About [email protected]

Dr. Carlo Biasucci, founder of Elite Practice, is a practicing dentist, and owner of a large multi-doctor and multi-specialty dental practice in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. His practice is growing at more than 10 times the national average in almost all metrics, and he has doubled his practice 5 times since inception making it one of the fastest growing healthcare practices in the country. He is a speaker, consultant, and best-selling author. He is a champion of guiding the private practice dentist off the treadmill that many professionals know all to well, and regain control of their practice and personal freedom to finally start living the life they envisioned when entering the profession. Dr. Carlo enjoys downtime with his family, whether at home, the family cottage, or an exotic destination to escape the Canadian winter. Daughter Allison attests, he is ‘the best daddy in the world’.

Ep 29: Double Your Income and Time Off

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Wouldn’t it be nice if you were able to double both your time off and your income? It’s possible. I’ve done it.

The first step is to determine how much time you’re actually taking off right now. Hopefully, you’re at least getting the weekends off, but I understand that doesn’t happen for everyone. Pull out your annual calendar, determine how much time you’re taking off right now, and then multiply that by two.

Let’s assume you’re getting two weeks of vacation every year. You get two weeks away from it all, every 365 days. That’s great. You can double that to four weeks per year next year.

The first step is this: go to your calendar, figure out how much time you already take off, and then double it. Block it out on your calendar – mark it as being off. There are easier times of year to do this, of course. Figure out when your slowest office periods are. For most of us, Thanksgiving and Christmas are both down times. What about other holidays? What about spring? What about summer? Find your slowest times of year and make those the focus of your time off scheduling.

You also need to consider not taking time in big chunks. Schedule long weekends. Three and four-day weekends add up quick! They also mean that you’re not out of the office for as long, allowing you to stay more on top of things while also enjoying more time off.

How does taking more time off help you double your income, though? Actually, there are quite a few ways. One of those is that when you take more time off, you’re more productive when you come back. You’re rested, refreshed and ready to go.

Figure out your income for the past year. Now, double it. That’s what you want to earn next year. To get started, you’ll need to break down your income needs by month, then week, then day. Figure out what you need to earn per day, then per hour to cover your operating costs and your personal income needs.

Once you have a per hour figure, you can easily see what you need to do to double your income. For instance, let’s say you need an additional $300 per hour to double what you’re earning. That’s simple – a couple of fillings will cover it nicely. Use that example moving forward and you’ll find that you can easily focus on building income streams without the hassle and stress that you might expect.

You can look at doing several things to make up any cash shortfall. One of the most obvious is to raise your fees a little bit, but take care not to do that on every service, or every fee. Small tweaks can often be more than enough. You can also improve cash flow by increasing the number of patients you see per day.

Do some basic math, figure out what you need to do to double your income, and when you need to schedule your time off. It’s more than possible to increase both.

By |2017-12-05T19:13:33+00:00December 29th, 2017|

Ep 28: Energy And Accountability

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One of the most common questions I get from clients, no matter where they’re located or how big their practice might be involves energy and accountability. They want to know how they get their team to care at a higher level. They want to know how they get their team to be more engaged and to be more accountable. They want to know how to do more, and how to get their team members to care like business owners.

On the surface, it might seem impossible. However, it can be done. With that being said, I don’t really believe that anyone can be made to care as much as a business owner, but you can achieve a close approximation.

Really, it all starts with your hiring process, and your ability to categorize individuals so that they fall into the right areas and can be made part of the right team. One of the most important considerations is energy level – you’ll find that someone who brings energy to the job also has a great attitude. They’re go-getters. They have a can-do attitude. You need that initiative, and you need those people who live your core values.

You also need to figure out if your staff members are self-starters, or if they need someone to tell them what to do, and when to do it. A self-managing employee doesn’t need anyone to micromanage their activities. They do what they need to do. They have initiative. Other employees need someone there to motivate and guide them from day to day. They need a babysitter, which is essentially what a manager does. They babysit.

