Rachel McMahon is a business coach working with private practices. Here, she shares her insights with Power Diary on developing a strategic plan to move your practice forward in 2022.
2021 is a year that will not be forgotten. It has been a challenge for many practices – from meeting the needs of your team, supporting clients and navigating the complexities of COVID.
As the year draws to a close, it is the ideal time to undertake an in-depth review of your business and plan for the future.
I am thrilled to offer you a simple, three-step process that will help you do this.
It is critical that you allocate time for reflection and planning. I recommend you consider your calendar over the next two months and identify three 60 minute blocks of uninterrupted time, one hour for each step. Schedule this in to ensure that you have quiet space and can focus.
Step 1: Reflect
Start your planning process by reflecting on what happened in 2021, your achievements, what you have enjoyed and how you will learn from this.
The reflection process is important for many reasons. Not only does it provide perspective and improve self-awareness and confidence, but it also helps facilitate the deeper level of learning and understanding that is needed for continuous improvement.
Take time to answer the following questions:
What have you achieved this year?
It is important to acknowledge your achievements and celebrate your success to help you maintain satisfaction in your business. This, in turn, impacts the energy you invest into the business, helps motivate staff and helps excite your clients. Consider all aspects of your business, not just finances. This might include new processes, staff changes or special projects you have embarked on.
What was in your control that you did well?
Identifying what you did well helps you learn and grow from your experiences. This helps you develop a formula for success.
What was outside of your control that impacted your success?
There will always be areas outside of your control that will impact your business and results. The unprecedented nature of 2021 had lots of additional challenges that no one could plan for. Whilst you can learn from these challenges, it is likely that there was not a lot you could have done to prepare for them, so be kind to yourself.
What have you learnt about yourself and your business?
Start to think about what you will take into the future.
Think of the year as a whole. Consider your personal achievements and then drill down into your business. To do a deep and thorough reflection, think about your business from different angles – the financials, the employees and people, clients, products and services, marketing, sales, technology, operations, community engagement and any other goals you may have had for your business.
Documenting your reflection will allow you to continue to celebrate your success, learn from this year, and plan for the next.
Step 2: Set Goals
As you look forward to 2022, an important part of your planning is goal setting.
Goal setting helps guide your focus, trigger new behaviours and start to develop a plan to achieve success.
Define what success looks like to you
Start by thinking about what you would like to achieve next year. What does success look like to you? Is it increased profits? More clients? More staff? The success that each individual strives for is very personal and is impacted by many facets including personal goals and values, life stage, business history, and client needs. What is important is being aware of what you want to achieve. When you set your goals, try to identify why each goal matters to you. Also, determine how your goals will be measured- that is how you will know when you have achieved your goals.
When you establish your goals, first think of what you want to achieve overall and any personal goals that are important to you. Next, think about your business. Consider it from different angles – the financials, the employees and people, clients, products and services, marketing, sales, technology, operations, community engagement and any other goals you have that do not fall into these categories.
Consider what you need to do to achieve this
Draw from your reflections and learnings in Step One to define what types of things you need to continue to do in order to be successful. Also, reflect on what you need to change. Are there things you need to start doing, stop doing or do differently?
Record your goals
Recording your goals and referring to them regularly will help you stay focused on achieving them.
Step 3: Develop an Action Plan
Once you have established your goals for the new year, the next step to ensure success is to develop an action plan.
The action plan is the plan you and your team can follow to meet your goals. It usually includes the steps (or actions), measures of progress, and timeline. It also lists who is responsible.
The trick to creating a successful action plan is making it ambitious enough to achieve your goals, but realistic enough that your business doesn’t overextend itself.
Determine what steps need to be taken
Review your goals for the new year and be clear on exactly what you want to achieve. Consider your current state and the gap you have to overcome to reach your goals. What do you need to do to get there? Start by thinking of each goal broadly so you understand the direction you need to take, and then break it down into smaller steps.
In a similar way to the previous exercises, start with your overall goals, any personal goals and then think about your business. Consider it from different angles – the financials, the employees and people, clients, products and services, marketing, sales, technology, operations, community engagement and any other goals you have that do not fall into these categories.
Document your thinking to form the first part of your plan.
Prioritise your actions
A big list can seem overwhelming. Review the list of actions you just compiled and start to consider how you will prioritise them. What steps are most important to achieve your goals? What steps will have the biggest impact? Looking at your list of actions, is there anything that can be removed?
Plan the finer details of each action
Think about when you will need to do each step. You will also need to determine whether it is something you can do, or whether you can delegate to your team.
These actions will form your operation plan for next year. Review the plan with your practice manager and practitioners to make sure they are on board and support you in progressing your plan and achieving the success you deserve.
The Private Practice Owner’s Three-Step Guide to Achieve Success in 2022
Complimentary Business Planning Workbook!
We have included the Business Planning Workbook to support you as you follow this planning framework. With a separate page for each step, this useful workbook can help you as you think through this process, document your progress and outline your plan.
We find that successful practices complete this activity annually and monitor their results each year. It is a wonderful way to keep track of how far you have come and where you are going.
Guest contributor Rachel McMahon is the Director of Business Coaching Works. With over 20 years of experience helping organisations improve business results and pioneer new levels of growth, Rachel helps business owners of established private practices by providing strategic business coaching and consulting services.
For a complimentary discussion about developing your business plan for 2022, contact Rachel.