3 Ways to Get Help Running Your Dental Practice

3 Ways to Get Help Running Your Dental Practice

 

Running a dental practice is a lot of work. There's no denying that. But that doesn't mean all that work needs to be done by the doctor. That's a prescription for stress, burnout, and physical and mental health challenges. 

Help is all around the dental industry. The key is finding reputable, reliable, and quality help for your dental practice. Here are three ways to get real help running your practice.

Invest in training your team. 

 

3 Ways to Get Help Running Your Dental Practice

 

Some dentists are so overwhelmed that they cannot even carve out the time to train their team. They spend all day putting out fires and by the time the patients are all taken care of, they just want to go home and sleep. Early morning hours aren't the solution for practices like these, either; with such a hectic and stressful day ahead, doctors need all the rest they can get.

We have so many options to help our team members get trained. For example, we can invite trusted dental consultants to our practice to train our team members. We can also put team members through online or in-person training courses.

One key to getting your team to implement the training is to make sure the systems and processes they learn become your office's standard. One of the biggest challenges to getting consistent work product from team members is to make sure every team member knows what to do. Implementing the training and holding team members accountable is often the hardest part for dentists. But it is essential to being able to delegate confidently and achieve consistency in your practice. If you invest in training, be sure to support the learning. 

Invest in dental technology.

 

3 Ways to Get Help Running Your Dental Practice

 

Dental technology has come a long way in a short time. We have technology available to help with almost everything we do. For example, dental technology can help make dental marketing easier. It can help increase dental practice efficiency and communication. It can help with dental SEO and online reviews for dental practices. And, of course, new technologies can help us provide better care to patients.

Together, the right combination of dental technology can help you increase profits and save time and money. It can help you perform more and higher-value procedures. It can help your team communicate more efficiently. It can help you understand where to focus your marketing time and efforts. And it can help you hold your team accountable for implementing new systems and processes into your practice.

Give yourself the tools you need to do your best work. And give your team the tools they need to do their jobs consistently well.

Invest in coaching.

 

3 Ways to Get Help Running Your Dental Practice

 

The best thing I did to shift away from being deeply in debt and working way too hard was hiring a coach. My coach helped me see things more objectively, get organized, and make better choices.

Getting outside guidance from an experienced and objective coach can immediately improve results. Coaching can take many forms. Some coaches help with specific areas of running a practice, such as case acceptance, setting a practice vision, or reducing overhead. Others guide you on more general operations and growth strategies. 

But coaching does not only have to be focused on dental practice operations to be helpful. Many dentists could benefit from hiring a mindset coach, life coach, or personal trainer to help them continue their personal growth. If your challenges extend beyond practice-specific operations, hiring an experienced coach can help.

One of the best benefits of coaching is that it is an ongoing relationship. Your coach works with you, your team, or both on a regular basis. This helps ensure consistent improvement and accountability. If you want help with consistent improvement and accountability, working with a coach can be one of your best investments. 

Do you have enough help with your practice?

If you need help running your practice, then investing in team training, dental technology, and quality coaching can help. Team training can help implement new systems and processes to get your team working efficiently and consistently. Dental technology can help in many ways. It can even help reinforce the team training if you choose the right technology to match the training. And coaching can help you and your team members get additional help, direction, and accountability to promote consistent improvement.

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

If you want help developing leaders within your team, our team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program can help. Not only will we share tools, trainings, and resources, but we can also train your team members directly and help hold them accountable.

You can also create an easy opportunity for your team to increase their commitment to the growth of your practice! Our Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge is exactly that opportunity. Over 300 practices have participated and the feedback we hear all the time is that by the end of the 21-day challenge team members are so much more invested and excited about the growth of the practice. But don’t take our word for it, read their testimonials about the challenge here.

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

Gossip is something many dental practices deal with. Many of us experience it in our practice. It is important for all team members to be able to voice concerns and resolve problems. Everyone needs to be able to talk about and improve work conditions. They need to be able to get feedback on how to handle situations and brainstorm solutions.

But when people resort to gossip, it causes pain, fractures trust, and creates a toxic culture. To eliminate gossip, we must understand where it comes from and create a safe environment to resolve issues before they lead to gossip. Here are six characteristics of a healthy, gossip-free practice culture.

1. Clear Expectations and Accountability

 

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

 

Dentists and other practice leaders must be very clear that there should not be any gossip happening in the office. Educate the team on the best ways to get help with team members or leadership. Talk with them about ways they can communicate with each other to discuss and help find solutions to issues in a productive way.

Ask your team members to also lead the way and set those clear expectations with each other and when new people join the practice. Clear expectations and accountability will help ensure a no-gossip environment continues over the long term.

2. Vulnerability-Based Trust

Vulnerability-based trust occurs when people are comfortable sharing problems they are experiencing without fear of retaliation or losing respect. It also occurs when people feel safe discussing issues with the person causing the issue—especially as the dentist or team leader. With vulnerability-based trust, people know others will support them in finding solutions and not judge them for not being able to solve a problem on their own.

