Do Your Potential Patients Know Your Dental Practice Exists?

Effective marketing can mean the difference between a successful, thriving business and one that’s just barely making ends meet. A clear, consistent marketing plan attracts the right customers, at the right time, in the right location. If they have a good experience, these patients then share your practice with others, come back for dental services, and the cycle continues. If this happens regularly, you’re likely to have a thriving dental practice. But what happens if you don’t reach these target customers?

They don’t discover your business, so they go elsewhere. And you (and your practice) suffer for it.

Luckily, there are some surefire ways to market your business, and are well worth it because of the return on investment (ROI). Interested to know if you’re taking advantage of these effective marketing channels for your business? Read on.

 

LIST YOUR PRACTICE ON GOOGLE MY BUSINESS

If you haven’t listed your business on Google, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Customers who search for dental practices typically are from your local community. And because they’re already searching for dentists on Google, you’ll be able to see what brings your patients to your door. That information alone is beyond valuable.

 

GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR LOCAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Have you joined your Local Chamber of Commerce yet? Since most dental practices are based locally, this marketing strategy is a great choice for you. Once a member, most local chamber chapters give you the option to list your business in their main directory. You can also participate in networking and other organized events throughout the year for additional community exposure.

 

BE ACTIVE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media remains an effective and popular marketing channel for many businesses. In today’s fast-paced digital world, social media provides a way for you to keep up with your customer’s demands, expectations, and desires easily. Customer service usage options abound. You can even create targeted ads to reach your patients that perhaps may not have found you otherwise.

 

CREATE EMAIL MARKETING CAMPAIGNS

While social media is great, don’t forget about tried-and-true marketing strategies like email marketing and direct mail. Did you know that a recent study showed that 99% of Americans check their email at least once a day? That’s a lot of potential eyes on your content. If you haven’t built an email list for your dental practice, start today. Email marketing can be particularly helpful for retaining current patients, which can end up being more lucrative to you and your business than acquiring new patients alone. Try sending a monthly email newsletter or put together an email drip campaign that provides recipients with valuable information.

 

INVEST IN DIRECT MAIL ADVERTISING COLLATERAL

Finally, direct mail marketing collateral can be an effective way to market your business, particularly if you target patients in and around your physical practice. Send out a basic flyer with an introductory offer or collaborate with other local businesses to cross-promote your services.

 

WANT MORE GUIDANCE?

It can be time-consuming and frustrating to try and figure out the most effective way to market your particular dental practice. If you want personalized guidance by a fellow dentist and dental practice owner that’s been there, contact Dr. Coughlin today. We will help you find the right marketing approach that’s based on your specific ideal target audience that effectively meets your business goals.

 

 

Benefits to Owning a Dental Practice

The decision to open your own dental practice versus working as an associate at a larger managed organization is one that only you can make. However, if you’ve never thought about owning your own dental practice, there are benefits to it that you just can’t get as a dental associate. 

Take the time to weigh the pros and cons of each option to make the best decision for you and your desired lifestyle. 

Interested in opening your own dental practice? Here are some benefits of taking that entrepreneurial step. 

 

FREEDOM TO OPERATE AS YOU WOULD LIKE

Unlike managed organizations, if you own a dental practice, you’re free to run operations as you see fit. Practically speaking, this means that you call the shots of what goes on in the office; there are no middlemen making decisions for you. Even decisions like benefits for your team or customer service guidelines are in your hands. If you like the idea of truly being your own boss and enjoy detailed work, owning your own dental practice is a good option to consider.

 

MAINTAIN YOUR IDEAL ENVIRONMENT AND TEAM

A key benefit of owning a dental practice is the degree of control you have over the environment and team choices in the office. Instead of being forced to work with what you have, you can decorate the practice to your preferences. You can also hire employees that you have a personal connection with who may not otherwise be chosen in a larger organization. Because a dental office’s environment can play a big part in overall patient satisfaction, keep this in mind in the process of deciding what career path to take. If you value the ability to express your own individuality in the workplace, owning a practice could be a great fit.

