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Post-Covid-19: How to Get Cash Flow Back as Fast as Possible

If there’s one thing that’s sure in a post-covid-19 world, it’s that the future of dental practice cash flow will be different. That doesn’t mean it has to be worse, just different.

So how do we position ourselves to ensure the future of our practices will be strong? One way is to be very intentional about how we open back up. We must take social distancing and PPE requirements into account when we open up.

If we plan our opening to minimize the impact of social distancing and PPE requirements on our patients and our practices, everyone benefits. Patients benefits by ensuring they get the best care as safely as possible. Our practice benefits by opening up with stronger cash flow to support our team members and operations. And we benefit by being in more control of the future of our practice.

Here are three ways to get cash flow back in your practice as fast as possible while continuing to provide incredible care for your patients.

1. Use block scheduling to maximize production.

 

 

Post-Covid-19: How to Get Cash Flow Back as Fast as Possible

 

When we operate at full capacity, it is easier for the patient and the practice to break treatment plans across multiple appointments. With limited capacity, this could cause issues to go untreated for months. It was also easier to mix less urgent care with more urgent care with so many available appointments.

With lower capacity and additional time required between patients, we will have fewer available appointments for patients. Thus, we must look through our patient population and prioritize.

That might mean prioritizing patients who need scaling and planing. These patients have infections or inflammation and have already delayed treatment. They need to be a high priority. It might also mean prioritizing perio patients. In my practice, we are also focusing on patients with more extensive treatment plans, such as crown and bridge patients.

In addition to prioritizing, we want to have conversations with patients about doing more care in one appointment because of our limited capacity. If they need to spread out the care to spread out the costs, we should be prepared to help them spread out the costs through financing even if they do all the care in one appointment.

Having your patients come in and do more per visit is going to allow them to be able to get their treatment done without gaps in time. And it’s also going to allow you to be able to have fewer patients in the practice. That will also increase cash flow because you’re going to be doing higher production and higher profitability types of procedures.

2. Minimize patients per day.

 

Post-Covid-19: How to Get Cash Flow Back as Fast as Possible

 

I’ve long been a proponent of block scheduling for your dental practice. It helps us maximize productivity by prioritizing high-value procedures. But with new PPE requirements, block scheduling also saves us money.

The more patients we see, the more PPE we need to buy. And with it being hard to get and more expensive than ever, those costs add up. Some practices are passing through the charges. We chose not to in my practice. Instead, we are minimizing the number of patients we serve as well as the number of appointments for each patient so we can minimize our PPE use.

We’re talking with our patients about how they can help us care for more people and minimize the PPE we need to serve people by maximizing their procedures per visit. With financing options available if they need to spread out costs, they understand. We’ve built amazing relationships with our patients over the years.

So we are asking our patients to help us minimize PPE use. We’ve gone from seeing twelve patients per day to six. That alone can cut your PPE expense down quite a bit. And your patients can get the care they need without having to take multiple days off of work.

Many doctors are uncomfortable having conversations about what’s going on in our practices with patients. But if you have always been there for your patients to take care of them, they’ll understand and support you.

But you can’t minimize your need for PPE without block scheduling for productivity and minimizing the both the patients per day you see and visits per patient for each patient to complete their treatment plans.

3. Set specific goals for your practice.

 

Post-Covid-19: How to Get Cash Flow Back as Fast as Possible

 

There’s an old saying in business: “What gets measured gets done.” If you open your doors without specific goals, you will never maximize cash flow and production, even with more efficient scheduling.

Setting goals and actually monitoring and tracking them gets you results as fast as possible. Some of you have been through our past marketing and practice growth challenges, where we help you implement a whiteboard system and set goals for your dental practice and get your team on board. Others are just getting started.

No matter what your history is with setting goals, setting new goals for your practice can help you get all of your team members focused on the same outcomes. Once you set your production goals, bring your team together each morning, and take a look at your progress.

If you’re falling behind on some goals, ask team members what can be done to get back on track. What can the scheduling coordinator do? What can your doctors do? Do you need to jump onto Facebook and do a Facebook Live discussing a procedure you want to promote? Do you need to bump up your marketing?

Setting goals and monitoring production is the best way to get your entire team focused. With a focused team comes production. And with production comes cash flow.

What are you doing to maximize cash flow as you reopen from the Covid-19 pandemic?

