We All Gotta Start SomewhereMay 01, 2021
Running a dental practice is NO joke. It's not just cleaning and fixing teeth. Besides the teeth, you've got to worry about metrics and your employees. You gotta think about supplies, rent, insurance, and a whole lot more!
Today you will learn:
- My story
- Tips on how to create the BEST employees and patients3. Three key business principles in dentistry that many miss
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN...
I have been in practice for almost 16 years now and it's had its shares of ups and downs.
But hey, I've wanted to be a dentist since I was 9, so I think i'm doing pretty well so far!
I graduated from dental school at the age of 24 and by the age of 25, I bought my own practice in my little home town of 7,000.
At the time, our local dentist was ready to transition out of dentistry, so he sold me his location, which at the time only contained 6 treatment rooms. As we grew, so did the number of treatment rooms.
We now have 17... SEVENTEEN... treatment rooms! But I didn't get there overnight. Over the years I've invested over $1 million on coaching for myself, my team, training, and systems implementation.
I reached a breaking point come 2011.
I just woke up one day and thought, "Who am I doing this for?"
I was so unmotivated and frustrated. I was sick and tired of repeating the SAME day over and over and over again. The thing that got me most excited was quitting time and who wants to live like that?
So instead, I wrote down what I truly wanted. I wanted to feel the passion and excitement that dentistry used to give me. And after talking to a few other dentists, the conclusion was almost unanimous - we were all frustrated with our team.
TIME FOR CHANGE
One day, I came across a Ted Talk that started to put the gears in motion. Dan Pink Spoke about "The Puzzle of Motivation" and the 3 things that motivate people, which is purpose, autonomy, and mastery.
My team was lacking a sense of purpose. I had been lacking a sense of purpose too!
I mean, without purpose, what are you doing anything for? A paycheck can only go so far and we want to make an impact. Once I started to give my team a sense of purpose, you could sense the change in the air.
But, I had to change myself in order to accomplish autonomy.
I was micromanaging my team in a way that mistakes were plentiful and it seemed nobody could do anything right. What I hadn't realized was that I did not tell my team what I expected. I was simply disappointed when they didn't reach my expectations. That wasn't fair! To give them the autonomy to be amazing I first had to give them my very specific expectations of their roles. With those specifics in hand - they soared!
Mastery, boy was that a toughie to figure out, but I realized it meant systematizing my practice. Simply yet effective systems that anyone could follow and master were key.
So once I lined all 3 up, we GREW.
I learned that in order for me to have the BEST employees, I had to make the expectations clear and PRAISE them. If your team is doing an amazing job, tell them!
By giving them praise in front of them and patients, it motivates them to keep doing an amazing job. Same actually goes for your patients. If you want the BEST patients, you need to show gratitude and PRAISE them for big amazing patients. They'll want to keep being the BEST.
SHARING IS CARING
As I mentioned earlier, I invested over $1 million on coaching and training. That's a bit of money and, in reality, I want to HELP other dentists create the type of happy, positive environment that we have here at my practice.
The Pareto Principle suggests that 20% of what you do will account for 80% of you results. That's HUGE!
And to make things easier and simpler, I will be sharing my secrets of my 20% throughout my blogs and videos. Today is no different.
Here I have 3 KEY Dental business principles that are important, yet sometimes overlooked.
1. We are in the CUSTOMER SERVICE BUSINESS. We gotta focus more on our patient experience. These people are LITERALLY keeping your doors open, so you want them to come back. And the secret to doing that is to give it all your heart and focus on the small things. You can tell the best offices by walking through the front door and seeing people engaged. Receptionists are chatting with patients about their kids or weekend or just topics folks care about. Patients can feel like family.
2. This is a COMMUNITY BUILDING BUSINESS. Besides showing appreciation and love to both your team and patients, you gotta get involved. Attend events, parades, block parties, heck even HOST an event or two. (We're hosting a giant water fight! Buckets upon buckets of water balloons and water guns. It's going to be a BLAST!) What I've also noticed is that by being involved, you encourage other business owners to also become involved and often times, they'll reach out to you for direction.
3. You need to KNOW YOUR NUMBERS. As Marcus Lemonis once said, "If you don't know your numbers, you don't know your business." Dentistry is a big metrics business, so get familiar with them ASAP. The more you track, the more you'll learn and know where you need to spend a little extra time on.
In The End...
After I made some changes and really focused on motivating myself and my team, I can honestly say that I feel more fulfilled, happier, and am finally taking home the money I deserve.
At my practice, we all truly love what we do, feel passionate and more fulfilled, and encourage others to do it too. We have fun at work and don't sit around waiting for the end of the day to come. We laugh with each other and feel like family.
So to all the dentists that want to have more fun in their practice, feel more fulfilled, and make the money they deserve, I encourage you to follow me, take in the tips I will be sharing, and put them practice.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy.
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