Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant & Speaker | Are You Setting the Right Goals?

No matter how effective you are at vision casting, dreams require hard work and strategic planning to become a reality. Highly successful business owners know the benefits of setting realistic and measurable goals. Rethink the way you are setting goals for your business. Your ambitious plans will be successful only if you have a road map to reach them. By mastering the art of setting incremental, measurable goals, you’ll be able to more effectively to reach them. For more tips on managing your practice, contact our firm today.

Plan out the steps, not just the big picture.

Start small by establishing smaller goals on a quarterly, monthly, or even daily basis. It can be easy to let ambition take over and lose track of the work required to reach your ultimate objective. Setting smaller, incremental goals provides the opportunity for you to celebrate the small victories along the journey and reassess early if something isn’t working.

Measure your success.

How will you know if you achieved your goal if you cannot measure it? Goals should have a measurable standard. Perhaps you want to see 5 more new patients each month or to increase the number of referrals by 50%. Set specific goals that are easy to track. This will help you to definitively know whether or not you’ve reached them and, if not, have a tangible metric of how much you still need to accomplish.

Make your goals visible.

The more visible your goals are, the greater pressure you’ll feel to meet them. Make sure everyone in your practice is aware of what you’re trying to achieve. This will not only ensure that they’re actively helping you reach your goals, but will also provide a source of accountability to hold you to your word. Putting up visual reminders can also be a simple way to accomplish a similar effect. The more you’re reminded of your goal, the more likely you are to work towards it.

Real growth doesn’t happen passively. In order to take your practice to the next level, you need to set goals to help you get there. Whether these goals are financial, patient-oriented, or focused on personal development, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more!

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Schedule Blocking: Finding More Time in Your Schedule

Time is a limited resource.  Schedule blocking is a way to plan your day visually by designating blocks of time for specific tasks.  This strategy is particularly helpful for arranging your schedule to fit a variety of tasks–both inside and outside the office. 

Redirect Your Focus

As an office manager or business owner, finding more time in your schedule will allow you to focus on the business.  You’ll be able to have a better handle on the health of the business, including growth goals, finances, your team’s efficacy, and patient experience, to name a few.  Being successful takes deliberate actions, it doesn’t happen passively.

Time Budgeting

Utilizing schedule blocking allows you to delegate your time and energy for specific tasks.  By setting aside a set block of time for different tasks you’ll optimize productivity and can your team a good idea of when you’ll be available.

Stay Organized

Organization is easy! It’s easiest to practice schedule blocking using an online calendar.  Time block schedules minimize the need of keeping track of important notes and tasks on paper or needing to commit them to memory.

Many find using a color coding system to differentiate tasks helps them stay organized and keeps their schedule easy to read at a glance.

Sounds Great! How do I start?

Take a few minutes now to jot down your goals for the next few days.  As you prepare to put them in your calendar, review some of these tips to help you get started with blocking your schedule:

  1. Set Goals and Due Dates

With your list of goals for the next few days, take some time and set deadlines for each task.  When you have a written set of goals with due dates, you hold yourself accountable to getting them done.  It’s a lot harder to push something off that you have a written, visual deadline for than something you’re only mentally keeping track of.

  • Make Every Minute Count

Schedule your whole day and include everything–from morning emails to closing procedures. When you schedule your entire day it helps you get more done and leaves you with more free time.  By accounting for all the tasks–big and small–you’ll find you have less stress throughout the day knowing you haven’t forgotten anything. 

  • Prioritize

When reviewing your schedule for the day, prioritize the most important tasks to be done.  Schedule blocking helps you prioritize tasks based on what’s most important. And by color coding, it’s easy to stay organized and arrange your schedule based on levels of importance.

  • Maximize Your Schedule

Set realistic time goals for your daily tasks. If you know a task usually takes one hour, you can allocate an hour by blocking your schedule without worrying about where you’ll find the time for the task. Time blocking prevent overbooking yourself and affords you the appropriate amount of time to finish your tasks each day. Time blocking also reduces the amount of time you spend planning for a task and offers you more time to execute the task.

We hope these tips help you take control of your day instead of allowing your day to take control of you!

If you need help with schedule optimization in your practice or other practice consultation services, please contact us to learn more and to get started today!

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Organization = Efficiency

Organization is a vital part of what keeps your practice growing and thriving! Every aspect of the patient’s visit, from the moment they step foot in the office until the moment they leave, must run smoothly in order to insure the patient’s satisfaction and encourage a return visit.  It all starts with the organization your office.

