Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

They’re Making Me Cry!

Cliff’s Notes Special Report – June 28, 2015

Cliff Marsh, Henry Schein ……Cell: 201-321-7494……Fax: 201-262-2210



The reason we do what we do, is so that we can to do what we want to do, when we want to do it!

It’s a tongue twister, but working as a team and making informed decisions, will get us there.


“You may delay, but time will not.”

Benjamin Franklin


After a lifetime in the dental industry I have witnessed and experienced countless numbers of changes and I know there are more to come, and very shortly. The writing is on the wall and it is scary how many dental practice owners don’t seem to want to read it. Maybe it isn’t reading that’s the problem, maybe it the comprehension or the fear of addressing a solution. These practices don’t seem to want to address the changes that will be necessary. It’s right there in from of them and they’re making me cry!

So what type of change do we need to prepare for and where do we start? We start by redefining our business plan. Now, I know that 99.999% of dental practices don’t have a written business plan, but I am sure there is or was some type of overall dream. A good plan starts with a dream. The hard part is turning that dream into reality and un-fortunately, with only 24 hours in a day, life gets in the way and the dream never formulates into a defined plan.

Several week ago one of my larger long time clients approached me and said “I know what I want, but I don’t know how to get there”. This is a 30 year old, very successful dentist that has 2 locations and is flirting with $3M in gross production. With excellent gross production, little staff turn-over, 95% of all procedures kept in-house, you would think that life couldn’t get better? However, this doc is thinking beyond his current situation and realizes that he needs to review his clinical & management work flow as well as his procedural mix if he wants to increase the gross production. That increase is necessary to off-set reduced reimbursements and increased operating costs. Also, technology is expensive and will be required for regulatory compliance.

Redefining your plan is more scary than it is hard. It requires changes and some investment. It starts with a review of you P&L (profit & loss) statement and a simple practice analysis based specifically on your computer data. Those 2 items will give you all the information you need to understand the sate of your dental practice. You would be surprised how much $$ may be slipping through cracks you didn’t know where there. Once you know the “real” issues you can formulate solutions.

The biggest mistake that a dental practice owner can make is trying to fix problems by themselves. Your financial adviser won’t tell you how to do dentistry and you won’t tell them about financing and estate planning. Consult professionals and don’t be afraid to arrange interdisciplinary meetings with financial and industry professionals. If your financial adviser is on retainer (recommended) the meeting costs nothing and the bene-fit to your business and estate could be significant.

Our industry is changing at lighting speed. Think about where you want to be in 3, 5, or 10 years and how will you get there. “You may delay, but time will not”.

Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.

June 28, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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