Do you have employees or business partners?

May 1, 2013
How much do you typically produce every month? $40,000? $80,000? 100,000? $150,000? How would you like to double that amount without increasing your number of new patients?

by Michael Kesner, DDS

How much do you typically produce every month? $40,000? $80,000? 100,000? $150,000? How would you like to double that amount without increasing your number of new patients?

I'm not joking. You can double your revenue with the same number of new patients.

What if twice as many of your new patients did the dental treatment you recommend? This would double your production with the same number of new patients, right?

What if your new patients chose to do twice as much dental treatment as they're doing now? This would also double your production with the same number of new patients.

What if you did a combination of these two scenarios? This would at least double your revenue with the same number of new patients.

How do you make this happen in your practice? By turning your employees into business partners. What is the difference between an employee and a business partner?

An employee's income is based on the number of hours he or she works. If the employee works hard for eight hours, or if he or she has a fairly easy day, the pay is the same. If the practice is profitable or losing money, the employee still gets the same income. If the patient decides to do the recommended dental treatment, or not, the employee still receives the same income.

This means that there is little incentive for that person to work harder, smarter, take on more responsibility, or encourage the patient to say yes to treatment. The employee's income remains the same, no matter what happens in the practice.

On the other hand, a business partner has a vested interest in the success of the business. He or she has some "skin" in the game. A business partner's income increases as the practice's profit increases.

He or she is concerned with the amount of revenue the practice brings in, and also the amount of overhead that the practice carries. A business partner has a financial incentive to make the business more successful.

For an employee, it is your business. Therefore, any problems are your problems. Whether or not the patient does the recommended dental treatment is your problem, not the employee's. The increasing overhead of the practice is your problem. If the practice makes a profit or loses money, the employee receives the same income.

For a business partner, it is our business. Therefore, any problems that need to be solved are our problems. Since it is our business, the team of partners enjoys a percentage of the profits.

Now there is a financial incentive to help patients do the dental treatment they need. There also is a financial incentive to control overhead and increase profits since all of these issues impact their income.

Employees typically increase a dentist's stress level because they need to be managed. Business partners decrease a dentist's stress because they take on added responsibility to make the practice more successful.

Most dentists want business partners, yet most dentists have employees. The question is, "How do you turn employees into business partners?"

You do this by giving them a "piece of the action," by giving them a percentage of the profit of the practice each month. You do this by implementing the right bonus plan.

Notice that I emphasized the word "right." There are many bonus plans. Most of those I've seen are actually a disincentive for the team rather than an incentive.

The right bonus plan shares the profit equally with the whole team on a monthly basis. The amount of this bonus must be a total that truly makes a difference in the lives of your team members. For example, a $50 bonus does not have much impact, while a $500 or $1,000 bonus does.

Remember that the right bonus plan does not cost you money, but makes you money. The right bonus plan increases revenue, and therefore increases profits. These profits would not exist if the bonus plan were not present.

I implemented a bonus plan in my practice eight years ago. My annual revenue went from $675,000 to $10 million. This is the power of creating business partners!

Dr. Mike Kesner's practice 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. They teach more production, higher profits, and less stress. Contact him at [email protected].

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