 

SCHEDULE/FLEXIBILITY

Time: none of us seem to have enough of it, and busy dentists are no different, regardless of where they work. However, if you’re a practice owner, you ultimately get to decide the hours and schedule you want to work. Of course, dental practices are businesses. Things don’t always work out the way they should on paper – something inevitably always comes up at the end of the day. But the fact of the matter is that you still have the ability to choose and regulate the hours of your practice versus being forced to adhere to a set schedule each week. This kind of flexibility is appealing to many dentists.

 

WEAR MANY HATS

As an owner of a dental practice, you’re able to do far more than just interact with patients. You’re the decision-maker for the marketing, accounting, stability, and growth of your business – which means you wear a lot of hats. If you’re excited by the challenge of operating several different projects at once and get bored with performing repetitious tasks easily, owning a dental practice is right up your alley. At any given time, there’s always a different project to work on. Overall, your role as a business owner can be very administratively focused, especially when compared to an associate dentist in a managed dental organization.

 

FINANCIAL BENEFITS

Finally, owning your own business gives you significant financial benefits. Instead of working as an associate for someone else, you’re able to build wealth for yourself. There are also tax benefits to running a dental practice. Take advantage of the savings from writing off business-related expenses to maximize your financial gain.

 

WANT TO OPEN YOUR OWN DENTAL PRACTICE?

If you’ve decided to open your own dental practice, that’s great! Contact us today and let us help you grow and develop your business into a reputable and successful dental practice in your community. 

 

Top Customer Service Tips for Dentists

Did you know that in today’s day and age, in many cases, dental providers may be employed by a large corporation and the dentist may not have any ownership in the company? This can lead to patients feeling they are not important and are just a number in the office. That is not only bad for the patient but also for the corporation. The top priority in every dental officeshould be seeing customers smile. One because they’re proud of their teeth, and two because they’re happy with their dentist.

Chances are, there are plenty of dentists to choose from in your area. So what makes patients pick their dental practice and stick with it? It’s not just how you treat their teeth, but how you treat them altogether. Yes, to run a successful dental practice isn’t just about how you handle dental procedures, but how you serve your patients in all the other aspects. Your attitude and atmosphere can go a long way.

Customer service is key in setting you apart from your competitors. And in this day and age, with the ease of social sharing and online reviews, it’s really important. So, you might be wondering the best ways to make an impact on your patients and keep them coming back. These five easy tips will help get your patients passing along their good experiences, giving you free referrals and recommendations.

  1. Remember your manners.

It’s free and easy, and quite possibly the most important: make your patients feel valued! Sure you’re busy, but don’t let them know it. Give your patients all the patience you can and don’t make them feel rushed. Talk to them about their concerns and explain procedures in detail in a way they can understand everything in easy terms.

  1. Create a culture of top-notch customer care.

Create a standard for your team to live up to everyday, with every patient. Make sure your staff is genuine and observant. Be sure they welcome patients as soon as they walk in and that they’re overly-pleasant every time they pick up the phone. Remind them to pay customers compliments and to converse with them like they’re a friend.

  1. Go above and beyond.

Anybody can give out a free toothbrush. Go for the gold vs. the ordinarydental officeexperience. Pass out gift cards if they have to wait a while. Offer incentives for referrals. Provide special toys or trinkets for kids.  And when you have an unhappy patient, make things right, right away. Actually listen to their complaints and work to resolve the problem.

  1. Give patients a positive experience.

Many people hate going to the dentist. But offering an office that feels welcoming and refreshing can make all the difference. Create a space they feel comfortable, whether it’s bringing a comfy couch into the front area or playing soothing music while they wait.

Oh, and don’t make them wait long. A good rule of customer service is making people feel like they’re a priority, and making them wait for you does the opposite of that.

  1. Keep a clean space.

Having a dental officeobviously means keeping your clinical areas hygienic. But making sure the other areas are clean can be just as important. What’s the waiting area look like from the patient’s perspective? How does the parking lot look? Is your receptionist’s desk cluttered with paperwork? Are your restrooms tidy?

No matter how good you are at what you do, customer service can make or break your practice. Having a friendly staff and a caring team can take your dental officeto a whole new level. The best way to get referrals and grow your practice is by fostering a patient-focused culture. After all, they’re the reason you’re in business! Learn more about what you can do as a  dentistto grow your practice with this program created to help improve the customer care you provide.

 

Manage Your Dental Practice. And Your Time.