There must be vulnerability-based trust among your entire team. If issues cannot be resolved because there is no trust, that is an environment that is ripe for gossip.

3. Agreement and Commitment from the Entire Team

 

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

 

Make sure there's agreement and a commitment from everyone in on the team to having no gossip in the office. This is not something one leader or dentist can do on their own.

Most of the time, gossip happens outside of the dentist or team leader's presence. If the issue is about them, the gossip will occur outside of their presence. If the issue is about someone else, their conversations are generally solution-focused. That is why it is important for leaders to set expectations but get wider agreement and commitment. The team's commitment and agreement will define your long-term success when it comes to building a no-gossip environment.

4. Commitment to Discuss Issues With any Person Directly With That Person

When the team is comfortable discussing problems or challenges with the person causing it in a productive way, everyone wins. If someone needs help, that is fine. Even having somebody sit with you while you discuss something that is difficult can help keep the situation productive.

Encourage your entire team to address things head on directly with the person causing the issue. If they want help, encourage them to approach leadership with their concerns so they can get advice and direction.

5. Solutions-Based Communication

 

How to Build a Gossip-Free Environment in Your Practice

 

Keep lines of communication open by promoting and practicing solutions-based communication.  Leaders must keep communication lines open and allow people to talk about difficult things in a productive way—especially if they need to give the leaders feedback. This avoids putting up a barrier that leaves team members confused about how to get issues solved. Because they will not know what to do they will start talking with each other and make it much more likely that the conversation will lead to gossip.

Ask team members to bring suggested solutions to conversations if they need to talk about something difficult. The solution you bring might not be the one that is adopted but it ensures the tone of the conversation is solution-focused. Let them know that it is ok if they do not have a suggestion. In those cases, ask them to be able to discuss things they considered. That will also help focus the conversation on finding solutions.

6. Real-Time Feedback

Create an environment of consistent real-time feedback—positive feedback and constructive criticism. When we constantly solicit feedback, we will create an environment that catches issues early.  When somebody needs to give you constructive criticism, it can be difficult to not get emotional or upset. You can ask clarifying questions but make it a safe discussion or people will eventually resort to gossip.

We can create an environment of consistent real-time feedback by asking for feedback at the end of each shift. Ask team members what went well and where could we have done better. As time goes on, these conversations help avoid things from getting to the point where team members feel the need to gossip.

Are you building a gossip-free environment?

An environment with these six characteristics gives all team members a safe place to have their voices heard and resolve issues without needing to resort to gossip.

TAKE ACTION TODAY:

If you’re anything like the 300 practices that have gone through our Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge, you may be feeling like your team could use a bit more energy and excitement about growing the practice. That way they could spend less time on gossip and more time serving patients and doing the dentistry we all love. If that sounds familiar, then this is your invitation to join our 21-day Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge, and get a 20% discount at checkout when you use the code CHALLENGE here.

How to Run a Productive Team Meeting

How to Run a Productive Team Meeting

Holding productive team meetings is one of the best ways to make sure your most important practice tasks get done. For some larger practices, that means meeting regularly with your leadership team. Smaller practices might include every team member. Either way, the key to success is to run your meetings well.

We suggest holding meetings on a regular schedule, preferably weekly but no less frequently than every other week. Weekly works best because it puts you in better control of your practice results. They ensure you do not wait two weeks to learn about and address issues. Also, if you are traveling and your team needs to run a meeting without you, you will not go a month without attending a meeting.

Regular weekly meetings create a productive rhythm for your practice. Here is our seven-step plan for getting the most out of team meetings.

1. Opening Exercise (5 minutes)

 

How to Run a Productive Team Meeting

 

Appoint a team leader to run your meetings. Make sure they start and end every meeting on time. Starting on time sets a standard of timeliness that extends beyond the meeting. Ending on time makes everyone focus during the meeting and avoids having them drag on.

 

Make sure someone takes notes at each meeting. Important items will be discussed and having to remember it all is impossible, especially with so much on our plates. Keep those notes in one place, such as a single notebook or shared Google Doc.

As the meeting opens, the meeting leader should ask for a volunteer to share one personal achievement and one professional achievement from the last week.

Personal achievements could include that someone ran a 5k and are really proud. A professional achievement could be that someone asked ten patients for reviews that earned six five-star reviews for the practice.

This is not a time for discussion, just announcements, but it is an important part of team building. Move around the room until everyone has shared a personal and professional achievement.

2. Scorecard Review (5 minutes)

Take five minutes to review and fill out your practice scorecard. Ask each team member to let you know if their scorecard items are on or off track.

If it is on track, great. Anything off track should be moved to the IDS portion of the meeting, where you will identify, discuss, and solve practice issues.

3. Rock Review (5 minutes)

In addition to practice goals, each team member should have their own rocks—or goals—to pursue. Take five minutes to review practice and individual rocks and find out what is on track and off track.

