Our Relationship With Money

Episode 015

Money can be a controversial topic, but it is a necessary aspect of running any business including your dental practice. Because it’s so necessary to your practice I’ve dedicated this episode to changing the conversation about charging for providing dental services.

I’ll also be talking about how to think of money as a  tool, and how you as a dentist and business owner can put the tool of money to optimal use no matter your experience or skill level.

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I decided to talk about money today because of a real-life experience in my office recently. A potential patient caused a scene after being informed about the fees she could incur from her visit. She essentially implied that doctors and dentists are greedy and evil.

And that got me thinking. Personally I don’t believe it is greedy to ask for compensation for services that you provide in your dental business. In fact, it’s essential to charge patients in order to keep your doors open, that’s true for any business in any industry.

To me money is simply a tool and it’s a tool our society uses in exchange for services and goods. As long as you are ethical in setting your fees there is no shame in making money by providing your services. As dentiists we have to change the way we think about making money. Money is not evil; it’s a tool we can use to do good things in the world.

The work you do in your dental practice is necessary, and beneficial for your entire community.  Your work not only helps you provide for your family and pay your bills, it also improves the quality of life for your patients, and it helps other businesses. Without income from your business, you could not support your local community.

And if you are concerned your fees are too high know this: the market will deliver that message. If patients are overall unwilling to pay what you charge, you will have to reevaluate. You can do this by either adjusting your fees, or providing more value per dollar.

In order to be successful in your small business you have to get your mindset about money right and eliminate any guilt surrounding making an income. To hear more about changing your relationship with money tune in to this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast!

 

Tweetable: “Eliminate your guilt about making money!”

 

Episode Resources

Dave Ramsey
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Practice Jiu Jitsu

Episode 014

In recent years, I’ve become passionate about a martial arts practice known as Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Incorporating this practice into my routine has taught me many lessons that apply both on the mat, and behind the chair.

Jiu Jitsu

On this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast, I’m sharing three lessons I’ve learned from jiu-jitsu that can enhance your business skills as a dental professional. I’ll elaborate on how these lessons can help you be more relatable to patients, hone your skills, and improve the environment in your dental practice.

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You might wonder what Brazilian jiu-jitsu and the business of dentistry have in common. From my experience, there are many disciplines learned from martial arts that translate directly to owning a small business.

The first thing that I’ve learned from jiu-jitsu is that it’s necessary to check your ego at the door. When approaching a jiu-jitsu match having a strong ego is a monumental mistake. Competitors can sense this state of mind, and overconfidence leads to defeat.

This concept applies to owning a dentistry business in the sense that your patients also immediately sense arrogance. Certainly, you have an important skill set and an honorable education, but that does not mean you can be condescending to your patients. You are there to help them, so you must change your mindset. It’s not about you: it’s about them.

The second principle from jiu-jitsu that changed my life is learning how to relax. Brazilian jiu-jitsu promotes continuous relaxation and emphasizes the importance of breathing. The practice can be intimidating and scary, but learning to manage risk and trust the system is pertinent for success.

This too, applies to dentistry. In order to be successful in the dental business, you must let go of small details, and learn to go with the flow. All work and no play is not a sustainable way to live. I recommend finding an outlet to help you relax. Discover a hobby or interest outside of your business that can help you slow down.

Finally, jiu-jitsu teaches the importance of teamwork. Brazilian jiu-jitsu cannot be practiced alone—it’s necessary to have a training partner to aid development and hone your skills.

I have found that teamwork is also a critical business skill that applies to dentistry. Appreciating both administrative and clinical staff is imperative to running a successful dental business, as you cannot run the office alone. By showing appreciation to your staff, they will appreciate you in turn, and will want to help you improve your business.

To hear more about how martial arts can help you launch your dental business to the next level, listen in to this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast!

“Find something that helps you relax.”

Episode Resources

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Creating Clinical Protocols

Episode 013

Part of running an effective dental practice is setting a standard for every procedure done in the office. Developing a clinical protocol is a business skill that can make your dental business more productive and efficient.

Procedures Folders Meaning Correct Process And Best Practice

Procedures Folders Meaning Correct Process And Best Practice

On this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast, I detail how to get started building a protocol, and how it can benefit your practice, patients, and your bottom line.

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The idea behind creating a clinical protocol is to have everyone on your team on the same page. If asked to explain a procedure any dental assistant should be able to describe step-by-step exactly how the procedure takes place in their specific practice.