Life is busy. The days go fast and the years seem to speed by – especially when you’re running your own practice. You’ve learned by now that being a dentist can be a demanding job, but just as equally rewarding. The key is mastering your schedule and making a plan so you’re not constantly running all over the place and working longer hours than planned. You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and you deserve to make the days go as easy as possible. So as your patient list gets longer and your availability gets smaller, you need to figure out how to manage the clock as best as you can.

These time management tips can help you get through the day not just more easily, but more effectively.

1. Ignore your phone.

Checking your phone in between appointments can mean working longer hours. Not only is it a distraction, but it can take up longer time than you think. Instead of picking up your cell, focus on other tasks you need to get done so you can complete your day earlier. Set aside a specific time of day to catch up on emails so that it’s not a distraction.

2. Don’t do it alone.

Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you have to control everything. You’ve hired employees for a reason, and they’re here to help. Stick to your dentist duties and don’t be afraid to delegate the rest. Assign specific tasks for each role in your office and let your team members do their jobs. If everyone does their work diligently, you’ll find you can dedicate your time more beneficially to the more important matters.

3. Take care of your team.

A successful office starts with a happy team. If they’re doing their job to the best of their ability, yours will be so much easier. Remember that they are the face of your office and the reason it runs smoothly. Make sure they have proper training so they feel

empowered. Provide good scheduling software so they can plan and prioritize quickly and simply. Take their feedback seriously and listen to their suggestions.

4. Put the patient first.

You (and your team) won’t have to spend so much time trying to make sure patients are happy if they feel comfortable and accommodated. And when they are, they’ll tell their friends. (Easy advertising!) Small things like providing good reading in the waiting area, fun activities to keep kids busy, a nicely decorated office, and a space that feels welcoming will go a long way. Go above and beyond where you can. Give gifts (everyone loves free stuff!) and a new tooth brush or travel size toothpaste is an easy, practical giveaway.

5. Have a site that sets you up for success.

Being a dentist today is a lot different than years ago. Now, patients can help make your job a lot easier, saving you and your staff a lot of time. Having a good website can reduce phone calls in your office, which will give your employees more time to focus on other duties. (Plus, it can keep your patients happy because they’ll avoid long wait times to speak to someone.) A good website will review the services you provide and share important information that answer basic questions like available hours, services offered and current team members.

6. Take a break.

Running around from morning to evening can be exhausting – and not very productive. One of the best things you can do for yourself – and your patients – is to set aside time to rest and reset. It doesn’t have to be very long, but it does need to happen. Set aside at least a half-hour each day as quiet time to let your mind take a break and to think about the nonclinical tasks you need to get through before you head home. Remember that working on your business, not just in your business is essential for success. It might be hard to find time to “give up” but this time will help you be more effective in the long run – and your practice and patients will be better for it.

The Importance of Reviews for your Dental Practice

Did you know that 87% of consumers won’t consider a local business with low online ratings, 44% pay attention to the quantity of reviews, and 69% only find relevance in current reviews? These statistics play a significant role in a potential patient’s decision-making process when they are evaluating dental offices and deciding who to call. When consumers are looking to decide on a local business, they trust what others have to say about their experiences and the reviews help to build credibility. It is important to be on top of these reviews, and if you time does not allow, hire someone to manage this for you.

You can spend money on advertising, but if your online reviews are not good or non-existent, you are decreasing your chances of a patient choosing your office as their dental office. In order to effectively manage your online reputation, you need to focus on three things; review monitoring, review responding, and review generation.

• Review Monitoring: Monitoring your online reviews is important so you know what people are saying about your business. There are many review sites that patients could be going to and leaving feedback and without monitoring, you would be unaware of these reviews. Plus, the feedback is critical to your online rating. If you don’t know what is being said, then you cannot respond, engage, learn of areas to improve, or address any concerns.

• Review Responding: It is in best practice to respond to all comments about your business, both positive and negative. Responding to the positive reviews publicly shows you appreciate feedback and opens the lines of communication for future engagement. Responding to any negative reviews is important for damage control and continuous improvement.

• Review Generation: There are many ways to collect new reviews from patients. You can post your review links to your social media outlets, asking current patients to review your business. You can also train your staff to ask patients to leave reviews while they are in your dental office. The most effective way is to make it easy for patients to review you by giving them the direct link for the review site by either emailing or texting them a direct link. Using direct links make it easy for them and results in the highest acceptance rate.