For example, one of the doctor’s rocks might be to create a dental savings plan. One of your team leaders’ rocks might be to get cancellations and no shows below 10%. Another could be to create a coffee table culture book for the practice.

Asking each team member about their rocks during your meeting helps build a culture of accountability and support among team members. If something is off track, put it on the agenda for the IDS part of the meeting, during which you all identify, discuss, and solve issues.

4. Customer and Employee Headlines (5 Minutes)

 

How to Run a Productive Team Meeting

 

After each team member updates you on their rocks, take five minutes to discuss updates about patients or employees. These can be positive or negative, such as good Facebook or Google reviews or disgruntled patients. This is also a good time for team members to give kudos to colleagues who have gone above and beyond.

If something negative can be resolved quickly, do so. If it needs more discussion, add it to the IDS portion of the meeting.

5. Previous To-Do List Review (5 Minutes)

Take five minutes to discuss the status of to-do items from last meeting’s IDS session. Ask each team member whether they have completed their to-do items.

If so, check it off as complete. If they are on target, keep it in the to-do list for next week. If they are off target, move it to the IDS discussion for this week.

6. IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve) (30–60 minutes)

This will take the majority of the meeting time. Ask each team member to take thirty to sixty seconds to write down the three most important issues they are facing.

When they are finished, have one team member identify their issues. Once the issue is identified, take a few minutes to discuss possible solutions. After a couple of minutes, choose a solution with which to move forward. Then put the tasks on a to-do list for your next meeting, and assign the tasks to the appropriate team member.

Go around the room until you identify, discuss, and solve each team member’s top three issues.

At some point during your IDS session, you the meeting will start to wind down. Give a ten-minute warning to ensure the meeting will end on time. Do the same with five minutes left, at which point the meeting will begin to conclude.

7. Review and Conclusion

 

How to Run a Productive Team Meeting

 

Once you have completed your IDS session, recap your to-do checklist so everyone knows what they need to do. Read them out loud and make eye contact with the team member responsible for doing the task. Designate someone to deliver messages to people who could not make the meeting.

Finally, ask each team member to rate your meeting on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the best. If someone rates it less than an eight, ask them to tell the group why so you can improve.

Are you ready to boost productivity in your practice?

If you want to make your practice more productive, high-impact productivity meetings might be the answer. Follow these seven steps, and you will be well on your way to a more productive office.

To learn more about boosting productivity in your practice, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

And if you want to go beyond productive team meetings to a practice that’s as effective, repeatable systems designed to help you grow your production month over month, then our upcoming Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge is for you.

How I Built a Delivering WOW Practice with Marcia Woon Choy

 

In this episode of the Delivering WOW Podcast, I interview Marcia Woon Choy, the business coach who helped me to build a Delivering WOW practice.

In this episode, we discuss my journey of building a Delivering WOW practice.

We discuss how I was able to transform my team, and the systems which were put in place to build a practice that could run without me.

We discuss the exact strategies which were used to create a practice full of raving fans, and the specific strategies which were put in place to fast-track success.

In this episode you'll learn:

  • The first steps you can take to create a profitable practice that can run without you
  • How you can get your team aligned, and what to do when your team members are resisting change
  • The concept of working on your business vs working in your business
  • Easy strategies to increase the profitability of your practice
  • How to create a 90-day plan to achieve your quarterly, annual, and 5 year goals

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!

Beyond 32 Teeth: Leading Your Team Through Communication with Dr. Lisa Knowles

Dr. Lisa Knowles writes daily and has contributed articles to Dentaltown Magazine, Dr. Bicuspid.com, The ProDentist, Dentistry Today, Dental Products Report, and Dentistry IQ.  Lisa has a wealth of information that inspires dentists to look at dentistry and health in new ways. Encouraging leadership, communication skills, personal growth and practice management are some of her strongest subjects.

Dr. Lisa Knowles’ interest in dental care Beyond32Teeth® grew throughout her extensive educational background beginning at Alma College, as a Communication major, and then next at the University of Michigan where she earned her DDS degree. After 15 years in practice, and seeing a need for communication expertise in private practices as well as in dentistry as a whole, she decided to marry her two loves: dentistry and writing/communication. With these skills, she helps dentists strengthen their teams & find more personal satisfaction as a business owner, a clinician, and a leader.

In this episode, Lisa and I discuss why communication is so important when building your dental practice. We discuss the role of being an effective leader, as well as the importance of delegation to multiply your results.  Lisa discusses the importance of taking the time to train your team, as well as the importance of providing feedback for your team so that they can perform. She discusses the importance of checklists so that everyone knows what to do, as well as to have a specific person on your team to ensure that all systems are implemented.

Download Your Copy of “The Complete Checklist to Systematizing Your Practice”

Links In This Episode:

Beyond 32 Teeth

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

Recommended Reading from Dr. Knowles

Getting Naked Patrick Lencioni

Checklist Manifesto Atul Gawande