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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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? […]