While 95% of practice owners want to grow their practices, number of new patients, gross incomes, net incomes, patient bases, etc., it isn’t always crystal clear how MUCH they can grow and it can be even foggier when it comes to HOW to do it.
Boom or Bust
A few of you are at a crucial spot in the growth game where they better figure things out fast and start to boom or they are going to go bust and turn in the keys to the landlord. This is a completely unnecessary choice as any practice can grow – if you actually want it to and take the right actions. (We have helped more than 700 Canadian dentists do just that over the last 32 years)
Where is your Trajectory Starting From?
What do you envision for your practice? Are you underbooked, overbooked, “wrong kind of patients” booked? Or are you booked just right at the moment, but wondering if things could be more efficient and structured which would allow for a little more growth?
What Barriers are there to your Growth?
Let’s look at a sampling of things that could potentially stall your growth:
- Your location may be too small to allow a bigger flow of new patients.
- You are overbooked, but no physical room to add an associate to help out.
- You are leasing your premises and have years left on it so you can’t move into bigger premises and you are out of space.
- You need a bigger new patient flow but your digital marketing company is not doing their job very well.
- Your front desk staff have not had one-on-one training on converting shoppers on the phone to butts in your chairs and so they are losing some of them. ($3,500 minimum per new patient lost in most practices.)
- Your scheduling is not efficient and you end up with lost production time each day. Staff not trained on booking Ideal Days. This can result in stressed doctors who then resist practice growth.
- Too many cancellations and no shows, leaving gaps in your day with no time to fill them, and an ineffective Cancellation Policy.
- Too many one-time-only or occasional patients who don’t come regularly. A lot of front desk staff time gets spent on trying to reschedule these people.
- Doctor seeing too many patients they don’t like and they start not wanting to practice. This may be due to marketing to the wrong public.
- The staff feel they are busy enough and don’t want the practice to grow more.
- No bonus system to incentivize the team to want to grow the practice some more.
- Lack of parking spaces. (This has actually been a practice-growth-stopper to some of our clients – until we worked out a solution.)
- Competition has set up in your area. (Your marketing needs to improve in order to out-market them.)
- You as the owner/practitioner are working too many hours and losing family time so are resisting growth. (This can be solved so many ways!)
Optimum Growth Trajectory
In order to fix all of the above potential growth-stoppers, you need to work out a strategic plan with the correct sequence of changes, find a good trainer for the skill sets needed to improve, work out timelines for each step and push yourself to get the whole plan done. (A great consultant who loves helping to create extraordinary practices would be a life saver!)
If you grow too fast without the underpinnings in place, you can backslide, or at the very least, lose some potential growth. (For instance, spending a lot of money on digital marketing and social media but having staff who are not fully trained on handling shoppers can waste a lot of hard-earned income.)
Growing too slowly will obviously lose a lot of potential income as well. The most income you never make is while you procrastinate.
You are either expanding or shrinking. There is nothing in between. You cannot stay the same week after week with no losses or gains.