In the last post of our seven-part blog series on practice management, we discussed techniques for assessing your practice and how to use those techniques to set goals. These topics are essential ground to cover if you’re working toward fine-tuning your practice, and they pave the way for the next step: turning your goals into actionable tasks.
Making the leap from talking about goals to taking action is a big step and there are a number of factors you need to consider before jumping in. Taking action is your goal, so the most important factor is to make sure that you have the capacity to tackle each required task.
To start, make sure that you separate goals from tasks. It’s an important distinction to make and one that will help you more clearly envision what you want to do and what you need to do. Think of it this way: goals and metrics are things that you cannot completely control, but activities and tasks are what you have direct control over. That’s not to say that goals and metrics are any less important than tasks and activities—they’re simply different, and you have the ability to adjust and modify your tasks to meet your goals and improve key business metrics.
As you look at your overall list of goals, pull out one or two that you’d like to start working toward as soon as possible. Once you have established these goals, it’s time to start creating strategies, tactics and tasks that will move you toward achieving your objectives.
For instance, if one of your goals is to increase assets under management by $50 million prior to December 2012, there are several strategies you could pursue:
- Acquire another practice;
- Deepen wallet share with existing clients
- Acquire new clients
Of these three strategies, you would need to focus on just one, and which one would depend on the nature and characteristics of your practice. The assessment you’ve just done, and which we covered in the last post, can be a valuable resource in making that decision.