I’m always secretly amused when young practitioners view me as some incredibly successful businessman. It’s true that I built a million-dollar practice in a small town from a “cold” start without the aid of computers, websites, advertising, or social media, but it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t always fun. In truth, my first office was a lot like the “Crisis Clinic” drawn by famed cartoonist, Gary Larson.
Although previous part-time work through high school and college provided me with extensive experience in customer service, it became immediately clear to me that I was in way over-my-head as a small-business owner. Never had I interviewed potential employees, established training protocols, or managed cash flow. The early days of practice were complete and total chaos.
Like many dentists, I invested in “hands-on” courses to improve my clinical skills, but soon recognized that excellent clinical skills were not going to help me build a successful practice. With guidance from a few talented consultants, I learned that chaos can be overcome by putting specific systems in place, and delegating the operation and management of those systems to properly trained employees.
The final “secret” to overcoming chaos, however, was shared with me by the founder and former CEO of the Pride Institute, Dr. James R. Pride. His advice? Lead your team to excellence by inspiring employees to “live the practice purpose,” and commit each day to service excellence. When sound systems are in place, team members are properly trained, tasks are appropriately delegated, and the practice is patient-focused, the doctor needs only to lead and inspire.
If your practice is chaotic like mine once was, seek out help from a capable consultant or practice management company with whom you feel comfortable. Recognize that overcoming chaos will take a full-team commitment, a financial investment, strong leadership, and time. The payoff? Business nirvana, and joy-filled days! Shazzam!
Dentists are typically well prepared to care for their patients through excellent clinical training, but are grossly underprepared to own or operate a small business in today’s changing and challenging marketplace. Learn valuable real life lessons in this dynamic and fast-paced program which will touch on many of the factors necessary to operate your practice successfully.
“Organization, in the end, takes willingness to
fight through the chaos in the beginning!”