Many successful people attribute their achievements to what they learn from others. There is much to be said for the positive impact that our teachers, friends, and confidantes have on our lives. In the end, however, you still must find your own path. Actually, to achieve high levels of success, you are going to have to simultaneously forge your own path, while learning from others. Here are 4 tips that will help you in this quest to become more successful in your own dental practice.
#1 – Set highly specific detailed goals (and only a few of them)
There are thousands of books, articles, and podcasts on the science of goal setting. Like most things, people want to make it far more complicated than it is because it makes them look better and smarter, or they want to sell you something. The truth is that goalsetting is actually very simple. As Jim Collins, the brilliant business author has clearly stated, if you have more than 3 goals, you have no goals at all.
Goal setting is not magical, mystical, or spiritual. Goal setting is a simple science where you make a commitment to achieve something that you typically don’t know how to achieve. Goal setting is so powerful because once you commit and regularly review your goals, your mind opens to possibilities for achieving them. When you keep your goals “front and center,” you begin to ask questions such as what don’t I know, what do I need to learn, who can I learn from, who can help me, who will distract me from my goals, etc.
I encourage dentists to set 10 goals every year, but I’m not deviating from Jim Collins’ suggested “3 goals” method. Of those 10 goals, 3 should be small goals, 3 should be medium goals, and 3 should be large goals. Those 3 large goals are the Jim Collins’ type goals. They are the three goals, which if you achieve them, will catapult you to higher levels of success and move you down the path to what you truly desire.
If you’re good at math, you may notice in the paragraph above that 3 plus 3 plus 3 equals 9 and I suggested that you set 10. The 10th goal is called a B.H.A.G.,which stands for big, hairy, audacious goal. This is the big one. This is the monster goal, and it is also a long-term goal over 5 or more years. Don’t be afraid to dream big, set a B.H.A.G.,and use your other nine goals to move you closer to achieving it over time.
Finally, review your goals every week, score your progress, and keep moving forward. Progress comes at different times in different ways but if you are highly focused on your goals, it will always come.
#2 – Know Your Numbers
The best consultant that I have ever seen for dental practices hyper focuses on practice numbers. The numbers tell a story, and this consultant will constantly use real numbers to determine micro and macro progress. It does not require that you know a large, complex set of numbers. But there are 5 or 6 that are absolutely mandatory. These include production, revenue, number of new patients, doctor production per hour, hygiene production per hour if you have hygiene, and insurance breakdowns.
#3 – Keep Your Patients
Dentists hyper focus on getting new patients and that is critically important, but they under-focus on keeping the patients that they have. The average practice loses 15% of its patients per year which means that it must replace those just to tread water. It makes sense to keep the patients that you have.
Patient reactivation is a daily activity. There is a 9-step process to do this with phone calls, emails and texting – and it works.
# 4 – Implement Systems and Constantly Update Them
If you want to build a highly successful practice and maintain it, then you need to implement documented, proven, step-by-step systems.
Here is why…
Documented means that anyone can access the systems at any time to study, learn, and improve.
Proven means that the systems existed somewhere else and work. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
Step-by-step provides the instructional guide for new team members to train 100% faster and current team members to rise to a higher level and avoid burnout. If you have purchased a new car lately, you know what you have to go through just to learn the electronics and technology. Dentistry is no different. Where is your instruction manual? The answer is in your documented, proven, step-by-step systems.
The pathway to success for you is individual. There are many components you can learn from those who have studied success and those who are truly successful, but in the end it will be your pathway.
The 4 tips offered above are universal but note that they all must be adapted to your practice in their own specific way.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 clients to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written more than 60 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world.
To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email email@example.com.