Archive for Money tips for Business
If you answer “YES” to any one of the questions below, then it is important to care about what your patients have to say.
- Do you want your business to grow?
- Do you want more new patients?
- Do you want your patients to come back?
- Do you want to stand apart from the average?
- Do you want to make more money?
Some practices use electronic systems like Smile Reminder or Demandforce to survey their patients, however, if your questions are bland and generic, you will learn very little from your guests. Also, I’ve discovered that many practices fail to pay attention to the survey results. Consider doing an in-office, live survey, crafting practice-specific questions that will provide you with real-time and valuable information that can have a dramatically positive impact on your business. When the survey is complete, compile your responses and share the “learnings” with your patients, along with the ACTIONS you intend to take.
If you would like to receive an electronic version of my Top Ten Tips On How To Do Office Surveys, type “Surveys Top Ten” in the subject line of an email and I’ll send you a copy.
“Coach Ron, I need a ‘bunch’ of new marketing ideas!”
This is the common comment I hear from dentists. My response is an emphatic:
No you don’t! Instead be persistently consistent with just a few things.
For some reason, we seem to think we need to come up with fancy, high-tech, innovative ideas to grow our business when, in fact, we know the ‘truth’ already. The truth is we are looking for a magic pill – something that is easy and requires little effort. Nonsense. We know what works. Just a few things that you do better than others and to do it more consistently…just like Rick from Clean Sweeps Chimney Sweeps.
Consider the following epiphanies:
- Non-negotiable service starts at the top. The more you talk about persistent, consistent service, the more it becomes a priority and a part of your business culture.
- Who’s losing sleep? Do you have a Chief Experience Officer in your business that keeps this priority alive?
- We’re in a ‘relationship economy’ and ‘touching’ people (metaphorically as well as physically) in the simplest ways will set you apart from the pack.
- Be better today than yesterday. Systematize the few things that you do better than others and do it more consistently.
What are your ‘few things’ that you do consistently that will bedazzle your patients? Sounds like a team-meeting topic.
I bet you’ve seen the mass marketing guru’s, the practice management experts, and the social media wizards touting the importance of investing in all kinds of ways to promote and market your dental practice/business as we move into the New Year of 2014. It happens every year. Most of which involve “new programs and initiatives”, signing up for extended packages, and certainly involve substantial financial investments.
All too often we are convinced that we need to replace your current “stuff” with a host of “new stuff”…when in reality, through a simple and structured marketing plan, you can re-implement many of your low or no-cost initiatives that have been fun for you, your team and your guests…however, they were allowed to simply disappear and for no good reason.
I submit an alternative: Shop Your Current Dental Home. Consider the following steps:
- Walk through your office and look at every nook and cranny for forgotten items. Items such as sprucing up your Comfort Station in the reception room and stock it with flavored coffees and creamers – include juices, water and tea. Look in your closets for stored away and overlooked music headsets, neck pillows, lip balm, aromatherapy kits, your old towel warming unit, the Otis Spunkmeyer cookie baking oven, or your old paraffin wax spa hand treatment unit. Pull out the box of inexpensive toys and gifts purchased from the Dollar Store to give away to patients just for fun. What other forgotten patient-centered items could be shopped in your office? Think of it as a scavenger hunt for the entire team. Make it a game and offer prizes. This is marketing at its best to create your brand and to enhance the “connection” with your patients. This is about “touching” people through the smallest of intentions.
- Photograph all your items recently revived and put them on a Vision Board and have the entire team identify which are the top three patient-centered items you want to reinvigorate as part of your 2014 marketing initiatives. Assign a Champion to each initiative and establish your intentions, the outcome, a timeline, and a budget.
- Remove or eliminate any of the marketing ideas that no longer or never worked. Replace them with strategies that are focused on enhancing your patients experience with you, your team and your facility – many of which will be ideas that you once used, they worked, and are familiar but, for some unknown reason, we let them fade away. By modifying many of these old ideas (like finding furniture in another room of your house and covering it with a colorful throw and moving it into another place in the house) what was seemingly lost, is now fun, different and energizing.
Inspiring your team members to shop your business as a way to make your practice look different is a fun way to keep your business home feeling fresh and gives it new life. Not only is it cost effective and a team builder, it will help you feel like you have an energized practice and you just might appreciate what you currently have
As a follow up to last weeks post today I’d like to share lessons learned from Dr. Brunetti that can apply to your business or practice.
If they know your name…you have a BRAND.
Brand is an idea that you own in the mind of the market.
The Dr. Brunetti BRAND (replace with your name) is what the customer thinks!
What Do You Bring To The Party?
- What do you have that is UNIQUE? Or what are you doing that makes you stand out?
- How will you articulate that uniqueness well?
- What will you do to be relentless in making multiple, quality impressions?
Customers want relationships. Give it to them.
Best way to create a brand advantage – do one thing better than anyone on the planet.
- Stand out
- Declare your market
- Stick to it
- Dominate tightly defined markets
Branding is a matter of personality – wrap your personality around your business.
What brand does your image stir? How can you create your own BRUNETTI Brand?
