Editor's note: Do you have a question about managing or growing your practice? Want to be a better business leader? If you have questions, Jay Geier has answers. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: As a solo dentist, I’m finding myself having to get creative to combat the “threats” out there to my well-being. From competitors in my town to well-funded corporate models, it feels like I’m fighting an uphill battle. What are the biggest threats you see to dental practices in the next three years, and what can I do to get ahead of them?
A: This is a great question. When thinking about threats to your practice, one of the main questions that’s probably on your minds is, “Can I stay independent and still prosper?” The answer is an emphatic “Yes!” In fact, the future is bright for independent dentists.
Don’t get me wrong. The threats are real. But the reality is that any business in any industry is facing these issues. The great news for you is that your ability to defend against threats and thrive is controllable.
One of the myths among independent dentists is that your primary threats are coming from external factors. While these factors do exist, they are not the biggest, most immediate dangers to you. The only reason you become susceptible to them in the first place is because you forget to focus on the most important factor—yourself.
The problem is that there are so many distractions outside your practice that it’s easy to lose sight of what’s going on inside. This leads to becoming too worried about things you can’t control instead of focusing on what you can. It becomes hard to see that all your problems and, more importantly, all your solutions begin and end with you.
It’s easy to fall into this rut. Through the daily grind, you can become focused on certain aspects, such as how to become a better clinician, that you overlook important ways you need to be growing professionally and personally. Or you might be trying to handle all the responsibilities yourself, which is a lot to take on. Then, when you aren’t seeing the results you want, it’s easy to get frustrated and start convincing yourself that your problems aren’t fixable. You might even feel that you’re just not good with people, money, or business, and that there’s nothing you can do to improve. But it’s simply not true.
All the power to change is in your hands, and you control your own destiny regardless of your current situation. You can thrive and prosper more than you ever thought possible. I’ve seen this transformation happen firsthand to thousands of dentists since the inception of Scheduling Institute over 20 years ago. It is about working towards a total mindset shift and being open to learning new things so you can greatly reduce “not knowing what you don’t know.” Many times, all it takes is a little guidance.
This is a topic I love teaching, and I communicate best face-to-face. Because we’re not together right now, I recorded a video for you where I discuss three “mindset threats” facing dentists. You’ll learn how dangerous they are and why they’re such major threats to you. I also clearly explain how you can start neutralizing them.
In the beginning, the key will be to question what you think you know. I’m confident that no matter the current state of your practice, you’ll feel more empowered after watching.
Jay Geier is the founder of the Scheduling Institute, a private-practice consultancy that grows independent private practices into thriving businesses that can either be sold for maximum value or kept for a lifetime of revenue. To learn more, visit schedulinginstitute.com.