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7 Steps To Inflation Proof Your Dental Practice

Dentists contact me daily to help them with their dental practice. As a dental business coach, I am seeing dental team members and the owner of the dental office scared about finances. This inflation is at the all time high and dentists are trying to keep their numbers under control.  However, when I ask a dentist, “How much is your overhead?” I get a blank look or “I don’t know.”  You are normal doctor. After all, you went to dental school to treat patients and do dentistry right?

Part of running a dental practice is being a CEO of your business. Let me share the steps to inflation-proof your dental practice.

  1.  Know your numbers! I do a full practice analysis for free, so if you are confused, I will help you. Please schedule a call with me and fill out this confidential webform. How will you know how to spend your money or save money if you don’t know where your money stands. All your expenses or measurements of numbers should be off of your collections.
  2. Have an organized accounting system with detailed categories. Click here to see what I recommend if you want a detailed checklist. You must know what is costing what. How much are dental supplies for front and back office? How much is front desk team members versus clinical team members payroll costing? How much is your lab and marketing costing? How will you know what to adjust if you are not measuring year after year and month after month?
  3. Make adjustments! Which expenses can you improve? Schedule to goal to minimize roller coaster income every single day you work. The key is to collect consistently. Don’t use a different lab just because it’s cheaper. The cheap lab may need you to spend time adjusting crowns or re-impress. Your time is valuable!
  4. Set collection goals. No one seems to want to discuss money. How are you running a business if you don’t discuss your numbers and set goals. OH! And NEVER…did I say never? Never, loan money to your patients. Utilize an outside agency to loan money to your patients.
  5. Reward and train team members. Teach your employees on what to say to a patient when following up or discussing treatment.
  6. Ramp up your treatment follow up with patients.
  7. Add visual images to show your patients what services you offer. When I am choosing where to eat, I love it when pictures of the food are on the website or in the window.

The number one question employees ask me is, “What do I say to patients when discussing treatment?” Luckily, this is also the number 1 thing that I am discussing with dentists too. This is not taught in dental school.  My passion is sharing with you all how easy it is to inspire patients to say, YES to your dental services. The key to inflation is to collect more! That’s it! Set your goals, assign tasks to various employees and may all your dreams come true.

Dental Team Meetings Should Be Engaging

Many dentists do not have team meetings, because they are “complaint sessions” or a “waste of time”. This can be true too. In order to run an effective and engaging team meeting in your dental office, it requires a clear plan.  I will show you how to minimize the risk of employees complaining or wasting time during your dental team meeting. I recommend pre-scheduling your meetings all year to make sure you have time reserved to level up your dental practice and to make sure you are team bonding. Your team meetings give the chance for the entire office to have a voice in the practice and help you run like a well oiled machine.

Steps to take for an effective and engaging team meeting:

  1. Schedule the team meetings out for the year.
  2. Keep an area that team members can write topics that they would like to discuss.
  3. Assign a note taker and an area to digitally save who attended with topics and decisions discussed.
  4. Start and end the meeting with something fun.
  5. Make sure to teach something each meeting.
  6. Make sure to celebrate the wins from what you implemented from the last meeting.
  7. Know who is doing what by when.

The way we get the meeting organized and efficient is by having a clear agenda. This means someone is assigned to keep the meeting focused and on point. Furthermore, we only allow discussions for improvement IF the employee brings a few solutions to the issues they are having. Every topic or team building game has a time limit on the agenda. This keeps the meeting in a forward motion.

Each team meeting should review a system to remind the dental team how exactly we want things done to reach the vision for our dental practice.

Here are some example of systems that I coach so many dental offices on;

  • New patient phone call and what to bring to the huddle or type in the dental appointment notes.
  • Role play the new patient interview process prior to an exam.
  • Case studies; Show the team when you decide to do a crown, ortho, sleep apnea, sealants, etc.
  • Review verbal skills to minimize money or insurance objections.
  • How to reactivate patients?
  • How to use or maintain the new equipment?
  • What to say to the doctor in front of the patient prior to the exam?
  • Patient hand off to the front administrative team member.

I am teaching so much of the in my private Facebook group called “Coaching with Heidi Mount.” If you are a dentist, you may request to join and learn for free so many things that dentists want to know. I am passionate about helping you and your team.