To get started, I recommend creating a playbook for each procedure that is done in your office. The best way to accomplish this is to hold a meeting with your staff, in which you list the necessary steps for each procedure. It’s important to do this as a team because your staff holds a different perspective than you. By doing this together you can be certain all aspects of every procedure are covered.

By writing down the steps for each procedure your team will know exactly what to expect, and they will be able to hold you accountable. The steps in your clinical protocol should not be skipped or changed without justification.

I understand that this can seem like an enormous undertaking, which is why I recommend starting small. Once you get the ball rolling, your staff will better be able to understand your approach, and you can move on to setting standards for more in-depth procedures.

By having a specific protocol your staff will better be able to assist you by anticipating your every move. Additionally, creating a protocol will save you time and make you more productive, which translates to an increased bottom line each year.

Ultimately the patient is the one that benefits most of all from your office implementing a clinical protocol. Having a standard for each procedure makes their visit seamless and efficient, and their time in the chair is as quick as possible.

For more tips on how to create more efficiency, improve your staff training, and enhance your dental business skills tune in to this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast!

“If you set a protocol, maintain it.”

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5 Business Concepts To Consider

Episode 012

In any business we often look outside of our industry to find new perspectives and inspiration. Recently I read MJ DeMarco’s Millionaire Fast Lane, and his 5 core business concepts really struck a chord for me. While it may sound like a “get rich quick” kind of theme, it is not.

Assessment word cloud, business concept

Assessment word cloud, business concept

On this episode of the Business of Dentistry podcast I’ll explore those 5 concepts and how they apply to your business practice.

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In The Millionaire Fast Lane MJ DeMarco discusses 5 concepts that can take a business from average to making millions. His position is that these 5 things must be in place and working to your full advantage, in order to make the most profits with the least effort on your part.

As I listened to this book I made notes on the 5 core concepts he discussed and began to explore how they applied to my dental practice; I looked at which of the 5 I was doing well and which areas I had room to improve. And as I did I found there were some gaps in my personal solo practice. I also believe there are gaps in our industry as a whole.

To understand these concepts I explain each in full on today’s episode, and have listed a brief summary of the five below.

1. Need.
Is there a need for your business? Do you solve a problem or provide a product that gives consumers something they want? If the answer is yes you are filling a need in the marketplace, and you have fulfilled one of the 5 core principles to having a millionaire fast lane business.

2. Entry.
What is the barrier to entry in your business? In other words, how hard is it to start your business? For dentists the barrier to entry is high, and that’s a good thing according to M.J. The higher the barrier to entry the less likely others will saturate your marketplace – and that’s a good thing! We as dentists have a high barrier to entry so congratulations, you’ve fulfilled another of the 5 core principles.

3. Control.
How much control do you have over your business’ practices? Are you the sole owner or are you a contractor? Do you have partners or associates? If you have 100% of the control you reap 100% of the financial rewards, another good thing. So if you own your practice you can say yes to this core principle.

4. Scale.
Scale boils down to two things: reach and magnitude. Reach simply means the number of people you can reach and serve with your business. Do you have one location or multiple? The more locations the more people you can serve.

And magnitude is simply the cost of your services. Are you primarily doing exams and dentures? Then your magnitude is lower versus someone who is doing high end cosmetic surgeries. With a greater reach and magnitude you have greater scale. The greater the scale of your business the higher the likelihood you have of creating a millionaire fast lane business.

5. Time.
Finally is the core principle of time. Time is a finite commodity: no one can create more time, and no one knows how much time they have on this earth. More money can always be generated, but more time cannot.

The idea behind this core principle is to free up your time from your business so you can do other things you love. If you are a solo practitioner your time is directly tied to your business’ income: you have to see patients to create revenue. If you have associates and have systems in place for the administrative side of your practice you now have more time to do other things you enjoy.

These are all important principles to use to examine your business and the model you’ve been operating under. I have taken a hard look at my own practice; I now know where there are gaps to be addressed and that’s something I discuss on today’s show. I recommend you do the same! Tune in to this episode of the Business of Dentistry Podcast and then check out The Millionaire Fast Lane.

 

“You can make more money but you can’t create more time!”

Episode Resources

The Millionaire Fast Lane web site
The Millionaire Fast Lane, by MJ DeMarco
The Millionaire Fast Lane forums
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