strategic plan. In this post, let’s look at how to create a strategic plan for your big goals.  

When you create a Strategic Plan, what you are really creating is a roadmap that bridges the gap between where you are right now and what you want to achieve. Your Strategic Plan is what my partner, Dr. Jack Bayramyan, likes to call your Growth Positioning System.  

The planning process is a way of reverse engineering your vision into measurable goals and then developing a written plan with a clear understanding of the obstacles in your path, investments you need to make and the resources and capabilities you need to have to achieve these goals.  

For Your Dental Practice to Grow, first you Need a BHAG 

The steps laid out below are the exact steps that Dr. Jack used to develop and reach his BHAG or Big, Hairy Audacious Goal. The BHAG concept was developed by Jim Collins in his book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.  

One of the advantages of having a huge goal is that it gets you out of bed in the morning. We can utilize the Goldilocks effect here: your goal can’t be so small that it’s easily achievable and offers no excitement or challenge to you or your team; but it also can’t be so big that it’s seemingly impossible to achieve or too intimidating for your team to even think about. Your BHAG must be right.  

And you’ll know that your goal is just right when you can easily reverse engineer it and can build the roadmap to achieving it.  

BHAG for your Dental Practice

This image illustrates how you can break a goal down into achievable parts over time. This particular goal is for a multi-site practice. The BHAG is growing the practice to “Serving 50k patients in 3 years.” We break this goal down into yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals.

In order to achieve the daily goal of 65 appointments per practice, you can reverse engineer that to see how you’ll achieve it. Do you need more operatories? Do you need to hire more hygienists or associate dentists? Do you need to overhaul your patient management software?

And remember, you don’t want to create a goal that is so big it feels unachievable or so small that you and your team aren’t inspired or challenged. It should feel a little scary but not terrifying. The same goes for your resources. Don’t over-commit your resources or take on something that will cost you or your organization more than you can afford in time or money. That’s why a plan is necessary, it will help you see what is achievable and what might need to wait.

Your Dental Practice Strategic Plan 

Ok, so you’ve got your BHAG. Now what? Let’s look at the exact plan Dr. Jack followed to reach his goal. This is a breakdown of steps you need to take and questions you need to answer for your strategic plan.  

Clarify what you want to achieve in your Dental Practice 

Write down your measurable goals into a well- developed measurable scorecard to be shared with your team  

Set deadlines by breaking down your three-year goals into annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily objectives  

Identify and list all the obstacles in your path preventing you from reaching your goals and objectives 

List all the resources and capabilities you need to transform those obstacles into growth 

Organize your goals into a sequence of priorities  

Build an accountability structure for your team 

Assign a member of your leadership team to each role. Note that some leaders may have multiple roles 

Calculate the investments you need to make to acquire the resources and capabilities listed above  

The investment you make is a critical part of strategic planning. This investment is not only money, but your time and energy towards the commitment of achieving your BHAG and ultimately realizing your vision for your dental practice.  

Undermining the value of investments and confusing investments with expenses has been the greatest bottleneck to growth for many entrepreneurs and organizations. It’s a good rule of thumb to remember we must invest before we can unlock the benefits of growth.  

A New Vision for Growth for your Dental Practice 

Now that you’ve designed your strategic plan, you’re ready to execute. It’s a scary proposition to come up with a big goal, sell it to your team and get their buy-in and enthusiasm, gather the resources and then launch! In fact, it’s downright terrifying.  

But if you have a plan and you know how you will be getting from point A to point B, that is, as they say, half the battle. Having a goal, the roadmap to get there and the resources you will need to travel, is essential for success. But there is one more element you need in your tool belt: a mindset for growth and achievement.  

If you don’t believe that you can achieve what you’ve set out to do, no amount of money, energy or teammates will get you to your goal. Mindset is everything.   

One of my favorite writers is the athlete, David Goggins. He is a true inspiration and he has this to say on mindset and motivation,  

“If you want to master the mind and remove your governor, you’ll have to become addicted to hard work. Because passion and obsession, even talent, are only useful tools if you have the work ethic to back them up.” 

One of the best ways I know to remain steadfast in your goals, bust through your obstacles, find resources and community to keep you strong is a secret entrepreneurial tool called Masterminds.  

A mastermind is a group of peers that come together on a regular basis to work out their biggest challenges, share resources and lean on each other to get through the rough patches and celebrate the wins. It is the single most effective tool that an entrepreneur has in her entrepreneurial toolkit.

And you’re in luck! I run a regular mastermind exclusively for dentists. We get together regularly to discuss the biggest obstacles to growth that they’re facing in real time; share stories of inspiration; share resources and celebrate what’s working in their practices. It’s a wonderful community and we want you to be a part of our movement. Click the button to register for the next one and we’ll see you there!