As dentists, we tend to believe that we can (and must) do anything and everything. Since we are the ones providing the care, managing the practice and the team, carrying the burden of ALL the financial risk; we get used to feeling like the center of our dental universe. We have overcome many challenges in our lives: getting into dental school, graduating from dental school, passing our dental boards and (for many of us) built our own business. But, over time it seems we begin to (falsely) believe that WE are the sole reason for our own success and WE are, and must continue to be, the reason and driver of our success. If you talk with a dentist that have grown a successful dental practice, developed a killer brand, and created a culture with raving fans (both patients and staff); you'll probably notice that they have something in common. They have learned to manage well, and have hired AMAZING staff and also built a network of great resources around their practice...resources that are smarter (and do things better) than they do themselves.
Richard Branson ~ Engligh Magnate, philanthropist and tycoon, understood this well. When asked about how he created highly successful businesses time and time again he stated:
We should learn something from those who have a clear track record of success...
YOUNG DENTISTS LISTEN UP! To create a successful dental practice...A practice you love that is full of great patients, which displays an awesome culture and offers out of this world customer service as well as a revolutionary patient experience; you need to hire the right people and surround yourself with people who are better, smarter and more reliable than yourself.
This phenomenon turns a great dentist into an OUT OF THIS WORLD DENTIST.
Dentistry is a team sport.
- You can't be as successful as you want if your front desk can't blow people away with excellent customer service from the minute they walk in the door. She needs to bill correctly, respond to phone calls same day...and be cool/calm and charming during every patient encounter....or else patients will PERCEIVE this sloppiness and associate it with YOU and YOUR practice.
- You can't be as successful as you want if your hygienist doesn't go the extra mile to create a custom and remarkable dental appointment for each patient he/she see's throughout the day. If she/he doesn't give painless cleanings and guilt free feedback to EVERY patient EVERY day...you're toast.
- You can't be as successful as you want if your assistant can't compliment your work style and be strong in areas in which you are weak (i.e organizational skill, outgoing personality, and/or your ability to multitask and keep on schedule). They need to be more likable than you are; more organized and more reliable. They need to make your life easier...without drama...or else your life is NOT going to be enjoyable. Trust me...I know.
The point is this...you are only a part of the entire patient experience. Don't get me wrong...the dentist is an important part of the experience (in some cases 60-70% of the equation...and as low as 20% in other). Ok, I'll admit, these percentages are totally arbitrary, but are merely used to highlight my point. You can't be everywhere all the time. And, you can't personally monitor every conversation, explanation or interaction during the patient's visit. You need to trust (and train) your team to be an extension of the vision, mission and culture you want to create. They need to be an extension of yourself, and in some cases and enhanced version of yourself. You want to hire staff that moves your business closer to your vision for your practice and the ideal patient experience. You need to know your own personal weaknesses, and hire people that are strong in the areas that you are weak.
This is one step along the path to creating the practice of your dreams...
Create a vision for your life, your career, your practice...and then hire great people that allow you to make that vision a reality. You should settle for no less. But, you should also realize that people are people...they will not be perfect. YOU need to be the anchor of the ship and the one responsible for training, implementing and holding people accountable. If they buy into your vision and your culture....pay them well. Cut them loose and stop micromanaging. Yes, they must first earn that trust and prove that they understand the mission and your expectations...but then let them contribute to your success. Let them be part of it.
Your team is so essential to the success of your business, creating the practice of your dreams as well as your quality of life. Hire well, fire quickly, pay well and create a workplace in which people love to work. You're only a small part of the equation...don't forget it.
~ Cole Brenny DDS
Succeed in dental private practice. Train yourself and learn the things that dental school 'should have taught you...but didn't'. Check out Liftoff Academy and Dental CEO program to learn more about private practice dental training. http://www.practicingdentist.com/products
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