According to the Harvard Business Review, a manager spends 68% of his or her day dealing with employees who show bad behavior. It’s a waste of time. Ultimately, it proves that hiring people who need a babysitter is also a waste of time. Your teams could be doing so much more, achieving so much more, delivering so much better care, if they didn’t need someone to hold their hand every step of the way.

You can also score employees on whether they’re a promoter or a detractor. Promoters boost the overall team, while detractors drag them down. Detractors gossip, complain, and generally have an axe to grind. Promoters do not. Promoters will praise their team members openly, and funnel any negative information up the chain, rather than down, so that it does the most good. Detractors not only complain, but they direct negative energy down, or laterally, where it does no real good, but can actually cause damage.

By scoring your employees based on their ability to get the job done without supervision, their attitude at work, their stance toward praising others or sharing credit, and the like can help you build strong teams that go the extra mile for your patients. With a little care and patience, you can easily create teams of people who are accountable, who take ownership, and who want the practice to thrive and your patients to enjoy the best possible care at every appointment.

By |2017-12-05T19:20:51+00:00December 22nd, 2017|

Ep 27: Deliver Value Beyond Your Pay

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Let’s talk about the value proposition. Specifically, let’s address your ability to deliver value beyond what you’re paid for. Your business is a value delivery system – what does that mean? How is your brand perceived in the market, and how can you change that? How can you shift perception so that your business is positioned at a high level in the eyes of the consumer?

Really, the question you need to answer is why should someone do business with you rather than any and every other option, including taking no action at all?

Remember – people don’t need dentistry all the time. In fact, a great deal of it is elective. People aren’t in pain all the time. They don’t need to see you every six months. Why would someone choose to do business with your practice, then? Not only why would they choose you, but why would they choose you over any other dental practice in the area? Why would they choose you over doing nothing?

Think about it. Write those answers down. Drill down and find out what sets your practice apart.

I recommend doing the same thing with your team. It’s a great exercise for team meetings or even for morning huddles. Have each team member come up with at least one reason why your patients should work with your practice, rather than taking any other action.

Finally, you need to take all that information and distill it down. You need to create a list of actual reasons, benefits and pros to working with your practice, and then you need to bake it right in. Make those reasons even more pronounced parts of your practice – they need to be so integral, so much a part of the fabric of what you do, that they’re clearly visible to patients who might have only visited you once or twice in the past.

You also need to look at how you’re delivering more value than what your patients pay for. How are you delivering more than what they expect? How are you surpassing their expectations? Your patients expect a specific something – they’re paying for A, so they should definitely receive A. But what if they receive both A and B? Would that benefit them? Would it make them more likely to come back for C? Can your practice consistently deliver both A and B when your customers only pay for A?

Figure out what it is that your patients expect and then find ways to build on that. Your mission is to deliver as much value as possible for their money. That doesn’t mean you need to be have a “bargain basement” mentality. It’s not really about giving them something for nothing. It’s about building additional value and making yourself an irreplaceable resource. It’s about changing their perception of your practice from being a place they come when they absolutely have to, to a place they willingly spend both time and money because they know they’re going to get so much more out of the deal.

Build value. Deliver more. Excel. Find out how you stand out from the crowd and then bake that into everything you do.

By |2017-12-05T19:46:08+00:00December 15th, 2017|

Ep 26: When To Change A System

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Not sure when to change a system? Unclear on when you should hold your ground and stick with what you’ve got? We come up with a lot of great ideas, and implement them as quickly as we can. That’s understandable – our success rides on getting those systems in place, and up and running. Ultimately, though, your systems are going to be challenged. How do you assess their effectiveness? How do you decide whether your system is a success or a failure? How and when should you change a system?

Here’s the thing – trying to change a system to accommodate everyone is a serious mistake. There’s simply no way to build a system that works perfectly for every single person, every single time. There are going to be people who don’t like the system. There will be unexpected complications. Really, all you can do is create a system that works best for you, your team and your practice.

You cannot change your system every time someone complains – that would result in a constantly-shifting mess that doesn’t work at all. Remember that those who are having problems with your system are most likely the exceptions. They’re the 1 out of 100 who have an issue, while the system works great for the other 99 people. Keep your system in place in that instance.