Tips for Optimizing Office Organization:

  1. Clear the Clutter.  Keep the receptionist area near the entrance and free of clutter. Patients need to be able to complete and return paperwork as quickly and efficiently as possible in order to for the office to run smoothly.  Having a clutter-free lobby and front desk helps ensure the patient a comfortable experience.  Be in the habit of cleaning these areas regularly to boost productivity and reduce stress. 
  1. Don’t overcrowd.  Make sure your patients are comfortable in your waiting area, and don’t overschedule patients. You don’t want to have an unexpected surge of aggravated patients sitting in a cramped lobby.  Each patient should feel like they are being treated like an individual, not made to feel like they are lost in a crowd.  Also keep extra room available to accommodate a sudden patient overflow.
  1. Smooth and seamless.  Organize your office to ‘flow’ in one direction. From the time a patient enters the office throughout the entirety of their visit, they should remain moving forward in the same direction, never doubling back where they’ve already been at any point.  Ensure exam rooms are easily accessible from the waiting area, patients should move seamlessly from one station to another.
  1. Clear Digital Clutter.  Make sure you have a system in place to help organize and filter your emails and digital files, in addition to a system for paper documents. Learn to prioritize different types of emails so you can easily and distinctly separate what’s important and needs an immediate response, from what’s less important or junk.

These are a few ways that organizing your office can insure a more enjoyable experience for your team as well as your valued patients, leaving them eager for a return visit.

If you’re ready for a practice consultation or other helpful tips, contact us for more information.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Boost Your Case Acceptance by Connecting with Patients

For many dentists, treatment acceptance can be a difficult topic. Nobody enjoys feeling pushy about a service they provide or a product that they offer, and the same concept holds true in dentistry. However, did you know that you can improve your case acceptance rate by simply reworking the way you talk to your patients? Learn how to have two-sided patient communication in our latest blog.

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Help Them Understand the Benefits

When approached with an important decision from an outside source, people tend to be on the defensive — especially when it comes to something as intimate as healthcare. That’s why you should rethink the way that you handle case acceptance.
● Your patient needs to understand their situation, whether it is a cosmetic issue, a preventative measure, or an urgent oral health concern.
● Patients need to be able to follow your reasoning for why the service is necessary and how exactly it can change their oral health for the better.
Once they have a true understanding of the ‘problem’ and the ‘solution,’ they will feel more compelled to accept the treatment they need.
Stop Speaking and Listen
During your patient appointments, don’t simply run through the checklist of explaining their treatment. Patients want to feel that they’ve been listened to, not talked at.
Ask what their goals, needs, and concerns with regards to their oral health, confidence, and quality-of-life. Then, let them speak. Giving them the chance to voice their own opinion shows you care about them and how they feel, both before and after their treatment.

Educate and Elevate
Patient education is important. While there is a fine line between explaining and over-explaining, you should do your best to educate your patients about their oral health. Avoid judgment and being too graphic, but provide a thorough explanation of their current dental and oral health.

If they are curious about tiny cracks in their teeth, explain craze lines. If they want to know why their gums bleed when they floss, explain periodontal health and how to prevent it. When patients feel that you are invested in not only their wellbeing but their education, too, they feel more confident in the care you’re providing.

You can increase patient acceptance by having a two-way conversation with patients and including them in their oral health. These conversations will ensure patients understand their problem and are given a solution, are allowed to discuss their own concerns and goals, and are educated on treatment and services. Patients will feel that your suggestions are being given with their best interest in mind — that you care about your patients as individuals, not just as a mouth to fix or a goal to meet.

Schedule a consultation with our Dental Consultant  today to discuss more techniques on how you can boost treatment acceptance and improve your practice.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Revitalize Revenues through Increased Investment

Every business experiences trends of increasing and decreasing revenues. When new business slows and income begins to dip, many business owners react by cutting back on the item in their budget they think is most expendable: marketing.

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The unfortunate reality is that this is almost definitely the wrong step to take. When you cut your marketing budget, you reduce your revenues as well.

Today’s business cannot survive through only word of mouth referrals. Your company needs to attract new clientele on an ongoing basis, not just in the weeks following a postcard blast or mass email. In addition, you need to engage and maintain the loyalty of your existing customers.

Consistent, effective marketing helps you achieve both ends.

One recent study examined the marketing budgets of several publicly-traded companies. The researchers found that businesses that were spending an average of 16.5% of revenue grew up to 15% annually, and those that spent an average of 22% grew 16% – 30% annually.

When your marketing budget increases, your revenue follows suit.

There are several factors that can influence how much your business should be spending on marketing.

• Are you a new startup company? You may need to invest more until you have established a client base.
• Is business established and you want to maintain growth? Compare your current rates of new customers to those lost annually to determine how your current budget is doing.
• Is business stagnant or decreasing? Consider investing an additional 5% or 10% above your current marketing budget, at least until the trend reverses.
• How competitive is your local market? Higher competition requires greater investment to grow business.

