Many people talk about work-life balance. And I think that’s a bit of a misnomer. It should be work-life integration. Because ultimately it is just life; and this includes your family, your social obligations and your work. And by making sure that your practice supports your vision of the ultimate life, you can create success.
But what is success? What is Your version of success? If I asked you to think of 5 successful people, the chances are that of those 5 individuals whom you would consider successful I may only consider 2 of them a success. That is because our ideologies and understanding of success are very different from each other.
One might consider getting an early retirement a form of success, while someone might want to be working 6 days a week, scaling and expanding their business well into their eighties! Which of these is the ideal definition of success? You decide!
It is your life, your practice and, thus, your decision. Ultimate success is personal, and we have got to make sure that we are setting your business up to support your version of success and no one else’s. There are three main components to creating a successful, profitable, valuable and scalable practice:
- Having a long-term plan for your practice.
- Having structures to maximise value and create a healthy a cash flow
- Leveraging time by designating the right tasks to the right team members
Let’s see how we can successfully integrate each of these into the practice
Design Your Future
Before we get into discussing the future, let’s take a look back at 2019. What were some of the hits and misses in this previous year? What are some of the things you could have done differently? How many of the milestones you had set out to accomplish did you truly achieve? What were some of the setbacks, pitfalls, mistakes that prevented you from achieving your targets? What can you truly learn from the previous year that will help you shape 2020 and make it truly better?
In order to look forward, we need to look over our shoulders and truly assess those impulsive, and even calculated, decisions that we made that ended up backfiring. Once you have your lessons from 2019 covered, you could look over to the future and plan ahead better.
So how do you plan ahead? How far ahead do you really look? 6 months? A year? 3 years? How about a decade?
Frankly, you could look as far ahead as you’d like; but anything between 5 to 10 years sounds like a good deal. Where do you want to be in 2030? Where do you see your practice by that time? Do you plan on expanding your current practice or perhaps branching out? What would your daily routine look like? How many hours a week would you want to be working? How much revenue do you plan on generating? What should your cash flow or earnings before the owner’s compensation or the net profit should look like?
Don’t just ask these questions on the professional front, but delve into the personal things in your life which may impact on your answers to these questions as well. How much time do you plan on spending with your family? Do you plan on pursuing any hobbies, further education? How much money do you want to reserve/invest? What do you want your net worth to look like? What will your daily routine look like?
The more specific you are about all these factors, the better your plan will be. Now simply reverse engineer the big picture. What will your 5 year, 3 year, 1 year goals need to be in order to see the big picture, that vision of 2030 we talked about earlier. You need to invest time into planning. No road can automatically take you to your destination without you navigating the way, or at least knowing where you want to go. And having a solid plan – a clear road map – keeps you on track. And if you are like most people who don’t have solid answers to all the above questions, so you need to sit down and ask yourself these questions and have definite answers before you can sit in the driving seat to success.
Have Structures in Place
A successful dental practice requires more than just technical skills, it requires savvy business structures too. Without a strong structure, you have no foundations to scale or even successfully run your practice. Many practice owners, though doing great, have no healthy cash flow or a smooth running system. They always seem to be on the precipice and living in financial troubles. And the core reason, for most of them, is lack of structure.
Fix Up Your Books, Track and Reflect
You need to have structure in the appointment book; you need to have some sort of measuring and tracking in place so you know you are on the right path. You also need a dashboard. A dashboard is a simple tool that summarises all of the essential data you need to know to be sure your business is performing well. Pre-booking, cancellations, incomplete treatment, team member production figures, etc. The data you collect on your dashboard also lets you know if there are any trouble spots that need attention.
Maximizing Cash Flow
Every practice also needs a well-functioning money machine, or a financial forecast to help you get a clearer view of your finances in the future. You need to have some structures to maximise revenue and maximise cash flow.
There are three main methods of maximising revenue:
- See more patients
- See those patients more frequently
- And increase the average dollar spent per transaction.
Everything else is a sub-category of these three main categories. Even the smallest changes in these categories can have a powerful impact on the bottom line. For example, if you were to have a 10% increase in the number of patients, along with a 10% increase in the frequency of those patients, as well as a 10% increase in the average transaction per patient, you see a 30% uplift in your revenue. It is a significant number generated from minor changes.
Managing Revenue and Expenses
You also need structure with all the other big and small factors that influence your practice’s bottom line. These include managing your accounts payables and accounts receivables, managing the consumables, reducing operating costs, managing the costs of goods sold etc. You need to make maximising revenue a priority and make continuous conscious efforts to minimise expenditure.
Leverage Your Time
Time is your greatest asset and you need to value it just the same. You cannot be doing everything around the practice, even if you are the best person for every job around the clinic. You need to recruit competent team members and then have systems to hold them accountable for their responsibilities. You also need to hire candidates who are not only skilled but are a great culture fit. A person who is not a good culture fit could negatively influence the culture around the practice.
You also need to learn to let go of some of the responsibilities that ‘you’d rather do yourself.’
Take a look at what you are spending your time on at the moment. What tasks do you undertake that could be taken on by some other team members?
If you are spending a lot of time on admin tasks, and that in turn is influencing your competence as a skilled dentist, then you need to reevaluate your time. You could either delegate, eliminate or automate the process, whichever seems suitable. You really need to make the best use of your most valuable asset – which is your time.
Don’t let this New Year be just another page on the calendar. Make it worthwhile; make it a stepping stone towards your ultimate goals. They may seem mountainous right now, but once you have your road map ready, the destination would become much closer than you had initially anticipated.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready …. here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:
1. Grab a free chapter from my book “Retention – How to Plug the #1 Profit Leak in Your Dental Practice”
The book is the definitive guide to patient retention and how to use internal marketing to grow your practice – Click Here
2. Join the Savvy Dentist community and connect with dentists who are scaling their practice too
It’s our Facebook group where clever dentists learn to become commercially smart so that they have more patients, more profit and less stress. – Click Here
3. Attend a Practice Max Intensive live event
Our 2 day immersive events provide access to the latest entrepreneurial thinking and actionable strategies to drive your practice forward. You’ll leave with a game plan to take your results to the next level. If you’d like to join us, just send me a message with the word “Event and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here
4. Work with me and my team privately
If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures …. just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your practice and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here