Are you block scheduling, minimizing PPE needed, and getting all of your team members working together to achieve common goals? If not, now is the time to get started.

If you don’t want to go at it alone, we are helping hundreds of practices during this time in our Platinum Mastermind Gold Program, and are offering special value for you and your teams!

 

 

 

How To Find Gaps and Growth Opportunities in Real-Time

When running a dental practice, simpler is usually better. It’s true with systems and processes. It’s true with messaging. And it’s true with growth.

And these days, with so much going on, the simpler the better. We have more than ever on our plates. So, simple strategies to improve our practices are even more valuable.

There are few simpler growth strategies for your practice than to use a budget and profit sheet organized by procedure. If you don’t track revenue by procedure in one place, now’s a great time to start. Without it, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities to learn what’s working best and what might be falling through the cracks, all in one place.

Once you have that set up, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps to identify gaps and growth opportunities for your practice.

Identify top performances.

 

 

Take a look at the past twelve months and identify your most productive months. Start with your best overall month. What procedures contributed to that? What procedures stuck out as low? You might be surprised at the answer to both of those questions. Many practice leaders are.

Did any procedures spike in on or two months? When you identify outlier performances for procedures, think back to those months and see if you can identify what was going on with those procedures that month.

When I did this in my practice, I noticed my best months had spikes in sealants, perio, and even dentures. That’s important because many practice leaders don’t think of dentures as a top contributor. We think high revenue will come from crown and bridge or clear aligners. But we did more than $10,000 in denture production during our best month.

Set goals and take action based on what you learn.

There’s a saying in business that people “vote with their wallets.” In other words, while it’s helpful to listen to what patients say, it’s even more helpful to watch what they do.

So, if you see production it tells you your patient pool is interested in those procedures. Take that information and use it to grow your practice and serve your patients better. 

First, set big goals for those procedures. Several years ago, I hired a coach who challenged me to set bigger goals. It started with me setting goals. I was so proud of my goals. She was happy with them, too. But then she told me to double them. I was thinking too small, she explained. If you think too small, you act too small.

So I’d encourage you to set goals for those procedures that start at your best performing months. Set out to make your best month over the past year your lowest month over the next year. When you think bigger, it forces you to take bigger actions.

Once your goals are in place, identify the actions you need to take to make them happen. Identify patients who need those procedures. Get them scheduled. Talk with them about those procedures. 

Turn on some marketing relating to those procedures. Do Facebook Lives about the procedures. Email existing patients about the procedures. 

Talk with your team members about your goals, so they can be on the lookout for patients who might need those procedures. 

Update your sheet weekly and review results at least monthly.

Once you set goals and devise a plan to achieve your goal, have a team member take five minutes per week to input real-time results. It takes just a few minutes for a member of the team to take the production by procedure code report and input the numbers for each service once a week. Update your numbers each week so you have the most up-to-date numbers and can adjust as needed.

At the end of each month, review the results from the past month and adjust goals for the following month as needed. As you hit your goals, you might need to set even bigger goals for the following months.

Are you looking for gaps and identifying opportunities?

If you don’t maintain a sheet of revenue by procedure, you’re missing a big opportunity to find gaps and discover hidden growth opportunities. These simple steps can help you turn that simple information to high growth for your practice in any environment.

If you don't want to go at it alone, we are helping hundreds of practices during this time in our Platinum Mastermind Gold Program, and are offering special value for you and your teams!

 

 

 

Virtual Solutions to Help Assist Through COVID-19

Virtual Solutions to Help Assist Through COVID-19

In this trying time when the world is faced with so much uncertainty and fear, it’s more important than ever that we come together as a community – even if that means we can only interact virtually.

The ADA (American Dental Association) is recommending that dentists nationwide postpone elective procedures in response to the spread of the coronavirus disease. This is said to last for at least three weeks, but it may continue longer depending on the development of COVID-19.

In response, I decided to reach out to Michael Anderson, the Co-Founder of Wonderist Agency, a full-service dental marketing agency. Wonderist Agency delivers the best in dental marketing, with a smile. They also specialize in virtual consults, which is something that many dental practices are likely to shift towards during this difficult time to connect with patients and team members alike.

