Revisiting Success And Failure At The New Year

Episode 056

Happy New Year! Today’s show is a special holiday edition centered around the success and failures of the outgoing year. On episode 56 of the Business of Dentistry, I share my top 5 successes and failures and ask some questions on where you are with your practice going into the new year.

More About This Show

Recently I’ve been reflecting on my successes and failures that have happened in my practice in the last year and I wanted to share the top five of each with you on today’s show. I’m highlighting each of these successes and failures to help motivate you to look at your business and assess it in  the same way.

It’s important to ask yourself what your biggest successes and your biggest failures were in the past year. Take time to think about what you will do differently for 2017, if anything, and to write down a plan that you share with your staff.

When I took the time to do all of that – to think about my biggest wins and my biggest misses – here are the top five things I came up with.

1. More profitable.
Overall my practice had a 3% increase in profit. We spent less money, lowered our overhead and expenses, and the team worked less hours (including me). And we did all of this without decreasing staff compensation. We worked harder, not smarter!

Do you know if you were profitable last year? Do you know how much more or less you made in 2016 than previous years? It’s important to track those numbers and find out so you know if your business is growing, or not.

2. Improved online reputation.
We’ve talked about Google reviews in previous shows. If you listened to those shows you know that in April of this year I set a goal of having 100 Google reviews by December 31st.

We not only met that goal but we exceeded it! By December 31st we had 125 Google reviews.

Do you know what people are saying about you online? do you have a way to get your patients’ feedback, do you have a system to get reviews? do you do any of this? it’s something to think about for 2017

3. I took 5 weeks of vacation.
I used to take no personal vacation, aside from my naval reserve training, so this was a big success for me! I am glad I took 5 weeks off this year. A lot of it was a day here and there for kids’ school activities but we also took a week to go to the beach as a family and have a proper vacation together.

What about you – did you take any vacations? Do you have any scheduled for 2017? What are you aiming to do with your vacation time this year?

4. I was timely in completing paperwork.
Rather than procrastinate like I have in the past, I completed dictations, charts, patient records, and the like in a timely fashion. In 2016, I procrastinated less and made it easier for my staff  to do what they needed to do. I didn’t have to bring it home either!

All of this type of paperwork and administrative work can be extra stressful if you don’t complete it in a timely manner, so I made a point to do it promptly this year. As a result, it was easier for my staff too. My focus was to complete records before the end of every work day and I did so by creating a color-coded system on my schedule and designated one area of my office for paperwork that needed my attention.

Do you have a system to take care of paperwork? Do you keep up with the administrative work you need to do or do you procrastinate like I did in the past? If not, maybe now is the time to do so.

5. I was better at delegating.
In 2016 I was much better at delegating and letting my team handle things, especially things like supplies and paperwork. I let them handle all of the supply details, my only tasks were to make sure we were staying close to our monthly budget and to make sure we had what we needed for day to day surgery cases.

Another area I delegated more was patient documentation. I was better at doing this in 2016 because I delegated a lot of it to my staff! I just reviewed the documentation, edited it and signed it. If something was missing I held the staff accountable and told them what needed to be done with the documentation, rather than doing it myself like I would’ve in the past.

And I delegated issues to my team leaders: my office manager, my clinical team lead and my administrative team lead. I would talk to them about any staff issues and then let them come up with a solution and fix it.

Also on episode 56, I discuss my top five failures in 2016 including my procrastination on staff evaluations, my delayed responses to my top referring doctors and getting too caught up in sales pitches! Tune in to hear the rest and then let me know what were your biggest successes and failures in 2016.

Tweetable: “What were your biggest successes and your biggest failures?”

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