4 Things You Should Keep in Mind When Scaling Your Dental Practice
A time comes when every dentist has to scale his or her practice. This may be because the patient load has increased and you can no longer handle it on your own. Scaling your dental practice may also be necessary when you notice that fixed costs like rent and salaries are growing rapidly, so you need to scale up in order to stay profitable. Keep the following factors in mind when scaling your dental practice.
Attract and Retain Key Employees
You cannot scale your dental practice if you are short on the human resource side of your practice. Scaling can also be hard if you keep losing the employees that you hire. Your first task in scaling the dental practice should begin with mapping out how you will get and retain A-team members.
One way to do this is by offering them an ownership stake in the practice. Clear standards should be established regarding the processes/deliverables that can earn the employee an equity stake in the practice. Such measures will get those performers invested in the dental practice and they will no longer feel the urge to leave and start their own dental practice.
Systemize Your Operations
Another challenge will emerge once you start hiring extra dentists or related professionals to work in your dental practice. How do you get rid of that uneasiness that they will not do things in the exact way that you would like them to?
The answer to this lies in systemizing your practice. Create systems that make it possible for the practice to stay functional and profitable even without you.
For example, you can start by recording how you perform each procedure so that the new hires can follow those same steps to perform those tasks. Mentor them and answer all their questions so that a point is reached when you no longer have to go over what they have done to confirm that it was done correctly.
Another way to systemize is by rethinking how patient appointments are scheduled. A clever way to get more done within a typical day is by scheduling similar procedures close to each other. For example, you can schedule dental fillings in the morning hours then root canals or other complex procedures in the afternoon.
Get the Right Technology
The third key component of scaling your dental practice is by acquiring technology that will enable the practice to become more efficient and profitable.
For example, the XTG Handheld X-ray machine can reduce the time needed to move a patient to another room in order to have diagnostic tests done. Similarly, the IRIS HD USB 3.0 dental camera can allow you to take detailed images of the dental structures of the patient when that patient is sitting in the dental chair.
Such technologies can make your staff more productive since less time will be spent attending to each patient. The patients will also greatly appreciate that all their dental work can be completed in one short visit.
Know Your Numbers
Two key metrics need to be considered by anyone attempting to scale a dental practice. First, at what rate is your revenue growing? Uncontrolled growth can kill! For example, you may choke on payroll costs if the rate of revenue growth doesn’t match or exceed the rate at which your fixed costs are growing.
Secondly, you need to know the rate at which your income is growing. Always aim at income growth rates that are higher than revenue growth rates. The acquisition of the cutting-edge dental technologies discussed above is one way to increase the profitability of each employee since more patients will be attended to each day. Scale your dental practice once you are sure that your income is growing at a rate that surpasses the rate at which revenues are growing.
Scaling a dental practice can be a challenging process since it entails giving up some of the control you have always had. However, the process can be rewarding once you have the right team in place and work together to realize the shared vision of the dental practice.