Is your Practice Shrinking or Expanding?

Shrinking or Expanding

Sweaters shrink. Bank accounts shrink. Waist lines shrink. Insurance coverage shrinks. But practices aren’t supposed to!

There is a natural law about this: Nothing stays the same forever. It is common knowledge that things are either growing or they are shrinking.

As an example of what I mean, I met a 72 year old dentist a few years ago who was billing $35,000 per month for the last 30 years. He thought that he was doing amazingly – and to be honest, 30 years ago that probably WAS amazing. However, inflation has inflated and fees have increased and life has moved forward, but he and his practice hadn’t. Now he has found himself in financial hot water and not able to keep up with the bills and no money to retire on because it had all been eaten up by the servicing of the growing amount of his debts which he jokingly referred to as his “sinking fund.”

Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: if your practice numbers are not growing, you have started on the long slippery slope of shrinkage. It may not be visible at first but it exists. For instance, we have taken on clients who have stopped taking new patients and this has gotten all over town. Now, as their patients move on, pass on, or drop off for whatever reason, their practice is shrinking. It has sometimes taken a concerted effort marketing-wise to reverse that reputation and turn on the New Patient tap again.

With those practices, we have also shown them how to be more efficient, get proper scheduling being done, staff the practice correctly, put in a bonus system for the team, market internally, improve treatment presentation skills, handle “shoppers” on the phone better, and so on. These all allow the practice to grow with less stress and more fun.

If your practice is shrinking, not only are you losing your net income as the practice owner now, but you are also losing your future practice value when it comes time to sell.

Exit Strategies

We are finding more and more healthcare professionals coming to us for “Exit Strategies” because they are 5 or 10 years away from retiring and want to build the practice up and keep it there for maximum enjoyment now and maximum sale price later. Smart thinking!

Some practices are nicely full and comfortable. Great! But keep the new patients coming in always. Also, keep your fees current with your provincial fee guide each year. Look for ways to improve the quality of service – this too is considered expansion. Look for ways to deliver more and better service.

Bottom line, you are either expanding or shrinking. Look things over and see which is happening in your practice. If you are shrinking, or not growing at the pace you would like to be, take some fast action. (You can always call us to see if we can help!)


CALL US AT 416-466-6217


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