Why the Success of Your Dental Practice Has Very Little to Do with Teeth

One of the most surprising realizations many dentists learn after going into private practice is how little of a practice’s success has to do with teeth.

It’s true.

Taking care of teeth is the skill every patient assumes you have. It’s the bare minimum expected of you. It’s not anything that sets your practice up for greatness. To achieve that, your dental practice needs to do three other things.

First, your practice needs to run smoothly and efficiently.

All successful dental practices are built on a strong operational foundation. Yes, this requires treating your practice like any other business by having systems, processes, and help in place.

A strong operational foundation helps your practice run efficiently and profitably while benefitting your patients, employees, practice, and you.

It helps your patients (and keeps them happy) because they receive the same great service every time they interact with your practice, no matter who’s helping them. It helps your employees (and keeps them loyal) because they’ll know exactly what’s expected of them and how to succeed in their job. It helps your practice (and keeps it profitable) because it ensures time and money are spent wisely, inefficiencies are reduced, and administrative activities are done right the first time. Finally, it helps you (and makes you more money in less time) because it frees you up to spend time building your practice to operate without you having to personally see more patients and to make more money.

 

Second, your practice needs to deliver WOW experiences to every patient.

In addition to strong operations, successful dental practices must develop strong relationships with their patients by delivering WOW experiences every time a patient interacts with your practice.

Patients walk through the door expecting quality treatment. Simply meeting that low expectation won’t make your practice stand out. By delivering a WOW experience on top of smooth operations and quality care, your practice will leap beyond your patients’ expectations.

Because of that, they’ll be much more likely to keep coming back, even if they have to drive a few minutes farther or even pay a little more for your practice compared to another practice. They’ll also rave about their experience to their friends and family, letting them know your practice is different.  

Here are four simple ways to start delivering WOW experiences to your patients:

          Provide free gourmet coffee, teas, other drinks, and snacks;

          Let your patients use iPads or play video games with headphones to block out the sounds of the dental tools;

          Provide amenities that ease anxiety and help patients relax; and

          Implement an on-time guarantee that treats your patients’ time with as much respect as you’d expect for your own time.

We do each of those in our practice. In addition to providing the finest coffees, teas, and tarts for our patients, we let our patients use iPads during their visit, trained our employees to provide hand and arm massages to help our patients relax, and guarantee that our patients will be seated within fifteen minutes of their appointment time or their next exam is free.  

Since implementing these WOW experiences for our patients, we’ve seen our patient satisfaction and loyalty skyrocket. Additionally, the demands on my personal time reduced because my services became only a small part of our patient experience.

The good news is the bar is pretty low when it comes to delivering better patient experiences at dental practices and you can exceed those low expectations by leaps and bounds pretty easily with a little creativity and a minimal investment.

Third, your practice needs streamlined marketing processes to consistently attract new patients.

If your systems, processes, and help are the operational foundation for growing your practice and delivering WOW experiences to your patients is the relational foundation for growing your practice, streamlined marketing processes that consistently attract new patients is the tactical foundation for growing your practice.

Attracting the right people using tactics that are predictable, repeatable, and profitable is the final ingredient to ensuring your practice will be successful in the long run. Although this used to be a time-consuming and expensive exercise, it’s now much simpler and cost effective thanks to social media

In its most basic form, this requires building a social media following and posting content that shows potential patients why your practice is different and better than the others, such as by highlighting the WOW experiences your practice provides or the great things your employees and patients are doing in the community.

In addition to showing people your practice is different, posting different types of content like this gives you additional opportunities to post interesting content on a regular basis without coming across as over-promotional.

At my practice, we regularly highlight our staff, patients, community events, and news on our social media channels. We also tell stories about our patients, community involvement, and the WOW experiences we deliver. By doing this, we built a following of well over 50,000 people on Facebook alone. More importantly, however, we created a consistent flow of new and profitable patients.

 

Putting it all together

Although teeth matter, you can be the best dentist on the planet and your practice will struggle as long as your operations are inefficient, your patient experience is subpar, and your marketing efforts are ineffective. By streamlining operations, delivering WOW experiences, and implementing predictable and repeatable marketing processes, on the other hand, you can set your practice up to help you make much more money and much less time.

How to Create a Profitable Hygiene Department with Debbie Seidel-Bittke RDH

Debbie Seidel-Bittke is the founder of Dental Practice Solutions and helps the dental practice uncover their true potential without working any harder. She is also a top leader in consulting according to DENTISTRY TODAY.

Debbie is also a former clinical assistant professor for the dental hygiene program at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene program director at a college in Portland, Oregon.

Dental Practice Solutions takes a holistic approach to creating sustainable profits in a patient-centered environment, by improving systems, services and inefficiencies in the dental hygiene department.

