Owning a dental practice without the right dental consultant can be challenging. Not only do you need to master dentistry, you also need to become an astute business owner and understand the intricacies of managing a successful business.
If this sounds daunting, it should be. Juggling the demands of being a dentist and figuring out the finer details of running a profitable business isn’t easy. In fact, while most dentists are good at being a clinician and fulfilling dental care services they offer, they often fall short in managing the day-to-day operations of running their business. This can include failing to manage capital expenditures, profit and loss statements, team leadership, business growth strategies and marketing. Dental practice management and dentistry are two very distinct things.
Fortunately, you can avoid this unpleasant scenario by hiring a dental practice consultant. By hiring the right person, they allow you to create a comprehensive business plan that will help you establish a successful practice. They can also help you understand your practice’s financial and patient care plan and create systems that will help set you up for success.
When is the right time to hire a dental practice consultant?
It’s never too early to hire someone, however if you are unsure whether you need to or not here are a few thoughts you should consider first.
- Hiring a dental consultant isn’t a silver bullet. In fact, hiring a consultant will initially add to your work load, but you will greatly benefit from it in the long run.
- You need to be committed to change. If you are serious about improving your dental practice and are serious about having someone to help you, you better be ready to change. Far too often dentists hire a consultant to review their practice, but fail to actually implement any changes, rending the consultant’s work pointless. Changes needed can range from the mundane like technologies and software in use to the more reflective analysis like professional life and personal life balance.
- Clinical skills alone aren’t enough. Too many dentists believe that their education and skills should be enough to create a thriving dental practice. The problem is that patients have no way to genuinely discern the difference between a dentist who went to the best dental school in the country and a dentist who graduated from a lower tier school. While being a highly skilled dentist is great, by itself it will not guarantee a successful practice.
- Practice-management systems are not the complete answer. Setting up a practice management system is important, but far too often they too complicated and nobody understands what his or her position is and the dentist just get frustrated spending a lot of time and money. Practice-management systems alone are helpful, but they are certainly not the answer.
- A combination of systems is the answer. Implementing a balance of smart clinical efficiency and easy practice-management skills and systems will help set you up for success.
In order to make the most of your dental office it’s extremely important to take a step back and recognize the value of asking for help. The best way to do this is to hire a professional advisor who can walk you through everything you need to know and answer any questions you might have.
With the right person, they will help you create systems and a culture to improve the efficient and profitability of your practice. These systems will help you understand your practice’s finances such as payroll and overhead costs and improve office flow, patient care and treatment acceptance.
In addition to helping you define new systems, a practice management consultant will also help you create a positive culture in which all team members hold each other accountable to achieve your office’s mission. A cohesive and motivated dental team plays a critical role in creating a positive office culture which is not tangible but has big effects on the practice’s success.
With the guidance and advice of a dental practice consultant you will likely see an increase in patient referrals, better office morale and a healthier bottom line.
To learn more about when you should hire a dental practice consultant you should download my book DentalEase – the essential guide to building the stress-free and profitable dental practice of your dreams. The first chapter is free to download and will give you even more insight into how to create a successful dental practice.