 

Coach,

Heidi Mount

How To Know If Your Dental Practice Is Killing You?

Dr. Ron Arndt was a certified master coach for dentists for many decades and he wrote the book, “How To Know If Your Dental Practice is Killing You?” It is not on the market at this time, but I learned a lot more about the stress of running a dental practice and how it caused him to have a heart attack. Luckily, he is still my mentor and we have a great relationship, so I can share with you some of his amazing wisdom. Sometimes people ignore the signs of health problems when we shouldn’t. I get so concerned for people that don’t deal with stress and I truly want to prevent any potential health issue for anyone I can reach.

Part of my dental coaching is taking the pulse of the practice. I run reports, review the schedule, meet employees and ask lots of questions to diagnose what action steps need to be made. This has taken decades of experience for me to guide dentists in running their business successfully. So let’s dive into some topics.

You can ask yourself if you have ever experienced any of these warning signs?

  • You go to bed worrying about your dental practice and it’s tough to get a good nights sleep.
  • You aren’t truly present when you are with friends and family.
  • All you think about is work, challenges at work, unfinished business and your mind is on overload.
  • You have lower energy and you give excuses for why you are tired. (When you truly know you are not taking care of yourself.
  • Your children are starving for your attention and want you to play games with them.
  • When you go on vacation, it takes 4 days before you can relax and then you start stressing about going back to work.
  • If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. After all, it takes too long to explain to delegate it to someone else.
  • You tell yourself, “I am smart and I don’t need anyone’s help. I can do it on my own.”

If you can relate to even one of these statements, please don’t ignore it. It’s a warning sign that you should listen to. An accumulation of these signs is what made my mentor have a heart attack.

What did he do? Well, he decided to start over. What I mean is he fired his team, developed clear roles and expectations and had them re-apply for their position. Yes, he put his foot down and said something like, “These are my core values, my vision for the practice and what I expect! Are you with me or not?”

Anyone who has had business coaching knows that this is the foundation for your success. My clients develop a clear, written business plan that asks some tough questions. We use this document as a living, breathing document that makes every decision about their practice. This takes the stress off the guess work.

The key is to publicly affirm who you are, who your want to serve and how you want to do it. These values you choose freely and have a clear understanding of the consequences of your choice. Your core values you truly prize, you are willing to act on and your would repeat it again and again.

Guess what! Patients want to know that you operate from a set of values that honors and respects them. PERIOD.

I am ever so grateful to have a mentor like this and I pray that each and every one of you get that lucky! I can’t express how important having a support system that truly cares about you and your practice.

You are not alone and do not have to live in mediocrity. Life is meant for you to be the captain of your own ship! I hope you find so many answers in my book called, “Hidden Treasures: Finding The Missing Revenue In Your Dental Practice.” After all, Dr. Arndt wrote the foreword and gave some amazing words for you too.

Be well,

Heidi Mount

Finding Employees In The Dental Field

Lots of dentists are struggling with having enough employees or finding them. The way we looked for employees or ran advertisements don’t quite work like they use to.
 
Here are some thoughts for you to consider:
  1. Be open to hiring “Flexible Hours”. Some help or shorter days is better than no help.
  2. Create an amazing culture so rumor has it that you are a great place to work.
  3. Be open to on the job training with a reward system.
  4. Talk about the BENEFITS of why pick you to work for. (Willing to train, room to advance, fun place to work, we appreciate our employees, etc.)
  5. If where you are advertising isn’t working, try a different platform. Example; DentalJobs247.com is a great resource
  6. Have employees help recruit. Brag about your office on NextDoor or social media platforms. This is technically advertising for new patients too.
  7. Reach out to the dental schools and offer to meet students or give a tour of your office PRIOR to graduation.
  8. Don’t keep toxic employees where you loose the good ones.
  9. Schedule to meet production goals without burning out your team.
  10. Don’t assume people just want high pay…there are unhappy employees everywhere. Find the best fit.
  11. Remember that people like to learn more or they get bored.
  12. Help the world get to know you on social media platforms. I can usually tell when you hired out your social media and your office is NOT providing good content. Get to know me on instagram @HeidiMountDentalCoach or find me on Facebook.
  13. Don’t forget to celebrate your wins with your team and discuss what IS going well.
If you need high impactful hiring ads or any resources, please email me at Heidi@CoachingDentist.com
Best to your success,
Coach Heidi

