It’s what you want, isn’t it? To create a prosperous dental practice I mean.
One that allows you to sleep easy, knowing that you have a reliable income.
One where you have a clear plan that you can follow through.
One that permits you a balance between work and play.
Is that fantasy? I don’t think so.
In fact, I know it’s not because I’ve created practices like that myself. And now I help other dental practice owners go from frazzled and stressed to successful and content.
You don’t have to be smarter than other people, but you do need to know how it’s done.
Because being a dental practice owner can be stressful, overwhelming and confusing. Getting some guidance can make all the difference.
So how do you create a prosperous dental practice? You need a framework.
Nothing complex or convoluted, just five simple pillars to give you some structure.
It’s all about management. A well-managed business leads to a thriving and successful business.
Like a child, your business doesn’t take care of itself. You need to manage the journey, not just hold on for dear life.
Here are the five areas that I believe you need to focus on to create a prosperous dental practice.
1. Plan and Budget
The process enables you to explore the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats your practice is facing and make informed decisions on the best way forward.
Imagine you’re going on an overseas holiday. You don’t just pop into a travel agent and ask for ‘an overseas holiday’.
No, you plan it. You have a budget, you have an idea where you want to go, and how long you want to stay.
It’s the same in business and it’s called being financially savvy. So if you don’t already have one, get a business plan and budget in place. If you have one, give yourself a pat on the back and then review it to ensure it’s still current.
2. Implement the Plan
Executing and implementing your plan may sound simple, but it can be easy to ignore. Knowing what to do is not the same as doing what you know.
When you’ve booked an overseas holiday you know you have to arrive at the airport in time for your flights. You have to get on the right plan in order to get to your destination.
If you don’t follow the plan you’ve made you won’t have the holiday experience you hoped for. And it’s the same in business.
Because the truth is that successful people plan. And then they execute their plans well.
They create powerful plans, juggle multiple projects without getting overwhelmed and bring their whole team onboard to execute.
3. Control and Solve Problems
When we travel we often encounter problems. Flights get delayed or cancelled, aircraft refuellers go on strike, or we fall sick.
Any number of challenges are thrown at us when we travel overseas, and we can complain or cry or yell but it won’t make any difference. We can catch the next flight home and give the rest of the holiday a miss, or we can innovate.
Sometimes you need to take three different flights to make up for the one that was cancelled. Sometimes you need to stay in bed until you feel better.
Whatever you decide you need to be proactive, implement contingency plans or choose a different path. Of course, the more complex your plans the more opportunity there is for something to go wrong so do you best to simplify.
As Einstein said,
“The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.”
4. Track, Measure and Review
You can’t manage what you don’t measure. Tracking, measuring and reviewing will ensure you know exactly how you are travelling and allow you to adjust and tweak if you’ve gone off course.
When you’re travelling you constantly check to ensure you haven’t missed a flight or another form of transport. You check that you’re at the right hotel that was booked. You check how your finances are holding out.
When you’re away from home you need to pay particular attention to your finances. You need to stick to your budget and that can be tricky when you’re constantly converting currency.
Financial management is also crucial in your business. But it’s also important to track and measure other numbers such as case acceptance rates. When you track critical numbers you’ll know where you need to improve your business.
5. Decision Making
There are various decision-making styles and each has advantages and disadvantages. The key is knowing when it is appropriate to use each one.
An effective leader is a situational leader. They can adjust their leadership style depending on the situation.
When someone tells you that your flight has just been cancelled you might feel like yelling, but it’s not going to help. It’s far better to be charming to the one person who can help – and it’s usually the person who just delivered bad news.
Getting that person on side will result in something very special happening. They will want to help you.
If you can get them to like you, they’ll work harder to make you happy – just like your team. The way to get them to do what you want is to get them to want to help you.
Create a Prosperous Dental Practice
The way to create a successful practice is not to close your eyes, hang on and pray. You need to take charge.
You need to plan and budget, and then follow through on your plans.
You need to be proactive and creative when you control and solve problems.
You need to track, measure and review your critical figures and you need to become a situational leader.
None of that is rocket science. It’s all eminently do-able. All you have to do is decide.
You can keep doing things the way you are, or you can step up and take the reigns.
This year is almost at a close, but a new year is beginning.
Will you make it your year to succeed?