Secrets To Bringing An Entrepreneurial Edge To Your Practice

Start Page: 62
David Helfman, DPM

Addressing Short-Term And Long-Term Priorities And Issues

Question 5: What is your three-year picture? Paint a vivid picture of what the practice looks like three short years from now. Again, take a simplified approach to strategic planning, which will ultimately be much more effective. Define the future date and then predict your revenue, profit and key measurable data for the year ending on that future date. Then add five to 15 bullet points to paint that picture of what the practice looks like. That way, in your mind’s eye, everyone on the team is seeing the exact same thing.

   This will accomplish two things. Once you clearly see your three-year picture and where you are going, you are more likely to get there. Secondly, being that clear enables you to better establish discipline and accountability with the “traction” component, and do much better one-year planning.

   Question 6: What is your one-year plan? Again, set the future date and predict your revenue, profit and measurable data for the year. Then determine the three to seven most important things that must occur in the next year to be on track with achieving everything in your three-year picture. Do not focus on everything because you actually achieve less when you try to do too much.

   Question 7: What are your priorities? With the one-year plan now clear, focus on what really matters in the next 90 days of the practice’s life. What are the three to seven most important priorities to accomplish to be on track with achieving everything in the one-year plan? The team comes together each quarter, reviews the past performance and vision, gets back on the same page and then determines what absolutely must happen in the next 90 days. This keeps the entire organization laser focused, gaining much more traction.

   Question 8: What are your issues? What are the obstacles, barriers, problems, concerns and opportunities that need to be removed or capitalized on to achieve your vision? In an open and honest environment, staff should enumerate these and add them to the issues list. Address these issues in quarterly meetings.

Final Notes

Answering the eight questions initially gets the practice’s leadership team 100 percent on the same page. If you privately surveyed all your doctors and leadership team, and asked what the vision is, you would probably get a different variation of the vision from each person so the idea is to get the entire team seeing eye to eye.

   If you have 40 people in your practice, 40 out of 40 need to share your vision and their actions must perpetuate the vision. To the degree everyone’s energy in your practice is going in one direction, the practice will get there faster because everyone is focused in the same direction.

   Dr. Helfman is the CEO and founder of Village Podiatry Centers in Atlanta. For more information on implementing this model in your practice, one may contact the author at (404) 509-5454 or via e-mail at


1. Wickman G. Traction: Get a grip on your business. EOS Publishing, Livonia, Mich., 2007.

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