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Making your 2021 goals

Did you hit your business goals in 2020? For many, I am sure the answer is no, since once the COVID-19 virus hit in March, your pharmacy pivoted quickly, and things changed from thriving to surviving. While the virus continues to not let up, it is still important to put goals together for your business this year if you have not already. Here are some tips for setting goals in 2021:

· Do a review of last year. What worked, what did not? Even as things changed, hopefully you adjusted your goals along the way. Look at each goal individually and evaluate why or why you did not meet that goal. Was the goal too lofty? Did you use the wrong marketing tactics to hit that goal?

· Get employee feedback. Your pharmacists, technicians, and support staff are an important part of your business succeeding. Ask them about your 2020 goals, and what you are wanting to focus on in 2021. They will feel valued that you care about their opinion.

· Do a SWOT analysis. Before writing your 2021 goals, do a SWOT analysis on your business. This tool, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats can help look beyond what you have done in the past and address threats or focus on opportunities that may be available. The first two address inside your business, while the other two are about your market. Click here to download a SWOT Analysis guide.

· Use SMART Goals. Often people use too broad of goals, so it is hard to know if we achieve them or not. For example, the goal of “I want new patients in 2021”, is too vague. It should be, I want to grow our new patient count by 15%. Here is a breakdown of putting SMART goals together:

o S – They are specific. You know exactly what you want to accomplish and include details of what, when, and how. The more specific your description, the bigger the chance you will get exactly that. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting clarifies the difference between ‘I want to be a millionaire’ and ‘I want to get 15 more patients a month for the next ten years by developing a diabetes program’.

o M – They are measurable. This allows you to assess your progress. Goals that cannot be measured, cannot be managed. You’ll need concrete evidence. Being happier is not evidence; going from $10 per month in revenue to $10,000 by cutting expenses, streamlining revenue, and implementing time saving technologies is.

o They are attainable. It is important that your goals are within reach. Aiming too high will demotivate and frustrate you, more than help. Take the time to weigh the effort, time and other costs your goal will take against the profits and the other obligations and priorities you have in life. If you do not have the time, money or talent to reach a certain goal – you will almost certainly fail.

o R – They are relevant. The goals you set need to matter to you and your company. Irrelevant goals only lead to distractions from those that are more important. You and your staff must be able to clearly understand the positive outcomes that will result for the pharmacy by achieving these goals. If you are lacking certain skills, you can plan training. If you lack certain resources, you can look for ways of getting them. The main questions, why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind the goal, and will this goal really achieve that?

o T – They are time framed. All your goals need to have deadlines to prevent the desire to procrastinate. Make a tentative plan of everything you do. Everybody knows that deadlines are what make most people take action. Install deadlines, for yourself and your team, and go after them. Keep the timeline realistic and flexible, that way you can keep morale high. Being too stringent on the timely aspect of your goal setting can have the effect of achieving your goals and objectives into a race against time.

· Do a Brand Review. It is important each year to look at your brand, i.e. interior/exterior first impressions, marketing materials, website, social media, etc. to see if anything needs to be updated. Ask your employees what your brand means to them? It may be something completely different than what you think. Do you need to do any updates to your brand? If so, incorporate brand changes into your goals.

Setting goals is an important component for any business owner. Remember that they are fluid and should be reviewed often. They can help you achieve stay on track and grow your business in 2021. If you need any assistance putting goals together, reach out to us today!

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