You might also feel that you need to make changes based on pressure from your team. In some instances, this might be necessary, but in others, the resistance could be nothing more than a dislike for change. Humans are creatures of habit, and we like what we’ve done in the past. If you create a new system, there will be some resistance to its implementation no matter how good it is, simply because it’s a new way of doing things.

Remember that most people don’t really know what they want. When Henry Ford asked people what they wanted in the way of transportation, they told him they needed faster horses. They didn’t know they wanted automobiles, but Ford pushed on anyway. Can you imagine what would have happened if he’d just thrown in the towel and started breeding horses that could run faster, for longer periods? It would be a different world, certainly.

So, how do you create a winning system? There’s no simple answer here, either. Really, it comes down to creating the best-case scenario for your patients, your practice and your team. It does require a bit of critical thinking during the development stage. You’ll also need to teach it to your team (and expect some blowback). Once you have the system designed and in place, evaluate it and fix the most obvious issues only.

Creating a winning system really just requires that you pay attention to what your practice, team and patients need. Build based on those requirements, and then evaluate your system critically for workability and flaws. Make obvious changes, but don’t bend over backwards if someone has an issue – chances are good that they’re objecting because they just don’t like change.

By |2017-12-05T19:23:03+00:00December 8th, 2017|

Ep 25: Prolific Writing

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Content production is a seriously important topic – the more information you get out to your patients, the more you build familiarity and trust. That trust eventually translates into authority, and your patients keep you in the forefront of their minds. Of course, content creation can be time consuming, frustrating and can even seem impossible. There’s good news. Anyone can enjoy prolific writing.

Content creation is vital for establishing yourself as an authority. This is the only way you can compete with the growing slew of corporate dental entities out there today. Corporate entities are not the only threats out there – government efforts, insurance companies and even just consumer price shopping all have erosive effects on the landscape that make it essential for you to stand out from the pack and position yourself as an authority.

You need to create a wide range of content types to establish authority, build trust, inform your audience, and educate your patients. I’m talking about creating free reports, ebooks, articles, blog posts, treatment overviews, newsletters and more. These are also not “once and done” things. You need to blog regularly. You need to create articles and reports frequently. You need to send out your newsletter on a regular basis.

Of course, content creation comes with a caveat. You need the time to create it. I’d be willing to bet that your first thought is you lack the time necessary. Most of us feel like we’re living without enough time for everything that must be done. Let me tell you this – you can create all the content you need in just 60 minutes per month.

My recommendation is that you keep a list of topics going constantly. Just write down thoughts, topics, headings and the like as they come to you. Jot down your ideas and then write them later.

When it comes time to create your content, just go to your list, find a topic that attracts you, that you feel particularly compelled to write about, and go to town. You also don’t need to worry about creating a fully-fleshed out version right away. Personally, I start my articles as nothing more than bullet points, and then flesh them out from there. The same thing applies to reports.

Get down what you need to get down on paper first – the core ideas that you want to convey, and the most important topics to touch on. Then, you can expand on them, sharing your expertise and insight along the way. In very little time, you’ll find that you’ve created a pretty long article, an engaging blog post, or even gotten a good start on an important report that your patients will find valuable.

Other tricks to help streamline your content creation process include taking audio notes on your own, jotting down thoughts as they come to you, and reusing content for other purposes. For instance, you can break reports up into multiple articles or blog posts. You can repurpose pieces of your ebooks – it’s simple to create the content you need to build authority and trust.

By |2017-12-05T19:46:42+00:00December 1st, 2017|

Ep 24: Build Your Practices with a Newsletter

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Using a newsletter is one of the most important and powerful ways to build your practice. Why do you need one? It’s simple – a newsletter allows you to increase the frequency of your communication with your patients without a corresponding increase in marketing costs or even time commitment. It helps to build a relationship with your patients, introduce new services and treatments, educate them, and even answer questions they didn’t know they had.

Remember that frequency builds familiarity. When you send out a newsletter each and every month, you build familiarity based on a once-per-month frequency. In turn, that begins to build trust with your patients. They begin to think of you and your practice more and more often – you become seen as an expert, and the source of important (and accurate) information about the challenges your patients face.

