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Just One More

How would you like a “works every time, every where, can’t miss, costs nothing, “it’s like shooting dead fish in a barrel with a bazooka” strategy?  If you study dentists the way I do, you will see a common thread in their practice strategies.  They want to learn a new technique, or buy a new piece of equipment, or hire one more staff person.  Their strategy always includes spending money, shifting blame, and wanting what you think the guy down the street has.  They want to throw money at the problem, and that won’t work.  I’m going to share with you a very “simple” strategy that may just change your live.

The average dentist practices about 200 days a year, produces $327,000, and nets before tax about $130,000.  If you’re reading this, you’re not an average practice.  If you actually do what I’m going to share, you should add over $340,000 in profit this year.  That’s right; you each have the production of an average office just sitting in your offices waiting to be had.

When you set goals for your practice with your staff, there is a danger that you could be forced to be realistic to avoid being seen as too over zealous.  If your gross was $600,000 last year, you may set an increase of 15% for this year’s production.  That sounds reasonable.  On the other hand, an increase of $90,000 (15%) sounds like a lot.  Maybe $25,000 would be more reasonable?  For most staffs and doctors, these “box car” type numbers are a little hard to deal with.  In our office, we prefer to whittle these goals down into smaller pieces.  Let me give you an example of the “One More per Day” strategy.

PROCEDURE FEE #DAYS ADD’L $$$/YR.
Adult Prophy $75 200 $15,000
Simple Extraction $100 200 $20,000
1 Surface CF $130 200 $26,000
4 Sealants ($30) $120 200 $24,000
1 Quad SRP $200 200 $40,000
1 Bleaching $300 200 $60,000
1 Crown $800 200 $160,000
TOTAL $1725 200 $345,000

If you could “work in” just one each of these very simple procedures a day, that $600,000 practice could experience a 50% increase with no more staff and no new technique or cost.  On the surface this seems very simplistic.  Let me show how this one strategy could help you grow in almost every area of your practice.

ONE MORE PER DAY:

  • Forces you to start asking the right questions.  If you could do this for just one day or one week, why haven’t you been this productive in the past?  What was holding you back?  How do you fix it?  Remember:  Your systems are precisely designed to give you the results you are getting.  If you are not where you want to be, CHANGE IT.
  • Forces you to deal with capacity problems.  You and your staff will deal with peak demand scheduling (the times patients want to be seen).  How do I see more patients when they want to be seen, not when I want to work?  Great question but most of you don’t have a clue.  Do I have enough staff or too many (you should produce about $20,000/month per staff person).  Do I have one more operatory than I use so I have the physical capacity to seat and deliver that extra procedure a day?  You should produce about $25-30,000 per operatory.  ARE YOU CARING AND CONVENIENT TO YOUR PATIENTS?
  • Forces you to delegate.  You’ll notice that half of the procedures on our “One More Per Day” are performed entirely by staff.  Doctor:  Work Smarter, Not Harder.  Your confidence and delegation will lift your staff to a whole new level.  Delegation shows trust and empowers your staff.
  • Creates a cohesive motivated staff.  Reward them with some of the profit.  Give me a call about my bonus system that has been in place over 30 years.  Find out who is with you. You may have to free up someone’s future to create this lean and mean staff.  I love the quote form Vince Lombardi when asked how he motivates his players.  His response was quick and sure.  “My job isn’t to motivate my players.  It is to keep 11 motivated players on the field.”
  • Creates a consumer driven practice.  Dentistry is a small business dictated by our customers.  It forces you to refine you systems in order to give patients what they want, when they want it, in a way to fit their budgets. REMEMBER:  YOU CAN’T GET BETTER AT GIVING PEOPLE WHAT THEY DON’T WANT.
  • Decreases your cancellation and no-show  percentage.  The Hawthorne Effect states that “what gets measured gets done”.  The very fact you are setting the “one more per day” strategy and measuring your progress creates forces that move you in that direction.  Every one in the office will be on the alert to get that one more patient in.  Take one staff meeting and look at the “One More” strategy as a “One Less” strategy.  Imagine if you had one less crown a day leading to a $160,000 loss for the year.  You never get a second chance at making today productive.
  • Improves the doctor’s work ethic.  You show up on time, ready to work, in a productive mood.  Like it or not, motivation and leadership filters down from the top.  You lead by example.  If you’re not motivated, no one will be motivated.
  • Makes you sensitive to “intake readiness”.  The first and last contact many of your potential patients have with you is on the phone.  If you don’t sound caring and compassionate, don’t have consumer hours, or put them off for weeks before getting an appointment, you will become the local “donor” dental practice.  You won’t even know you’re the best referral source the guy down the street has.
  • With out even trying, your clinical speed and quality will increase.  You are forced out of your comfort zone.  You may only decrease the time it takes you to do a crown by 10 minutes, but every step of that procedure will improve.  You will never go back to your one patient an hour.  You will engineer that appointment schedule to make yourself as productive as possible.

 

I could go on and on, but you see the ‘ripple effect’ of adding the one more per day strategy.  The reason I spent all this time going through this simplistic exercise is that you first have to believe you can do it.  Napoleon Hill said, “ What the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  You cannot go directly from conceive to achieve.  You’ve got to believe you can do it first.  Then, you can achieve it.  Very few people with a $600,000 practice would believe they can add $340,000 in one year.  Most people can believe that they could add one more procedure every day.  Once you believe you can, you are on your way to achieving your goal.

In summary, I suggest you have a “Just One More” campaign.  Just one more from every single person in your office will lead to awesome results this year.