Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

The Dental Business Institute – Prepare for the Future

The best way to be successful is to listen and observe the success that others have had or are having. There is no cookie-cutter solution because every business is different and serves a different demographic (that’s why I like local consultants) but best practices can be modified to fit any environment. A dental practice is a small business and it has to run efficiently while investing in growth. Years back I attended the Disney Institute, the seminars and training changed the way I approached customer service and employee management. Employee management (Team Engagement) is the foundation for success. The Dental Business Institute (( is a similar program that was specifically designed for the dental industry by Henry Schein.

Many dentists who operate independent practices find it difficult to compete in the ever-changing marketplace. Many small group practices encounter the same challenges. Reduced reimbursements and emergence of group and corporate practices force practitioners to think about the future differently. The Dental Business  Institute at Henry Schein was created to support and guide dentists through a successful entrepreneurial exploration of their business and its potential.

The Dental Business Institute … is a year-long educational program that guides practitioners through the process of applying different business models to their practice vision. Attendees first identify their desired outcome, then design a business model that helps achieve that outcome. The model is tested through simulation to see how different decisions impact financial statements and attainment of business goals.

Program attendees can experience the impact of business decisions prior to investing time and resources. As plans are made, each action is tested to determine the impact on cash flow, profitability, and valuation. Based on the simulation results, participants learn where to adjust prior to implementation in the real world.

Question … What is the most important asset you have? It’s probably the one you abuse the most.

Answer … Your Team! Most dentists (small business owners) don’t understand how to develop strong clinical and management teams that will work together “peacefully”.

Success Costs Money … It is true that you need to spend money to make money. Where you spend (invest) your money will effect the success of your business. A competitive compensation package will attract competent team members and retain them for a long time. Today’s labor shortage puts quality at a premium and if you pay peanuts you’ll get monkeys. You can’t build a dental practice that will rise smoothly through the next decade without a solid foundation. Listen and learn from experts. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.

May 22, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Walking Over Dollar$ -To Pick Up Dimes!

“In the business world, the rearview mirror is always clearer than the windshield”

Warren Buffet

Price, Price, Price is a consumer mentality. Sure, at home I cut coupons and my wife looks at all the specials but we are doing it in our free time not in time spent generating positive revenue. I owned and managed a dental distribution company for a lot of years and our goal was to buy low, sell high and generate profit. However, with the materials we used to operate our business we cut a deal, reviewed it annually and never looked back. It was all about production, moving product and turn-ing inventory. We utilized analytics to know what was selling, where we were making money and where we were spending it. Today, the analytics available is so much more detailed but the data has to be there to analyze.

Analytics … Every industry utilizes analytics to refine their production and gain a competitive edge, dentistry is not different. We hear about it most in sports and Amazon & Google have been front page news with everything they know about us. Isn’t time to use this technology in analyzing production, purchasing, team engagement, patient treatment plan acceptance and re-care? This can be game changing for the dental practice looking to grow. By utilizing today’s technology we can capture data and use it to positively effect the bottom line

The Bottom Line … Making money is the bottom line of every business. Clinical perfection is always at the top of the list, but face it, making money is what we get up for in the morning. Fortune & Glory, but fortune always comes first. Unfortunately most dental practices are also small businesses and often general consumer concepts override good business practices. We tend to focus on the individual line items more often than the whole picture. Time is the most valuable thing you have and getting more production out of a fixed component is “Best Practices”

Best Practices … What exactly does that mean? It’s a standard of universal business operations in a perfect world. We all know that nothing is perfect but we do need standards to use as a goal. One of the parts of best practices that is often overlooked is time spent.

Time Spent … Chair time is always a concern for dental practices. Manufacturers design products to speed-up clinical procedures to allow more time to see more patients. If done correctly and systematically 1 to 2 more patients can be fit into the schedule and that is added revenue. Time spent may be the most valuable variable investment any business has. Time spent should be focused on revenue generating projects and procedures weather it be chair side or patient contact. Time spent on non revenue generating business necessities such as cleaning & product procurement has to be minimized by product selection and automation.

Automation … Yes, it may cost a few dollars but way it against the cost of time spent and increased revenue. It’s all about the bottom line. If $10.00 spent over there allows time to generate $25.00 over here, it’s a win! Those of us in business that worry more about spending the $10.00, are Walking over Dollars to Pick up Dimes. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

May 4, 2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment