In the decades I have worked with doctors to help them build businesses and add greater overall value to their practices there are a few critical mistakes that I see time and time again. My experience and proven strategy for success can help you avoid these mistakes and make the whole process of enlarging, expanding, moving or starting a new practice as painless as possible.
The worst place from which to make any decision in life is a place of fear. I’ve found that the fear that blocks people from making big decisions really amounts to a lack of knowledge and insight. The more doctors learn and know about all the opportunity that is available to them, the more comfortable they become in formulating a growth mindset and a business plan to set goals and create a vision for the future of their practices.
Beginning with a comprehensive assessment we can analyze all of the thoughts and ideas you have about vision, location and opportunity. We can then determine a budget and a timeline. These are the key factors every doctor needs as the basis for confident business decision making. In my experience there is a sweet spot between being too conservative and regretting the lost opportunity and outsizing your capacity to manage the project. The conservative approach will limit your ability to get to the break-even point as soon as possible and start to realize return on your investment. I consistently see doctors who build or expand from a place of abundant caution and then regretting not enough operatories, or not investing in equipment and technology that can expand the dentistry they can offer to patients.
When I meet with you I am prepared to evaluate the potential I see for you to maximize the business. Every doctor and practice is unique and every project and plan is custom. The math for growing your dental business is predictable and reassuring because it is based on a tried and tested formula. My ultimate goal is to have every doctor I work with making decisions from a secure and informed place.
Practice growth must be approached with good business sense. All successful business owners know that growth includes a meaningful plan for investment and an accurate analysis of the potential for return on that investment. It also requires what I like to call a “growth mindset.” I have conversations every week with doctors who are thinking of starting a practice, or who own established practices but have hit a plateau in the growth of their business, or are seeking to transition and expand. My goal is to help doctors develop their growth mindset and to strategically evaluate ways to achieve better results from their practices and investments.
How does your facility appear to patients? How does the functionality contribute to, or hinder, their experience in your office? The location and appearance of your office may be limiting factors in your ability to grow. A good analysis for your growth plan should include the evaluation of your facility by an objective expert who assess and then recommend renovation, upgrades, or even a relocation that can make a huge difference in your results.
What is the capacity of your office to produce revenue based on the size of the practice as determined by the number of treatment rooms you have available to seat patients? Lots of doctors base business decisions on the ebb and flow of the schedule in the office. It is easy to look at a few holes in the schedule and think it might not make business sense to expand, but it may. More importantly think about the times when there are no chairs available and you are rescheduling a procedure that you could have done if you only had a place to treat the “customers” who are your patients.
No business reaches 100% capacity at all times. You build to meet the demand like Dunkins. Some tables are empty and the drive thru is not always busy but when you are ready for coffee so is Dunkin. It’s ok to have an empty room sometimes. In fact is it profitable. Think about how convenient and profitable it is to perform an additional procedure on a patient today. They don’t have to come back (might not) and you already paid all overhead except for your lab (10%) and supplies (6%). That is a profit of 84%. Doing more quality dentistry efficiently during business hours is essential to profitability. That’s why McDonald’s asks “Would you like fries with that?”
The correct facility size increases productivity and patient experience. Take this test: your collections______ / total number of operatories = __________ your per operatory collections average. If you scored 250K per op you are healthy based on a 4 day week. If you’re producing 5 days per week the healthy per op average is 300K. You produce for 20% more hours. Hours and procedures are the largest contributing factors to collections while the number of doctors working in the space doesn’t significantly increase production. Maybe 10%. It makes sense, if you short yourself an op for another dentist to produce your production goes down and theirs goes up. It’s almost a wash as far as collections, but income suffers.
If you scored below healthy let’s look together to see why. If you are over congratulations! If you are at or near the upper limit you’ve probably hit a plateau. How can you get beyond your plateau and grow? If you are short just one operatory it could be costing your business $250,000 year revenue x 10 years $2,500,000, 20 years $5 million. We can determine if expansion is a good option for you and how to get a significant return on your investment. Business is getting more competitive at a lower margin so it is more important than ever to strategically plan your growth and profitability. If you are looking to start, looking to grow, or have reached a plateau in your business I can meet you wherever you are at in the process and work with you to plan for your goals. Please take a moment to view featured projects and read testimonials from doctors about their projects. You can also fill out Getting Started forms on my website. Let’s meet to discuss ways we can work together to plan and build the successful modern dental practice of your dreams.
