Setting SMART Goals to Grow Your Practice

Growing your business starts with understanding where you are currently situated in the marketplace. The 2016 dental statistics, compiled by a team of BerganKDV accountants, provide a comparison for dentists to analyze how their practices stack up with their peers. For more than 30 years, dentists and orthodontists have provided data on their practice operating costs and revenue to BerganKDV. This data is compiled into a report showing average income before owner compensation and expense categories as a percentage of collections.

Once you have a strong understanding of where your practice is at, the next step is figuring out how to improve upon your current situation. One way to do this is by setting SMART goals. The SMART acronym stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and trackable.

Specific – with a general goal, like attracting new patients or collecting more, there is no way of knowing how to score where you are at. Specific goals should be set for things such as dentist and hygienist production, cash flow, marketing, continuing care and expenses.

Measurable – this seems relatively obvious, but there are some qualitative goals that are much harder to measure than quantitative ones. Staff morale and customer satisfaction are examples of more qualitative goals that require some extra thought. Good options for these types of goals can be things like satisfaction surveys and regular meetings with staff to discuss how things are going.

Attainable – this is where using your dental statistics can come into play. By looking at where you are currently at, you can set attainable and realistic goals from that baseline. You also need to think about what systems or staff processes you will need to potentially put into place to achieve the goal. Oftentimes, dentists invest in the latest technology and then figure out how they will make it profitable. Dentists need to critically analyze how a new technology or procedure will benefit the practice before making the investment.

Relevant – while looking at how you stack up with your peers is an important consideration, be careful that what you are looking at is relevant to your organization’s long-term goals. Some expense categories may be more important to others for a specific dentist. If your practice focuses on a specific niche, such as Invisalign or cosmetic cases, be sure your goals match up with those specific areas.

Trackable – lastly, you need to make sure you can easily monitor the goals set by you and your team for them to remain relevant. Some ways to monitor these results could include: generating reports from your practice management software and survey results from patient about their experiences. It will be easy to see where you are finding success and also uncover areas that need to be improved to get better results. Based on those results, you can begin your next round of SMART goals.

To learn more about how the 2016 dental statistics compiled by the BerganKDV team can help you set SMART goals, contact Jamie Katz at

CATEGORIES: Dental | Healthcare and Dental
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