You can probably think of businesses in your own life that do the same thing. For instance, here in Canada, we undercoat our vehicles in the winter with oil to prevent rust from forming. I get postcards from Krown about their undercoating service every single month of the year, including during the summer when I’m not even remotely worried about undercoating. But, do you know what? When winter rolls around, Krown is the one I turn to. Why? Because they’ve managed to keep themselves front and center in my mind with communication all year long.

I also want to point out the results of a recent Harvard Business Review study. They found that just a 5% increase in retention can translate to a 95% increase in net profit. In addition to bumping up your profits significantly, you also reduce your costs. It costs you far, far less to keep a current patient than it does to find a new one. Seriously, how much money do you spend on marketing to potential new patients? What’s the conversion rate you enjoy? It’s probably pretty low. It’s far better to keep the patients you have coming back, time and again.

A newsletter is one of the cheapest, most effective ways of cementing your practice in the minds of your patients. Will they make appointments every single month? Of course not. However, if you’re able to keep yourself front and center, you will be the first one they think of when they need to schedule their six-month checkup. You’ll be the first one they think of when they have unexpected tooth pain, or when their child needs to have braces.

A newsletter adds to your content-based authority platform. If you’re a member of the Inner Circle, you can see the actual newsletters that I send out to my real-life patients – you can use that template for yourself to make creating your own newsletter simpler and easier. Use these tools to help you engage your audience. You want them to read those newsletters and be connected to you and your practice. You want to be part of their lives, not a necessary evil.

By |2017-12-05T19:24:03+00:00November 24th, 2017|

Ep 23: What Is A Marketing Funnel

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Do you know what a marketing funnel is? Do you know how important these tools are to your success, or how to track your patients as they travel through the funnel? Not sure what they’re all about, or even why you might need one? Let’s clear things up a bit.

A sales funnel is nothing more than the process through which someone moves as they go from not being a patient to being a patient. Of course, that’s a dramatic oversimplification of the process.

With an actual sales funnel, you begin with your patient most likely being unaware of your practice, but aware that they have a pain point or problem that needs to be addressed. Through marketing (usually content marketing), you provide them with information and begin to position your practice as the solution to that pain point/challenge.

As they move through the funnel, your marketing changes from being purely informational to a blend of informational and promotional to almost purely promotional near the bottom. Finally, you end with the person taking the action you want and calling or emailing to set up an appointment.

Why do you need a sales funnel in the first place, though? Actually, there are several reasons for that. One is that you can no longer rely on your potential patients finding your practice through “traditional” methods. They’re not flipping through the phone book, for instance. They’re looking online, and this is where your sales funnel should be the strongest.

Your sales funnel should also work to establish a connection with potential patients, to build authority, and, ultimately, to establish trust with you as a leading expert who has the answer to whatever problem it might be that your potential patient is facing.

What are the components of a sales funnel? There’s really no single answer that applies to every individual campaign, but some of the more common things would include a lead generation tool – this might be an online ad, a social media ad or post, or even a postcard via snail mail. A landing page is another common inclusion – a page on your site dedicated specifically for those clicking a link from an ad. A thank you page for those taking a qualifying action (signing up for your newsletter, downloading a free report or ebook, etc.). This usually leads into an email communication process and sometimes communicating via physical mail, as well.

Ultimately, a sales funnel helps to move potential patients from the position of not knowing your practice exists, to learning more about their problem, to realizing your practice not only exists but can also help with the challenge, to, ultimately, becoming a new patient.

You can and should have more than one sales funnel in place at any given time, as well. This ensures that you’re able to reach the maximum number of potential new patients and build your success more easily. With all that being said, you do need to ensure that your funnels are constructed correctly in order to truly foster practice growth.

By |2017-12-05T19:47:13+00:00November 17th, 2017|

Ep 22: Positive Mental Nutrition

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What you’re putting into your brain is vitally important. It’s essential that you have positive mental nutrition. I want to explain how this can be a huge game-changer – if you can use the power of your brain, you achieve literally anything you want. Your thoughts have immense power.

