Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Is Your Consultant a “Dutch Uncle”? Do You Have One?

  I know it may not sound politically correct, but it is a term of endearment and love. My dad used to say to me “let me talk to you like a Dutch Uncle and tell you what you don’t want to hear”.

A quality dental business consultant tells their clients where their weak points are. It’s not being just another yes man or woman.

The Yes People … All is good in the world when you hear from a consultant what you want to hear, it’s human nature. However, what if your trusted consults always agreed with you? Think about it, did they ever bring up negative situations that you were not aware of? Have they criticized any of your systems, procedures and protocols? What do they cost you in real time? Or are you lucky and have a Dutch Uncle?

A Dutch Uncle … It is politically correct, it is a term of endearment. My dad was my 1st Dutch Uncle. He always told me what I was doing wrong and why. It’s the “why” that makes it good. Throughout your career you may have several confidants specializing in different areas of your business and life. You don’t know everything and if you think you do your just fooling yourself. The most successful people listen and seek information. As one of our great past president said “When I am not an expert on something and don’t know what I don’t know, I ask the people who do and I listen”. When I hear a dentist client is taking advise from another dentist it’s time for me to become the Dutch Uncle, what works for someone else most probably won’t work for you. Consulting with other dentists on clinical procedures and treatment planning is a good thing because that it what they do everyday, but every dental practice (business) is different and a good professional will customize the management.

Customized Management … The very first question any quality consultant should ask is “what do you want”. That is not asking what do you want me to help you with, it’s asking “what do you want your life to look like”. Then all future plans are built around that vision. I have had the fortune to meet and associate with a lot of very smart people. I have learned a lot and continue to. Professional guidance in running a business is essential for success especially in today’s competitive market. As a business owner you do not have time to reinvent the wheel, the systems are there but you need to invest some time and money to put them in place. You were trained in clinical dentistry and not business management. You can’t survive if you think like a general consumer.

A General Consumer … Once again I will go to the 80/20 rule. 80% of the dental professionals I work with run their business like they run their home, as a general consumer. The remaining 20% develop very successful practices that address the competitive market in all areas of the organization because they listen to “experienced” professional consultants.

Professional Dental Practice Consultants … There are so many to choose from. All claim to be the best and they all teach you how to dot the “I’s” and cross the “T’s” but each has it unique method in establishing the business culture. Culture is so important when dealing with patients and especially team members. There are offices I walk into that you can feel the tension. We’ll discus culture in the next issue of Cliff’s Notes.

July 18, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment