Obviously, the morale of this story is that you should never be too busy to sharpen your axe. Similarly, you should never become too busy to define your vision, sharpen your skills and hone your business systems and strategies in your dental practices. Last month in our newsletter we spoke about the need to properly set goals for the coming year. Here we will give you a strategy to make those goals become a reality.
Every sports team spends their off-season planning for the coming year. Every successful corporation has meetings to plan for their coming year. Every successful businessman begins the year with meetings with their accountants and financial advisors to plan tax strategies for the coming year. We should do the same.
The lighter schedules from COVID give us an opportunity to try to consolidate the patient appointments to free up one day for a day-long practice planning day or “retreat”, similar to what many successful companies do. The “Retreat” Planning day can either be in the office or in the conference room in a local hotel (their bookings are down also, and the rates for this are quite reasonable.) During the lunch break, cater in a nice “Appreciation Lunch” for your team.
Here are a dozen things that can make this day a resounding success:
· Review your accomplishments of the past year
· Review and revise your vision
· Identify things that you had wanted to achieve but didn’t get to and plan them better for the new year
· Find out from each team member what it is that they would like to achieve personally within the practice in the coming year. You will find that many would welcome additional responsibilities and expanded skills.
· Find out if team members have any obstacles to overcome in order to achieve these personal goals, and develop strategies to help them.
· Set bold goals for the coming year and determine a really special reward if the goal is achieved. One of our client practices this past year set a bold goal of a 25% increase in order to award their team with a trip on a cruise. The goal was such an incentive that the team drove the practice to hit a 50% increase and, instead of the cruise, they are going to Turks & Caicos for two weeks, while their office space is increased with 3 additional treatment rooms.
· Determine one thing that each team member can do to make the team stronger.
· Allow each team member to identify one thing that the doctor can do to help them or, more importantly, one thing to stop doing that hinders them.
· Establish a yearly calendar for fun marketing ideas
· Establish a yearly calendar for fun team activities: Miniature golf, “Escape the Room”, attend a baseball game, attend a high school football game, have a potluck lunch at a lake or beach, bowling one afternoon or early evening, a painting night.
· Include training on a new piece of technology OR the management system. Our team of coaches could help with advanced Dentrix training, or teaching your hygienists and clinical team to scan at a higher level to help generate more aligner ortho cases.
· Smile Potential can be of help in creating this day for your practice, or we could help to facilitate a day to make it a resounding success.
Many of the practices we meet are under producing. Doctors are producing $300-$400 per hour. Hygienists are not producing much more than $100 per hour. This is your typical $600,000-$700,000 practice. More concerning is that we speak with practices producing significantly less than this. Ironically, these doctors are often too busy to come to the phone to receive a pearl or two that could help them generate an extra $30,000 or $40,000. The thought of scheduling an entire day for a team meeting, and take away from “productive time” would be inconceivable for these doctors. How could they ever fathom the thought of taking away “production time” working with Kelly and I, and our team, in a coaching engagement?