A dental office’s online reputation plays an important role in generating new patients for your office. This can be done internally by setting up systems or by hiring an agency to handle the processes for you. With 90% of consumers looking at online reviews before making decisions, it is important to make managing your online reputation a priority.

Customer experience is the key to growing your dental practice

How do you view your clients? When it comes to how they choose you they are obviously consumers first. They do research online and ask for recommendations from friends and family. And you need to market to them as potential sources of recurring revenue for years to come.

However once they sit in the chair with mouths wide open, they become your patient.

And that’s how they see themselves as well. I’m going to assume that your skills as a dentist are good to great. So how do you differentiate yourself from the dentist down the street?

I suggest that providing a good “consumer experience” is just as important as providing good patient outcomes to the success of your business.

If you constantly make mistakes on your billing, or let your waiting room overfill with patients waiting to be seen as they flip through decades old issues of Dentistry Today, people will be less likely to return to your practice or recommend it to friends and family.

If you want to be successful over the long haul you need to have the processes and procedures in place to turn your patients into repeat customers.

It really is the little things. But also the big things. A solid customer focus should be as important to you as providing great clinical outcomes. People remember waiting rooms and billing issues – and they talk about them with their friends because they understand them and can be communicated as short anecdotes that sum up their experience.

If patients have a positive experience with all aspects of your business they are more likely to agree to treatment plans recommended by you. This is key to growing your practice.

If patients do not believe, like and trust (BLT) you, it can become very difficult to get case acceptance. And even when you do get grudging case acceptance from a patient who does not 100% believe, like or trust in you, it will ultimately it will lead to problems.

In the end, health care providers are held in high esteem. But selling is not negative. You are a service provider. And if your service has value and it is demonstrated at every point of the customer experience your practice will grow.

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Dental Practice Mergers: What You Need to Know

Merging your dental practice with another practice often sounds good on paper. Theoretically, it will reduce competition, grow your patient base and production numbers, and improve your bottom line. In reality, though, not all mergers are the right choice. Like any major business transaction, it is important to think through whether it is right for your practice at this time and what you will need to do to make it successful. Here is what you need to know.

Due Diligence

Once you find a practice you like, it is time to perform your due diligence. Analyze the details of each practice, from philosophy of care to operational details to software and technology. If the two practices are wildly different, consider the possibility that it simply isn’t a good match. If you decide to go ahead with the merger, sit down with the owner of the other practice to develop a new business plan that keeps the best of each practice while developing new methodologies that work well for both practices.

Identity and Branding

One of the most important aspects of a successful merger is the development of a cohesive new brand. Remember that each practice has been following a singular vision for a long time, but it is now time to create a new, shared vision. Involve both practice teams as much as possible to help them feel like part of the whole.

Communication

During a merger, many employees become nervous and the rumor mill heats up. Keep morale high by keeping your team informed. Explain the benefits of the merger, both for your practice and for them as individuals. Ask for their opinions and contributions, and let them know what you need from them. Keep them posted as to the progression of the merger and discuss how things will change at every step.

Collaboration

It is only natural for team members from each practice to feel loyalty to that practice, but this can quickly spiral into an “us vs. them” environment. Focus on building a culture of engagement by bringing both teams together frequently in a mix of meetings and teambuilding activities. Work with the other practice owner to reassure team members that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and that everyone is working together for the same shared vision.

Preparing for New Patients

A top benefit of a merger is an influx of new patients, but if you aren’t prepared for them, it may feel like a curse rather than a blessing. Develop a plan based on forecasts, but remain agile and ready to make changes on the fly. Get your team members involved in the planning rather than springing such new changes as extended hours on them without warning.

A merger can be an excellent choice for your dental practice, but it can quickly go south if you do not take the proper steps. Start by ensuring that the specific merger is truly right for your practice, and then work hard to make the transition as seamless as possible for everyone involved.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

How to Beat Burnout in Your Dental Practice

No matter how much you love dentistry, burning out when running your own practice is not uncommon. Problems unrelated to actual dental care, from staff turnover to low patient retention rates, can make you wish you could just sell your practice and work for someone else. While this is always an option, especially as corporate dentistry becomes more and more common, don’t take such a drastic step right away. In many cases, following a few simple tips can make you fall in love with your practice all over again.

