Running a dental practice in today's economic climate requires a large degree of business focus.
Ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you know how much it costs to open your practice each and every day
2. Do you know how much you need to make each day to cover the fixed overheads, variable costs and pay yourself?
3. Do you know these numbers off the top of your head?
If you answered no to any of these questions you should read on.....
Knowing how much it costs to run your business is essential for success. Once you know how much you need to earn to cover all the costs you can plan more effectively and work out what you need to be earning on a daily or even hourly basis.
Its also important to know what your 'costs' are made up of, if you don't know what you are spending your money on how can you make sure you are spending it in the right place?
I recommend that practices do a full review of their costs every month to determine if essential savings could be made. By doing this it also focuses practices into becoming more aware of what they are spending and paying more attention to this ultimately results in less money being spent unnecessarily.
If you'd like to find out how we can help you control the costs of running your business and you'd like to learn ways to effectively monitor these costs get in touch!
Today I have spent the day reviewing our practices performance for this year so far, comparing it to the previous year and looking at key information that can help us identify areas for improvement. This is something I do on a monthly basis but the purpose of today was to start the process of budgeting and forecasting for the next financial year.
With the end of the current financial year looming its a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future.
If you want to increase revenue and more importantly profits, this process is essential for success.
The budgeting process allows you to focus on what you want to achieve in the year to come. This could include the personal income you want to achieve, planning for projects requiring capital spend, introducing new revenue streams for example a new product or service or even the addition of another staff member, these are all things that need to be planned for both operationally and financially.
Does your practice plan for the future?
Do you have a written budget and financial forecast for the whole financial year?
Does your team know what you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve it?
Have you got a formulated marketing plan that ties into your financial forecast?
If you answered no to any of the above, start planning now!
Someone once told me 'what you monitor tends to improve' and this is so true in the case of budgeting. If you have a written plan to work to for the year and you review it on a regular basis with your team you all become more focussed on the achievement of this plan and you'll be amazed at the results of this increased focus.
In the difficult economic climate that we are currently in, this planning process has never been more important. I firmly believe that for a practice to succeed or even survive in today's economy you need to be switched on and on the ball with your numbers!
You may be asking yourself 'where do I start?', well we can show you and support you through the whole process email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help, we'd love to hear from you.
Running a successful, profitable dental practice is enormously dependent upon not good but superior book management.
How do you manage your appointment book? Do you give it the attention it deserves or do you just open it up and hope for the best?
If you want to improve productivity and maximise the clinical time available in your practice then read on.....
The first step in superior book management is to operate a booking system which meets the needs of your individual practice.
Depending upon your practices main focus you need to create and implement a system that caters to it. For example if you're a well established general practice with a high number of loyal patients it would be wise to schedule specific slots for routine examinations to ensure there is a daily limit on the number of exams scheduled, leaving enough time in the day for more valuable treatments thus maintaining a good hourly/daily rate.
Before deciding how you want to structure your appointment book you must give some thought to several factors:
· What is your main focus?
· What would your ideal day look like?
· How much do you want to earn per day?
· Does your book tie up with anyone else, for example the hygienist?
The main aim of any book management system is to not only ensure there is room in your book for a full range of treatment but more importantly that your day is varied and productivity is maximised. There is nothing worse than a day filled with short, low value appointments, days like this leave you and your team feeling over worked and under valued, a full day of hard work ends up yielding little financial return.
Regardless of how you structure your system, you should make sure it incorporates some way to allow the following:
· Time for New Patients
· Time for Emergencies
· Time for Routine Examinations & Low Value Treatments
· Time for Advanced or High Value Treatments
It is important to involve your team in the design stage of a book management system, they can provide you with invaluable input that will really help the system succeed. They are also more likely to be supportive of the system as they will have a good understanding of what its all about and having been involved in the design they will really take ownership of it!
Once your system is in place you should stick to it, obviously some level of flexibility will be needed but on the whole it is important for everyone to understand that the system is the system and it should be followed.
The next stage in superior book management is to manage your system. You've trained your team and they all understand how it works and they are all working to it but having a system does not fill the space!
Book management should be PROACTIVE NOT REACTIVE. All too often practice teams REACT to gaps in the appointment, they are actively following up recalls, not handling cancellations effectively and are not pro-actively working to fill un-booked space ahead of time.
A good follow up system can transform book management and I believe all practices should adopt robust systems to track patients through the key elements of the patient journey, click here to read my previous post on follow up systems.
Set your team some targets specific to the appointment book, this could be based on utilisation of hours available, income yielded per day, x number of a specific type of appointment, set targets that are specific to what you want to improve and monitor the progress rewarding team members for success.
In summary, it is possible to unleash the potential of your appointment book but you must have good book management processes in place to maximise productivity. Your team must understand and support your book management systems and be proactive in filling gaps and handling cancellations.
At Practice Perfection we can help you improve your book management procedures, train your team and ultimately increase productivity! Get in touch to find out more email us at email@example.com or call 07703627873
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