One of the single most impactful ways to grow your dental practice is by investing in new dental equipment. Doctors who invest in the latest technology are amazed by how dramatically it transforms the way they practice. They are able to see and treat dental pathology they were missing for years using outdated equipment. They feel confident and secure that they are truly able to provide the highest level of care and treatment available to their patients.
Dr. Russell Mann on Investing in CBCT
Whenever I am talking to doctors about growing their practices and improving the quality of care they can provide their patients by investing in new dental equipment I always remind them of section 179 of the tax code. This rule allows a small business owner to deduct a significant portion of their investment in new equipment and software for that fiscal year.
To benefit from this deduction for tax year 2017, the equipment can be financed or purchased and must be put into service between January 1, 2017 and the end of the day on December 31, 2017. The cap on the investment can change from year to year and the cap this year is $510,000 and the percentage of the deduction on this investment can be between 35%-50%. In other words if you were to buy $100,000 of new equipment before the end of this year you could potentially deduct $35,000 from your taxable income for 2017.
There is still time to take advantage in 2017 of the tax deduction available to you on the investment you make in dental equipment for your practice! I am available to help you customize an equipment package that will fit your budget and the growth goals you have in mind. You can use this calculator provided by Section179.org to calculate the savings you would recoup on the cost of your investment in 2017.
I have the experience and insight to help you evaluate key elements necessary to optimize the outcome of your investment. Please take a moment to view equipment options and read testimonials from doctors about practice growth goals I have helped them achieve. Let’s meet to discuss ways we can work together to build the successful modern dental practice of your dreams.
If you are thinking of enlarging your existing dental practice, or building a brand new one, it’s one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. It can feel risky and daunting, and it will raise lots of questions: Where should I start? Who can I trust? How can I maximize the return on my investment? Working with a trustworthy advisor can make your decision, and the entire process that follows, flow smoothly and help to ensure the most ideal outcome. Real growth for your business requires analysis, investment, and a well-crafted strategic plan designed specifically for you.
I have been working with doctors for 25 years in the greater Boston and Southern NH region. I have collaborated with them to plan a full range of practice growth solutions that include basic, functional, or optimal options to fit every budget and vision. My experience with 600+ dental projects has give me an in depth knowledge of all types of dental practice design concepts that incorporate an ergonomic approach, maximize space utilization, and are lean and efficient. Over the years I have collected and vetted a team of proven contractors, architects, designers, financial planners and real estate brokers who collaborate with me to find a location, arrange the necessary financing, and design and build exactly what you need to achieve your unique business growth goals.
I cannot stress enough to prospective clients the importance of following a plan that incorporates my proven strategic approach for success. I meet with many doctors who try to start off their process with a drawing, or a cost estimate determined with no financial analysis, or a location that was not properly “diagnosed” by an expert as the best place to achieve their practice vision or their financial business goals. Ultimately your practice growth plan must follow an identical process to planning a full mouth reconstruction case for a patient. There are logical steps that you must implement to diagnose, plan treatment, estimate cost, present to your patient and then execute the plan to achieve an optimal outcome. A complex case will likely involve specialists that you know and trust and always refer to. Your trust in the peers you respect let’s you confidently assure your patients that they will get the treatment they need to achieve the best outcome. Your decision to grow your business, and the “treatment plan” and execution strategy that are going to get you there, deserve the same careful attention, planning and expertise that you give all of your patients.
My reputation, experience, advice and insight are the greatest assets I have to offer my clients. The relationship I have with my doctor clients is a long-term commitment to the ongoing health and growth of their business. The customized treatment plan I develop for them is key to the successful execution of their project vision and I continue to be a dedicated trusted advisor long after that vision becomes a reality! Please take a moment to view featured projects and read testimonials from doctors about their projects. You can also fill out Getting Started forms on my website. Let’s meet to discuss ways we can work together to plan and build the successful modern dental practice of your dreams.