Everything Dental Blog May 2019

A Little Help Goes a Long Way

I have amazing clients. Most of them produce more than similar practices of their size (both FFS and PPO) in the same community. I have several clients that are growing rapidly and learning to manage the complications inherent with multi-site ownership and management. I have a few emerging DSO clients that are accelerating their growth. They are focused on M&A, recruitment, operational efficiency and cash flow. Over forty percent of my clients average more than 25 new patients a month. My clients Arestin utilization is amongst the highest in the nation which speaks to our focus on Perio. 95% of my clients adopted digital radiography by 2008 because we knew it was inevitable and decided to lead and not follow. I am grateful and very proud to have such an elite group of clients.

One could deduct from such a wonderful client base that I am either very lucky, very smart or very talented. The truth is that my success can be attributed to hard work, account selection and a challenging personality. My best work is getting someone to believe in themselves. When I hear someone say, “I think this could work”. “I hope everything falls in place”. “Maybe we’ll get lucky”. It makes me nuts! I know what it takes to buy, operate and grow a business. Anyone can do it with the right help. It takes people, processes and leadership, not hopes and prayers.

I stated that most of my clients outperform their neighbors which suggests many of them are not. I said 40% of my client’s average over 25 new patients a month which means 60% aren’t and many of those clients are also losing patients out the back door. And some of those bright, innovative and highly trained docs that I love, can’t seem to develop a respectable hygiene or Perio department.

Every once in while you find a solo dentist who is a natural. They are competent in the op and at managing operations. They’re technologically savvy, understand relationships and they communicate effectively. These leaders have a natural tendency to relate and connect with everyone. They are humble, have great empathy and are born leaders and care givers. However rare, I know and work with several clients like this, but they are truly the exception. The rule is that most of us have strengths and weaknesses. Most of us enjoy some of the work and not all the work. Some of us have incredible clinical skill and lack the business acumen to scale. I know several clinicians that excel clinically and do a great job operationally, but they lack leadership and interpersonal communication skills.

As a former member and fan of the Speaker Consulting Network and the Academy of Dental Management Consultants I know that every and any practice (solo or group) can experience significant growth. It’s uncanny but my more successful clients seek out help (coaches and practice management consultants) and the clients that need the help most – don’t.

The take away is have some humility. Invest in your business and accept help.
You will never regret over exceeding and making more money than you thought you would!