We finished last week with these statements:
- It has to start somewhere.
- It has to start sometime.
- What better place than here?
- What better time than now?
This week the title is a kind of a “you can’t handle the truth” discussion. If you increase your engagement and commit to changing the future of your practice, you will constantly run into a wall by not asking the tough questions. Most of us feel comfortable with the past and what we know and what we’ve done. It is the arena of uncertainty regarding the future that freezes most of us from taking action. Whether fear or procrastination, the future of Dentistry will continue to march on.
I wish there was a way for me to tell each one of you exactly what you wanted to hear. The problem is that most of us are not the dentist we think or wished we were, and all of us have the innate ability to raise our game if we could just get started. Every year we begin again to set goals one last time only to find ourselves 12 months latter no closer to where we intended to end up. This year, let’s start with SMART goals, and a very select few.
- (S) Specific: Not a generality, but a black and white pinpointed goal.
- (M) Measurable: What gets measured gets done. Set a benchmark.
- (A) Achievable: “What the mind can conceive it can achieve”.
- (R) Relevant: This practice goal should be relevant to us all.
- (T) Time-based: You have 12 months. That’s it, no more.
In fact, let’s take the “select few” and just concentrate on one. Who of you, if given the one thing that could turn your practice around, couldn’t find a way to successfully integrate it over the next 12 months? I would hope not one. So here is the goal. Take a minimum of $4,000 each month for 12 months and begin a full court press marketing strategy. If your collections are high enough and 3-5% of that number is larger than $4,000, then use the larger number. If you are in a professional building with no outside signage or drive by visibility, you will likely need to spend more to make up for the lack of natural marketing from location. That’s it. Commit to investing (it is not an expense but an investment that will pay wonderful returns) the dollar amount and go for it. You have one week to chew on it and either put up or get ready for another lackluster year. I want to close this week with a couple of quotes that I find interesting in their depth and timelessness.
Seth Godin’s Blog: Hiding from the mission
“We do this in two ways: The first is refusing to be clear and precise about what the mission is. Avoiding specifics about what we hope to accomplish and for whom. Being vague about success and thus about failure. After all, if no one knows exactly what the mission is, it’s hard to feel like a failure if it doesn’t succeed. The second is even more insidious. We degrade the urgency of the mission. We become diffuse. We get distracted. Anything to avoid planting a stake and saying, “I made this.” It is possible to spend 7 hours and 52 minutes out of an eight-hour day in doing nothing but hiding from the mission, and it is exhausting.”
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Next week I will answer all of your questions about the why, how, when and where. I will give you the one question you will have to answer in order to be successful. This is how you Summit: Practice management done right.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
PS. If you haven’t already become a member of BEST for Dentistry, I urge you to do so now, here at the beginning of 2018. You will absolutely save money. A major dental supply company has been added for those of you who prefer having a rep show up at your office and also the convenience of getting an item shipped overnight when needed. Plans are proceeding rapidly to offer health insurance coverage (BEST qualifies as a group) and, hopefully, will become available within the next few months. This will likely be priced below anything else you will be able to find. So join today! (www.bestfordentistry.com)