Growing a dental practice requires you to do a number of things. First, you need to set a vision and goals for your practice. That tells you where you want to go. Second, you need to develop a WOW culture to attract and retain the best team members possible. Third, you need to give every patient a WOW experience every time they visit your office. Fourth, you need to be profitable. If you are not profitable, you will not be in business very long.
I lay out these four steps—and more—in my book, Delivering WOW: How Dentists Can Build a Fascinating Brand and Achieve More While Working Less…. (which you can get for FREE right here—just cover shipping). Here are the three pieces to building a productive, profitable practice to support you and your team as you work to achieve your practice vision and goals and give patients a truly WOW experience.
1. Empowered, Accountable People
You will never build a productive, profitable dental practice without having the right people on your team. Setting clear practice goals and a practice vision helps attract people who share your values. Building a WOW practice culture helps you keep your team engaged.
But making sure every team member has clear goals and the processes, systems, and tools to do their job well gets you profitable. In other words, once you have the right people on your team, you need to make sure they know what to do and how to do it. That's where the processes, systems, and tools come in—to empower, focus, and hold team members accountable for achieving their individual goals.
2. Processes and Systems
Processes and systems help make everyone's jobs easier. They promote consistency in people's work and hold people accountable for doing tasks the right way.
One of my favorite systems to put in place is a dental practice scorecard. A dental practice scorecard allows you to see the most important numbers in your practice, in real time, and in one place.
In my practice, I have my scheduling coordinator pull the info into the scorecard. Every Tuesday we have a leadership meeting where we discuss the numbers from the scorecard. We have a system for her to pull the information and update the scorecard by Monday morning. That system holds her accountable for completing it and allows us to spot and address issues in real time.
For example, one of the most important metrics we track in my practice is our dentist's production per visit. If we set a goal of $700 per visit but see $400 per visit in our scorecard, we know we need to close that gap. One way to do that would be to do Invisalign or crown promotions to attract more patients for high-revenue services. We could also talk with the doctors about doing as much as they can in one visit so the patient gets their treatment faster and our production per vision increases. Over the longer term, we could send one of our doctors to a CE to learn how to perform higher-revenue procedures as well.
This system allows us to make a change right away and not wait a month or longer to see the overall numbers. And if we are hitting or achieving our goals, we can congratulate team members in real time, too.
Finally, we need tools to help make the systems and processes easier and more efficient. Processes need to be very easy for your team or they will feel overwhelmed. One of my favorite tools to increase productivity and profitability is Dental Intel.
Dental Intel's software suite connects with your practice management software and pulls actionable data into one simple presentation. My team can pull everything we need for our scorecard in a matter of seconds. It has several other powerful features, too.
With tools, we need to be careful in choosing tools that help make our practice better that we have the resources to integrate and use well. Dental Intel is one that is both highly effective and easy to use.
With the right people in place and systems and processes to support them, having tools to make their work even easier is the final piece of the puzzle.
Do you have all three pieces to the productive, profitable, practice puzzle?
Way too many practices do not have all three pieces of the puzzle together. Some have great team members but lack the processes, systems, and tools to help them do their best work. Others have a strong team with processes and systems but no tools to make them easier. Once I had all three pieces working together, my practice growth skyrocketed. I worked less and made a lot more. And my team was supported and set up to succeed.
To learn more about building a productive, profitable practice, Dental Profit Academy. There, you will find several courses, systems, and tools to support you and your team. You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.