Want Instant Practice Success? Focus On These 3 Leverage Points…

Long ago, one of my mentors said to me very bluntly that you can’t make a good business out of bad math. That’s really the basis for my principles in The Dental Practice Shift, my very first book.

When you ‘shift’ your practice, you are not changing your philosophy or your vision, but instead aligning your practice with these principles first.

Most Doctor Owners are the last to get paid, the last to go home, the last to be thought about, the last to take vacation, the last to do everything. As a result, the practice gets diluted and you become trapped into the vicious, repetitive cycle of working harder and harder trying to get ahead, only to be further behind.

You feel like a broken record doing and saying the same things over and over again and not seeing the results you know are possible. This is because all too often you are working on the wrong problems… you are frustrated by seeking improvement from the issues that just aren’t going to move the needle.

So, you can’t fix the wrong problems and get the right outcomes. And that is where we get to the math of your practice model.

First, understand, our core beliefs and the reason we exist in your life at Dental Success Today, is to align and bring to fruition our three “P’s” …

YOUR Purpose

YOUR Passion

YOUR Profits

When these line up, everybody wins. Plain and simple.

This is very important – it is one of two most important concepts in all of business – the other is the people, the communication, the experience, the actual human element.

In dentistry, you have to be great with people but no matter how good your team is or how good your dentistry is, if the math doesn’t work – your practice will never produce as it should.

This is why my approach to “reverse engineering” your practice success leads to such dramatic breakthroughs.

It doesn’t matter whether you are stuck at a million or two or three or anywhere in between, every ‘next’ big leap in your income (that’s the number that you ought to be counting by the way), comes from better math and better math comes from better leverage and better leverage comes from making every part, process, and person more valuable to the practice.

Unless you just want to keep increasing overhead, hours, ops, team members, and patients.

The best news of all is that it can turnaround quickly. Even if you love where you are at and you are having your best year, when you master the math of your practice you can replicate results on demand and build a predictable future instead of having random ups and downs of a good months and bad months.

Here’s the reality of every business: the math doesn’t lie. It’s an indication of the health of the business and illustrates where the opportunities are (and where they are not). Used properly, it keeps you from working on the areas that will provide a diminishing return so you can focus on what will deliver the biggest impact.

Here, allow me to give you some examples that lead to some assessment and homework for you.

Let’s take the lifecycle of both treatment and money. We’ll look at it in the three key phases that it moves through in a practice and I will show you where most practices focus (and where they would be better served to place their attention)…

First, every practice wants to have a productive schedule, usually identified by filling all the available time in the schedule and hopefully hitting daily goals. But it usually comes out as a roller coaster of days, weeks, and months, lacking consistency yet everyone still feels like every day is busy.

At this point, I could tell you all about value-based scheduling and how to schedule to hit your goal every day, but that would not even be the most significant reason to rethink effective scheduling.

Instead, it is vital to understand that appropriate scheduling should be first and foremost designed around creating a great experience for patients by ensuring there is enough time for complete and comprehensive diagnosis while also allowing for the conversations necessary to close treatment the same day they are there (except, of course, for large treatment plans which might come back for another visit).

Very few ever think about how ‘filling the schedule’ actually creates a rushed experience, lessens the time with the doctor, and hastens the diagnosing. Furthermore, regardless of how great the clinical team is, the schedule is out of balance and the business team can’t even keep up in order to get the result and achieve the most important outcomes of the day.

The key point to takeaway is that production is only possible because of diagnosing. So, a schedule built only to maximize the doctor’s time to do dentistry at the expense of the time to diagnose, will yield – you guessed it – up and down days without any consistency because our schedule is out of balance.

Here’s another example… you can have the most comprehensive treatment, but if it is presented in the context of steps or stages or worst-case insurance or even quadrant, you are going to end up creating a self-induced plateau that you’ll never breakout out of. As a result, your schedule will forever be limited and thus your financial results will be forever limited all because of the way you present and then schedule treatments.

You can have a full schedule with lots of patients, just not a lot of dentistry and not because it wasn’t there, instead because of how the math played out.

So, to build an effective schedule, we have to have bundles, half mouth, arches, full mouth treatment and to do that we have to have time to diagnose, educate, and talk to patients. You can see how it comes full circle.

It gets even better with my final example today and that’s with getting paid to do dentistry instead of doing dentistry to get paid. Not just the concept but the reality of receiving pre-payment for treatment (and ideally for full treatment plans regardless of how production will be scheduled).

Read that again. You see, most practices have their collections completely at the mercy of how they produce, the implication of the insurance dynamic, and how treatment is presented and scheduled. They want to grow collections but they are stuck with bad math because they have boxed themselves in.

Instead, the core objective is to not let collections be dependent on production and thus break free from the greatest limiting factor of all – time. Finally, you can create leverage, work smarter not harder, and get paid what you are worth. This is not just to get patients committed (though that is an extremely powerful benefit), it’s so you are moving money ahead of production and not limited to what you can do in a day as to what you can collect in a day.

We just reverse engineered the three most significant math problems and leverage points in your practice. Each is an incredible game changer that every practice has the ability to improve on in some way and likely in several tiers of growth.

The moral of the story is that every decision in your practice should be evaluated as it relates to leverage and control in order to put you in a superior position with the math of your practice.

Now, the good news is, once you have this dialed in and set-up properly then you can go to work on verbiage, case presentation, your team’s performance, and other systems to make the practice more valuable but first you have to ensure there is nothing off in your math formula that can result in a diminishing return no matter how hard you work.

You should assess those three leverage points to make sure you are focusing on the bigger picture, the origin of creation, and putting yourself into a positive math position because it is literally the difference between addition (working harder) or multiplication (working smarter) for your practice success.

Ultimately, they all link together and you get a compounding effect that will bring your purpose, passion, and profits to fruition. That’s just the beginning of what happens when you flip the switch on these leverage points and produce instant practice success.