Michael and I discuss how dental practices can leverage virtual solutions to help assist through COVID-19 such as hosting virtual consultations with patients, training team members, and how to cope with the impact that COVID-19 will have on things like patient care, team training and revenue.

 

Virtual Solutions to Help Assist Through COVID-19

 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to leverage virtual consults
  • How to determine what cases are classified as emergencies
  • How you can be there for your team and patients during trying times like this
  • Everything you need to know about hosting virtual consults
  • How to use Wonderist’s virtual consult software at no cost

 

Virtual Solutions to Help Assist Through COVID-19

 

If you want to use the same virtual software that Michael talked about in this podcast episode, head over to https://www.yourvirtualconsult.com, where you can access the software at no cost during this time.

Although the site will ask for your credit card information to sign-up, you will NOT be charged. Remember to use code FIGHTCOVID19 to benefit from the no cost virtual consults offer.

I hope that you find this episode helpful and please know that my team and I here at Delivering WOW are keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers and we hope that you, your families, and team members stay safe and healthy.

To watch the full episode as a video, hit play below:

 

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

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

 

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

 

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

 

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

 

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.

3. Tools

 

3 Pieces to a Productive, Profitable Dental Practice

 

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, our team of expert coaches and training resources in our Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program can help. You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

With so many documents, photos, and bills to manage, keeping organized can be a nightmare. We need to organize leadership files, patient photos, advertising assets, and more. We need to keep our accounting documents organized to make sure bills get paid. We need to keep training and development files up-to-date and accessible to everyone who needs them. And with many team members accessing key documents, it can be easy to get disorganized.

Google Drive can help you keep everything organized and make sure everyone is working from the best and latest information. Here are four steps to using Google Drive to make organizing documents, photos, and monthly bills easy.

1. Create primary folders within your main Google Drive.

 

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

 

Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage and synchronization service. If you manage your practice email using Google, you already have a Google Drive account. If not, you can sign up for free. Google Drive allows you to control who can access documents on an individual level or by folder.

Once your account is active, set up folders for your primary practice categories. We set up folders for accounting, leadership, marketing, office documents, patient photos, and training and development. If we have special projects that are outside of those main categories, we will set up additional folders. If you use Asana to create teams and assign projects, you could match your folders to your project names to make it familiar for team members.

These main folders should make it easy for team members to know where to find and save documents. Invite team members to the folders they will need to access to make sure the right people have access to the right documents.

2. Create important sub-folders within your folders.

Sub-folders are an important part of getting and staying organized. Instead of putting all files relating to marketing in one big folder, organize the documents further using sub-folders, and sub-sub-folders. For example, within marketing, we have sub-folders for articles, Facebook ad examples, Google ad examples, images, swag information, and a few more.

We also have a main folder for photos. Within those, we have a sub-folder for patient photos. Within our patient photos sub-folder, we have further sub-folders for procedures, such as dental implant before-and-after pictures. Within that sub-folder, we have additional folders for each doctor. Within each doctor's sub-folder, we have folders for each letter of the alphabet.

That folder structure allows us to easily find patient photos by procedure, doctor, and last name.

3. Make sure everyone uploads all documents to the right folder or sub-folder.

 

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

 

Once your folder structure is in place, make sure each team member stores documents in the right folder. Have one file system and one place for each type of document. This way, nothing can get lost.

This is especially important for keeping monthly bills organized. In my practice, we scan all bills into the computer. We then put them in sub-folders by month. For monthly bills, my team knows use the accounting folder, monthly bills sub-folder, and specific month sub-sub-folder.

4. Communicate about each document using Google Drive comments and Asana.

Google Drive's document sharing feature is helpful. You can create a link to each folder, sub-folder, and individual document that you can share with your team. If you need to communicate about a document, you can add a comment within Google Drive and tag the right team member to see the comment.

You can also use Asana to communicate by creating a task for the document within Asana, pasting the link, and communicating back-and-forth within the Asana task.

How do you keep files organized in your dental practice?

 

Using Google Drive to Organize Practice Documents, Photos, and Monthly Bills

 

If you do not have one place to organize your documents, Google Drive is a simple but powerful tool. You can add every type of file to Google Drive. You can add images, PDFs, Microsoft Word documents, Google Spreadsheets, or any other type of file. It helps you keep everything safe and in one place.

To learn more about getting organized and productive, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.

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 to Create Teams and Assign Projects to Team Members Using Asana

Asana is one of my favorite tools to increase productivity in dental practices. It is the best way to collaborate with team members to manage key tasks and projects. You can easily get everyone on the same page and prevent key tasks from falling behind or not happening at all.

Asana keeps everything organized and sends automated email notifications to team members when they have something to do or a task they are working on gets updated. You can also send notifications to team members manually through Asana by tagging them in a post just like you would tag someone on social media.

If you have never used Asana before, you are only four steps away from the peace of mind that comes with knowing your most important tasks are organized, assigned, and on track.

1. Sign up for Asana to manage dental practice projects with ease.

 

How to Create Teams and Assign Projects to Team Members Using Asana

 

If you have never used Asana, you can sign up at Asana.com. Asana is a web-based program so you can access the secure platform from anywhere you have an internet connection. No need to stay late at the office to review progress and keep tasks on target anymore.

Asana offers a free version for small teams that do not need customized privacy settings. The free version lets you either keep information private to you or make it public to everyone on your team. For customized privacy settings, which I recommend, claim a free trial to the premium version. Customized settings allow you to choose exactly who has access to what information, instead of limiting it to nobody or everybody. When your trial expires, you pay a small fee per user. If you use Asana well, increased productivity will more than cover the fee.

2. Create teams for your practice.

The best way to manage projects is to make sure everyone knows exactly what they need to do and by when they need to do it. Asana’s “team” function allows you to do just that. Once you set up your account, you can set different Asana teams for different needs and assign team members only to the teams they need to access.

We suggest starting with five teams. First, create a team for your entire practice. There, you can share practice-wide initiatives, news, and information. Second, create one for training where you manage training activities within your practice. Third, create a team for accounting and finance. There your accounting and finance teams can manage information. Finally, set up a team for marketing where you can keep all your marketing materials and activities organized.

When you set up a team, choose a name, add a description, and then add email addresses for team members who need access. You can choose for the team to be hidden or public to the entire practice. Projects and tasks in a hidden team will only be visible to members of that team. Projects and tasks in a public team will be visible to all practice team members.

3. Create team projects.

 

How to Create Teams and Assign Projects to Team Members Using Asana

 

Once you create your teams, start creating projects for each team. As with teams, you can edit privacy settings for projects to be public or private only to select team members.

We recommend adding projects for the items you want to make sure happen in your practice. For example, you could set a project for your Team Leader Live Agenda, Training, 90-Day Planning, and Systems for your practice-wide team.

Having a Team Leader Live Agenda projects allows you to make sure your agenda is up to date. It also ensures your entire team knows what topics their team leaders are focusing on. Your Training project lets everyone know what training they must complete. The 90-Day Planning makes sure you set your 90-day goals and stay on track with tasks needed to achieve them. Finally, a Systems project organizes key practice systems in one place.

4. Create sections and assign tasks to the right team members.

Within projects you can create multiple “sections.” Sections function as additional ways to organize tasks by timeline or priority. For example, in your 90-day planning project, you could have three sections, one for each month.

Once you set any sections you need, you can easily create and assign specific tasks to team members. Each task is organized in one convenient thread where you can add a description, attach documents, assign a due date, communicate with team members, and even assign the task back and forth. All of your communications will be in one place, so you never have to waste time searching email or papers again. When a team member completes his or her part of a task, they can “assign” it back to you for review similar to volleyball players knocking the ball back and forth over the net. If you need them to adjust their work on a task, you can add a comment and assign it back. If it is complete, you can mark it as complete or assign it to another team member to add their part.

Are you ready to get more organized and productive than ever before?

 

How to Create Teams and Assign Projects to Team Members Using Asana

 

Asana is my favorite productivity tool for your practice. Once it is set up, creating and assigning tasks will be easier than ever. You can keep all tasks organized and on track from wherever you have an internet connection.

To learn more about using Asana to get more organized and productive than ever before, check out the team of expert coaches, training, and resources we offer in our signature Delivering WOW Platinum Mastermind Program.

If you want to join hundreds of practices that we've been helping on getting more productive and organized, please check out our upcoming Marketing & Practice Growth Challenge.

Find out more here — plus use the code CHALLENGE at checkout to get 20% off!

How To Create Systems That Work With Dr. Evelyn T. Samuel

How To Create Systems That Work With Dr. Evelyn T. Samuel - Delivering Wow Podcast

This week on the Delivering WOW podcast I spoke to Dr. Evelyn Samuel.

Dr. Samuel became a Dental Practice and Small Business Efficiency coach by chance. After achieving her life-time goal of becoming a Dentist, she set out to provide excellence within her chosen field. She had a unique experience after her residency. She worked in many different types of practices as a contractor and saw first-hand that although many of the owner dentists were excellent clinicians, they didn't have systems in place to run their businesses effectively. In fact, she continued to see the trend of dentists who were hands-off with their businesses, many times hearing them say, “I just want to do dentistry.”

How To Create Systems That Work With Dr. Evelyn T. Samuel - Delivering Wow

When Dr. Samuel opened her first dental practice from scratch, she discovered she had a gift for running the business and even hired business coaches before opening her doors and ‘hanging her shingle.' She and her team continuously read books on and took courses to enhancing the experience of her practice's customers/patients.

Years later after helping many colleagues set up/run their practices and publishing a book, ‘100 Things I HATE/Love About Dentistry: A professional's guide to efficiency profitability and sanity!‘ with practical vignettes of how to run an effective business, Dr. Samuel established her Efficiency Coaching Firm.

How To Create Systems That Work With Dr. Evelyn T. Samuel - Delivering Wow
On the podcast we discussed:

  • Evelyn’s journey to where she is today
  • How she gained unique experience working in many different practices before setting up in private practice, and how she realized many practices lacked systems
  • The lack of education in dental schools on being a CEO and a business owner
  • How important it is to know everything about your practice – you shouldn’t do everything but you should know about it
  • The most important systems that dentists need to focus on first
  • How effective it can be to role play out systems with your team
  • How to get your team on-board with systems
  • How to get started with developing systems
  • Evelyn’s new course – How to Start a Practice From Scratch
  • Getting started with opening a dental practice and why you should work out what your life goals are and ensure your practice aligns with them
  • Techniques for achieving our goals and the importance of learning about business and having a coach
  • What efficiency means to Evelyn

Evelyn can be contacted at info@drevelynteaguesamuel.com and you can head to efficiencyinstitute.com to find information about her ‘How to Start a Practice From Scratch' course and virtual workshops.

Here's a trailer of the podcast episode:

A Two-Part Mindset Shift to Help Dentists Avoid or Overcome Burnout

It's no secret that dentists experience burnout at a higher rate than professionals in almost any other industry do.

Unless you get help or take action to do things differently, the constant pull between treating patients and running a business makes burnout a real possibility for any dentist. On top of that, growing regulatory and liability concerns create a high-pressure environment that looms over almost everything we do in our practices. In addition to the practice, regulatory, and liability concerns, we can't forget that we're human. Sometimes, we get so caught up in all the details of serving patients and running a regulated, higher-liability business that we forget to take care of ourselves; we lose ourselves amid all the pressures we feel on a daily basis.

These stressors push a lot of dentists out of practice altogether. Others go through life overworked, underpaid, unhappy, and depressed. It's no wonder dentists experience burnout so often.

It doesn't have to be that way.

With just two mindset shifts, you can start building a practice you love and position yourself to avoid burnout altogether, or overcome burnout you're currently experiencing. These two shifts work by helping you do two things that are critical to avoiding or overcoming burnout.

Two things these mindset shifts do to help you avoid or overcome burnout.

First, they help you change the way you view your roles as dentist and business owner. They give you a healthy perspective on your roles and responsibilities. This is important because many dentists view their roles in a way that promotes stress and burnout. By adjusting your vision of your roles, you can build better boundaries and structure in your practice. That will give you more control and help you reduce stress.

Second, these mindset shifts help you identify the parts of your practice that aren't in your control. This is important because it sets you up to emotionally let go of things you can't control. Letting go of things you can't control helps you focus on the things you can control, which makes you more effective in those tasks. Over time, this helps you achieve better results in less time.

When you're just starting out, take a few minutes each morning to review these two mindset shifts. Be intentional about keeping them top of mind throughout your day. As time goes on, you'll begin retraining your brain to be burnout resistant by reducing, eliminating, or outsourcing the most stressful parts of your practice.

