The banking crisis is just the latest ‘unintended consequence’ of the problematic decisions being made by forces beyond your control by Governments and Financial Institutions. They are the result of short-term strategies trying deal with long-term, systemic problems. In this case, it’s the cumulative effect of too much printed money, encouraging bad consumer and businessbehaviors, and a changing workforce demographic and culture.
Have you seen it? Younger people seem to want to spend plenty of time on social media, complaining and gathering followers and likes, work for causes, but not for income. In many States, people who do not work can receive benefits that total more than the typical dental employee makes.
What’s a dental practice owner to do?
It’s hard not to act like the Government and Financial Institutions and NOT focus on the short term. It’s hard to dig into the systemic causes behind a problem and implement changes that might require delayed gratification. So many people today are immediate gratification junkies.
This situation is just another bullet point that DSO’s use to entice frustrated dentists to throw their arms up and hand over the keys. Good riddance! Headache gone!
But it’s often not the case. “The grass is always greener”, applies here too.
For some, especially if the DSO is well funded, fiscally sound, and philosophically in tune, it might be a good move. But it’s not the only one!
There are options!
UPLEVEL YOUR TEAM TRAINING
Many offices grew organically, meaning they started small and grew as the word got out that they helped people. That’s the way it should be. But when practices are small, less than $500K in revenue, it also has a small team, 2-4 people.
As practices grow, they hire more people. But because there’s often not a training or onboarding process, people are trained by others in the practice. The result? Well meaning, often hard-working team members who aren’t getting the results they should.
And no one knows, because no one has the KPI’s to keep score of each team member’s performance.
The only number most dentists have at the tips of their tongues is their gross revenue. How does a huge number like that resound with a team member making one-tenth, or less of that? They can’t relate.
Imagine a baseball team looking at the final score and not knowing how their runs were generated and by whom? That’s how most organically grown dental practices are.
Give your team the training they need from experts in their field. Be it phone training, case-presentation, financial presentation, or customer service, these are not skills people are born with. They need training that is consistent with the practice’s values, vision, and mission.
REFINE YOUR MARKETING
Most practices suffer from marketing rollercoaster syndrome. They either do episodic marketing or hire someone to do it and then forget about it. Either of these are not cost effective and result is diminishing or inconsistent results.
Your marketing should be consistent, and constantly reviewed. Again, like team member performance, it should be scored and monitored for effectiveness. What worked last year, may no longer work today.
That’s very true when economic uncertainty, political unrest and global crisis make people more reluctant to spend money on what they perceive as ‘optional’.
Today, your marketing should be fine-tuned to speak to your ideal patient/prospect, get into the conversation they’re having in their heads and offer your help to resolve their problems, even if they don’t know they have one. That’s effective marketing in a nutshell.
When an organic practice grows, marketing is either neglected, done by the person who enjoys posting on social media or by the Doctor, whose time is now spent being a producer (as it should be).
GET THE RIGHT HELP
When a practice grows organically, blind spots develop. Dentists can’t be expert at all the things required to run a business. While growing, the focus is, as it should be, on patient care.
Building a board of advisors, having a mentor, getting a coach are all ways to help avoid blind spots. People such as attorneys, accountants, hr specialists, financial advisors and others can be leaned upon for advice and guidance.
Things as simple as communication between the team was easy when there were just a few. As more people were added, the hallway meetings were no longer effective. Cliques might have formed and other culture busting behaviors manifested. The result…DRAMA!
Often, the producer/doctor/owner is the last person to see the pathology. Until, the results manifest. By then, it’s become a morass of maladjustment, an entanglement of emotion and a financial fiasco.
An outsider’s view can help spot such blind spots before they fester and erupt.
Think like a doctor. How often does a patient come in complaining of one thing but your examination reveals much more? Who is examining your practice?
Don’t wait for symptoms to appear. Don’t wait and put a band-aid on them. Diagnose the cause and make the modifications that will give you a better, longer-lasting and effective result. Isn’t that what you would tell a patient? Well doctor…practice what you preach. Get and expert’s analysis.
For those who incorporate dental sleep and TMJ therapies in their practices, there are few such ‘experts’.
FB groups are great avenues for discussing cases, and trouble-shooting minor practice issues. They’re not great for dealing with practice-specific systemic issues.
One of the simplest, fastest and least expensive ways to begin the processes of uplevelling training, refining marketing and getting ‘expert’ advice is to join The Liberated Practice Progam.
This program has resources for you and the entire team that can be used to both analyze and increase individual and total practice performance.
BUT… it’s like a gym membership. It won’t accomplish anything if it’s not used. So please, unless you’re truly committed to long-term improvement, don’t waste your money. Growing a practice takes more than just producing more dentistry. It requires a solid, growth-supporting foundation that can only be built with intention, time, effort, and expertise.
Few dentists are born with the expertise required for practice building. Few plan for growth, though it’s their desire. Get advice from those who have been to where you want to go. Start by joining The Liberated Practice Progam.
See you in the Organic Garden of Dental Practice,
P.S. When you join, you immediately receive access to the member vault containing over $10,000 worth of resources, including trainings, videos, and books.