Once you’ve crafted the vision for your pharmacy business, it is appropriate to move on to goal setting. In a nutshell, what do you need to focus on this year to move towards that vision?
Everyone knows what a goal is, however, a goal that's not written down is a wish. Similar to your vision, you have to be able to identify specifically what it is and have it written down so you can measure your progress against it. There are a couple of things in setting goals – some tips that really make a difference.
First, you’ll want to have a SMART goal; a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Specific means you have to determine what you want to accomplish. Most of us have some kind of a health and fitness goal. "I want to be healthier," is not a goal. You don't want to write down, "I want to be healthier." What does that mean? "I want to weigh" – what? "I want my blood pressure to be" – what? It needs to be very specific. We often hear, "I want to grow my business." Okay, "What?" "I want to grow it by five percent. But is that a five percent increase in profit or gross revenue, or both?
The goal also needs to be measurable - this will help you track the progress of your goal and let you know when you’ve accomplished it.
The goal needs to be attainable, not like a pie-in-the-sky. If it is a pie-in-the-sky, put it on your vision board and break it down to what chunk is obtainable in the next year.
Realistic, again, that you have the resources – you want to stretch with your goals, but at the same time you want to give yourself that sense that you can actually reach it. You need to increase your capability in order to reach your goals, but it's not like the pie-in-the-sky. Another thing to keep in mind is that if your team doesn’t see your goal as realistic, they’re not going to have the buy-in that you need which means they’re not going to be inspired and probably not even try.
You also need to be timely, you've got a time frame on when you're going to accomplish this.
The third piece is – this is really important – give your brain a number to focus on. Again, an example is, “I want to grow my business by ten percent.” You want to put what that ten percent translates into. If right now you have a $5 million business, and you want to grow your gross revenue by ten percent, that means you're striving for $5,500,000.00 gross revenue next year. You need to give your brain that number to work towards.
Whenever you're setting a goal, keep that in the back of your mind: What is my brain focusing on? Give it a specific target of what that goal looks like for you.
Similar to your vision statement, don't worry about writing the perfect goal, which is often a stumbling block for people. You can change your goals; after all, they are your goals. However, if you don't capture what you want to accomplish, you're not aligning your actions or decisions.
Neglecting this step will costing you resources, your energy, and your business’s financial means.
If you are worried about setting the right goals, again, this is an opportunity to work with your pharmacy-specific business coach. Have your coach help guide you in what are the best goals for you; what do you want to accomplish with your business, and then we can break it into a strategy. Don't get stuck worried that you're going to miss something because you can add it in at a different time.
Whether alone, with your accountant or with your coach, you should be reviewing your yearly goals at least once a quarter, and most members update their goals and vision board every year.
In our Setting the Stage for Growth with Vision and Goals for Your Independent Pharmacy webinar, we breakdown our Pharmacy Owner's One-Year Goals Exercise, Quarterly Action Plans and Controlling Calendars. Watch this video to access the business planning documents and jumpstart your goal setting process in 2012.