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10 Ways to Prepare for the New Year

Now is the perfect time to be thinking about how to leverage your business for 2012. It's time to start thinking strategically about the year ahead.

Here's a list of 10 steps you can take right now that will pay dividends in the next year:

1. You are responsible for the direction of your business. Now is the time to revisit your life goals, your purpose, your innermost driving force. The E-Myth Physician calls your Primary Aim. Your Primary Aim is about leading a life that is consistent with your core values and beliefs. With a solid Primary Aim, you will build a business that serves and supports your life. Does your Primary Aim still "ring true?" Are you satisfied that you are remaining faithful to your best self?

2. If you don't know where you're going, you'll never get there! Think about what your business will look like when it is fully developed. This is what we refer to as the Strategic Objective for your business. With a clearly defined Strategic Objective, everything your company and your employees do will move the company toward that vision. What strategies could you develop for the following year that will get you that much closer to your Strategic Objective?

3. Look at the numbers. What are the statistics you can measure that will tell you if you are on track to achieve your Strategic Objective? We call these Key Strategic Indicators. It's critical to the health of your business that you fully understand and use these indicators. Which indicators do you want to focus on next year? Which indicators-if systemized-will help achieve next year's goals?

4. Meet with your accountant. Set up an appointment to review earnings and projected profit/loss for your business. Consider tax-minimizing strategies like: an advance payment of next year's bills, or equipment purchases. Will you pay year-end bonuses? What about IRA accounts?

5. Budget, budget, budget. Budgeting requires you to think about your basic objectives, systems and resources on a regular basis. It keeps you current with what's really going on. It's critical that you establish a budget for next year. You could even plan quarterly budgets, to allow for a more detailed view of your revenues and spending.

6. Cash is king. Cash is to your business what fuel is to your car-if you run out, you stop. Build a cash plan that will help meet your goals. Just like with the budget, you might want to identify quarterly cash plans to allow for a micro view.

7. Work on your time management. Start to plan your strategic work for the year. Build a strategic calendar by booking appointments with the necessary people (including yourself-see #8) who will help you reach your new goals. Make an effort to book and confirm your meeting schedule through at least the first quarter of the new year.

8. Schedule strategic business development work. This may sound a lot like #7, but I'm trying to make a point here. You absolutely must schedule strategic time with yourself, if you want your business to survive and thrive. Are you a better strategic thinker in the mornings or in the afternoons? What days of the week are you more likely to get strategic work done? Be sure to allow yourself enough time for any "catch up" work.

9. Create a to-do list for next week. Taking the fist step is often the hardest. So why not start now with a to-do list for Monday through Friday. Jump start that first week with a clear commitment to change.

10. Set your goals for 2012. After you have reviewed and completed the nine steps above, determine which goals you need to complete in the next year. How many patients/sales do you need to reach your revenue goals? How many prospective patients do you need to talk to in order fill your appointment book? How many advertisements do you need to do in order to get that many prospects? How many systems do you need in your business to reach your goals? Which ones? Prioritize your needs and your actions based on the Strategic Objective for your business. Make a personal commitment to reaching your goals and taking the necessary actions by scheduling what needs to be done and by when.

Remember; this is a golden opportunity to start fresh in the new year. Make a commitment to yourself to make 2012 your best yet.

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This article is from the business coaches as  They offer courses for physicians and write a "must have" book for all physician entrepreneurs, The E-myth Physician

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