What is it about Halloween that is so exciting to us? Perhaps it is because we wholeheartedly embrace the things that frighten us. We let shivers run down our spines as we contemplate ghosts, vampires and other things that go bump in the night. Or maybe it is because the frights of Halloween distract us from the things that are truly scary. Disorganization and office conflict may not be able to drink your blood, but they can suck the soul out of your practice. This Halloween you may not need a vampire hunter, but you may benefit from working with a dentist business coach. A coach can help you drive a stake through the monsters that haunt your practice, leaving you free to combat the effects of all that candy on your patients’ teeth.
1. Poor Patient Scheduling
Long wait times will send your patients running faster than you can say, “Boo!” Establishing an effective and practical scheduling system is essential if you hope to maintain your current patients, let alone attract new ones. Determine the number of patients you need to see per day in order to maintain profitability. Then create a block scheduling system around this number, leaving room for emergency visits, dental phobic patients, and other unexpected events. You may want to purchase some inexpensive scheduling software.
2. Low Levels of Patient Compliance
Poor compliance is every dentist’s nightmare. For your patients’ wellbeing, your reputation, and your personal satisfaction, aim for 100% compliance on all required procedures and 80% compliance on all recommended procedures. To achieve this, you must cultivate good listening skills. Learn to identify your patients’ needs and goals. Then tailor your treatment recommendations accordingly.
3. Bad Online Reviews
Negative reviews can be the final nail in the coffin for an already struggling practice. Although you cannot prevent poor reviews, you can combat them. Respond to negative comments quickly and fairly. Be on the lookout for spam reviews. At the same time, encourage your happy patients to write favorable reviews. A few good comments will far outweigh the negative ones.
4. An Unhappy Office Team
Do you feel like you are in the middle of a monster mash? Bickering team members, uncooperative assistants, and surly hygienists are no fun. However, before you rush to blame your team, be honest with yourself. Are you do everything you can to create a positive work environment? Do you encourage team participation and ongoing training? Do you acknowledge accomplishments? Do you ask too much or too little of your staff?
5. Feeling Overworked
When you work 50+ hours a week, you feel like you have one foot in the grave. Like many dentists, you may believe that working this hard is the only way to keep your practice going. In my experience, this is rarely the case. Rather, good time management and delegation will keep your practice running smoothly. It will also help to combat team member dissatisfaction.
6. Losing Your Passion for What You Do
If you have forgotten why you love your job, some honest self-assessment can help you come back to life. In all likelihood, you haven’t lost your love for helping others or for the science of dentistry. You have simply gotten bogged down in the day-to-day business of your practice, and you have allowed that to take center stage. Cultivating the skills mentioned above – time management, delegation, and listening – can help you cut down on the daily grind. Additionally, when you work with a dental coach, you will learn to identify your unique goals and passions. Then you can establish a plan of action that is specific to your practice. It’s time to put those demons to rest.