Dental Start Up Tips By Coach Heidi Mount

  1. Have a clear written business plan (Should be at least 6 pages long with lots of details. Must include your VISION. This means you include the dream hours you want to work, the amazing team you want to work with, defining your ideal patients that appreciate you, what you are known for, etc.
  2. Know who is your IDEAL patient to attract. Do not market to EVERYONE, it’s confusing to the consumer.
  3. Must have a marketing plan…how will you get known around the community? What do you want to be known for? What platforms will you use for marketing? How often you will market? What services will you market? It is important to spend the money it takes to reach your goals in your business plan.
  4. If you have 3 ops or more….Get to 1200 patients as quick as possible.
  5. Have online scheduling and make sure the link is EVERYWHERE…on Facebook, instagram, website, email blasts, etc.
  6. Prior to opening collect as many names, phone numbers, and emails for the big launch! Don’t pass out cards and expect people to call you.
  7. Record your treatment case presentation and work on improving it to get the results you want.
  8. Know every position and create standard operating manuals so training is a breeze and people can cover for each other.
  9. Set your chart of accounts up correctly so you can track expenses and improve those that are out of whack. So many times dentists don’t have proper categories to understand their numbers. Do this from day 1.
  10. Don’t put scary images (surgery, needles, forceps, or metal and plastic teeth on a counter, etc.) ANYWHERE! Patients don’t buy that!

Connect with me! My instagram is @heidimountdentalcoach and my private Facebook group for only dentists is called “Coaching With Heidi Mount.” I am passionate about serving the dental industry. Grab my #1 best seller on Amazon called, “Hidden Treasures; Finding the Missing Revenue in Your Dental Practice.”  Have a fabulous journey and the best to your success! Aloha, Heidi

Dentists ask, “Should I buy a dental practice or do a start up?”

Deciding to buy a dental practice versus doing a scratch start up is a huge decision. There are many factors to know prior to jumping in to one of those choices. This is your future and a huge investment so we need to do it right. Obviously, this is a personal choice that you need to know your exact budget first. Both are great choices IF you have a clear vision and a business plan. Failure is not an option as this is your future, right? You deserve the best doc!

Let’s think about each option:

Buying a Dental Practice (Acquisition)

Here are only some things to consider:

  1. How much income do you want to make and are there enough operatories to make it happen?
  2. Are you wanting to be an insurance driven practice or FFS (fee for service) office? What insurances are they already accepting? Do they accept state plans?
  3. How high is the existing overhead as you may now have way more bills? (New loan, upgrades, etc.)
  4. Employee consideration: How many team members are there? What are their wages and benefits? Are they about to retire? Are they coachable? Are their clear defined roles and job descriptions in place? Do they have any write ups already? How long have they worked there or is there employee turnover? How often are their team meetings?
  5. Patients: How many truly active patients are there? Are the charts digital or is it hard to run reports? What type of dentistry did they do? How is their periodontal protocol? What is their average production per patient visit?
  6. Brand: What is this office known for? Evaluate their website and online reviews. How hard will it be to rebrand the existing dental practice?
  7. Marketing: What marketing effort is in place? Where did their new patients come from? How is their referral system? What businesses are nearby?
  8. Dentistry: What gets referred out? What type of dentistry is being done?
  9. Fees: What are their patients paying? What is the insurance fees in place? When was the last time they raised fees?
  10. Dental office: How old is the equipment? Any ongoing loans/leases? How is the condition of the building? Is there room to add ops if needed?
  11. Accounts: What is the past due accounts? Will the owner keep them or are you billing the patients? Are there signed financial arrangements with the patients?

