The Peak Economic Recovery Strategies
Become a leader (Again!)
- Be Positive — If the recent economy has given you a “glass half empty” mentality, make an effort to see the positive. Look at your leadership objectively to identify the areas you are strong. Make the most of these assets through enhancement, coaching and education. Don’t delay in changing the things that have not been successful. Time to “UN-Hunker” down!
- Get everyone on board (Motivate) — If your team sees a change in your commitment to success- it will be infectious. Create a sense of excitement- affirm and award successes in order to encourage continued success. Find people doing the RIGHT things.
- Re-open your mind to new ways and ideas — This is the time to look into what is working in other offices, to make new investments in marketing, upgraded equipment that will increase your production or in different team members that can bring your practice to a new level. Prepare now for new growth of your practice.
Identify your practice system shortcomings and strengthen them.
- Put yourself in the patient chair…literally! Drive up to your office with notebook. View and evaluate your office as you would when going to a healthcare provider for the first time.
- What is the “curb appeal”?
- Is the reception area outdated?
- Does it have that “dentist office smell”?
- Are the front office and the operatories tidy and clean, or cluttered & old?
- Are the light covers soiled, and the floors stained?
- Check the air vents-many haven’t been cleaned for YEARS.
- Think about the type of patients you want to attract- what would they want to see and experience when visiting your office?
- UPDATE your infrastructure…Look at updating those areas that will provide a return in efficiencies or long-term stability for your practice.
- Technology…Digital x-rays, on-line relationship building or lasers, there are many options when used appropriately, can bring new efficiencies and areas of productivity to your practice.
- Explore new areas of productivity (bring in another DDS or Specialist, try Hygiene Saturdays, etc.) - Evaluate what your patients need. Don’t be afraid to ask your best patients what they would like to see at your office (hours, services, etc). Look at your specialty referrals- does it make sense to have a specialist provide treatment in your office part time?
Staff Up without Hiring Permanently
- Turn a fixed cost into a variable cost by using extra staff only when needed.
- Avoid the cost, stress, and time to hire a new staff member.
- Use a “Temp to Hire” strategy to pay as you go.
- Utilize recruiters to immediately improve your practice productivity.
- Understand the true costs of hiring before doing it on your own.
Protect your profit margins
- Review expenses …If you haven’t already, evaluate what expenses (staff/rent/supplies/luxuries) are truly necessary for you to operate.. “Lean” is the new way of operating.
- PROTECT your key players…Many have gone long stretches without bonus or pay increases…even small shows of appreciation go a long way.
- Increase cash flow…
- Evaluate your fees and increase them if you haven’t in more than a year.
- Bring in temporary business manager or “insurance expert” to assist with account follow-up, overdue accounts or unpaid claims.
Promote Optimum Dental health
- Don’t guess your patients ability to pay
- Make it a priority to create a full treatment plan. That will lead to a discussion with your patient on how to prioritize and get the treatment done. Lose the fear from hearing “NO” for so long. Be courageous…its contagious
Focus your attention on your core
- Remember what got you the most excited when you first started dentistry. Was it promoting patient health? Crown and bridge, cosmetic treatment? Have you gotten away from that? If so, do what you need to do to reorient your practice into a place you love to walk into every day. You will be happy and your team will catch on to your renewed energy and focus.
Don’t be the bank!
- Evaluate debt and consolidate
- Review receivables and implement or RE-implement your collection policy — Review the over the counter collections on a regular basis. Update and provide additional training to your front desk team if necessary.
- DO a marketing plan. Traditionally, businesses that survive in a difficult economy are the ones that have maintained marketing. Review and implement a plan that fits your office mission and vision.
- Social networking. If you don’t already, use email, texting and social media sites to build relationships with your patients.
- Create a focus group (patients, staff, vendors, and the like). For improvement and NETWORKING
Re-Consider Transition now that times are improving
- Consider an acquisition – many quality practices will be coming to the market soon.
- Start preparing to sell. If the thought of transition (bringing in an associate, merging or selling) has even crossed your mind, start planning now. The process will help to determine what you are looking to achieve and how to best accomplish it. It may take several months or years to reposition your practice into the optimal state to bring MAXIMUM value and a stress free result.