Is this episode, we discuss

  • The one simple system you can implement today to be more profitable
  • The importance of relationship building and communication
  •  Simple ways to increase the retention rate of the hygiene department
  • How to ensure that your patients keep coming back

Debbie also shares exactly what you can do when patients say they don't want treatment..

Links in the episode:

Dental Practice Solutions

What's next:

Download my FREE guide: “The Complete Checklist to Systematizing Your Practice”.

Join the Delivering WOW Hangout, my FREE Facebook Group!

Are You Being Embezzled with David Harris

 

David Harris is a Private investigator, CPA, and Certified Fraud Examiner. David Harris is the world's leading authority on embezzlement in dental offices. In today's episode, David shares the warning signs that dentists can look out for that might indicate that they have a problem. We also discussed what should dentists do once they feel that they are being embezzled as well as recommendations that dentists can take once the embezzlement is confirmed.

Links in This Episode:

Prosperident

Audible.com: The #1 App that I use to listen to books while in the car or on the go

The Delivering WOW Free Facebook Group

Host Beneficiaries: The Secret Weapon That I Used to Increase Revenue by 28% in One Month!

Many dentists think that you need to spend a lot on marketing. In fact, I hear so many dentists and entrepreneurs in general say that you have to spend money to make money. However, there are some times when that rule does not apply. And quite frankly, these are the rules that I want to play by. This one strategy that I will lay out for you has allowed me to build partnerships with top companies in my community, reach out to my ideal patients, and become 28% more profitable. This one marketing strategy that I discovered a while back that has helped me to boost my brand is the Host/Beneficiary arrangement.

The Host/Beneficiary arrangement is an advanced marketing strategy where your company teams up with a more established or bigger business in your area that serves an audience that is similar to your own.

The basic way it works is this: You offer a free or deeply discounted offer to customers of the larger organization. The larger organization (the host) shares this offer with its customers. You (the beneficiary) get the implied endorsement of the host.

In the business world how this works is that you research companies in your area that have customers who would also be ideal customers to your business. You approach the company and create a great free (or discounted) offer that you would like for them to share with its customers.  

If the company likes your quality and finds the offer useful, there is a good chance it will agree to the arrangement. So why would this bigger company agree to promote your company? Because it’s a no-cost way to provide something of value to its customers. The host company doesn’t have to pay for the perk you give. You offer it at no cost to the organization.

I decided to apply this advanced strategy to my dental practice, and instead of offering a perk or promotion to its customers, I offered it to their teams.

This is how it looked in my practice: We created an email that included an offer of 50 percent off dental cleanings and shared it with the biggest bank in the country. The email stated that because we both believe in building communities and building strong teams, we have decided to create this partnership. The employees were free to use their insurance and share the offer with their friends and family. The offer was for a limited time of one month. Well, needless to say, we were wowed.

That month we had over 250 new patients and our revenue shot up 28% from the previous month. We had to hire an additional hygienist because of the rapid growth!

We attribute the success of this campaign to the great offer as well as to the fact that it was shared by the team's company. Incidentally, even though we offered a promotional price, more than 50 percent of the patients added on additional same day services such as adult sealants, fluoride and fillings and scheduled for future treatment. 

Because of our culture of Delivering WOW, after receiving unexpected bonuses such as a complimentary arm and hand massage, a full office tour, and an iPad and headphones to take away the sound, they became raving fans.  

Because of the success of this campaign, we now create host/beneficiaries for cleanings with one large and one small company every month. We also offer it to the team of the charity that we are supporting that month. 

So perhaps your next question is how do I set up these host/beneficiaries? Well, sometimes it's all about the relationships. The easiest way to “get through” is to ask a patient who works at the company to make the connection. Or you can “cold call”, but you might not get 100 percent agreeing to the partnership. However, even if the acceptance rate is 20%, that is quite fine as there are limitless options of companies that can be contacted. I would suggest making the offer for them to share with their team vs. their customers, as they will look like a winner to their employees. And remember this is a task that can be delegated. 

This strategy speaks to what is a new patient worth. You see, it didn't cost more than an email to create and market the campaign. It cost us a little chair time and some prophy paste. But the value of that campaign will last a lifetime! 

Click below to receive a Free Guide which shares the exact email that we send to companies:

What's Next?

Join the Delivering WOW Dental Hangout, my FREE Facebook Group to Join Other Dentists Are Getting Results by Taking Action! On the inside you will get direct access to Dr. Holmes as well as past podcast guests to help you scale up and get results!

Click Here to Join Now!

How to Achieve Your #1 Goal in 100 Days with John Lee Dumas

Every year I kick off the New Year saying this will be the best year ever. And guess what, it always is. The #1 reason why I'm so confident is that I plan for success. I set goals! I am so thrilled that you have decided to follow my podcast. I am committed to bringing high-quality guests: Top Experts in Dentistry and Non- Dental Entrepreneurs. This podcast will always deliver!

