Recipe for rapid practice growth

Dec. 22, 2014
Has your practice's growth plateaued or declined over the last few years? Our weak economy has made it difficult for many dental practices across the nation.

BY Michael Kesner, DDS

Has your practice's growth plateaued or declined over the last few years? Our weak economy has made it difficult for many dental practices across the nation.

Would you like to create rapid growth in your practice in spite of the weak economy? You can if you make some changes to the way you practice the business of dentistry.

Times have changed. You can't run your practice the same way that you have for the last few years and expect it to continue growing and be financially successful. Our economy has changed. The consumer has changed. How people pick a dentist has changed. How to market your practice has changed.

What we find in dental offices across the nation is that the problems that hinder practice growth have always been there. Now that the economy is down, these problems have become magnified.

Rapid practice growth requires willingness to let go of comfortable, long-held beliefs about the business of dentistry. After 19 years of barely getting by in my practice, I changed the way I practiced the business of dentistry. As a result, my practice's revenue grew from $675,000 per year to $4 million per year in only five years.

Here are four basic ways to increase your practice revenue:

1. Increase your case acceptance rate.

2. Increase your capacity to do more dentistry.

3. Increase your number of high-profit procedures.

4. Increase your number of new patients.

Using a business model I call PracticeSMARTS, you can focus on all four of these revenue-producing methods at the same time in order to create rapid growth.

Systems for everything - You would never think of getting on an airplane with pilots who don't use systems and checklists. So, why would you want to "fly" your practice without written systems? Systems make it clear how things should be done. Systems keep your team accountable. Systems keep things from falling through the cracks. Systems keep things running smoothly and efficiently. This adds up to increased profit and decreased stress.

Marketing nonstop - Continual marketing produces a steady flow of new patients. The right marketing answers the question in the potential patient's mind: "What's in it for me?" If your marketing doesn't answer that question, it will not be successful. The right marketing is also an investment, not an expense. My marketing brings me a 4:1 return every month. Where else can I get a 4:1 return on my money these days?

Absolute efficiency - Do you want to see profit at the end of the month? Make everything in your office efficient. Efficiency creates time. The more time I have, the more dentistry I can do. The more efficient my team and I are, the more patients we are able to see. Efficiency is one of the best ways to reduce overhead because it increases production per hour.

Rewards for the team with profit bonuses - The right bonus will turn your employees into "business partners." They will run the practice for you, so you can focus on the patients and the dentistry. Your time is the most profitable when you are treating patients, not when you are doing all the other stuff in your practice. The right bonus motivates your team, empowers them, and lowers your stress.

Team "selling" for case acceptance - "I'll think about it, Doctor." Are you tired of hearing that? Helping patients say "yes" to the treatment they need is a team job. Your case acceptance will go way up when you and your team connect with the patient on an emotional level and stop trying to teach them dentistry. Teaching dentistry to your patients is the wrong approach. People make decisions about their dental treatment based on emotion ... not education.

Same-day dentistry - "Mrs. Jones, would you like to get that crown done today while you are here?" Your profitability is much, much higher with dentistry done today than dentistry done next week. You also don't have no-show or cancellation problems when you do it today. Patients love getting it done today too!

You can create rapid practice growth in any economy with these strategies. Make the decision today to transform your practice.

Michael Kesner, dds, owns a practice that ranks on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in America. He is author of the book Multi-Million Dollar Dental Practice and CEO of Quantum Leap Success in Dentistry. Both teach more production, higher profits, and less stress. Contact him at [email protected].

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