You made it! After years of dreaming and hard work, you’ve achieved your goal of becoming a dentist with your own private practice.
So why doesn’t it feel like you’ve made it? Likely it’s because your practice isn’t all you dreamed it could be. Maybe you’re not making as much money as you wish. Maybe you’re working harder than you ever dreamed. Or maybe you’re seeing the wrong kinds of patients and spending all your time doing dental procedures that aren’t rewarding (or lucrative). And now you feel like you’ve lost all your passion for dentistry.
If this describes you, Dr. Shahin Safarian’s recent webinar, “The Business Side of Dentistry” can help. In it, he describes how taking care of some aspects of the business of running a dental practice can help you become more successful and more passionate about dentistry again.
You Control Your Success
One critical point to remember is that only you control the success of your dental practice. When things start to go wrong, many people find excuses and point fingers at others. Not only is this not helpful, it’s not good for you. It makes you a victim of all these other people and circumstances. It gives them control over your practice. And it’s hard to be passionate about something that someone else controls.
You need to take back control of your dental practice. To be successful, you will need to wear at least two hats: as a dentist and as a business owner. You need to put on the dentist hat when you’re actually practicing dentistry, but other times you should be wearing your business owner hat. This will help you be a more successful business owner, and it will help you feel more passionate about dentistry as well.
Separate the Personal and Professional
Many dentists enter practice as a sole practitioner who has invested a tremendous amount of their personal capital into the business. As they work, the personal and professional assets can blend over time. Not only does this put their personal assets at risk, it makes it hard to deal with the business in a professional way. We all tend to neglect our personal finances, and that’s doubly risky when it’s also your business.
You should incorporate your dental practice to keep it separate from your personal assets. This will also help you be more diligent about attending to important business matters, such as visiting your accountant monthly. It will also make it easier to look at the business expenses and keep them under control so you can see clear profitability from the practice.
Invest in Yourself
While incorporating helps separate the personal and professional assets of your practice, it doesn’t change the fact that you–the dentist–are the practice’s single most valuable asset. It’s important to protect and even improve your value as a dentist.
The best way to do this is with continuing education. By investing in continuing education, you put yourself in a position to take on new types of cases, which can dramatically improve the revenue streams of your practice. Hopefully, too, education will help you understand your limits so that you only take on cases you can do successfully.
Communicate clearly with your patients about your skills and limitations so they know what to expect. Also make sure you talk to anyone in a patient-facing position about setting expectations.
Patients Are Equity
Patient goodwill is like other types of equity your practice may own. If you treat your patients well, they will also treat you well. This will include positive reviews online, direct patient referrals, and improved future case acceptance.
So make sure you’re investing in your patient equity by treating them right. Give them a good experience. Be open with them and give them all the information they need to take care of their teeth at home. Give them good advice, and offer procedures that don’t just solve today’s problems, but head off future problems, too. When patients experience long-term results from your dental treatments, they appreciate the value of your dentistry.
You Can Have a Successful Dental Business
Are you tired of struggling at your dental practice? Let Dr. Safarian help you take care of these and other issues for achieving true success. Please call (858) 349-7996 today to talk to Dr. Safarian about consultation rates and availability. Today can be the first day of your new, successful dental business.