Doing a dental start up (Scratch start up)

  1. Income: What income are you needing to live? Do you have college loans? Can you go 1 year without income if needed? Do you have a huge following so you are instantly able to fill your schedule? Do you have money to invest? Will you reach your retirement goals? Can you secure the financing that it takes?
  2. Marketing: How much are you willing to spend on marketing? It takes much more with a scratch start up? Can you afford an incredible website with SEO? Are you willing to use social media? Are you willing to market to bring your ideal patients?
  3. Employees: Do you know each position to be able to train? Do you have income to hire a dental coach or consultant to get systems in place? Can you afford to hire experienced team members to match the type of dentistry you want to do?
  4. Do you have a perfect location? Location is the most important aspect of a start up.
  5. Do you have the confidence it takes to build a practice fast? You will need to get to 1200 patients as quickly as possible.
  6. Do you have leadership skills to hustle?
  7. Do you have the communication skills to close the treatment plans?

BOTH ARE GREAT OPTIONS!

The key is to come up with an end goal for your life. Create your own vision and design a clear business plan. I don’t want you wasting time or money. Too many dentists are losing out time with their family and their friends and developing health issues. It’s important to do things right the first time and create your legacy.

I am cheering you on and support your decision. I have helped many acquisitions and start ups if you need assistance. Reserve a call with me and let me relieve some weight off your shoulders.

Sincerely,

Coach Heidi Mount

Giving Your Employees A Holiday Bonus From Coach Heidi Mount

As a dental business coach, every year I get asked, “How do I bonus my employees?” This can certainly be a difficult decision on coming up with a logical way to pay each employee. After all, keeping payroll and overhead under control is one thing and showing your team appreciation is another. Our hearts want to spoil them, right?

What’s the end goals?

  • Show Appreciation
  • Celebrate
  • Help Them Buy Something For Themselves
  • Bring a Smile to Their Face
  • Know What They Actually Want
  • Keep Payroll Under Control

In my “Coaching with Heidi Mount” Facebook group, I went into deep details on calculating a Christmas bonus. The industry standard is to keep the entire payroll under 25% of collections. This means EVERYTHING it takes to employ your team.

Your team deserves to feel appreciated and receive gifts from their boss. You can certainly ask your team for a wish list and see if you find a common theme amongst your team. I provide a two page appreciation form that the employees fill out for their boss and my clients keep the list in their employee file.

If you feel like you can’t afford to give bonuses, it’s time to evaluate your practice. Learn how to make more profit so you can reward your team. They work hard for the dental practice. I give LOTS of ways to make more profit in my book called, “Hidden Treasures; Finding The Missing Revenue In Your Dental Practice.”

TIPS:

  • If you give different amounts of a bonus to each team member, be sure they know not to share with others. No one should discuss their wage or their bonuses with other employees.
  • To bring a smile to their face, present your gift in a beautiful box with a gorgeous bow. Presentation is everything. Give words that compliment the employee as you give them their gift.

Please don’t hesitate to reserve an appointment if you would like a complimentary call with me. Look for the scheduling link on my website, message me on Instagram @HeidiMountDentalCoach or email me today.

Be well,

Heidi Mount

How To Drop PPO’s And Keep Your Patients? See What Coach Heidi Mount Shares

Being a dental coach all over the world, I constantly get asked “How do I drop my PPO’s?” 

With the high costs and inflation that the pandemic caused, it is lowering the profit for dentists all over the world. I get their concern and you are not alone. For many dentists, it is a constant battle with keeping overhead under control.  Coach Heidi Mount believes that have a clear business plan prevents business owners from making costly mistakes. She also says, “Your write offs is a marketing expense.”  So which is it? Is it good to stay a preferred provider or is it just another part of running your dental practice? Well, as a dental consultant, I believe it’s all about the amount you want to collect for your services and how much profit you want to make! #ReachingYourGoals

Some dental consultants teach to make a decision, become fee for service and drop all of them. That may work in a practice that has over 5000 active patients with a schedule booked 6 months and more patients banging down the door to be seen, but for most, this will fail.

Then you have the fears that dentist worry about…

  • “How do I know which ones to drop?” 
  • “What if I loose all my patients on that insurance plan?”
  • “What if I go broke, loose money, loose profit or can’t financially survive?”
  • “What if I go under or my business fails?”

I can understand the angst that a dentist may go through. This is why nothing is a quick or flip it decision when it comes to having a clear business plan. A business coach who specializes in reaching your long term goals is important when you need to make better decisions for your life.

The rising costs during the pandemic makes this a no brainer that we just can’t afford to work for less. We should not tolerate taking a pay cut or loose profit. After all, your shipping, your accountant, your groceries, your payroll expenses, PPE, and everything is costing more.

