Gifts aren’t the only things that need to be wrapped up this time of year – with only a handful of weeks left in 2017, ’tis the season for your practice to dot your i’s, cross your t’s, and tie up all necessary loose ends in order to bring the year to a successful and complete close. Between coordinating holiday time-off schedules, conducting reviews, and tackling end-of-year data processing, there’s plenty to do before you’re ho-ho-home free.
We don’t want you to forget anything, and we also don’t want you to stress, so we created this list (and checked it twice ?) of 8 steps to a successful year end for your practice. Get yourself a cup of coffee, get to reading, and #GetErDone!
1. Review the Past Year’s Performance
Before everyone parts ways for the holidays, get your team together and find out how you measured up against last year’s goals. Assess the areas where you met or exceeded your business benchmarks, and after taking a moment to celebrate your success, discuss how you can replicate those winning strategies in the coming year. You’ll also need to take time to talk about any areas where you fell short, and why. This isn’t a time for accusations and excuses, but for open and honest communication with the shared goal of bettering your practice.
2. Set Goals for Next Year
After you review your performance from the past year, spend time creating new goals for 2018 – the more specific the better. Everyone wants to grow…how much do you want to grow? By what percentage are you looking to increase your patient base? What chunk of your operating budget will you be putting towards marketing? Set goals for your practice, goals for your team and culture, and individual goals. Of course, incentives never hurt! Potential “perks” of hitting your business benchmarks include a special trip, a fancy team dinner, gift cards, and monetary bonuses.
3. Inform Patients of Holiday Hours
Most businesses have a fluctuation in their regular business hours around the holidays, and there’s nothing worse than leaving your patients in the lurch when it comes to those changes. In this instance, the more places the information is communicated, the better:
- Set aside some prime real estate on your website’s homepage to display holiday hours of operation. Add these details to your contact page as well.
- Post holiday hours on social media pages. Pin the post to the top of your Facebook page.
- Post signage inside and outside your office.
- Add holiday hour information to your email signature.
- Update your practice’s voicemail.
- Tell people! Have your office manager communicate this information in-person.
In all of these communications, don’t forget to close the loop by sharing when regular business hours will resume.
4. Consider Keeping Doors Open for Holiday Dental Emergencies
Holiday favorites like candy apples, toffee popcorn, and nut brittle can be dangerous for teeth. And while it probably doesn’t sound like a bowl full of cherries to be working when others aren’t, the truth of the matter is that being open for emergency dental procedures over the holidays can be very lucrative for your practice. (Plus, pulling a disappearing act in someone’s time of need can leave a bitter taste in a patient’s mouth.) According to Howard Farran of Dentaltown Magazine, “Emergency treatment equates to big bucks. Emergency patients who come in almost always equal or offset patients who no-show, cancel, or didn’t bring their money.” So, if you’re looking for a revenue boost to close out the year, take this into consideration!
5. Preschedule Social Media Posts
You may be planning to enjoy some much deserved time-off, but an extended absence on your otherwise active social media platforms can be confusing to followers. Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you log on to Facebook on Christmas morning just to share a link to an article about flossing. Instead, preschedule a handful of holiday tidings and set them to go live on the dates and times of your choosing. This is easier than ever on Facebook, which now has a free scheduling feature. There are also a host of free or low-cost social scheduling tools available. If you’d rather spend your holidays creating hash browns than hashtags, get in touch with our RevenueWell team. They’d be happy to manage your social media marketing for you!
6. Don’t Stress About End-Of-Year Processing
The team at our Patterson Technology Center wants to help make your end-of-year processing process as smooth, efficient, and stress-free as possible. To help with this, they are providing several resources for your convenience. For you independent types, we offer a self-guided assist. For those seeking more guidance, we’ll be hosting end-of-year processing webinars throughout the month, as well as extended holiday customer support hours. Have you tried our live chat feature? It’s the quickest way to reach us this time of year! You can find additional details on all of the services mentioned above, by using this link.
7. Download an End-Of-Year Checklist
Remember those webinars we mentioned? Each event will review available resources to assist with the end-of-year preparation and processing of your Eaglesoft data. These resources include step-by-step videos, instructional documents, and free checklists! Ultimate peace of mind = checking off all the items on a checklist. Take a look at all of the available days and times, and register for the webinar the works best for you here.
The best way to ensure a successful transition from the end of one year to the beginning of the next, is to bring your best self to work. Use your holiday time off to relax and recharge, and you’ll start the new year with a clear mind and renewed focus and motivation. Set your out-of-office message, sip some soothing cocoa, snap pictures of your pets dressed in ugly sweaters, warm your toes by a crackling fire, and hug your loved ones tight.
Is your practice prepared for a successful and stress-free year end? What are some of your business goals for next year? Is there anything we can help with, or take off your plate? Let us know in the comments below!