I'm going to kick off 2016 with a topic which can change not only your path of success but also your life, I’m going to kick off the new year with some advice from John Lee Dumas.  After hosting over 1200 interviews on his award-winning podcast EOFire with successful entrepreneurs, John is definitely an authority on what it takes to achieve business success.

In this Episode, John and I discuss the importance of setting goals. John shares his story of success, including what makes his podcast unique, which system has helped him to focus on what matters most, and how he built his massive brand.  John also shares his passion project. It’s called the Freedom Journal: Accomplish Your Goals in 100 Days. It’s a hardbound, 300-page physical book that walks you step by step through the process of not only setting a goal but accomplishing it within 100 days.

The #1 Reason Entrepreneurs Succeed?
They SET and ACCOMPLISH Goals.

The Freedom Journal is YOUR accountability partner and will guide you through the process of setting and accomplishing your #1 goal in 100 days.

The Freedom Journal will:

  • Guide you through establishing a SMART goalS – Specific
    M – Measurable
    A – Attainable
    R – Relevant
    T – Timely
  • Hold you accountable for 100 days with…Daily – Affirmations, quotes, tasks, and resources;
    Sprints – 10 day sprints to accomplish mini-goals;
    Quarterly Review – Check status every 25 days.
  • Help you establish & maintain a goal-oriented mindsetEntrepreneurs fail because they don't have someone to check in with them – to help hold them accountable to doing what they say they'll do.Now you do.

    Let The Freedom Journal guide you on your journey to success. Let The Freedom Journal guide you on your journey to success. And everytime a funding goal is met, Pencils of Promise will get a donation of $25,000 to build a school in a developing country.

    Ready to accomplish your goal in 100 days? 

 

Links mentioned in this episode:

John Lee Dumas

Entrepreneur On Fire

The Freedom Journal

6 Steps to Create a Practice and Business That WOWs

Are you ready to get some MASSIVE results for 2016?  Perhaps it's time to start Delivering WOW.

So what is Delivering Wow….

Delivering Wow is a customer-focused approach that service businesses, including dental practices, can take to consistently provide a high level of service and quality. What makes Delivering Wow different from the typical activities of many dental practices is its emphasis on consistency and importance of our six core areas. Many dentists want to provide good service, but most fail to provide excellent service on a consistent basis. Not because the dentists are bad people, but because they do not have a systematized way of delivering that consistent experience day in and day out.

Delivering Wow fixes that. In fact, Delivering Wow transforms a ho-hum and struggling dental practice into an above-average practice that experiences massive growth. The reason this approach works is because it focuses on specific areas that affect the business’s relationship with its customers: Vision, Culture, Core Values, Team, Systems and Brand.

  1. Your vision as a dentist will affect the entire practice, as well as your future growth. If you do not have a vision, then anything can happen, because there is no strategic future you are looking forward to or planning. The vision is the big idea you have for your business, and ultimately, your life.
  2.  Culture is important because it is the story that you create for your practice.  It is what you want to be known for.  Every company has a culture, whether you create it, or it evolves. Being focused on your company culture helps ensure you are developing the environment to bring forth your vision
  3. Core values are important because they help you set the tone (culture) and they help you work toward the vision. If you are focused on the wrong core values, then you will produce a culture and environment opposite of or different from what you intend.
  4. It’s important to have the right team in place, because the team you hire consists of the people who will represent you and your practice to customers and the community. Having the wrong team members, or having team members in the wrong place can be detrimental to growth.
  5. Systems are essential for scaling your operation. If you are stuck and feeling as if you are having to do every single thing at your practice, then it’s because you do not have the proper systems in place. If you are providing inconsistent experiences to customers, this is also a weakness that has been revealed because of lack of the proper systems.
  6. And lastly, brand is the result of all of the earlier core areas working together. Your brand is what people say about you when you are not around — it is what they know of your business. If your brand is off, then you won’t attract the customers you desire. Creating a unique brand will separate you from the next dental practice in the mind of your customers.

If the only thing you believe you can compete on is price, then you don’t have much of a brand, and indeed, you will find yourself in a race to the bottom, as you work to grab customers’ attention by lowering your fees. In order to compete effectively, your brand must be about something besides being the low-cost provider, as there is always someone willing to go even lower. If your brand is about Delivering Wow, then you immediately set your business apart as being different. Being different is always better than being better.

Dr. Anissa Holmes, a Global leader in Social Media Marketing, and owner of Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Services, helps dentists and small business owners receive massive growth through developing their culture, systems and brand.

Dr. Holmes, through her podcast, The Delivering WOW Dental Podcast and her blog Delivering WOW, shares tips for designing a unique business culture to deliver a “Wow” experience every time, strategies to triple leads and new customers as well as strategies to build an amazing team.

 

The Time is Here. Dream BIG and take Action!

