The coronavirus crisis will have a deep effect on many dental practices. Offices have been hit with overdue patients, loss of patients, loss of revenue, lack of access to loans, payment of existing debt, supply shortages, high levels of stress, possible reduction of staff, and new regulations, among many other challenges. Needless to say, it is putting a great deal of pressure on dental practices.
While this may seem overwhelming now, it is a good idea to begin thinking about the next phase of this crisis—planning to recover. We don’t know yet when the initial phase of the crisis will end, but that shouldn’t prevent you from planning the business aspects of your recovery. And the first step in doing that is to make a One-Page Strategic Plan.
The One-Page Strategic Plan
The philosophy behind the One-Page Strategic Plan is to focus on the most important things you need to do to recover from the effects of the coronavirus crisis. Every practice will have different factors that are impacting it, and each practice can organize and simplify its recovery using this approach.
The One-Page Strategic Plan is structured around four basic categories: practice, staff, patients, and finances. In each category, you should identify three to four key items that you need to focus on in your unique practice situation. They should be a higher priority than anything else. For example, under the “Practice” heading, you might include one or more of these:
- Reschedule all unscheduled active patients.
- Identify and implement more flexible payment options for patients.
- Collect all overdue accounts.
- Expand office hours to accommodate more patient visits for the next six months.
As you start planning for recovery, it will be very helpful if you approach this project as a business turnaround. Consider steps and strategies that will provide the most immediate impact in reinstating normal production levels.
Nothing should go on the plan that does not contribute to rapid improvement of the business (your practice). If you look at the four examples above, each of them contributes to increasing production and revenue for the practice, allowing for higher profitability and income.
As the practice recovers from the coronavirus crisis, there will be many strategies put in place, at least temporarily, that normally would not be recommended in traditional practice management. But these are not traditional times.
Dr. Levin is the CEO and founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and more than 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the United States 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 levingroup.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.