As the first quarter of 2023 opens, you benefit by reflecting on the past year and considering your goals for the next section of the journey. You can fine-tune your dental practice and personal life by accounting for obstacles and identifying opportunities. We’ve worked with practices this past year that never realized how much value they hold in today’s market. But their proactive approach set the stage to capitalize on their life’s work.
Reflect on the past year while looking to the horizon to map where you’d like another twelve months to take you. Here are five questions worth spending time with before moving further into 2023.
How will you increase profitability this year?
Surveys revealed that dentists saw a steady bounce back from the pandemic shutdown over the last two years. But productions and collections only tell part of the story; bottom-line profits provide solvency, savings, and fuel for growth. Wage and commodity inflation impacted net income in healthcare, and people are still waiting to know when the trend will soften. But owners who look for ways to cut costs and boost production maintain a two-pronged approach that keeps them ahead of the curve:
ACTION: Contact us about our complimentary P&L analysis to help you make data-driven decisions this year.
How are you handling staffing challenges?
If you’re not dealing with a current staffing shortage, you likely will if an existing employee decides to move on. ADA surveys demonstrate the strain many practice owners experience staying fully staffed. The workforce has undergone a fundamental shift that may affect the availability of full-time workers for many years. Innovative managers are looking for efficient solutions that help teams do more with fewer employees, including adding virtual services.
ACTION: Evaluate outsourcing non-patient-facing activities, such as insurance and billing, with companies like eAssist and Swiss Monkey.
What new services will you incorporate?
The dental industry is expected to increase from $160 billion to $230 billion in the next ten years. Consumers are keeping an eye on inflation and deferring some services, but they still value their health and appearance. Look for services that differentiate you from the practice down the street and boost production. This approach helps now, but it can also help diversify your treatment-base for greater resiliency in future economic downturns.
ACTION: Consider adding virtual visits for free consultations about services you’d like to offer more, such as sleep health, implants, or Invisalign.
How will you take care of yourself?
Dentistry has always required uncompromising focus and skills to deliver the best care. Juggling a healthcare enterprise’s clinical, managerial, and entrepreneurial responsibilities takes a toll on many providers. A recent survey showed that dentists reporting anxiety tripled between 2003 and 2021, and more than 8 out of 10 suffer from musculoskeletal pain. A personal wellness plan will help you maintain and grow your practice to keep your dreams on track.
ACTION: Commit to new routines and executive-level annual exams that help maintain balance, health, and longevity.
What do you want to see at the end of this year?
A successful dental practice blends key operational, marketing, and financial systems for a steady upward trend. Just one degree of difference in a boat’s rudder can put it hundreds of miles off course, and it’s not much different in dentistry. If your chair time is worth $500 an hour, one unfilled appointment or no-show daily equates to nearly $100,000 of lost production annually. Clarity around your plans will help you identify incremental improvements in 2023.
ACTION: Spend time crafting a fresh, written vision of your practice and life over the next three years. Establish goals that help you end this year living more of your dream.
Set the stage for the best year yet.
Healthcare will always face challenges, but there’s never been a more opportune time to be a dentist who’s developed a successful brand. Opportunities abound for those who prepare their practices to attract buyers looking for well-managed enterprises.
At DDSmatch Greater Pacific, we can help you evaluate every option to maximize the road ahead regardless of your current stage. We understand the unique characteristics and opportunities of the Hawaii, Western Washington, and Alaska markets. Let’s start the conversation; reach out and schedule time HERE.