For more advice regarding your marketing budget and business growth, contact our office.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | The Costs of a Toxic Employee

Hiring is time-consuming, stressful, and sometimes costly. In some cases, this causes business owners to avoid firing an employee long after it has become clear that the person is damaging the overall work environment. Finding the right person for your office can be challenging. However, continuing to retain a toxic employee can be far more costly for you and your business.

What is a “toxic employee?”

A toxic employee is easily recognized for exhibiting several, if not all, of the following behaviors:

  • Bad attitude: This includes eye-rolling, muttering, snide comments, complaints, confrontational tone, and passive-aggressive speech or actions.
  • Lack of engagement: This can include work-avoidance, lack of enthusiasm, unwillingness to accept responsibilities, and being inattentive in meetings and huddles.
  • Dishonesty: Whether this involves refusal to accept accountability, blaming others for mistakes, or outright lies and thefts, dishonesty is harmful to your business and your team.
  • Poor work performance: While a new team member may experience a learning curve at first, the toxic employee never rises above the bare minimum of what has been explicitly listed as expected. In many cases, they may not even be fully or properly completing work. They are uninterested in feedback or training and unwilling to work to improve.

Do you recognize anyone in your office from these descriptions? If so, it’s time to pull the plug.

When you continue to keep a toxic employee on your staff, you may avoid the headaches of the hiring process in the short term. However, you are creating a host of other problems for yourself that will cost you a great deal more time, money, and energy to solve in the long term.

One toxic employee in your office can cause:

  • Loss of new customers: If a toxic employee is interacting with potential customers, they are creating a negative image of your business, which can lose hundreds or thousands of dollars in revenue.
  • Loss of existing customers: If your clients are treated poorly even once, they may choose to take their business elsewhere – and they may tell others.
  • Loss of your best team members: Your best people want to work in a positive environment where they feel supported and appreciated. By tolerating the complaints or shoddy work of one toxic person, you risk losing team players to a company that maintains a better atmosphere.

Don’t compromise your business or your best team members by refusing to fire toxic employees. For more strategies to improve your business, contact our office.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | 3 Ways to Buy Time: Boost Your Practice’s Productivity with Time-Saving Measures

Time is your most precious resource. On certain days, managing your time is not just difficult, it is downright impossible. Ask yourself about the strategies you are currently using to organize your day. What other tools could you be leveraging to save your practice’s most precious commodity? Here are 3 methods you can implement to maximize your time.

  1. Re-evaluate Your Management Tactics

You can buy time without spending a dime. Employ a new way of keeping track of practice productivity. You can have your team record their tasks for the day in a quick email. Each staff member can quantitatively list their duties, allowing for simple reference later. This cuts down on micromanaging your staff by way of asking, “What did you do today?” Managerial work is difficult to implement after a full day of back-to-back appointments.

You can cut back on daily meetings because you will have a clear picture of what each team member is contributing. Having a list of completed tasks at the end of the day allows for everyone at your practice to be keenly aware of who is to be held accountable for each task.

  1. Utilize Apps to Maximize Efficiency

“Lost time is never found again.” Ben Franklin knew this more than 200 years ago, so how can you apply this knowledge to running your practice? There are numerous tools available for your phone that can be a valuable resource for keeping track of your practice. You can benefit from the use of efficiency apps. In today’s world, there is no need to manage all aspects of your business manually.

Take advantage of scheduling apps and software. You can schedule emails to remind patients to book their next visit to your office without having to send it in real time. This can be an indispensable tool for patient retention, by keeping you in consistent contact with your patients. Apps such as these will help you save time, and keep track of your practice’s performance.

  1. Consider Express Check-In

It is not always your team that is responsible for lost time slipping through your fingers. One late patient can set the whole day off-schedule. Make it easy for your patients to register. Provide compliant forms online for patients to fill out before coming into the office. Saving time at the front desk will help your entire practice run on schedule. Never allow for your practice to earn a reputation of running behind schedule, instead work with your patients to create a smoother, faster registration. Your patients will not want to fill out redundant forms. Rework any documents or forms where possible to prevent your patients from filling out information such as their name and address multiple times.

Successful business leaders are experts at time management. Put methods in place that allow for concrete, quantitative results to measure productivity. Utilize technology to make your life easier and allow your patients to work with you to save time. Don’t get caught watching the sand fall through the timer, take action and rethink your time management strategies.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Build Your Team to Succeed

Your team is vital to the success of your practice. Working in a positive atmosphere is sure to keep a team motivated for long-term prosperity. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. If you have noticed a slip in your team’s efforts, it may be stemming from a lack of understanding. Here are proven ways to boost your team’s morale and work ethic.

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Know how you work
To lead a successful team, you must be aware of how you work as a leader. Understanding your leadership techniques and styles will help you tailor your techniques to your team’s needs. Don’t be afraid to be critical of yourself and continue to look for new ways to improve.

