But wait..planning is not enough
Everyone knows the old phrase "To fail to plan, is planning to fail", and there are numerous resources and articles out there that can guide you in the planning process and help you formulate a plan for any aspect of your business. There is, however, an important step that many people overlook in implementing their plan, meaning their carefully created plan can sit for months without any action!
The missing step is the transfer of the goals and action outcomes identified in the plan, onto your everyday "To Do List". Before we look at how we can complete this step, let's have a quick refresher on goals and objectives:
The goals outlined in your plan should adhere to the SMART principle (you may have come across this acronym before) - they should be:
Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time based
An example could be:
To increase existing client knowledge of the falls prevention program we run for seniors
We would like two-thirds of our clients to be aware of this program when surveyed
We will share information regarding the program through our newsletter, a printed "Did you know?" statement on client invoices, and through therapist referral
A staff meeting or simple consultation will ensure this goal is realistic and attainable for administrative staff (editing invoices) and therapists (referring clients)
The time frame will be 2 months at which time a client survey will be circulated to measure outcome
Now, this is a great goal, but what next? At a quick glance, we can identify several individual tasks that relate to this goal - creation of survey, staff meeting, design of advertising material, etc. The key is to ensure all the tasks within your goal are segmented according to the estimated time of completion and transferred to a daily "To Do List"! Here is a simple graphics to help you understand this important step:
It seems like such a simple step, but it is so often overlooked, meaning the prioritising of daily business tasks is often flawed as there is no alignment between business goals and the overall business plan.
Here is a suggestion: consider keeping your goal action plan with segmented tasks near your daily/weekly "To Do List" to ensure you schedule tasks in where possible/appropriate. This vital step will ensure you do not get caught up in the daily running of your allied health business, only to then find your valuable, hard worked on the plan at the bottom of your "in" tray at the end of the year!