1. Start viewing your patients as customers to serve instead of people to treat.

Seeing your patients as people to treat is problematic for two reasons. First, it defines the role of the dentist as someone who's only there to work on teeth. Second, it defines customer success in terms of treating teeth.

With that mindset, a dentist focuses all of their attention on the customer's teeth. As long as the treatment is professional, the dentist has done her job.

The problem with this mindset is, although it helps the dentist focus on caring for teeth, that skill is something every patient assumes their dentist has. They go to the dentist expecting the dentist to take good care of their teeth. If that's all you do, it creates a very forgettable, blah experience.

Shifting your mindset to view your patients as customers to serve, on the other hand, changes how you view your role as dentist and helps you look beyond the teeth. That mindset causes you to focus on every part of your patients' entire experience with your practice. When you do that, you improve every interaction about your practice, including patient intake, appointment scheduling, patient policies, customer service, and more.

This creates WOW experiences that your patients don't expect—and don't get from other dentists—which leads to much happier patients, more efficient and pleasant operations, and much less stress for you.

2. Treat your practice like a business and act like a business owner, not just a service provider.

Shifting your mindset from a service provider to a business owner is one of the best ways to avoid or overcome burnout because it causes you to get help and build efficiencies, so you don't have to do everything yourself.

The best way to scale your practice to run without you is to systematize everything about your practice. When your practice is systematized, your best practices are documented and shared with your team. This helps ensure anyone in your business can take tasks off your hands because they have step-by-step instructions from you about the best way to perform those tasks.

A systematized practice also makes more money because the dentists can spend their time on income-producing or other high-value activities and let salaried administrators perform administrative tasks at a far lower cost.

Treating your practice like you’re a service provider causes dentists to focus on doing too much work themselves, including administrative work on nights and weekends. Additionally, even if they have staff to help out, without documented best practices, their employees will be less efficient and inconsistent. That means the dentists end up working more, making less money, and giving patients inconsistent experiences. It's almost impossible to grow a practice like that, leading the dentists to constantly feel stressed and stuck.

Are you ready to lower your stress levels?

Avoiding or overcoming burnout starts with your mindset. Two of the best ways to start are to change the way you view your patients and your practice. With these two mindset shifts in place, you'll be well on your way to a more fulfilling and profitable practice!

3 Simple Shifts to Combat the Top Causes of Stress for Dentists

Building a successful dental practice can be stressful. Three of the top causes of stress for most dentists are heavy financial burdens (such as student loans), rising overhead (such as rent, salary commitments, and material costs), and operational stressors (such as needing to do everything yourself).

Those other stressors can cause any dentist to burn out, unless they address them very intentionally. Here are three simple shifts you can make in your practice to combat these burdens, reduce your chances of burnout, and position you to make more money while working less.

1. Get the right help.

One of the most common sources of stress for dentists is trying to do everything themselves while building their practice. Dentists who do this end up working more and making less because they spend too much time doing activities other people can do better and more efficiently than they could, instead of focusing on high-value tasks or other tasks that only they can do.

Many dentists fall into this trap in an effort to pinch pennies or because they don’t trust others to do things well. This is a big mistake because although it can theoretically save time or money in the short term, having to do everything yourself will cost you even more time and money over the long term because you’ll eventually run out of hours in the day.

The right help, whether as full-time team members or qualified outside contractors for highly-specialized activities, can help you reduce the stress of having to do everything yourself and free up your time—your most valuable asset.

Over time, team members will be able to perform activities better and faster than you because they’ll follow the directions you provide in training and identify ways to improve the process as they become more experienced. Outside vendors will come into the relationship with the skills and experience to perform tasks within their specialty better and faster than you.

In short, hiring the right people is one of the best ways to reduce this stressor, while simultaneously making more, working less, maintaining consistency, and achieving better results. Here’s a step-by-step guide to building the right team for your dental practice.

2. Systematize your practice.

One of the hardest parts of building a practice is letting other people handle important activities. Having effective systems in place for as many tasks as possible helps alleviate that stressor.

Documenting how you want tasks to be performed and then sharing those steps with team members or vendors helps you let go of activities that you shouldn’t be doing yourself. It also ensures consistency among team members and vendors, so you can quickly get someone new up to speed if a team member moves on or a vendor goes out of business.

