Kindergarten for Dentists – Know Your Numbers

by Dr. Ron Arndt

In Kindergarten, we were taught to count. At the time, that was tough stuff! And I’m here to give you more tough stuff – but I promise this is something you need.

Owning your own dental practice means owning a business – which means that you are the CEO. The CEO is responsible for the overall profitability of the practice. You may be a remarkable dentist and truly enjoy taking care of your patient’s oral health, but if you aren’t good with the money-side of things, you won’t be able to pay your bills and you will no longer have a dental practice. That is the harsh reality of it.

1.      Charge appropriate fees: You can still be fair while making a living, too. Be sure to have clear, written financial arrangements and collections procedures, too.

2.      Ask for help: Consider including your team as a part of Open Book Management, which I’ve discussed in previous blogs. Some offices may even form committees around budgeting and finance. Ambitious and driven staff members will welcome the opportunity to take a bigger role and responsibility in the practice – and essentially contribute to their future! If the practice is successful, they are successful.

3.      Think about each expense: Ask the question- How does this expense relate to the practice? Does it contribute to our goals? Are there less costly ways to do this? What would happen if we don’t incur this expense? In my book, you can learn about how I dissected my staff costs and learned how to reduce them, without losing quality staff.

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