Not if it’s done effectively. Let me coach you how in three simple steps…
- Meet face to face with your accountant at regular intervals – quarterly, for example. This is not the place to be a cheapskate. This saves you the big bucks in the long run. If you want to operate a successful dental practice, this is a must. At these meetings, discuss financial statements, taxes and other concerns you have. Remember to notify your accountant if you’ve done things like expanded staff or purchased new equipment.
- Personalize your statements. Stipulate to your accountant that you want your financial information in an organized format, not alphabetical “generic” account listings. If your accountant is giving you statements that are simply in alphabetical order, RUN, don’t walk as this is an indication of the likelihood you will receive useless information in making solid business decisions.
- Ask that your accountant go the extra mile with your data. You want your accountant to compare your financial data to the previous year, as well as industry averages. With this information, you can make decisions like a real CEO.
12 years of school, 4 years of undergraduate work, 4 years of dental school… In spite of all of this training, dentists often have a limited knowledge when it comes to business.
Little guidance is given to dentists regarding finance, human resources, operations. Dentists are basically thrown to the wolves when it comes to operating a highly profitable business.
Sure, they get financial statements from the accountant and have access to the online banking, but they don’t know what that signifies or how it relates to their dental practice.
Over the next few weeks, my goal with my blog post series is to help you better understand the “business” side of your dental business. I will show you simple, fast tips to improve your dental practice’s profits, operations and most importantly – your success.
Each time I post, I will list a manageable 3 tips for you to implement into your practice – today. As always, I’m here to answer your questions and encourage you. I am passionate about helping you grow a stronger, smoother, more financially successful practice that brings you happiness, freedom and satisfaction.
A common team goal in successful dental practices is to make selling everyone’s job. Selling is about being a positive Ambassador for the practice, in and out of the office. Every member of the team is responsible for selling themselves and the practice. It is through communicating the value and benefits found in your practice that the business grows and flourishes.
Here are my top 2 tips on how to make each member of your team (yes, even the hygienists) on board with selling your practice:
- List every type of service you provide. Once you have the list, answer these two questions: What will your team do to let your patients know what you have to offer? How will you measure your efforts as a team?
- Enroll in a sales training program. Every member of your team will benefit. This program should include learning how to sell/recommend dentistry, asking for referrals, and how to deliver service excellence.
One of the many advantages of being a professional Dental Coach is the amazingly close relationships that are developed between the client and the coach. Intentionally I have kept my coaching practice limited to only eight doctors so that I can under promise and over deliver by going “much deeper” with our work.
Recently I helped one of my very successful clients, Dr. Gary Imm facilitate our first Arizona Profitability Roundup. We invited five of my clients to be willing to “trust” and “share” with other clients in dissecting their financial statements and learning under the tutelage of Dr. Imm, how to increase the profitability of each doctors practice. The interaction was very open, supportive and as you can imagine revealing.
The rules of the game were simple: you had to disclose your numbers, be vulnerable, and be willing to learn and teach at the same time. The outcome was unlike anything we’d ever experienced.
This group came together as strong as the most tightly knit family. We helped each other better understand where we needed to grow our business, and where to reduce expenses, and we learned about what are the most critical numbers to track. In the end, everyone was illuminated to being better businessmen and stewards of their leadership responsibilities.
And, when you think learning can’t be fun, just watch this short video, and tell me who looks bored.
As a Dental CEO, how well have you combined the talents of individuals into a team? Research shows that people who work on teams are happier in their jobs, produce higher quality work and increase customer satisfaction. People need other people around them to achieve the goal of growing the dental practice.
Make all employees an Ambassador to your dental office.
Successful dental practices make selling everyone’s job. Selling is about being a positive Ambassador for the practice, both in and out of the office. Every member of the team is selling themselves and the practice to their customer—the patient. It is through marketing the benefits found in your dental practice that the business grows while generating the profits to compensate the doctor and team.
Action step: List and review every type of service you provide, ie: Cosmetic Whitening or Invisi-lign. Once you have the list, answer these two questions:
- What will your team do to let your patient base know what you have to offer?
- How will you measure your efforts as a team?
What behavior comes naturally to you?
stand·ard [stan-derd]. noun. something considered by an authority or by general consent as a basis of comparison; an approved model.
In a dental practice, this simply means the behavior that you naturally want for yourself. This is probably vastly different from what you were taught. Standards are not “shoulds” or “coulds”. Standards are about doing what’s right for you, your team, and patients — without having to force yourself or even think about it.
When you identify personal and dental practice standards, you establish rules and a basis for measuring quantity or quality. Your dental practice standards specify areas for behavior, knowledge, or expertise. Thus, your standards are used to improve your dental practice. They provide opportunities to learn and improve performance levels.
A useful start for how to set standards is to explore all areas of the practice and develop a set of behaviors or performance expectations for each. Remember, the clinical area of your practice needs different performance standards than the administrative part, so keep them separate. Take time to fully develop those standards and be sure to put them in writing. Put yourself in imaginary situations and determine how they should be handled. This is important, so do it with care.
Now, take the standards and share them with team members and operate your dental practice with everyone knowing how they are expected to perform.
As THE DENTAL COACH© my job is to help my clients reduce their stress and increase their practice income. By creating standards in your practice and expressing them to your staff — you do just that!