Know how they work
Get to know your team members on a personal level. Learn their strengths and weaknesses and what they expect out of you as a leader. This will make them feel heard and know they have your support.

Define roles and responsibilities
When you learn about who your team members are as individuals, you will be able to know what they excel at. This gives you the opportunity to clearly define each member’s roles and responsibilities around the office. Giving a clear vision to each member will allow them to make strides in their respective areas.

Give feedback
Employees like to know how they are doing on the job. Remember to give them plenty of feedback on what they excel at and what they can improve on. Tailor your feedback to how they best receive it and always be conscious to celebrate their success.

Leaders can only be as successful as their teams. Appreciate who they are as individuals and you will appreciate what they do as employees. If you are looking for more team building techniques, or you need help improving your dental practice, contact us today to speak with one of our trained professionals.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | The Impact of Ignoring Negative Reviews

Finding a bad review of your business can feel like your world is turned upside down. Some business owners may choose the approach of dismissing the negative feedback and blaming the customer or client. When ignored, negative reviews can have a detrimental impact on your business. Here’s how:

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You Will Lose Clients

Customers and clients will not want to be treated disrespectfully. They want their voices heard and to be valued as an individual. If you ignore negative reviews, you are essentially telling both the reviewer and prospective leads that you don’t care about what they have to say. The clients that do complain are ones that feel passionately enough about your business to voice their concerns. If you don’t validate those concerns, expect them to take their business elsewhere.

Missing a Chance to Learn

Mistakes present an opportunity for business leaders to learn. It’s even better when a client presents those mistakes clearly. This will allow you to learn why the mistake happened and how to fix it so it doesn’t happen in the future. If you ignore the feedback from the client, you will not know what the mistake was and it may happen again. Negative reviews offer a chance to learn and grow your business, if you ignore them you miss that opportunity.

No Response Speaks Volumes

Potential clients that are looking at your online profile will see that a bad review is being ignored. If that were to happen, you could lose out on their business and any referrals they might make in the future because they don’t think you care about your clients. This applies to current clients that keep track of your businesses reviews.

Running Out of Excuses

Due to the nature of reviews being public, once a client writes one, everyone can see it. This creates a lasting list of negative occurrences for your business that can be referenced by others. Address poor reviews when possible. Show the client or customer that you care about their thoughts. While it may not win them back, it may be the perfect set up to capture future loyal clients who see your thoughtful and personal response.

Great reviews are not the only ones that can help improve your business. Bad reviews present an opportunity to learn from them and grow your business. If you choose to ignore poor reviews, the consequences could be disastrous. Not only could you lose current clients, but negative reviews could impact the decisions of future clients looking at your business. When you see a negative review, take a step back and see what you can learn from the experience. Address their concerns, and make an effort to change your business to create positive experiences in the future.
Contact our team for a consultation today.

Dental Consultant & Speaker

Dental Consultant | Beyond Marketing: Turning Interest into Appointments

Marketing plays a vital role in attracting new business. Cleverly designed mailers and strong online SEO strategies can put your practice name in front of hundreds of potential patients. Glowing reviews and testimonials tell website visitors that you provide quality care and have a friendly team. However, when it comes to driving new business, marketing – even great marketing – is only part of the story. No matter how effective your campaign, one of the biggest factors in gaining new patients is scheduling.

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Many dentists find it difficult to think about their practice as a business. It is likely that you chose dentistry due to a passion for service and healing, not bookkeeping or sales. Yet nearly any successful retailer will say that the only way to gain business is to give customers what they want, when they want it.

What do your prospective patients want? Convenience, first and foremost.

Consider this: patients have lives of their own. Many work outside the home, many have children. Most working people have limited time off, and may have to schedule their time carefully to leave room for the chance of illness or emergency. Many jobs dole out time off slowly over the course of weeks. Others restrict employees from missing any work at all during certain times of year.

Does your office offer any same-day scheduling? Do you have next-day scheduling? Shift workers may not know what hours and days they will be working more than a few days in advance. In addition, patients who are experiencing pain are unlikely to wait longer than 24-48 hours for an appointment before trying somewhere else.

Do you have office hours covering mornings, evenings, and Saturdays? Patients do not always have the luxury of choosing their shifts or days off. Parents may be reluctant to have their child miss school for an appointment. If you do not have openings during the times that are needed, potential patients will find an office with more flexible hours.

No matter how impressive your practice appears, patients will look elsewhere for an appointment if you are unable to work with their scheduling needs.

Making the changes to provide better scheduling flexibility will take time and may require an investment in your practice. You may want to consider adding an associate or hygienist to help cover additional time. Talk to our dental CPA about what options will best suit your practice needs, as well as the needs of your community.