Practice Management Basics
Let’s talk about a couple of executive skills that are a key part of proper dental practice management; income and organization. Now income can mean multiple things, so in this issue, I want to focus specifically on selling. Yes, creating income and, additionally, selling’s relationship to delivery.
Also, there is a lot that goes into running a business. Practice management definitely has more to it than just providing a great service and selling. So we’ll get into how to organize the office so that you can focus on what you love. Practice management doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. It’s a skill that can be learned like any other.
Income and Selling
Here is the basic flow to making any business successful and this is one that Private Dentist Association’s CEO, Dr. Winteregg says often: “Sell the product or service, deliver it, and get more people to sell and deliver to.” Basically put, and effective.
The idea behind this is that the better you can sell, deliver and promote your services, the more income your practice will generate. Some may sit back on their laurels when the office is doing well but don’t relax too much because hard times may be around the corner. Therefore, the better you can sell, deliver and promote, the less hard times your practice will encounter.
Selling does have a bad name, and I know that many prefer to never have to sell anything. However, it becomes simple when you think about it this way:
In Dentistry, selling is purely communicating your professional opinion and the treatment plan to the patient, and then having confidence in the accuracy of your plan. You know what you’re doing, so just give the patient what will help them the most. This way, half the battle is already over.
Here’s one more little tip. The faster you’re able to deliver a high-quality service, the more you can charge. People WILL pay for it.
This is a great model – have your OM (Office Manager) help you out. I’ve seen practices where this works extremely well. The Doctor provides the treatment plan, explains it well and really impresses how it will help the patient. Next, the OM works out how the patient can pay and closes the treatment. Before you know it, you have a deal on your hands. By that point, however, you’ve already moved onto the next patient while the OM closed the deal for you.
Not a bad way to do it…
Just remember, you don’t want to be the only one in the office who can sell. If all of the income and delivery relies on you, it is going to be a long, arduous career.
Now Onto Organization
Here’s the good and bad news: The better you sell, deliver and promote, the busier your office will become. That can be a headache if you prefer not to work 60 hours/week. So now, the key is being an Executive.
To some, this means just “running a business,” or handling everything, but these are both untrue and incomplete. The true executive is able to establish an area of a business, hire someone to run it and then move on to the next area. So, what I’m saying is that any duty that can be handled by someone else should be.
Elon Musk doesn’t build Tesla engines or run every factory and research facility on the planet. He splits his business up and appoints sub-leaders, which gives him more time for what he loves. I guess that’s building rockets.
Split Things Up
Back to it. You want to keep tabs on each area of your practice, otherwise, practice management just becomes working for a DSO. So, it is recommended that you set aside at least a few hours each week to go over the statistics, income and general areas of your practice. That being said, an office can be more than just dental staff, an Office Manager and Receptionist. Sometimes that’s all you need, but as you grow, more administrative staff will alleviate a lot of stress.
Hire people you trust and let them get on with it. If you can accomplish the above, along with good delivery and sales, you won’t need a management company and will have a great career ahead of you.
Don’t underestimate the power of more sales and management training. There are many out there in both general business and dentistry. Here’s a great resource for dental practice management tips from Dentistry iQ.