Documenting the steps to perform tasks doesn’t need to be complicated, either. It can be as simple as writing instructions down on a piece of paper, buying software that will record your computer screen as you do a task so you can share a video of you performing the task with others, or anything in between. The important thing is you end up with something others can follow to take tasks off your hands. This can greatly reduce stress because after investing a few extra minutes documenting the steps you want others to take, you can be more confident having others perform those tasks.

Here’s even more information on how to systematize your practice so you can make more money while working less and providing consistently great service to your patients!

3. Turn your patients into raving fans.

Marketing your dental practice is another area of building a dental practice that stresses dentists out. Between social media posting, search engine marketing, and other traditional and online marketing, a dentist can spend hours a day and thousands of dollars a month on marketing, hoping to connect with future patients. Some of these activities can be outsourced to specialists who can help you become more effective and confident in your marketing tactics. I highly recommend you consider budgeting some time and money to do this, as I’ve achieved up to a 5,000% return on my marketing strategies.

But I also know that one of the best ways to market your practice is literally right under your nose every day: your patients. Most people are swayed by good or bad referrals from friends or online review boards. If you make sure your patients have the best experience possible, which I call a WOW experience, you’ll be building a large team of fans ready to sing your praises to their friends and family and post positive reviews online.

The best part about this is it doesn’t cost any significant time or money. In my practice, we give our patients iPads with headphones to drown out noise, hand and arm massages to relax them, and gourmet coffee and teas to make sure they know they’re special to us. We do this as part of the vision and plan for my practice, but it also helps turn our patients into raving fans so we can get the best advertising around—for free!

Here’s how to start turning your patients into raving fans!

The next step is yours.

Building a dental practice can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be if you focus on building it as a business that can operate without you. Getting the right help, systematizing your practice, and turning your patients into raving fans are three of the best ways to reduce your stress while you make more and work less.

What are you doing to reduce stress?

3 Skills Every Dentist Needs To Build a Thriving Dental Practice

What would it feel like to build a thriving dental practice that runs so smoothly you can make more money than you ever have while working less than you ever have?

What would it mean to you and your family to know your income is predictable and controllable, in good markets and bad?

All of that's possible, but before you can build a practice like that, you'll need to develop three essential skills.

 

With these three skills, you'll have all the skills you need to grow a thriving dental practice:

1. Top-quality dental skills

Patients expect their dentists to take great care of their teeth. As basic as it sounds, if you don't do good work, news will spread and you'll struggle to get new patients. This can't be overlooked. Everyone who serves patients needs to be very good at what they do.

2. Business Skills

Without basic business skills, you'll struggle to do what it takes to make more money in less time. To avoid that, it's important that you develop basic business skills that include delegation, leveraging resources, hiring, evaluating, and firing team members, patient relations, profitability analysis, sales and marketing, reading basic financial statements, and strategic planning.

There's no need to go back to school to get a formal business degree, but I do suggest you read at least one new business book right away and then at least another new business book every year, even if it's an audiobook you listen to on your commute.

I also suggest you subscribe to at least one relevant business podcast, network with successful practice owners online or in person, hire an executive coach to help you and hold you accountable, or find a mentor who's willing to share their knowledge and advice with you.

3. Leadership Skills

You can't have a strong team without a strong leader. Leadership skills are critical to scaling your practice because you can have the most sophisticated systems and processes in place, but your dental practice will only be as strong as the team implementing them. To build a strong, trustworthy team and then empower them to work independently, you'll need to learn how to listen and communicate effectively, influence, motivate, and encourage others, make wise decisions, and work in teams.

 Developing these leadership skills will help you get the best out of your team and build the trust necessary for you to empower them to run your practice without you needing to do everything. As with business skills, I suggest you continuously work on improving your leadership skills no matter how strong a leader you already are. The best leaders in the world consistently work on improving their leadership skills. You should too.

 Again, you don't need a formal degree, however I do suggest you read at least one new leadership book every year, subscribe to at least one leadership podcast, attend leadership conferences, network with strong leaders online or in person, hire an executive coach to help you and hold you accountable, or find a mentor who has strong leadership skills and is willing to share their knowledge and guidance.

 

Developing these three skills will position you to build a profitable dental practice doesn't doesn't need you to do everything in order to make money.

 Your dental skills will serve your clients well. Your business skills with help you plan and execute well. And your leadership skills will empower your team to operate without you so you can build a practice that helps you make more and work less!

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!