By Sally McKenzie, contributing writer

November 7, 2018 -- No matter where you are in your career, there's likely room for improvement. Maybe you're ready to re-energize your recall system or streamline your schedule. Or maybe your practice is really struggling, and you have no idea what changes you need to make to turn it around.

Regardless of where your practice is, you don't have to handle important decisions or implement changes on your own. It's critical for dentists to have a group of trusted advisors they can turn to for guidance and support.

You might have wondered why there are practice consultants? Hiring the right consultant just may be the boost your practice needs to finally meet its full potential. Here are four ways consultants can help your practice grow.

1. They can lower your stress levels and boost morale

Sally McKenzie
Sally McKenzie, CEO of McKenzie Management.

If your practice is struggling, it can lead to a lot of stressful days. Both you and your team members are likely frustrated, worried about the future, and unsure how to get back on track. Hiring a consultant may help alleviate some of that pressure. You don't have to handle everything on your own anymore. The consultant is there to identify weaknesses in your systems and develop strategies to address them.

And when team members know steps are being taken to make improvements in the practice, it helps put their worried minds at ease. There's also less tension in the air, reducing the likelihood of conflict popping up and enabling you and your team members to focus more on your patients.

2. They see problems you don't

You're likely aware of some of the issues that are holding your practice back, but it's also likely that you haven't identified them all, simply because you're too close to the situation.

You spend every day working inside the practice, and it can be difficult to take a step back and really assess what areas need work. That's where an outside perspective can make a huge difference. Dental consultants know exactly what to look for, and they can help you quickly identify broken systems and come up with a plan to fix them.

3. They can help get team members to accept change

This is a problem for many practices. Team members (and people in general) are often resistant to change. They're comfortable with their jobs and their daily routines, and they become anxious when you suggest doing things differently. But for any change to be successful, you really need to have your team on board.

A consultant can help show how the suggested improvements will benefit the practice and how everyone will work together to ensure the adjustments go smoothly. Of course, you should deliver this same message to your team, but the consultant can offer another voice of encouragement that will help make them more comfortable with (and excited about) moving forward.

4. They know what works and what doesn't

“The issues you're struggling with likely aren't unique to your office.”

The issues you're struggling with likely aren't unique to your office. Consultants have seen the same problems in many other practices and know how to address them. They can develop a plan with proven strategies, helping you get back on the path to success much faster than if you tried to identify and address issues on your own.

Finding the right consultant

This might seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. I suggest you look for an experienced consultant with a proven track record. Find someone who is respected in the industry and who is easy to work with. Take the time to ask questions and really get a feel for how the consultant can help you. This is an important partnership, so make sure the person you hire can help you meet your goals.

Running a dental practice isn't easy. Many clinicians struggle and have no idea why. The good news is that there is help. When you hire the right consultant and follow his or her advice, your practice will flourish. You'll finally meet your full potential, leading to increased practice production, and a healthier bottom line.

Sally McKenzie is the CEO of McKenzie Management, a full-service dental practice management company. Contact her directly at 877-777-6151 or at

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2018

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