There comes a moment in every practice-owning dentist’s career when they begin to wonder if a second location is the next move. For some, dreams of multiple offices might have always been a part of the mindset. For others, it might be something you’re feeling pressured to consider, but aren’t sure you care to pursue.
If the latter sounds like you, we have another post you should read first, which will help you determine if this type of growth is for you.
But if you’ve decided that growing your practice is in your future, congratulations! When you move from running one office to opening a second, and later maybe a third, fourth, and so on, the way you think about your work needs to evolve.
Join us and our resident expert, successful group practice owner and DentalHQ founder Dr. Brett Wells, as we explore how to shift your mindset from dentist to entrepreneurial group practice owner.
Learn to Embrace Risk
Upon being asked to talk about shifting mindset, Dr. Wells said, “I am an entrepreneur at heart, and I kind of leap first and ask questions later. Of course, I do my research, but if you obsess over every little detail, demographic, ROI, competition potential, etc., you’ll never make a choice. Some reasonable risk is always inherent in opening a business, and that’s what expanding to multiple practices is—opening new businesses one after the other.”
While careful contemplation is certainly key in making such big decisions, you’ll need to be flexible, agile, and willing to take a leap of faith now and then in order to push yourself toward opening a new practice. As with any endeavor that can’t be predicted from start to finish, building a network of practices takes a little grit and dogged determination.
That said, Dr. Wells found great success in taking that jump into the unknown, and he believes the times are still right for it. In fact, he feels we’ve entered a “golden age of dentistry.” You can learn what he means in his guest post for Dental Economics.
Be The Boss
As a dentist, your focus is usually on conducting great dentistry. Of course you want happy patients, but your chief goal is not to show them a good time; it’s to ensure that their oral health is up to par.
When you become a group practice owner, this mindset needs to shift a little bit. Being a great dentist isn’t enough anymore. Now, you must do that and be a strong leader who creates a good company culture. Because that will inspire your team to go above and beyond even when things get hectic, which is bound to happen. Let’s elaborate on that.
When you have multiple practices, you expand your reach exponentially—you’re moving into a new physical area, but you’re also building better brand recognition. Imagine that you have a location in each of two neighboring towns. Two friends, one from each area, both attend your practice, they tell others in their circle how great you are, and it holds more weight than usual, because not one, but two people are talking you up. Your team is going to be busy.
Is that a good thing? Absolutely. But it’s also the beginning of a situation that sometimes lends group dentistry the reputation of taking too much of a one-size-fits-all approach.
When you work hard to establish a supportive culture for your people in every location, and even hold meetings or events in which they all come together, you can succeed in creating a business that is strong enough to handle high volume without offering low quality.
Happy office staff and hygienists equal happy patients.
Train the Brain to Optimize
Alongside culture, good systems are essential to having successful teams at every practice you own. And you’re the one responsible for building them.
Arguably, Innovator will be your most important new title once you own multiple offices. Keeping pace with the latest dentistry milestones isn’t what we’re talking about (although that is essential).
You’ve surely heard it before: Business owners must eat, sleep, and breathe their vision. For dentists, this means thinking constantly about how you can make your practice more efficient. How can your front office team make the checkout process quicker? How can hygienists offer a more holistic view of oral health to each patient?
As Dr. Wells puts it, “You need to be driven to systemize and rethink not only what isn’t working, but anything that is achieving only the bare minimum.”
This was, in fact, the mindset behind Dr. Wells’ desire to build a dental membership plan platform. He founded DentalHQ out of a drive to systemize the payment process, bettering the lives of his patients and improving upon the workload of his team.
Use great tools
Because it automates the payment process and puts your patients on a subscription service, DentalHQ creates stable income for your business, gives some time back to your team, and makes things easier for your patients, too. That makes it a perfect partner for the dentist looking to expand.
If that’s you, remember to shift your mindset from dentist to entrepreneurial group practice owner by allowing for some risk, focusing on how you can make people happy, and thinking like an innovator.
To learn more about how DentalHQ could help you do the latter, visit our informative home page.