What did dentist like us focus on before we started practicing dentistry? Well, we focused on…Dentistry. Because once we decided on that career path, we had to spend years of higher education learning how to be the best we could be at it.
But let’s face the truth, though – what we didn’t learn how to is; business-people.
That was the missing component from most of our educations and a vitally important one. You can be an amazing dentist and still run a lousy business; in the long term. This will hurt your ability to serve your patients.
That’s why, I’d like to share with my fellow colleagues and really anyone with a small business, the lessons I’ve learned and implemented over the years as I built an amazingly successful dental practice.
Here are 10 of my success secrets that allowed me to make that awesome transition and will also allow you to create the business of your dreams.
Secret #1: It’s a business!
The number one goal of any business is to make money. Some basic principles in place for the practice are; to fill your chair, get money and show your patients some love, to improve your attitude and willingness to work. You can no longer say I was too tired to do a treatment when it was added to the schedule; that’s like turning away the opportunity. Also, you can’t be successful by yourself – you need to hire and train the right team to back you up.
Secret #2: Share Your Business Vision
You probably carry your business vision around in your head, but that vision would do a lot more good if you got it out of your skull and shared it with your staff and patients.
SECRET #3: Create the right culture
Having a strong staff culture in place is vital; your staff is representing you to your patients, and they need to reflect your personality and your approach. That culture also unifies your staff and keeps them on the right track.
Give your staff specific goals to fulfill whenever they encounter a patient. Few of them are:
- Greet the patients and make them feel at home.
- Introduce yourself with a firm handshake and a smile. Make Eye Contact.
- Let them know how long their appointment will be.
- Let new patients know about all the procedures and services you offer.
- Always try to make their day.
When you put certain standards like these in place, they become part of the normal routine. Your patients will appreciate and come in again.
SECRET #4: Train and invest in your staff
Do you want a bunch of random employees doing random things? Or do you want to build a strong, effective team that get things done the way you want them done? If you’re willing to put forth the time, effort and expense, you can build a winning team that provides the high level of support and service that both you and your patients want out of your practice.
SECRET #5: Know what you do
When you think about what you do, think about it in terms of the benefits you deliver to your patients. And be able to state those benefits in about thirty seconds or less!
SECRET #6: Pump up your service
If you spot a problem during a routine check-up, see if you can handle it the same day so the person doesn’t have to go through the trouble of coming in for another appointment. Take the time to explain dental issues and procedures in terms the patient can understand. Your focus should be on them, not on you. Help them to make the best possible decision for their oral (and overall) health.
SECRET #7: Make it easy to pay
Most patients want to make the best dental care decisions, so they simply find it hard to pay for them in this day and age. Help them out as best as you can. They’ll appreciate you going the extra mile for them to help them work out the best cost on their terms.
SECRET #8: Systems will set you Free!
When you set up the right systems at your office and document them correctly, you’ll find that everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing at any given time in any given situation.
SECRET #9: More patients solve most problems
So how do you get more patients? Simple. Marketing. Just as dentists have to be businesspeople, they also have to be marketers. Sooner or later, your current patients will either leave or die – which means you have to continually look for new ones. Marketing is how you do that. Know who you’re marketing to, your campaign presentation must fit your audience. Train your staff to “sell” when answering incoming sales calls. Converting a lead to a sale is a skill that everyone needs to learn.
SECRET #10: SHARE THE WEALTH
Reward your staff when they attain certain performance benchmarks. Some dentists think, “That’s what they get paid for,” but that’s a little short-sighted. A bonus, a trip or even a simple thank you is an easy way to reward performance – and it’s an incentive for those who don’t get a bonus, to try harder next time.
Reference from: The Success Secrets
‘The Success Secrets for Dentist’ by Dr. Scott Schumann