I’m often asked to describe the stand out characteristics of a typical highly successful private dental practice — what’s needed before growth is guaranteed? — and in response I always trot out my eight golden rules because they never fail my clients.
- The revenue mix follows my 60/40 rule — 60 per cent of the revenue comes from new patient treatment plans and 40 per cent comes from the cohort of existing patients. This always stops my new clients in their tracks, but truthfully my fastest growing clients often reach 70/30. This doesn’t mean they neglect their existing patients or don’t want to take care of them after the expensive treatment plans have been delivered — no, they are simply skilled at delivering high value treatment plans to new patients that need them.
- A clinical team has the right mix of talented and accredited clinicians covering all the right high value skill sets: orthodontics, implantology, DSD, sedation etc. It’s really OK for the principal not to have any of these skills themselves, so long as they are available in the practice.
- The practice has a qualified business manager who works to numbers. In particular they use the Fine KPIs to understand current performance by diagnosing performance issues and drilling down easily to understand them, making taking action easy and intuitive.
- The practice works to a budget for everything, both sales and costs. This is what a business does — no surprises — we always work to SMART objectives, however little the objective (SMART = specific/measurable/achievable/realistic/time-bound).
- There is a degree of business formality: a weekly review meeting, a monthly board meeting with actions and timelines with documented outcomes.
- The practice has a robust marketing system including a high performing website, retail presence with effective signage, and an inbound handling and nurturing system that is capable of delivering the right mix of high value treatment patients, supported by a treatment coordinator. The system (and it really is a system) will deliver the right mix of high value treatment patients.
- A culture that is not blame driven, but is open, honest and fair all the time and has a leader to believe in.
- The business is always recruiting. If you ask me the single biggest blocker to private practice growth is the availability of specialists, dentists, hygienists and nurses. Get a reputation for being the best payer in your catchment and always be recruiting. Interview every applicant.
I hope you find something useful here, and don’t hesitate to email or call for a no obligation chat if you’d like to discuss how to implement one or more of the eight golden rules.
JJF | 07860672727 | [email protected]
“The single biggest blocker to private practice growth is the availability of specialists, dentists, hygienists and nurses”
Jonathan Fine, MD