If your write offs are about 40% of every dollar you bill, doesn’t it seem like you could afford to loose a lot of patients and charge 100% FFS and still come out ahead? However, we must have a plan in place. You shouldn’t listen to dentists online or in Facebook groups stating “Just get over the fear and do it!”

These decisions and coming up with a plan depend on …

  • How many patients you have?
  • How far out you are scheduled?
  • How many providers you have?
  • What your marketing and conversion rate is?
  • What your case acceptance rate is?

Look into these questions and let me know how I can help you level up your dental practice?

Next, take these steps:

  1. Know who your IDEAL patients are and which insurance companies are attached to their file.
  2. Run a report and see which insurance companies have the biggest write offs?
  3. Run a report to see which patients are attached to those ‘lousy’ plans?
  4. Pick which plans to drop…have a plan to dropping the lowest ones right away.
  5. The insurance plans that have the largest write offs and the smallest amount of patients attached to it are quickly dropped. Send a letter to those patients that you are no longer participating  in their insurance. You contractually may have a couple months to continue care. Make a nice letter that explains what you value and the wonderful care you provide for them.
  6. For the larger amount of patients on the PPOs that you plan to drop will take time. Inform your patients during their recare visits and let them know what you do for your patients and why you decided to drop their low paying insurance plan. Encourage them to go to their human resource department to choose a higher paying dental insurance plan. Let them know they can continue to see you and the insurance will still pay a portion of their dental care. You want to let them know BEFORE the dental insurance sends them a letter to encourage them to see a preferred provider and that it will be much cheaper to see a PPO dentist on their plan.
  7. Do your best to give your patients 6 months notice.
  8. The key is to create value of why they should pick you to be their dentist. Train your team on the verbal skills necessary and how to provide an ultimate patient experience. #Loyalty #Referrals
  9. Have your marketing plan ALREADY in place to attract your IDEAL patients.

Respectfully,

Coach Heidi Mount and team

How To Know If You Need A Dental Coach Now

Dentists hire me mainly because they are frustrated and plateaued. Many of the dentists who call me are looking for a dental coach or some guidance. What I notice is they have the same issues as those who are not using a true business coach. Some examples would be; they have had employee turnover, roller coaster income, issues with patients that “won’t afford treatment”, working way too much, unable to retire or unable to make enough profit for they lifestyle they desire. Hence, they are not happy with their outcome.

If you can relate to any of this, you need a dental coach to help reverse engineer your goals, prioritize and give you simple ways to achieve success without so many headaches along the way.

Why do we have staff turnover? Some is due to not knowing how to be a leader, however, most is due to lack of systems. Your team may be floundering and running around with their pants on fire. This means, there probably isn’t quite a clear job description or priorities laid out for them. Sometimes, employees quit, because they are tired of chaos or others not doing their job. Some dentists don’t fire quick enough and hire employees that bring energy to the practice. Overall, we need to know who does what by when? This is where a dental coach can help customize the different personalities and skill levels to guide responsibilities to be done in your office. One big issue I see is when an office doesn’t have the standard operating procedure manual in place, then we are pulling out our hair onboarding someone else to step in and do what is needed to run the practice smoothly. All employees know information, but if that employee can’t come to work, then we need to quickly train someone else. This can be accomplished by having the exact steps of each task written and “How to” videos uploaded in the cloud, so you can just point as to where to find the information. In order to keep the business running like a well-oiled machine, we need to be able to train anyone at anytime. So let’s get that done as soon as possible and you can do what you do best…DENTISTRY.

Trust me, this will be a game changer.

Why do dentists have roller coaster income? There are many reasons why one month a dentist goes over goal and another month collections was below standard. The main reason is the team doesn’t know how to properly schedule to goal. Most offices are filling the schedule like a tetris game. Once the administrative team members understand how the clinical team should work and how to schedule over goal, then the schedule is a huge accomplishment. On the contrary, most employees are saying, “I have called or texted everyone and no one schedules.”  Well doctor, if they are not getting results, they should stop what they are doing, because it’s a waste of time and annoying your patients.

