Goal-setting for 2013

The holidays are over, the kids are back in school, our clients are ready to re-focus on therapy. If your practice is like mine, this is one of the busiest times of year. (Luckily, it’s also one of the most productive times of year for me. Hope it is for you as well.)

But before you get all caught up in the hectic pace of seeing clients, writing notes, and updating your blog, take some quiet time to reflect on your practice, and decide where you’d like to see it grow in the next year. This is a guide I use each year, and I’m sharing it because it’s so helpful┬áto me.

I recommend you set aside 3 – 4 hours to really commit to the process. Start with a review of last year, and then use this information to set your goals for 2013. (I always handwrite this. Yes, I know its completely outdated, but there is something much more rewarding about sitting down with a blank sheet of paper and pencil in hand.)

Year in Review…

  1. How much did my practice earn in 2012? What was my goal for the year?
  2. How much did I personally earn in 2012? What was my goal for the year? (This is your income after the expenses of running your practice.)
  3. What were my top 3 sources of new clients?
  4. What new services did I offer during the year? How profitable were these?
  5. What new marketing/advertising did I try during the year? How profitable were these?
  6. How well did I stay connected with my clients? How many past clients returned to my for therapy?
  7. What was my referral strategy? How many new clients did I receive through referrals?
  8. Top three “wins” of 2012…
  9. Top three “lessons learned” of 2012…

The year ahead…

  1. What is my revenue goal for 2013?
  2. What is my goal for personal income in 2013?
  3. What are 3 new ways I will market my practice?
  4. What new services will I offer? How much income will these generate?
  5. What “keep-in-touch” strategies will I use to maintain existing relationships?
  6. What “word-of-mouth” strategies will I use to generate referrals?
  7. How will I differentiate myself from other therapists? What makes me unique?
  8. What do I need to improve to run my business (bookkeeping/office location/money management/etc.)?

For the past few years, I’ve spent about half my time running my private practice and the other half helping therapists build and market their own practices. I’ve learned that practice-building is lacking for so many psychotherapists, even something as basic as setting goals for the year. When I work with therapists, I start with questions like these, and often therapists have never developed a formal plan for marketing and practice-building.

Resolve to make this your year of change!