The importance of STRATEGIC PLANNING

If you don’t know what you want, how are you going to get it?

The importance of STRATEGIC PLANNING

Strategic planning is a process for aligning a business’s mission and vision with its goals and objectives.  If you don’t know where you want to be, not only will it be hard to get there, but it will also be difficult for someone to follow your lead.  

There are many ways to organize and conduct a strategic planning session.  These are the 7 steps that have worked well for our clients.    

Step 1: Review your mission and vision for your organization and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are the mission and vision for the organization still relevant?
  • Are we using the mission and vision as a compass to direct us when making decisions for the business?

Remember, your mission and vision should NOT SAY what you WILL DO but what you currently do.  Remove words such as “try to”, “strive to”, “aim to” and say what you are currently doing.  It should be more of a declaration and a promise than an action plan to achieve.  

Step 2: Involve your team in completing a SWOT ANALYSIS of your business.

       What are our strengths?

       What are our weaknesses?

       What opportunities are we missing out on?

       What is threatening our practice?  

There are no stupid answers as each person’s feedback is valuable to the success of the practice.  Have each department complete one – clinical, business, marketing, accounting, and providers.  That way you will have a wide variety of information to go on. 

Step 3: Ask your team their queen for a day wishes.  

  • If you owned the practice, what changes would you make?
  • What would make you want to refer more friends and family to our office?
  • If someone gave you a large chunk of money to spend on the practice, where would you spend it?
  • What motivates you the most?  (Bonuses. Benefits, Additional days off… etc.)

Studies about generations in the workplace all show that employees want to feel valued, want to contribute, and they want constant feedback.  Making their feedback a priority will help them feel a part of the office on a higher level.  

Step 4: Complete a Broken Windows Broken Business Assessment with your team.

If you have never read the book Broken Windows Broken Business by Michael     Levine, I highly recommend that you read it.  Review your practice from an outsider’s perspective.  Walk around your practice, look at your website, sit in your chairs, and even review any papers that are being given to your patients.  

Provide your team with a blank worksheet that looks something like this:

Items that need attention

$0 Items


Under $500 items

Over $500 items

Wash the baseboards in the reception area

Use the touch up paint in the reception area

Repair the chair in Op 2 that is ripped

Pick up the cigarette butts that are outside of the office

Pressure wash the outside of the building to get the cobwebs off

Shred all the old charts and get them out of the office

Clean the dead bugs from the lights



Please consider this a treatment plan for your practice and don’t take it personally.  Often, we don’t even walk in the front door often enough to know  Some items might be hard to take but most are simple fixes that will increase the overall appearance of the practice for your patients.  By conducting this exercise before your strategic plan, it will allow you to set time frames and goals for those projects.  

 Step 5: Now that you know where you are, let’s determine where you want to go!

Get ready for the day:  

  • The easiest way to look at things on timelines is to get large sticky poster board size papers and put them up all around the room.  Label them Q1 – 2024, Q2 2024, Q3 2024, Q4 2024, 2025, 2026
  • Bring your KPI’s with you as a reference.
  • Bring your P & L with you as a reference.
  • Have your leadership team available for the exercise without interruptions.

Step 6: Let’s GO!

The timelines are on the walls.  Take each objective for 2024 and add it to the selected.  Just lay out the groundwork first so that it can be visual and balanced.  

Ask yourself:  Where should our KPI’s be now, next quarter and so on.  

Which of the items on the repairs list should be completed and when.  

What items are high priority threats that we need to work on right away?

What opportunities are we missing that we need to take?

Where do these items fit in our budget?

You are creating a high-level roadmap for your office and hopefully the mission and vision are the compass that will guide you to success.  

Step 7: Prioritize, Delegate, Execute, and Evaluate  

Where do we start and who needs to do what?  Look at people’s job descriptions as well as their talents to delegate tasks.  Make clear deadlines and allow them to ask questions about the tasks that are assigned.  

Fully commit and have your team on board with the plan to see the best success.  

Accountability of these tasks will be imperative to the success of the strategic plan.  Monthly meetings that specifically address your objective should be conducted and make sure to celebrate your successes along the way!  

Sometimes, your strategic plan needs to be adjusted.  You may accomplish things early and can move items from quarter to quarter.  Evaluate what is working and what is not and determine the next steps.  Do you have the right team on board for you to achieve your goals?  You may see people elevate their skills or decide that their internal compass is pointing in a different direction.  Constant communication is essential.  Clear communication + clear expectations will deliver the best results.  

Here is to a fun-filled, action-packed, goal-achieving year for you and your practice!