Your team needs a dental coach giving them the proper reactivation process and verbal skills that get results. I dare you to start listening to their effort and you will realize why patients aren’t responding. Here is a clue, if you hear them saying, “You are overdue for a cleaning” or “You didn’t schedule your pending treatment”, I promise you that patients rarely respond well to that. Another issue is that your team is not reactivating consistently. In other words, as the schedule gets busy, they stop the effort and then the next month is slow.

Tired of hearing your patients “cant afford treatment”Just so you know that this is an excuse. If you present a treatment plan and the first question out of their mouth is “Will my insurance cover it?”, then you did not do well during your case presentation. I recommend tracking your case acceptance and know the percentage each person in your office can accomplish. The final thought I have on treatment case acceptance is that if you notice you only get patients to schedule on $1000 or less (insurance covered treatment), then you need a dental coach.

Tracking your numbers is EVERYTHING

when it comes to running a business. 

Many dentists think “I need more patients.”  In reality, most have plenty. Run your reports to show all the patients not scheduled. Yes, many dentists marketed to all the wrong patients and need to rebrand their office. Many dentists were desperate and signed up for every insurance plan or list they could get on and offered discounted exams and cleanings. Bad move when wanting to work a normal amount of hours and have some free time. Listen, you are a dentist and you should be paid a fair market value for your services. It is important to attract your ideal patients. You know, the ones that you enjoy working on.

Dentists should be able to take 6-12 weeks off a year and make good money. Some of you don’t believe that is possible. Many of you need help with confidence, leadership, belief, guidance and accountability. Listen, it’s time to invest in YOU! Get a coach and stop throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks. You are wasting time and deserve to live the dream. I am not trying to be harsh….I truly care about you!

If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting the same old results. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, you need a dental coach. I am here to tell you the truth doctor. My dad (who was my best friend) worked 6 days a week his entire career. The average person enjoys 17 summers after they retire. My dad only enjoyed 1. Seriously, this makes me want to cry. I know he worked super hard to provide a nest-egg for his family. Honestly, I would have rather had my dad here on earth with us.

Please don’t be another statistic, get a dental coach and catapult your business. 

Respectfully,

Coach Heidi Mount

 

Dental Consultant Shares How To Recession Proof Your Dental Practice Post COVID-19

Hundreds of dentists are frantically reaching out to me for help. They are overwhelmed, frustrated and scared. Why? Because of the mounting issues with the new way of starting back up. So many decisions to navigate and many dentists have so many irons in the fire that they do not know where to begin. Here’s the deal, you need to do what’s best for YOU and YOUR family.

I am a business coach, so having a clear business plan is imperative to survive this recession. Being in the dental industry since 1988, I have seen this many times. Yes, we will need to do extra OSHA and CDC required protocols. However, it’s imperative to adjust our current business model. I hope you have a clear, defined written business plan. This would include financial and personal goals. In general, my clients and I create a 40 page detailed document. This document will make all your decisions easy. As a dental practice management consultant, I reverse engineer your goals, prioritize and lay out the simple steps on how to get there.

That means you have been closed and you have a blank slate to run the business exactly how you dreamt of running it. Dentists get to pick and choose their ideal patients and dental procedures. As a dental consultant, this is what I help you do; Figure out your ideal patients, the business model you want to have, the ideal schedule to work and train your employees how to serve you and your patients.

More than ever we need the RIGHT employees who are on your bus. We should not be getting any push back or drama. Our patients are scared and want to be seen. So more than ever we need employees who love their job and can inspire your patients.

In order to recession proof your business you will need to train your team on how to answer the phone, how to prevent the “Is it safe?” type questions, audit the charts for account balances or cancellation history, prioritize patients, pre-screen patients, empathize with patients, inspire your patients or potential patients, obtain signed documents ahead of time and pre-collect. Yes, you heard me…it is very rare that your $50 cancellation fees ever improve your practice. Therefore, I never recommend doing this.

I can tell within an hour how well you are doing. Trust me, after over 30 years of working in the dental world, I have seen a lot. I can easily see how well your team is trained by evaluating your practice. If you are a dentist and you want my eyes on your practice, you can simply click on this.

Heidi’s Core Values:

  • Maintain Ethics and Integrity
  • Family Comes First
  • Always Be Present and Focused
  • Be Authentic, Caring, and Honest
  • Establish Financial Freedom

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