 

Hopefully by now you have planned your goals for 2016. Whatever they are, I dare you to think Bigger! Stretch a little higher! Do so and you will be amazed at the results.

For the last 2 years I set some really BIG goals. Goals even higher than I thought physically possible to achieve. Why, you may ask. It's quite simple. By setting big hairy audacious goals, and then by taking ACTION, you will find a way to achieve them.

One example of a big goal for my dental practice was to double my revenue from the previous year. I then thought about what, as a business, would we have to do, as well as who would we need to be to get there. We sat down as a team and brainstormed on how we could deliver more wow services and thought about systems which needed improvement. We reviewed our scripts. We created a Marketing Plan which listed each month how we would better impact the community, how we would grow our new patients, and how we would better serve our existing customers. We focused on our company culture and on building our brand. We focused on social media. And guess what, we doubled revenue.

Another goal that I set personally was to write a book. Honestly, I had no idea how to make it happen logistically. However, I wrote down my goal. I then did the research and created action steps to get there. I am proud to say that on December 31st I sent my manuscript back to the editor to finalize to go to press.

Your goals may look totally different than mine. However, the key to getting anywhere is to write down where you want to go as well as the steps to get there.

Another key point here is that if there is something that you really want to do, or need to do, and you don't know how or where to start, invest in reading a book, hiring a coach or getting an accountability partner.

Here's to 2016, your best year ever!!
 

Here’s How to Create Your BEST Year Ever!

Many people have big dreams which never become a reality.  They live on Someday Island. They say “Someday I'll write that book. Someday I'll work less. Someday I'll spend more time with my family and take that well-needed vacation”.  Well, this is the year to reach your goals, grow your business, and start to enjoy your life!

The key to achieving massive results is to first plan and then to write down the steps needed to achieve your goals.  I have had some phenomenal results over the last few years as a result of implementing yearly planning.  Yearly planning has literally changed the way that my team and I think, and has significantly impacted the success of my practice.

As a result of yearly planning, in 2015 we quadrupled new patient numbers, doubled revenue, and were able to deliver more “Wow” services to our patients.

Here are the exact steps that I used to create my Yearly, Quarterly, and Weekly action plan.

Looking Back:

  • Look back on your current year.  What goals did you achieve?  What difference did it make to your business?
  • What didn't you achieve that you intended to?

Going Forward:

  • Create an overall theme for the upcoming year.  For 2015, my theme was growth.
  • Choose 3 main goals for the year: I chose to focus on Systems, Brand Development, and Profit goals.
  • Conduct a brainstorming session with your team to create a list of systems which need to be implemented.
  • List creative ways that you can build your brand and be more profitable.
  • Once you have your master list, decide which 15 goals you will work on for the first quarter.
  • Break these goals down into months and weeks.  Once they are broken down into weeks, assign the team member who will be responsible for implementing each task.

Here is an example of a weekly planning sheet.  Make sure to download your Free template. Here is an example of a weekly planning sheet.  Make sure to download your Free template.

What has been most amazing is that because we do planning and break tasks down into weeks we know 3 months ahead of time what we are doing each week to grow the business. The most interesting thing is that it is not me as the business owner doing these things.  These weekly tasks are being done by my team and who are held accountable by the office manager.  I simply oversee designing the plan, and watch the magic happen.

Your leadership as the business owner to inspire your team as well as to give them the tools to succeed are the keys to having a more productive and accountable team.  Remember the business cycle.  The business owner inspires the team who wow's the customers who support and grow the business which supports the owner and the team.

Make sure to listen to my interview with Action Coach Chairman Brad Sugars on why Yearly Planning yields Massive Results!

 

 

 

 

Here’s How You Can Work Less and Get Your Patients to Say YES!

The last several months I have been testing a new system, and it has been a GAME-CHANGER for my dental practice. I have been able to cut back more clinical hours to focus on running my business and to create more personal time, my team is happy and my patients are scheduling more treatment.  

What is this revolutionary discovery?  Well it's really not revolutionary at all. It's quite simple.  

What we implemented was a new system, a system for scheduling.  As I have discussed before, the key to maximum productivity is in creating systems, and Block Scheduling is no exception.

Here are the Benefits:

  1. Patients have an opportunity to have all recommended treatment done in one visit, thus eliminating time off from work and multiple back and forth visits.
  2. Once patients know they don't have to “figure out” when to fit in their appointments over several visits, it makes it easy to block one morning to get all the work done.
  3. Decreased overhead as less setups are used throughout the day,  thus decreasing the cost of sterilization bags, disinfectant, needles, water and electricity.
  4. Increased efficiency as the rooms are set up and broken down fewer times for the day.
  5. Longer procedures are done in the morning when the provider's eyes are fresh.
  6. Increased consistency as the days are more structured.
  7. 80-90% of the day's revenue goal is made by lunchtime.
  8. Significant increase in production and profit.

