When the end of the calendar year comes around, there’s usually so much to celebrate. And not just your typical holidays like Christmas, Hanukkah, and the New Year. Whether your business boomed or stayed the same over the past year, you’re able to celebrate everything your team has accomplished and look ahead to next quarter.
In the midst of celebrating another great year, it’s easy to forget to plan for the next. Do you have everything you need to plan for 2023? As a small business owner, it’s beneficial to schedule time to gather your team together and set goals for the coming year.
You’ve probably done that before, but are you doing it the right way?
In this blog, we’ll give you everything you need to execute a great end-of-year planning session, so you and your team will walk away with actionable goals and a vision for what 2023 will be like for your business.
What Do I Need for End of Year Business Planning?
To start your end of year business planning, the first thing you’ll need is a big cup of coffee (or egg nog, to keep the season bright!) Looking back at last year and ahead to the next is a lot of work and takes a lot of brain power, but with the right information and tools available, you can paint a clear picture of where you’re headed for your employees. Here are a few more things you will want to have handy during your planning session (or sessions.)
Profit and Loss Statements
Print out profit and loss statements for every month of the past year. At Every Single Bean, we actually recommend going back 18 or even 24 months, just to get a thorough picture of how your business has grown and what trends you see each month. Finding trends in your business is important. They can help you forecast what the following year will look like.
Electronic Medical Record (EMR)
Have your EMR on hand so you can quickly look up patient information. The information you’ll need for your planning sessions includes how frequently your patients visit, who your “best patients” are, and how long they’ve been coming to your practice.
Your Top 5 Services
Bring a list of your top 5 (or even 10, depending on how large your practice is) services that you provide to your patients. These will be the services that have seen the most growth in the last year, either in revenue generation or in the number of patients served.
Walk into your planning meeting with a clear vision of what you want your practice to become. This can include your 1, 3, and 10 year goals and the traction you’ve made toward those goals in the last year.
Generate a list of all your employees, how much they are paid, and how much revenue they brought in over the year. (If you haven’t picked up on this already, you’ll need a lot of lists for your planning session!)
Examine the ways you’ve generated more revenue over the last year—for many small doctor offices, this is often word-of-mouth or referrals, but can also include social media or other paid ads like billboards or magazine advertisements. Then, consider what new types of promotion you’ll need in order to grow.
Who Should Be in the Room With Me?
While it’s important to unite your whole team in your strategy and planning, the first thing you should do is think through the process yourself. Take a few hours or even an entire day to consider your vision, your goals, and your journey. Doing this can help you get a high-level idea of where your business is headed before you begin in-depth planning.
Then, fill in key employees who will help make this vision happen. You don’t necessarily have to invite all your employees to the year-end planning meeting, but by the end of the year, everyone should be aligned on where the business is going and what they can do to advance your vision.
How Should I Set Expectations?
When setting expectations, always keep in mind the kind of practice you’re trying to build. Then, you can create a working plan for your employees. Setting the right expectations also means that you will be ready for seasons of growth and seasons of preparation. The next year could be a year of immense growth, or it could be one where your practice is positioning itself for more growth. That might mean spending more money on promoting your business next year instead of relying on word-of-mouth, or using part of the year to upgrade your equipment or services. Trust the process and know that not every month, quarter, or year is going to be a hugely successful one.
Getting Started: Review The Last Year
Before you look ahead, you have to look back. Understanding trends, what went right, and what went wrong over the past year can help you plan well for 2023. That includes putting together your tax documents and reconciling your accounts before tax season. Whatever bookkeeping service you use as a business can help you put those together, but if you need extra help, our team at Every Single Bean specializes in tax preparation!
Once everything is ready for tax season, take a look at Every Single Bean’s year-end planning worksheet. In it, you’ll have everything you need to summarize the past year, including:
- Revenue: Where your revenue came from over the past year, how much revenue was created by each patient and the lifetime value of patients.
- Leads: Where your leads came from over the past year, and how many of them became your patients.
- Most profitable services: Which of your services were the most popular over the past year.
- Employees: The amounts your employees are paid vs. how much revenue they produce.
Put all of this information in one place, like in a spreadsheet, and use it to create a snapshot of where your business currently stands and what it might need to grow.
The Meat and Potatoes: Preparing for Next Year
Now that you have the documents you need and have taken the time to think through the plan yourself, here comes the fun part—actually preparing for the next year. There are two important things you need for meetings like these (other than that big cup of coffee we talked about earlier): You’ll need time and you’ll need your team.
- Time: Set aside a day or two to build your plan. Having more time to plan is better than less. That way, when you close the office for the holiday break and come back for the New Year, you and your team are refreshed and ready to take on Q1.
- Team: Your team needs to be on the same page as you while you prepare for next year. That means you need to show them everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly of your business. Don’t be afraid to show your employees the real numbers. Even if your numbers weren’t great in the last year, the information can help you and your employees set measurable goals and have a shared vision for the next year.
Assess Last Year’s Goals
Last year at around this time, you probably set goals for 2022. Now that 2022 is almost over, where do those goals stand? Did you meet and exceed them…or did you forget about them?
In this planning meeting, review the goals you set as a team for the year. It’s even better if you’ve kept track of these goals every quarter and made sure you were on target. If not, that’s okay, but it’s something to remember for 2023.
What Should My Employees Walk Away With?
After your planning session, your employees should have an actionable plan that includes to-dos for them to work on throughout the year, along with key performance indicators (KPIs) to make sure those goals stay on track. For example, one of your naturopathic doctors wants to have 10 new patients by the end of 2023. That means he’ll need to take on at least 2-3 new patients every quarter. In a quarterly meeting, he can report how many new patients he has and stay accountable for his goal.
When you’re setting goals for the next year, use the worksheet you started when preparing for year-end planning. If you have a 3- or 5-year plan, look at that too. Long-term plans can help you set up a trajectory for the year to come.
Maybe your 3-year goal is to open another office across town. Use the year-end worksheet to help you plan for this goal in the new year. It can help you answer questions like:
- Why do you have this business goal?
- How will this goal serve our clients?
- How will your clients notice you?
- Why do your clients need to notice you?
Work through the planning sheet with your team and decide what needs to be done in the next year in order to reach both your short and long-term goals.
Once you have plans set in place, how do you know they’re going to work? At Every Single Bean, we value the input of people we trust. We may be bookkeeping experts, but we invite other experts into conversations about running our business. Usually, these people are friends who run successful businesses of their own. If you’re going to go this route, make sure you talk to people you trust and can talk about the real questions with. Don’t just talk to someone who will sugarcoat the truth or tell you something you want to hear—otherwise, your business won’t grow.
As people who have run a business for a long time, we at Every Single Bean can tell you honestly that not every tactic, strategy, or goal will work out. And that’s okay. In our history, we’ve tried a lot of things that didn’t work, and those things cost time and money. What matters is that you make smart, calculated decisions for your business, and even if your decisions don’t pan out in the long run, they will help you figure out what will work in the future.
Need Help Planning Your Next Move?
We get it—running a business is hard, and planning for the future is even harder. Don’t let the challenges of planning for next year steal the joy of running a business with a team you love. Let Every Single Bean help you start 2023 on the right foot. We’ll partner with you to make sure you have everything you need for an awesome year!