You need to think about what you’re feeding your brain – the nutritional support that it receives. It’s like the food choices that you make in your life. If you eat nothing but junk, you pack on the pounds and your physical health declines. The same thing happens with your brain. If you feed it negative things, your mental outlook deteriorates.

Remember what Napoleon Hill said – a thought held in the mind becomes reality over time because what you think about, what you believe you can accomplish, your brain looks for and finds and strives to help you achieve that goal. This is great when you have a positive thought, but it works the same when you have negative thoughts.

To truly harness the power of your brain, you need to consciously choose what you put into it. You need to be intentional about what you feed it.

How do you do that? First, it revolves around paying attention to your inputs. For instance, what do you watch on TV? How much news coverage are you watching daily? What sort of conversations are you having with people? What sort of people do you surround yourself with every day?

You also need to think about the thoughts that you let run free within your brain. Do you let negative imagery run wild? Do you let stress, anxiety and fear rule you? I know it can seem impossible to control these emotions, but you can. In fact, if you really want to harness everything possible from your brain, it’s essential that you do control your emotions.

There are other ways to bolster mental nutrition, as well. Exercise – getting out and physically active – has a profound effect on your mental outlook. Even a brief session of jogging or even brisk walking can release endorphins in your brain that elevate mood and improve mental function.

You can also use mental exercises to help train your brain and focus it. One of my favorites involves noting more than using a piece of paper and writing down the five or ten things that matter most to you in life. What gets you out of bed in the morning? By writing these things down, you can begin to eliminate distractions and superfluous issues, and focus on what really matters most to you, your family and your life.

You should also pay attention to your circle of influence – the people around you. That applies to everything from your coworkers and employees to your family members, your friends, and even people in other groups, like church services and professional organizations. Make an effort to ensure that you’re surrounding yourself with a circle of influence that builds you up and focuses on the positive, not the negative.

By |2017-12-05T19:47:41+00:00November 10th, 2017|

You Are Failing Your Patients By Not Selling Them Advanced Services

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This time around, I want to talk about how you’re failing your patients by not selling them advanced dental services. This happens frequently, and I realize it’s almost entirely to do with your own feelings about selling, or about how a patient might appear in terms of ability to pay. I want to share a story with you that will help illustrate why we need to be offering these services to patients who need them.

We had a patient come into the office and say that she wanted to change her smile. She wasn’t happy with it, and she wanted to know exactly what we could do to change it. Based on a snap judgment, you wouldn’t think this patient would be able to pay for advanced treatment. Instead of recommending just a minimalist treatment, I outlined a good/better/best scenario for her including all the risks, the pros and cons of each path, and more.

When we were done, she told me I was the first dentist who ever gave her those options. They all gave her smaller milestones, little fixes. No one ever presented real options, and she thanked me for being the first person to take her seriously.

The moral of the story is that just a few years later, this person has an entirely new smile – a full reconstruction. She got the job she wanted, and the new smile she needed. You can see the change in her. It’s incredible. Her energy level is high, and her personality is completely different.

My question is this – why are you not presenting the very best options for every patient? In my opinion, if you’re not, it’s your ethical, moral and even legal obligation to do so. If you have a service that can benefit a patient, why would you hold back? That’s almost malpractice. You don’t have to be pushy. Just outline what you can offer so they have the information needed to make an informed decision.

I realize that this is pretty common in our industry. Maybe you don’t like to sell. Perhaps you don’t think that a patient can afford that particular treatment. Whatever the case might be, we need to get over it and move on. Really, it all comes down to helping people, and that’s why you got into the profession in the first place. You became a dentist to serve people and help them. You can’t do that if they don’t have information about all the treatment options available to them. You can’t do that by holding back.

Serving your patients means informing them about all the options they have available to them, whether you think they can afford them or not, or whether you feel comfortable selling those treatments or not. It’s also important that everyone in the practice be on board with this – you need to make sure that your team members understand this. If you have a treatment or service that could benefit a patient, why in the world would you hold back on it?

By |2017-09-22T14:50:07+00:00September 29th, 2017|
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