Seeing the light, according to the dictionary, is to understand or come to accept something, especially something that one was previously confused about or skeptical of. In Chapters 16 and 17 of The Super General Dental Practice (www.supergeneralpractice.com for a free copy of the second edition of the Super General Dental Practice), there is a list of fundamental benchmarks that comprise the ideal overhead model of a great dental practice. Within those pages is also the explanation of how you arrive at each and what each one means along with its impact on your overhead. We have written many articles looking at the endless facets of overhead and benchmarks, but I still have doctors question me about their validity in today’s dental economy. Let me begin by saying that these lofty goals are still possible and certainly worth striving towards.
When I was about 12 years old, I had a neighbor that had a 1962 Triumph Bonneville motorcycle. It was one of the first scramblers with a high pipe and great stance. One Saturday I was in my front yard when my neighbor laid the bike down taking a corner too fast. Due to the fall, the mirror stem broke rendering it useless to my neighbor. I asked if I could have it, and he said sure. What a treasure for a 12-year-old. It took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to remove the broken stem, but when I did, I had a spotless round chrome mirror that I could carry around in my pocket. Thus, began the adventures. The mirror became a signal to flash to my buddies to alert them, or a light to reflect the sun into their eyes. It was great. One day, my friends and I were exploring an old two-story house that had been abandoned. For the first time, I found one more really neat thing I could use my mirror for. We were looking for treasures and keepsakes but most of the house was too dark to really see. We collected bottles, containers, coins, and just about anything else a twelve-year-old in 1962 thought was neat. I was exploring the windowless old garage when I found that if I stood at the doorway, I could use the mirror to reflect a strong beam of light into the corners of the structure. It was so bright that I could direct the reflected sunlight into areas I never knew existed. This gave a whole new dimension to my ability to explore and discover things. Things that were invisible before now became obvious. All l had to do was find a light source and use my mirror to reflect that light where before there was none. Awesome.
So, what does this have to do with dentistry? Decades ago, when I began to speak and write, my goal was to help others gain the success I had while not having to make the same mistakes. While this has been fun, I have also felt a little discouraged by those who didn’t avail themselves of the books, articles, phone calls, and coaching being offered. Max and I founded Summit Practice Solutions over 30 years ago and we have enjoyed helping others “see the light”. In a way, we acted like that mirror that directed light into areas that our readers, listeners, and coaching clients couldn’t see. The neat thing is that once visible, these before unseen challenges became simple to improve. You can’t hit a target you can’t see. It was as if doctors struggled because they could not see the problems. It had nothing to do with their actual ability to correct them. We pride ourselves on being that light for thousands of doctors through the work we do in Summit Practice Solutions.
We based Summit on delivering one on one coaching in the office, face to face with each staff member and the doctor. Every month we were there to offer solutions and accountability to any challenges that they might have. With COVID, the recent financial recession, and a change in the dental economy, I am seeing more and more offices failing to rise to the challenge in this climate change in dentistry. I follow Facebook and read dozens of newsletters and books while attending both in-person and online seminars. I am amazed at the myths, mistakes, and outright silly solutions that are proffered in the name of continuing education and coaching. I also realize that since 2009, the average dentist’s production has risen slightly, but their actual take home income has decrease by about 2% per year. Too many of us failed to learn the lessons of the Great Recession, and now some 12 years later, most office face the same challenge: what to do in challenging times. Our clients have prospered since the last recession while others continued to struggle. We would like to reach out and extend a helping hand by giving you a variety of ways to get the help most offices struggle to get.
In an effort to mitigate these changes in a new dental economy, we felt like we should expand the range of services as well as the method in which they are delivered along with a tiered structure that would allow any dentist to afford the investment to improve their practice. Yes, we will keep the one-on-one coaching and continue to offer in office face to face training, but we also want to offer a few more opportunities that would minimize the cost and at the same time allow anyone at any time in their career to avail themselves of the best information and training out there. Here are our new offerings and levels of coaching:
Summit Mastermind Group – Meet online via Zoom with Dr. Mike Abernathy and a group of ten (10) like-minded doctors twice a month for four (4) months to explore the barriers to growth in your practice and how to overcome them. Cost is $195 per month.
Online Group Coaching – A series of monthly (12) Zoom meetings with doctors plus team members from a select number of practices. Sessions will be recorded for any that might have to miss or for future training purposes. Cost is $495 per month.
Online Personal Coaching – One year of online coaching via Zoom tailored to the specific needs of your office. Additionally, you will receive a recorded instructional video each week plus unlimited email, text, and telephone support. Cost is $1295 per month
Blend of In-Office and Online Coaching – One of our consultants will be in your office for one day every quarter (4 visits total). Additionally, there will be scheduled Zoom meetings on the non-visit months (8 sessions) plus unlimited email, text, and telephone support. You will also receive access to our library of instructional videos. Cost is $2395 per month.
In-Office Coaching – A minimum of at least eight (8) in-office visits from one of our consultants each month plus Zoom meetings on non-visit months and unlimited email, text, and telephone support. Cost is $2995 per month.
As you can see, anyone can afford the investment to take his or her practice to the next level. During my entire career, I was committed to never backing off from investing a portion of my earnings to continually raise the bar on my practice business model and clinical excellence. I invite you to do the same and make 2021 the pivotal year of making a new commitment and engagement in taking your practice to the next level. This is how you Summit.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
PS. If you want more info on the above, please call or email. If you would like an opportunity to hear more details, plus ask a question or two just to “put us to the test”, we will host a live Zoom meeting on Tuesday, April 6, at 7:00pm Central time. Just let us know you’re interested via email and you will be sent the link. No cost for this and no further commitment required. Just a time of interaction with other dentists interested in achieving more in this great profession.