For this article, we've compiled some key things we believe dentists should either be adapting to or letting go of that will help them keep pace with all the changes.
Five things to be learning:
1. Transition from 2D to 3D
You know it's time to transition from analog to digital, and it has been for a while. But the advances in 3D imaging will continue to transform treatments and case presentation. Learning this technology now will prepare you for an exciting future.
2. See yourself not as a dentist but as a CEO
Your greatest success will come from effectively leading people and managing them effectively, without micromanaging or pretending that all you need are more clinical skills to thrive.
3. Bigger can be better
Having a larger team and more than one associate allows you to maximize your facility and also have greater resources. It allows you to have individual roles for key positions, such as marketing, billing, and reception, and pay for a strong office manager. A larger team may seem like a headache, but it actually cures a lot more headaches than it causes. Economies of scale abound at a certain size.
4. You need a marketing budget and a technology budget
There is no avoiding the fact that your online presence needs continual attention and investment, and learning and applying new technology have become essential.
5. Coaching and mentoring are for a lifetime
All successful people are growing because of the people they surround themselves with. Have great peers who openly exchange their successes and failures, and seek out the best advisors and coaches, knowing you can always improve and that there is almost always someone who's been there before you.
Five things to be unlearning:
1. It's time to stop hating insurance
Dental coverage is just another marketing plan, and you need to adapt the systems and technology that allow you to do dentistry more quickly and efficiently. This way, you can maintain profitability.
2. Stop paying yourself last
If you're producing dentistry yourself, you should pay yourself accordingly. Don't just pay yourself what's left after everything and everyone, including your associate, is paid. Often, there's nothing left for you.
3. Dentistry is no longer 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday
Practices are open evenings, early mornings, Saturdays, and even Sundays. Patients want convenience, and they can find it. And remember, a dental practice is a surgical suite. Using it 32 hours a week is inefficient in the extreme.
4. Stop hating numbers
Dentistry is a business, and you should understand that business as well as your accountant does, if not better. Goal-setting, projections, annual planning, and cost comparisons are essential to your success.
5. Stop expecting patients to value dentistry the same way you do
Very few people understand the importance of oral health or the options we have to treat them. Don't be afraid to get good at selling. Persuasion with a positive purpose is a good thing.
I know we said these are things you should learn or unlearn in the next five years, but the best time to start is right now!
Editor's note: This is the second in a yearlong series provided to DrBicuspid.com by Fortune Management. You can read the first installment here.
Kim McGuire has been an executive coach for nearly 20 years with Fortune Management. She brings a wealth of practice management knowledge, coaching acumen, and dental business expertise to Fortune Management clients across the U.S.
Fred Joyal is a renowned speaker, author, and consultant on dental marketing. He is the co-founder of 1-800-DENTIST and author of two best-selling books, Everything is Marketing and Becoming Remarkable.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.
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