1. S for Specific
If you do not have a clear plan of action to follow, how are you supposed to make it succeed? Let's say your overall goal is to attract more patients to your clinic. This is not a specific goal. Instead, it would be better to break it down into smaller targets that you know how to achieve. Take a look at some examples:
- To get new patients, I will run an advertising campaign on my clinic's Instagram and Google Search.
- In order to get more patient reviews on WhatClinic.com, I will remind patients of this opportunity after each treatment and will send reminders via email.
- To build a friendly and professional image of my clinic, I will plan a series of social media posts introducing individual staff members and highlighting their experience and skills.
It immediately sounds more specific, right? Learn more about How To Attract New Clients to Your Aesthetic Medicine Clinic?
2. M for Measurable
How will you know if your goal has been achieved? It is a good idea to include a specific number in your plan. This could be a concrete date, a sum of money, or the number of appointments booked per month. With this information, let's update our example goals.
- To get 5 new patients per month, I will run an advertising campaign on my clinic's Instagram and Google Search.
- In order to get 60% of my patients to leave reviews on WhatClinic.com, I will remind patients of this opportunity 5 days after each treatment and will send reminders via email.
- To build a friendly and professional image of my clinic, I will plan a series of 10 social media posts introducing individual staff members and highlighting their experience and skills. Read our article for more ideas for your clinic's social media content "What Type of Online Content Attracts New Medical Aesthetic Patients?".
If your goal is measurable, you will clearly see the progression and know when you have achieved success.
3. A for Achievable
“If there’s a will, there’s a way”- we would all like this to be true. However, in real business operations, there are often difficulties that may force you to put some of your goals on hold, whether because of financial limitations or other obstacles. Of course, it is good when your goal is challenging. Targets that require some effort will inspire the team to pursue them and give them satisfaction after completing the project. To stay motivated and implement a clear and positive change, however, make sure that your goal is achievable, in other words, check if you are able to make it a success with your current resources.
4. R for Relevant
In the previous paragraph, we mentioned a clear and positive change. This is what it means to make a relevant goal. Consider whether it will actually result in improvements for the entire clinic and whether now is the right time to implement it. It is also important to remember that this goal must relate to your own responsibilities. If you decide that your clinic’s goal is to provide better customer care and that the percentage of phone calls answered should be increased by 25%, this is really addressing the front desk assistant. Your goal may therefore be to provide communication training and raise awareness of the importance of efficient communication with potential patients. Learn from our article about 9 Tips on How to Improve Your Communication with Patients. Or you can simply delegate this area to a dedicated InDesk agent and focus your attention on other duties.
5. T for Time-bound
If you do not establish an end date for your goal, you may never achieve it, as daily responsibilities can push it into the background. Therefore, it is important to set a realistic completion date for your project and create a weekly or daily plan of activities that will contribute to it. Long-term goals can be more complex, and a good organisation will help you to remember all the necessary steps. It is helpful in organising your work without feeling tired or burnt out. These 6 Time Management Tips will help you do so.
Following the above steps will allow you to carefully plan your activities in order to achieve your goal. However, it is good to remember that not everything can be predicted and to leave yourself some flexibility if you find that your initial concept does not work out.
Does the S. M. A. R. T. method work for you, or do you tend to improvise more often?