Be the Leader

It is easy to get dragged down by the many responsibilities of being a business owner, but it can also be fun. Take this opportunity to think through how you can better empower your team members. Shift your focus to creating helpful tools, such as detailed job descriptions and transparent performance measurements. It’s a bit creative, and once these measures are in place, you will find that your staff is happier, more focused, and more motivated. Their improved mood can raise your own spirits. For a quick boost, you could even take your team out to celebrate putting the new measures in place.

Focus on Hygiene

Hygiene appointments are a win-win for both you and your patients. They are highly profitable, but they also help patients avoid expensive and uncomfortable treatments down the line. If your hygiene production has slipped, find out why. Most problems with hygiene production can be fixed relatively easily.

Make sure your scheduling coordinator is maximizing the hygiene schedule. Be sure your team is following up with reminders two days in advance, and determine whether your patients prefer reminders by email, text, or phone. You could also add online scheduling to the mix, allowing patients without an existing appointment to simply schedule their own.

Double down on patient education. They are less likely to cancel last-minute or no-show if they truly understand the value of hygiene appointments. After each appointment, provide the patient with a written summary that details what you did, what products you sent them home with, areas to pay special attention to between visits, and the date and time of their next appointment. Seeing everything in written format will reduce the likelihood of skipping the next visit.

Evaluate Your Treatment Presentation

Did you know that how you present treatment recommendations can have a huge impact on whether patients accept them? The most effective way of presenting recommendations is to move from the treatment room to a comfortable, quiet, private conference room. Patients need the time and space to digest the information and ask questions. If your schedule does not allow enough time, consider hiring a treatment coordinator whose only job is to help patients work through their treatment options.

Also refine the actual treatment pitch. Perhaps you or your team members are making assumptions about how much patients are willing to pay, presenting necessary treatments in a way that makes them sound like they can be put off, or otherwise giving patients a reason to say no instead of yes. Make sure each patient is thoroughly educated about his or her condition, all available options, and the consequences of refusing or delaying treatment, but present this material in a way that does not sound too “salesy” or high-pressure.

Invest in Continuing Education

Carving out a few days to learn some new skills can help you relax, recharge, and remember what you love about being a dentist. You will then be able to bring your new knowledge back to your practice, offering new services or better processes that will bring value to your existing patients and even help you draw in new ones. This can help boost your revenues and meet your production goals, removing some of the stress that led to your burnout.

Running a business is not easy, and many dentists start to feel burned out and run down by the administrative side of their practice. Fortunately, getting yourself back on track may be a simple matter of redirecting your thinking and implementing a few tweaks.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at

No matter how much you love dentistry, burning out when running your own practice is not uncommon. Problems unrelated to actual dental care, from staff turnover to low patient retention rates, can make you wish you could just sell your practice and work for someone else. While this is always an option, especially as corporate dentistry becomes more and more common, don’t take such a drastic step right away. In many cases, following a few simple tips can make you fall in love with your practice all over again.

Be the Leader

It is easy to get dragged down by the many responsibilities of being a business owner, but it can also be fun. Take this opportunity to think through how you can better empower your team members. Shift your focus to creating helpful tools, such as detailed job descriptions and transparent performance measurements. It’s a bit creative, and once these measures are in place, you will find that your staff is happier, more focused, and more motivated. Their improved mood can raise your own spirits. For a quick boost, you could even take your team out to celebrate putting the new measures in place.

Focus on Hygiene

Hygiene appointments are a win-win for both you and your patients. They are highly profitable, but they also help patients avoid expensive and uncomfortable treatments down the line. If your hygiene production has slipped, find out why. Most problems with hygiene production can be fixed relatively easily.

Make sure your scheduling coordinator is maximizing the hygiene schedule. Be sure your team is following up with reminders two days in advance, and determine whether your patients prefer reminders by email, text, or phone. You could also add online scheduling to the mix, allowing patients without an existing appointment to simply schedule their own.

