A lot is expected from a dentist these days. In addition to being a skilled professional, you must also be a team leader, marketing expert, administrative genius, and a capable manager. Most of these skill sets, however, are not innate and are not necessarily covered in dental school. While the school might offer a few classes on the business side of running a practice, or a young doctor might team up with a more experienced dental professional, most dentists are adrift in the world of practice management.
Although some dentists may eventually gain the knowledge necessary to effectively run the business side of the practice, a quicker way to achieve this end goal is to consult with a dental practice consultant. This type of consultant can be an independent consultant, a knowledgeable business expert, or a trusted mentor. They provide valuable business knowledge and help take years off the learning curve.
While there are many positives these advisors can bring to your practice, here are four key ways a dental practice consultant can boost your business:
1. Help to Create Dental Practice Advocates and Build Centers of Influence (COIs):
Dental practice advocates are current patients or others with an interest in the practice who will promote your business to their family, friends, neighbors and business associates. In the case of patients, they are so pleased with the level of dental care and customer service they receive that they willingly recommend the dentist to everyone they know. Because the process of creating these advocates can involve, an outside dental practice consultant can dramatically shorten the process of increasing referrals. An added bonus is that practice advocates also tend to be very good patients who return year after year for their own dental care.
Centers of Influence are those people who can have a positive impact on your dental practice by providing introductions to prospective patients, increasing your networking opportunities, and helping build word-of-mouth. While this might at times be an actual patient, COIs are also others in the community whose opinions are highly respected. A dental consultant can help you seek out and build relationships with these important movers and shakers.
2. Analyze Office Systems
A dental practice consultant should have a good working knowledge of how a dental practice performs most efficiently. This knowledge is accumulated over years of trial and error, and then passed on to the next generation to save you the pain of making the same mistakes. The consultant can offer insights on patient education, dental marketing, team training, financial management, and office leadership tactics that enable the business side of the practice to run most efficiently.
3. They Tell You What You Need to Know
In many cases, dentists don’t know what they need to know when it comes to business analytics.If you don't know what to measure, you will miss out on both what you need to improve on and what you as a practice are doing well.
"If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. " – Peter Drucker
A dental consultant can tell you what to look for in terms of Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, and guide you toward reputable software systems that will help keep track of this invaluable data.
A dental practice consultant can quickly help build skills in all the areas they didn’t teach you about in dental school. You can spend more time treating patients and less time worrying about getting a crash course in business by offloading that burden to a dental consultant. They are there to guide you, help you grow your practice and reach your goals, both inside and outside on the four walls of your practice.
An important part of what a consultant does is help you define, set and achieve goals. Use our free morning checklist to get started on improving a little every day. It's just like dental hygiene but for your practice. You can even go over this checklist with your consultant.