Seeking Life Balance and Practice Success
There’s no question that today’s marketplace is more challenging than ever, as many solo practitioners face increased competition from corporate entities, DSOs, and diminished third party support. Additionally, post-pandemic salaries are higher than ever as practice owners compete for a reduced pool of qualified team members. If we remember, however, that we’re in the people business, and work to establish long-term, trusting relationships with those for whom we care – one patient at a time – success and life balance are still achievable.
First and foremost, the practice owner must have a vision for the future and the leadership skills necessary to lead his or her team to success. Second, he or she must understand the business of dentistry and invest in skills training for the entire team. If a doctor is only as good as his or her teammates, his or her teammates had better be the best! As Chuck Blakeman observed in his best-seller, “Making Money is Killing Your Business,” “If you don’t understand your business, you’ll never get off the treadmill.” Invest in the training you need.
Third, using a monthly operating statement (or cash flow document) to track real-time practice expenses and management software to track key performance indicators, enables the dentist to compare his or her practice statistics to best-practice standards and make timely corrections as needed. Finally, knowing one’s daily break-even point is critical, as it empowers the entire team to predictably plan for financial success. Calculated by dividing the practice’s annual overhead by the number of days committed to patient care each year, it enables the team to know exactly where they stand toward their goal at the end of every day.
A cohesive team of trained dental professionals, sharing a common future vision, capably led by a practice owner who knows and understands his or her practice statistics, have all the elements necessary to achieve purposeful lives and practice success. And, in so doing, may reserve time for, and take the steps necessary to enjoy those important moments and events outside the practice to ensure life balance. After all, if you don’t plan for them, no one else will!
Wayne Kerr, DDS, MAGD
Mountaintop Moments: “Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.” >Jana Kingsford<