Salierno Chris 2020 5fa1a4f25b46c

The biggest problem with most dentists’ business models is that they don’t have one

Nov. 1, 2020
If you have a business model, perhaps you’re overdue for reworking it. If you don’t have one, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create one. You’ll be better able to safely navigate through whatever storms may come in the future.
Chris Salierno, DDS, Chief Dental Officer, Tend

We hang up the proverbial shingle, open our doors, and treat the patients who come through them. That business model is essentially, “I do dentistry and people pay for it.” Perhaps we choose to participate with some PPOs or focus our practice on placing and restoring implants. Or maybe we pay a marketing group to grow our online presence, or we choose to advance our education in cosmetic procedures. These are all examples of business decisions. But if they’re not part of an overall plan, then they are less strategic and more happenstance.

I’ll apologize in advance for calling some practices “mutated, wandering beasts” in my article on page 22. While that may seem a bit harsh (and I certainly don’t mean any offense), I’ll stand by that vivid metaphor. In the absence of leadership, vision, and strategic decision-making, a business can accumulate odd adaptations as it marches into the future. If you’re a leader in your practice, then we just need to equip you with the vision and the processes for realizing that vision. 

To that end, we can rely on management models—frameworks for your business that were crafted in industrial manufacturing plants and in executive boardrooms. These are time-tested tools that will help you think about value propositions, threats and opportunities, strengths and weaknesses, and other critical concepts that can be easy to ignore when you’re overwhelmed with clinical work. And maybe that’s the greatest challenge of all: finding the time to pause, think, and implement. 

I hope this issue will help give you that pause. If you have a business model, perhaps you’re overdue for reworking it. If you don’t have one, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and create one. You’ll be better able to safely navigate through whatever storms may come in the future.

Cheers,

Chris Salierno, DDS
[email protected]

About the Author

Chris Salierno, DDS | Chief Dental Officer, Tend

Chris Salierno, DDS, is a general dentist from Long Island, New York. He graduated from Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine in 2005. Dr. Salierno lectures internationally on clinical dentistry, practice management, and leadership development. In 2017 he became a chief development officer with the Cellerant Consulting Group, and he was the chief editor of Dental Economics from 2014 to 2021. In 2021, he became the chief dental officer at Tend. He can be reached on Instagram @the_curious_dentist.

Updated May 13, 2022

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