This time of year, there is a huge emphasis on healthy eating. Every grocery store is advertising its specials on reduced calorie frozen dinners and high protein granola bars. However, as any nutritionist will tell you, the healthiest way to eat involves preparing your own foods, choosing fresh ingredients and making sure to consume a varied diet. As I was thinking about how to improve my meal prep in the coming year, I started considering the correlation between cooking and dental practice planning. Just like a recipe, making changes in your practice requires very specific ingredients and instructions.
Cover All the Food Groups
When you are planning out a healthy meal, it is important to make sure you are getting all the right nutrients. A nourishing meal should contain protein, carbohydrates, fruits or vegetables, and some heart-healthy fats. When you are creating a recipe for dental practice success, you also need to consider all aspects of your business health. Focusing solely on financing or marketing will get you nowhere if you neglect communication or patient relationships. Additionally, while you are thinking about your dental practice planning, don’t forget to address your family and personal life. These things are as essential to your practice success as salt is to a delicious meal.
Choose the Right Ingredients for Dental Practice Planning
Only the most experienced chefs would attempt to create a gourmet meal without a recipe. Most cooks want to know exactly what they are making and what ingredients they are going to use. Before attempting to make changes in your practice, it is important to know your goals and the precise steps you are going to take to achieve them. Write down these goals and plans, just as you would a favorite recipe. You should follow your “dental practice planning recipe” as closely as possible. When you are cooking, you may taste whatever you are making and decide to add a pinch of salt or garlic. Do not be afraid to do the same thing when improving your practice. If you discover that something is not working for you, make changes! Just be as specific about these changes as you were when you created your original “recipe.”
Timing Is Everything
You wouldn’t stick a roast in the oven and leave it there until you hope it’s done. You would set a timer, and plan all your other dishes to make sure they were done at the same time as your meat. The same can be said of practice planning. When setting your goals and creating your recipe for success, be specific about the timeframe with which you are working. Set a mental timer. For example, you could say, “I want to increase our patient base by 10%. I want to achieve this by January 21, 2016.” Share this goal and your time frame with your team. Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but when it comes to dental practice planning, you and your team are one unit, working together to achieve your goals.
Becoming a Four-Star Chef
Of course, no chef is self-taught. He or she goes through years of training to gain skills and experience. Think of your dental coach as a cooking instructor. He provides hands-on instruction in the kitchen, so that you can go out and prepare delicious meals for family and friends.