Do you know what the largest expense is in your practice? No, it's not payroll. This expense is not even on your profit-and-loss statement. In fact, this expense continues to rob you of income year after year.
So what is this expense? It is the unrealized income due to your practice not reaching its full potential. This is caused by not taking the action to build the practice you've always wanted. Often instead of taking action, we decide to wait and "think about it." This is somewhat ironic because it's the same response many of our patients have when we talk to them about their needed dental treatment. "Doctor, I'll think about it," many of them tell you.
Many times your patients are afraid that treatment will be painful, or they're afraid to spend the money, or they're afraid they won't get the results they want. These are the same fears that many dentists have when they're confronted with the decision to "treat" the problems in their practices.
I understand this fear. After 19 years of not being very successful in my practice, I finally decided to hire a consultant to help the practice grow. This was a scary decision, but once I decided to take action, I grew my practice from $675,000 to over $4 million in only five years.
Yes, taking action was scary, but I had come to the place in my life where the consequences of inaction outweighed the fear of taking action. I didn't know ahead of time all that would be necessary to build a multimillion-dollar practice, but I did know that nothing would change if I kept "thinking about it."
What action should you take? My advice is to hire a good practice management consultant to help you increase your practice revenue and growth. Get some help from someone who has a track record of working with successful dental practices.
A consultant will see things about your practice that you don't see yourself. He or she will help you implement systems in your office that will create better organization, efficiency, and profit.
A consultant will help motivate your team. He or she will train you and your team to increase your case acceptance rate, and will assist with marketing strategies to increase your number of new patients.
You might be wondering: can you just do all this by yourself? In my experience it's possible, but unlikely. If you could do it yourself, then you probably already would have, right? The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start increasing your revenue. Waiting just costs you in unrealized income.
Let's take a look at the high cost of waiting. Let's say for example that you have plateaued at $1 million in your practice. You've been thinking about hiring a practice management consultant, but you haven't decided to "pull the trigger." In this example, what is the financial impact of "thinking about it" for three years?
If the consultant were able to help you grow by only 30% in the first year with no additional future growth, that would be about a $900,000 increase in revenue over three years. So, in effect, the three years of waiting would have cost you $900,000. Six years of waiting becomes $1.8 million in unrealized income. Wow! That's a lot of lost income due to inaction. It took me 19 years to finally "pull the trigger" and learn how to be successful in dentistry. I don't even want to know what that cost me because the figure would be too depressing!
I've found that the primary reason for inaction is fear. It can be the fear of spending the money to hire a consultant, or the fear that it won't work in your practice, or the fear of doing something different. Each dentist has to come to a place in his or her life where the fear of remaining the same is stronger than the fear of taking action.
Is inaction costing you money? Are you tired of "thinking about it?" Are you ready to take action and build your multimillion-dollar practice? Make the decision that 2017 will be your year to stop losing money, and build the successful dental practice you've always wanted.
Michael Kesner, DDS, has a practice that ranks on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in America. He is the author of the book Multi-Million Dollar Dental Practice and the CEO of Quantum Leap Success in Dentistry, which teaches more production, higher profits, and stress reduction management. Contact him at [email protected].