Dos and don'ts for practice leadership: Strive for sustainability

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A practice that can continue functioning indefinitely -- even with a new dentist replacing the current one -- is a "sustainable" business. Whatever a practice owner's plans for the future, it's smart to make the practice sustainable as soon as possible.

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Make changes now for maximum benefits. There are strategies any practice can use right now to make it sustainable indefinitely:

  • Implement documented step-by-step practice systems so that even new team members can operate them almost immediately, just by following the steps.
  • Identify and monitor key practice indicators to spot positive trends early and reinforce them.
  • Develop a mix of services that will carry the practice forward for a number of years.
  • Evaluate other factors -- location, condition of facilities, technology -- in terms of how they can be improved for the future.

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Don't wait until you're close to retirement. It takes time to build true sustainability into a practice, so it is never too early to focus on it -- especially when you realize that the strategies that lead to sustainability also generate immediate financial rewards.

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