Double down on patient education. They are less likely to cancel last-minute or no-show if they truly understand the value of hygiene appointments. After each appointment, provide the patient with a written summary that details what you did, what products you sent them home with, areas to pay special attention to between visits, and the date and time of their next appointment. Seeing everything in written format will reduce the likelihood of skipping the next visit.

Evaluate Your Treatment Presentation

Did you know that how you present treatment recommendations can have a huge impact on whether patients accept them? The most effective way of presenting recommendations is to move from the treatment room to a comfortable, quiet, private conference room. Patients need the time and space to digest the information and ask questions. If your schedule does not allow enough time, consider hiring a treatment coordinator whose only job is to help patients work through their treatment options.

Also refine the actual treatment pitch. Perhaps you or your team members are making assumptions about how much patients are willing to pay, presenting necessary treatments in a way that makes them sound like they can be put off, or otherwise giving patients a reason to say no instead of yes. Make sure each patient is thoroughly educated about his or her condition, all available options, and the consequences of refusing or delaying treatment, but present this material in a way that does not sound too “salesy” or high-pressure.

Invest in Continuing Education

Carving out a few days to learn some new skills can help you relax, recharge, and remember what you love about being a dentist. You will then be able to bring your new knowledge back to your practice, offering new services or better processes that will bring value to your existing patients and even help you draw in new ones. This can help boost your revenues and meet your production goals, removing some of the stress that led to your burnout.

Running a business is not easy, and many dentists start to feel burned out and run down by the administrative side of their practice. Fortunately, getting yourself back on track may be a simple matter of redirecting your thinking and implementing a few tweaks.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at

No matter how much you love dentistry, burning out when running your own practice is not uncommon. Problems unrelated to actual dental care, from staff turnover to low patient retention rates, can make you wish you could just sell your practice and work for someone else. While this is always an option, especially as corporate dentistry becomes more and more common, don’t take such a drastic step right away. In many cases, following a few simple tips can make you fall in love with your practice all over again.

Be the Leader

It is easy to get dragged down by the many responsibilities of being a business owner, but it can also be fun. Take this opportunity to think through how you can better empower your team members. Shift your focus to creating helpful tools, such as detailed job descriptions and transparent performance measurements. It’s a bit creative, and once these measures are in place, you will find that your staff is happier, more focused, and more motivated. Their improved mood can raise your own spirits. For a quick boost, you could even take your team out to celebrate putting the new measures in place.

Focus on Hygiene

Hygiene appointments are a win-win for both you and your patients. They are highly profitable, but they also help patients avoid expensive and uncomfortable treatments down the line. If your hygiene production has slipped, find out why. Most problems with hygiene production can be fixed relatively easily.

Make sure your scheduling coordinator is maximizing the hygiene schedule. Be sure your team is following up with reminders two days in advance, and determine whether your patients prefer reminders by email, text, or phone. You could also add online scheduling to the mix, allowing patients without an existing appointment to simply schedule their own.

Double down on patient education. They are less likely to cancel last-minute or no-show if they truly understand the value of hygiene appointments. After each appointment, provide the patient with a written summary that details what you did, what products you sent them home with, areas to pay special attention to between visits, and the date and time of their next appointment. Seeing everything in written format will reduce the likelihood of skipping the next visit.

Evaluate Your Treatment Presentation

Did you know that how you present treatment recommendations can have a huge impact on whether patients accept them? The most effective way of presenting recommendations is to move from the treatment room to a comfortable, quiet, private conference room. Patients need the time and space to digest the information and ask questions. If your schedule does not allow enough time, consider hiring a treatment coordinator whose only job is to help patients work through their treatment options.

Also refine the actual treatment pitch. Perhaps you or your team members are making assumptions about how much patients are willing to pay, presenting necessary treatments in a way that makes them sound like they can be put off, or otherwise giving patients a reason to say no instead of yes. Make sure each patient is thoroughly educated about his or her condition, all available options, and the consequences of refusing or delaying treatment, but present this material in a way that does not sound too “salesy” or high-pressure.

Invest in Continuing Education

Carving out a few days to learn some new skills can help you relax, recharge, and remember what you love about being a dentist. You will then be able to bring your new knowledge back to your practice, offering new services or better processes that will bring value to your existing patients and even help you draw in new ones. This can help boost your revenues and meet your production goals, removing some of the stress that led to your burnout.