Here was our action plan. If you follow these steps, you will be amazed at the results:

  1. Create 3 morning blocks on your schedule.  In my case they are from 8-9am, 9-10am, and 10am-12pm
  2. The only procedures which can occupy my blocks are 4 or more fillings, a crown, veneers, or a combination of the above.  I do no do root canals, but they could be placed in a block as well.
  3. Cements, follow ups, consults and single fillings are not to be placed in these blocks
  4. For those patients requiring a longer block, they can take the 2 hour block from 10-12, or can take two 1 hour blocks (8-9am and 9-10am)
  5. One morning of the week and every afternoon is not blocked to accommodate 1-3 fillings, cements, adjustments, consults, etc.
  6. Blocks can be released the day before after 1pm.  If lab cases come in, we will call to schedule those patients in these released spots. Patients love if they can get back in quickly to cement their cases.

Once we started offering every patient who had 4 or more fillings and or a combination of crowns to do all work in one day, we were amazed at the results.  What we heard was “Of course I'd prefer one visit.  Why would I want to come back several times?”  That was very interesting…

Some of you may ask about numbing multiple areas in one visit.  That's pretty simple, we just let our patients know that they will be numb for about 3 hours.  They are quite fine with that because it saves them so many trips. 

Our patients are happy, our team is less stressed, our costs go down, our production goes way up, and the dentist, well I have time to write these posts:)

 

Do You See Your Patients as Customers?

While doing a podcast interview with Howard Farran earlier this week, he heard me refer to my patients as customers. So…I thought that I would do an article on this topic.

In my practice, we absolutely see our patients as being both patients and customers.  The patient aspect is in delivering amazing, consistent dental work that will be strong, look natural and will give long-term peace of mind. The customer aspect is in finding out what our patients are there to “buy”, and giving it to them.  

Our patients don't buy crowns, they buy peace of mind knowing that they won't have a tooth break while on vacation. They don't buy Scaling and Root Planing, they buy peace of mind that their teeth will not start to look long or get loose over time.  

We developed a system of asking “why”.  So if a patient says they don't want braces, we ask them why.  Then we find out what their real resistance is and can speak to that.

This concept is really about our perception. It's not about us calling patients customers when we speak to them. 

Once we have made a decision to open a dental practice, we are opening a business. Some dentists do not want to become business owners, and that is absolutely fine. However, if you choose to do so, you will have a more successful business if you find out what matters most to your patients, know your numbers, create consistent systems, and only create marketing strategies based on getting the best ROI. 

One other good point is that it's never about us; it's about the patient. Although patients can “love” us and our team, if the quality is not good or if you don't respect their time, they will move on to the next dentist that they love. 
 

In my practice, our new patient numbers went from 15-150 by finding out what they want. We did so by asking our long time patients, though post-treatment surveys, as well as by asking our Facebook community.

These were our findings:

1.)People want to be seen on time: Some people don't have a lot of time to wait. What matters most to this group is being seen on time. If they consistently have to wait, they will find dental services elsewhere.

2.)People want peace of mind that their dental work will look natural, be strong, and will be long lasting: This is the group that may be willing to wait forever to see you.  What's most important to them is that their denture fits, their smile is beautiful, or that they don't have to keep coming back.

3.) People want a great experience: Many fearful patients fall into this category. What matters most to this group is how you make them feel, and that you have a personal connection with them.

I challenge you to find out what matters most to your patients/customers, and give it to them.

 

Don’t Focus on the Competition, Focus on What Makes you Unique

While trying to grow a successful company, there are many things that you can focus on.  However, to get the greatest amount of success, you should focus on what matters most.  It doesn't matter if you own a restaurant, or are providing a service, like a dentist or accountant, you must focus on what makes you different.  

Let's face it, we have lots of choices of where to spend our money these days, and so do consumers.  The businesses that thrive all have one thing in common- something that makes them stand apart.  Amazon offers convenience which allows them to stand apart from other online retailers.  Zappos is known for their culture and amazing service.  Dominoes is known for delivering dinner to a hungry family in 30 minutes or less.  What makes your business unique?

The secret is to find out what matters most to your customers, and give it to them.  In my dental business I realized that people want to be seen on time.  So we put in systems and a guarantee to make that happen.  We also knew that most people are fearful when going to the dentist, so in addition to amenities such as gourmet tea and freshly baked plantain tarts, we offer headphones to take away the sound and complimentary arm and hand massages. We focused on being different.

Once you focus on being different, customers will notice and will be drawn to you because you are solving not only their needs but their wants.  The basic service that I provide is a dental service.  However, all dentists do cleanings and fillings.  It is the extra touches that have allowed my business to consistently receive 10 times the industry standard of new patients with a very tiny marketing budget.  Our marketing is our uniqueness and our culture.  
 

