I get some semblance of this statement or question every week: “How would I really know if I am cut out for starting and owning my own practice? “
“Excitement and fear are my beginning criteria because starting a business (Dental Practice) is not for everyone and you better be darned sure that you will like it before risking a lot of time, money and your reputation on it.”
Steve Strauss for USA TODAY
Here is a short quiz that lets you drill down a little deeper, because there are other attributes that are needed. This Quiz will evaluate your qualifications. NOTE: Be sure to be honest with yourself. It doesn’t help you at all to get the answer “right” if it really is not true for you.
1. Are you a self-starter?
a. You bet! I like to come up with new ideas and try them out. (5 points)
b. If someone helps me get started, I will definitely follow through. (3 points)
c. Not Really. I am fine letting others come up with ideas and following their lead. (1 point)
2. How do you feel about taking risks?
a. I don’t mind taking risks at all. That’s part of life. (5)
b. Calculated risks are acceptable, at times. (3 points)
c. I like the tried and true. (1 point)
3. Can you and your family live without a regular paycheck?
a. Yes, we are willing to do that and are ready for that if that is what it takes. (5 points)
b. I understand that may be part of the process, but I don’t like it. (3 points)
c. I don’t see how we can do that. (1 point)
4. Have you spent the last year or two consistently working on your clinical skills to the point of doing excellent work?
a. Yes, I have, and I will continue to get better and better clinically. (5 points)
b. Some. (3 points)
c. Does going to work every day and doing just what I have to count? (1 point)
5. Have you gotten proficient in the Business side of Dentistry?
a. Yes, I have and those areas where I haven’t yet, I’ll learn. (5 points)
b. Some. (3 points)
c. None. (1 point)
6. Are you willing to take on the responsibility and cost of attracting at least 40 to 70 new patients per month?
a. I will do what I have to do. (5 points)
b. If I have to, I will try. (3 points)
c. I don’t like the fact that I will be responsible at all. (1 point)
7. Are you willing to work 60 hours a week or more on and in the practice?
a. I will do whatever it takes to start a new Dental Practice. (5 points)
b. Maybe in the beginning. (3 points)
c. I can think of a lot more important things than working all of the time. (1 point)
8. Do you have self-discipline?
a. You bet. (5 points)
b. When need be. (3 points)
c. What’s that? Pass the nachos! (1 point)
9. Can you live with uncertainty?
a. Yes. (5 points)
b. I may not like it, but I’m OK with it. (3 points)
c. No, I like knowing what to expect. (1 point)
10. Are you flexible and willing to pivot if things are not going your way?
a. “Flexible” is my middle name, bro. (5 points)
b. I like to think so, but others may disagree. (3 points)
c. Not really. I have a fairly rigid personality. (1 point)
40-50: You have both the temperament and the skills needed to become a Dental practice owner.
30-39: You are probably not a natural business owner but may become one over time.
Below 30: You would be wise to think of another strategy besides starting a dental practice of your own.
So how did you score? Whether it is your first practice or another satellite practice, we all need to reassess where we are and what we are really willing to do. That is how you Summit.
Mike Abernathy, DDS