Running a business is not easy, and many dentists start to feel burned out and run down by the administrative side of their practice. Fortunately, getting yourself back on track may be a simple matter of redirecting your thinking and implementing a few tweaks.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

Reasons Every Dental Team Member Needs a Job Description

Creating and managing a dental practice is a lot of work, and it is tempting to let things slide that don’t seem too important to your bottom line or the actual practice of dentistry. Yet creating job descriptions is actually one of the most important things you can do to boost morale, get your staff functioning as a team, and boost the overall health of your practice. Here are a few reasons every dental team member needs a job description.

Morale

How can your team members possibly know what you expect from them unless you tell them? As the CEO of your practice, it is up to you to let them know how you define success and how each role contributes to that success. With a clear job description, each team member has purpose and motivation, as well as the creative freedom to decide how best to perform tasks to meet or exceed your practice goals.

Accountability

Job descriptions clearly delineate what each team member is accountable for. When combined with training, the tools to perform their duties, and logical performance measurements, job descriptions make team members more successful and more confident in their roles.

Reduced Conflict

If everyone is responsible for everything, three types of employees will emerge: the go-getters who take credit for everything that goes right regardless of who actually performed the task, the workhorses who take on tons of extra responsibility without claiming credit, and the finger-pointers who do very little themselves but are quick to call others out for slacking. This leads to escalating tension and a sharp drop in productivity.

Job descriptions put each team member in charge of specific tasks. Rather than in-fighting about who does what, each person has just the right amount of work and the team as a whole becomes more cohesive.

Improved Ownership

Team members who know their exact roles take more ownership of those roles. They feel more connected to the practice and are motivated to perform their jobs to the very best of their ability, as they realize the importance of their roles to the company’s overall success.

For best results, sit down with each team member to co-create that person’s job description. Let him explain how he sees his duties and contributions to the practice’s success. Also work with that person to set both individual and company goals. This further heightens the sense of ownership and lets your team know that their input is valuable.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help.

The downside of becoming a dental franchisee

Are you considering buying into a dental franchise? It certainly seems like an arrangement that means less headaches with marketing. Becoming a franchisee also comes pre-loaded with processes to help insure everything runs smoothly out-of-the-box.

Of course there is a downside. As a franchisee you have certain obligations to the franchisor. For some this loss of “professional sovereignty” may feel like they aren’t in an ownership position at all.

As a dental franchisee it’s easy to fall into a professional rut as you have less and less emotional investment in your business. In the end many dentists find themselves simply punching the clock, day in and day out.

This leads many to view the services they offer as products rather than treatments for patients. What happens next is that the practice becomes a glorified assembly line – where treatments are assessed based on price and patient need comes second to profit.

Obviously this does not apply to 100% of franchisees. Many offer advice to patients that may cost the practice some additional revenue. And they do this to create loyalty and make their operation stand out among the other chain services in the area.

However if you are a franchisee there really isn’t much incentive to be “great” when good enough is all that’s expected.

Being part of a chain means a steady flow of patients because of brand recognition. As an example, the local McDonalds or Starbucks doesn’t need to promote itself. These independent stores, as franchisees, don’t have to worry about being amazing. They simply have to be.

It’s the same with dental franchises. Business is good, because the brand is strong. And because the brand is strong, you don’t often see individual service initiatives from the franchisees.

Another factor that contributes to this is that most dentists working in chain operations only stay for two years. So quality service improvements run the risk of annoying the next dentist/franchisee because they go beyond the work they are prepared to do in order to hit the minimum brand standard.

As a customer, I always choose the independent operator.  It doesn’t mean I don’t trust the chains. I simply want my dentists to have more of a long term investment in myself and my community.

Independent operators have more “skin in the game” and they see their community and patients as more than a resource to be exploited.

As someone who has worked on both sides of this ownership model, I can say that as an independent owner the added stress of being 100% in charge is mitigated by the level of satisfaction it brings me, my team members and my patients every single day.  

If you are considering whether or not to invest in a franchise and you’d like to explore your options, click through and book a coaching call. It could be the best investment you make in your dental career.

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If you are interested in learning how to take your dental practice to the next level, please contact Ascent Dental Solutions today at 413-224-2659 to learn how Dr. Coughlin can help