3 Top Ways to Get Massive Results

Many people say that they want to grow their business. They say that they want more profits.  They say that they want more time off.  The problem is that many business owners say these things without knowing how or without implementing the necessary action steps to get there. 

The key to massive growth, and what all successful large corporations have figured out, is that every area of the business must be systematized.  This means creating “how to” manuals for each position.  This means understanding and implementing testing and measuring systems.  This means knowing your break even point.

Some business owners say that this is too much work.  However, systems allow you to have consistency to deliver a better product or service, and allow your team to acquire the tools to help build your business.

Here are some top systems to implement to fast track your success:

 People and Education

  • Set the Company’s Vision, Mission Statement, and Core Values
  • Complete “How To Manuals” for each position
  • Complete Team Member Positional Contracts
  • Create Weekly Lunch and Learns
  • Implement a Book Club for Development- all of my team members have kindles 

Testing and Measuring

  • Complete and Work from Monthly Budgets
  • Know the Margins for all Products or Services that you provide- Margin takes into account the fixed expenses per hour to run your business and the variable costs, including materials, to supply the product or service.
  • Keep a Record of Your Profit Margins and Compare from Month to Month
  • Track and Measure all Leads
  • Track your Conversion of Leads to Customers
  • Measure Key Performance Indicators for all Areas of the Company
  • Measure your Average Dollar Sale per Customer
  • Test and Measure Every Marketing Campaign to determine the Return on Investment
  • Do an Analyses of your Supply Costs quarterly to ensure that you are getting the best price
  • Negotiate with your Suppliers
  • Know your Fixed Expenses Per Hour
  • Know Your Break Even Point 

Written Checklists and Manuals

  • Create an Operations Manual which includes Pictures
  • Complete a Policies and Procedures Manual
  • Document All Sales and Marketing Systems
  • Create a KPI Chart for the Company that Lists What Everyone must do Daily, Weekly, and Monthly
  • Use Whiteboards to Track Services Completed versus Daily Targets
  • Use Checklists for All Tasks
  • Schedule Regular Equipment Maintenance

Choose just 1-3 systems to work on at a time and set a deadline of when it must be completed and who in your business will be responsible for implementing it.  Before you know it, you will be amazed at how far you have come and what you have accomplished. 

Here’s How to Have a Successful Life

Unfortunately too many business owners fall into the trap of overcommitting too much time to their business, at the expense of sacrificing other aspects of their life. They carry work home and have limited interaction with their spouses or significant others. Their kids occupy their time on electronics. They neglect their friends, and do not commit time for their personal health and fitness. While growing your business is very important, it is only one slice of the pie of life. 

When you look back on your life, what will create your lifelong memories?  Will it be time vacationing with your family and friends, time watching your kids perform in the school play?  Or will it be time buried in a computer or at work. Don't get me wrong, I am serious about my growing dental practice, and have assembled an amazing team and systems to receive significant profitability and growth. However, I realized a while ago that if I didn't focus on other areas of life, I would have lots of regrets.

And so it went. I created a default diary to schedule in time for myself, date night and communication time with my spouse, time to watch my kids at their activities and to chat with them at home, time with friends, time for my personal hobbies, and time to run my business.  Guess what happened?  I became healthier, happier, and my business grew even more.  I focused on the most important tasks, and my relationships grew.  I am now living my ideal life.

There are the different slices of the pie of life. Putting all pieces together will make your life whole.
Dr. Anissa Holmes, a Global leader in Social Media Marketing, and owner of Jamaica Cosmetic Dental Services, is a Pioneer in the area of Cosmetic and Family Dentistry. She is constantly using innovative ways to reach out to patients to break down fear that many have when going to the dentist.  Dr. Holmes, through her blog Delivering WOW, shares tips for designing a unique practice culture to deliver a “Wow” patient experience every time, strategies to triple new patient numbers, and well as strategies to build an amazing team.

 

Here’s How to use Checklists to Receive Massive Results

Have you ever come back from an educational conference fired up and excited, but had the enthusiasm fade in just a matter of weeks?  Unfortunately, this is all too common. Perhaps it's because we feel that we will get resistance from our team.  Perhaps, it's that we feel that we don't have the time to implement. Perhaps we simply don't know how.

The only way to get massive results is to take action!  This means writing down what you want to do, and creating a deadline of when it must happen.

I would recommend keeping a notebook or a note file on your smartphone to keep track of all of the things that you would like to do to grow your business.  This list can include action items to implement new systems, to develop your brand, or to make your business more profitable.  

Every quarter, take one day to plan, and choose 5-12 goals in each area to focus on. Then break them down into monthly, weekly, and daily goals.  The next step is to decide who will be responsible for the implementation of the goals.  Most times, this will NOT be the business owner.  One of the major roles of the office manager in my business is to oversee this checklist, and to ensure that all action items are delegated to the appropriate team member. The office manager and team member collaborate, with my input if needed, to get the job done. Also, involving the team builds value as they become vested in making the business grow.

