Kindergarten for Dentists – Part 1 of 4

by Dr. Ron Arndt

As The Dental Coach©, my clients tell me all of the time that “Dentistry is the easy part for me; it’s acting as the Dental CEO that is my challenge,” or “I went to dental school; not business school.”

This first part includes 3 areas of your practice that you should analyze on a quarterly basis.

Much of what we learn in our dental practice, we learned in kindergarten. Things like: Be nice; ask a friend; say ‘Thank you’; hold hands; etc. Yes, there are areas of our practice that we need to pay attention to. So, let’s use this 4 part series to learn some of the things we need to pay attention to and attract.

1. Your fees: When was the last time you increased your fees? Think about what costs have increased for you over the years – equipment, staff, taxes, dental supplies. I suggest that my clients implement a modest fee adjustment once a year. Remember to clearly communicate it to your patients in writing; and know that if you provide a valuable and personal service to them, they won’t even blink at an increase.

2. Your accounts receivable: First focus on payments that are 3 months+ past due. Have your Appointment Coordinator reach out to all overdue accounts with a personal, polite phone call to make payment arrangements. Make a schedule for this follow-up.

3. Your overhead costs: It’s easy – and a mistake – to think about “big purchases” only. What about your phone service? Printing for business cards? Rubber gloves? Perform cost comparisons on everything you purchase; do this with the help of your Office Manager. Your biggest overhead investment is staff costs. Here is where the biggest savings and benefit to the practice come, by tracking this number. We have only three options to handle this: Increase price, decrease costs or a combination of the two)

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