Some early action items that I implemented were to create manuals for all positions, create a minimum quantity list to manage inventory and supplies, and to create written scripts for how we would answer the telephone, patient emails, and Facebook questions.  

A few other great systems to put into your plan are to:

  1. Implement a Weekly Lunch and Learn
  2. Create Name Tags for theTeam
  3. Create a Photo Shoot for Professional Photos for Your Website and Marketing Campaigns
  4. Gather Patient Testimonials
  5. Update Your Website
  6. Create a Coffee Table Culture Book
  7. Create Strategic Alliances
  8. Decrease Supply and Lab Expenses
  9. Determine Fixed Expenses Per Hour
  10. Determine Cost of Supplies and External Expenses (such as lab), for each service that you provide
  11. Know your Break Even Point
  12. Create a Monthly Marketing Plan that is Budget Driven

I challenge you to take action.  For it's through action that you will receive Massive Results!

How to get your TEAM to Over Deliver

It is very interesting that many business owners say that their team should be satisfied to just “have a job”, or that their motivation should come from within.  

While it is true that your team should be self-starters, you will see their productivity and commitment to grow your business multiply once they feel your appreciation.

Have FUN with your team!  Offices can do bowling, paint-on-canvas parties, surprise shopping sprees, zip-lining, or spa days. These encourage team-buildng, and allow the team and the business owner to bond and grow.  

Many business owners say that they use verbal encouragement. This is, in fact, more important than any monetary compensation that you could provide. Once your TEAM knows that you appreciate their efforts to help your business grow, they will be motivated to give even more. I often comment in front of my customers how I am so fortunate and thrilled to have an Amazing team. My team members say that they have never felt so appreciated!

I personally believe in offering a reasonable base salary, with the remaining compensation based on performance.  That way, the TEAM is vested in the company. They are willing, if needed, to work through lunch or stay late.  They do whatever it takes to please to customers.

Only once the business is profitable, then the team can be rewarded a bonus.  Many business owners give financial rewards without knowing their numbers, or if they are in a position to do so. We were fortunate to give a 1 month's salary mid year bonus.

My team has done vision boards, so they know ahead of time what their bonus will be allocated to. If there is no profit, there is no bonus.  We are all working to achieve our goals, and it just works!

 

Here’s How We Increased Revenue by 100%

When I look back on my evolution as a dentist and a business owner, all I can say is “WOW”!  Every year I say that the next year will be the best year ever, and it always is.  

First I built a practice based on having strong core values and a unique office culture. Next, my TEAM and I put in systems of creating manuals and tracking and measuring everything. Then, once the systems were in place, we really worked on developing our brand.

2014 saw a 68% increase in revenue over 2013's numbers, and we were thrilled!  However, I knew we could do more. We could expand our services. We could add additional providers. We could give back more to the community. We could expand our hours. We could create more unique patient experiences. And we did.  

Next, I was introduced to the concept of tracking individual services based on revenue goals for the year.  I thought, “I am a dentist!  That doesn't make any sense.  I can only diagnose and recommend treatment that a patient needs. I can't do that!”  Then I got it….

Things that you focus on, grow.  

So in order to accomplish our goal of completing a specific number of services, it would have to mean that our patients experiences would have to amazing. Our team would have to be well trained so that they could educate patients on the benefits of all of the services that we offer.  We would have to ask lots of questions to find out what matters most to the patients. The quality of our services would have to be amazing. We would need tools and technology to show the patients why we recommend ideal treatment. We would need systems to start the same day. And we did.

So we started to track individual services.  We set targets for every service that we offer based on revenue goals. The most interesting thing is that we really did not diagnose any more procedures, but everything else changed. We became obsessed with “Wowing” our patients.  We became committed to not let a patient leave our practice without having all of their questions answered.  We worked through lunch and stayed late.

The first month we met all of our goals except for one.  My team told me that the target was too high.  I said, “No we can do it!”  And we did. The following month we met that goal, and all of the others.  It was amazing. The third month, my TEAM actually increased the goals, and that's where it got really interesting.

Needless to say, at the end of month 6, it was time to celebrate!  The entire TEAM received 1 month's salary as a bonus, which came as a percentage of profits.

Ready to receive massive growth?  Here's how it works. We use a whiteboard to list all services that we offer.
  -The target number is written next to the service in red
-Every day we place the number of how many of that service is completed month to date in blue.   
-The blue number changes to green once we meet the target.  

**The goal is to have all of the blue numbers change to green.  This is where we currently are for September month to date.

Here's an example of how we implemented the system of tracking crowns:  

  1. We only diagnose crowns for teeth that would benefit from a crown. These are teeth with large, leaky fillings, teeth with failing crowns, or teeth which have had root canals which were never restored.
  2. Our TEAM has had hours of training in crowns through our weekly lunch and learns. This includes understanding the benefits of crowns, the different types of crowns that we offer, and the long term effects if recommended crowns are not completed. As a result of their training, they are able to spend lots of time showing before and afters of cases done in our office, physical examples of crowns, as well as educational videos.
  3. We created a system of how the phone is answered when “shoppers” call and ask for the price. We, in fact, ask them questions such as which type of crown would you like, or what has caused you to need a crown. By asking questions, you can better serve your customers. This is because you know what they want and why they want it.  Asking questions also shows them that you understand their needs, and can help them. 
  4. We created the SYSTEMS to start a crown the same day.  Our assistants do all of the preliminary work such as the impressions, x-rays, as well as fabricate the temps, so it is easy for me to work in a crown while I am completing a procedure on a different patient.  We also offer complimentary arm and hand massages, so the next patient can be numbing and enjoying their massage while I finish my crown preparation.
  5. We offer several payment options, including a pre-payment courtesy and flexible financing with great payment terms.
  6. We ask the patients if they want to start today.  

The other amazing thing is that if you track daily, you can influence the result.  A great tool that we now have is Social Media.  If you see that your number is low in a particular area by the mid part of week two, you can always send a promotion to your patients who have unscheduled crowns in their treatment plan or place a targeted ad on Facebook for those who know that they have a crown to do.  

So it's actually the systems, not diagnosing anything more, that gets the results. We spend lots of time understanding what our patients want and make sure that all of their questions are answered. We offer flexible payment terms, have the right team and systems, and are committed to being different.

As a result of tracking systems, we have had a 100% increase in revenue from the same month last year.  We can't wait to see what 2016 has in store!
 

Here’s How to Double Your New Patients Overnight

Wow!  That's all that we can say.  This month has been amazing.  We are “Wowing” lots of patients and they are thrilled to provide testimonials.  So how did this happen?

  1. A Unique Office Culture- Our “Think Big and Have Fun” Company Culture allows us to focus on Delivering WOW in every area, from On time Appointments, to Quality of Dental Work, to Wow Experiences.  We are passionate about what we do and what we deliver.
  2. Social Media- By sharing and growing our Social Media presence through Facebook and Instagram, prospective patients are constantly seeing 5 Star Reviews and testimonials.  Typically 40% of our New Patients come from Social Media.
  3. Strategic Alliances- Through partnering with companies who have the same target audience, we are able to create a win for both businesses and our customers. $50.00 Gift Cards were provided to a local Day Spa and Optical.  They presented our Gift Card to their customer after they purchased a specific package or spent a certain amount.  
  4. Host Beneficiares- This 1 Strategy has been HUGE!  How it works is that you make a new patient offer to other businesses that they can share with their TEAM and team's families.  We offered 50% off New Patient Cleanings to a Leading Bank, Investment Brokerage Firm, Bakery, and Small Business Association.  We had to hire an additional hygienist to serve all of the new patients!

The most interesting thing is that ALL of these new patients have been “Wowed”.  They appreciate our On Time Guarantee, are thrilled with the Quality and Consistency of their Dental Work, and are LOVING the WOW's of complimentary arm and hand massages, iPads and bluetooth headphones to take away the sound, blue mountain coffee, freshly baked plantain tarts, and toothbrushes in the bathroom.  

So the cycle will continue…

It All Starts with a Vision

The best way for you to actually achieve your goals is to first create a vision of where you want to be in the future. What are you working for?  It is important for you to know that going to work and serving your customers is what is allowing you to be able to achieve your personal dreams. Not only dreams for yourself, but it is also very important for your team to know their visions.  One great activity that I have done with my team and my children is to create Vision Boards. This is a simple activity where you cut out pictures of what you want for yourself in the future, and place them on a piece of poster paper.  I have placed countries that I wish to travel and things that I want to accomplish personally and for my business.  My team also have done Vision Boards.  They placed images of a new house, a car,  a vacation- or dreams for their family.  And my kids, yes, they placed images of where they want to go to college and places that they wish to travel.  And why? Why do this exercise.  It's simple.  Once you know where you want to go, then you must write down the steps needed and then take action to get there.

You can achieve your goals exponentially by writing them down.  At the end of each year, make a list of 50 things that you want to accomplish in the next year.  Then each quarter, decide which 12-15  goals that you wish to focus on that quarter.  You can then easily break them down to 1 per week.  At your quarterly planning, you must also write down who, in addition to yourself, will be responsible for completing each task. Remember, you will get more done when you have a well-trained team and a team of experts helping you.  Hire people who are better than you, and only focus on the most important tasks.

Get started, and you will see Amazing Results

Free Resources!

1) Vision and Mission Accelerator: Create and Set your Vision, Mission and Core Values with this step-by-step guide