Dr. Alan Mead bought his practice in Saginaw, MI back in 1998, and it was a long road to get there both literally and metaphorically. Mead battled substance abuse and is a recovering user, but with the success of his business and support of his family, he found a sense of balance that gave him strength after starting recovery. Mead’s daily commute is roughly 30-45 minutes each way, and it provides him with an almost meditative opportunity for introspection, which he initially used as an opportunity to explore the world of podcasts.
It wasn’t until around 2010 that he considered becoming a content creator himself, and after he was featured on someone else’s show, it sealed the deal and Dental Hacks was born. They recently hit 2,000,000 downloads and Mead attributes much of the show’s success to his focus on creating a show that he would want to listen to. Podcasts need to be entertaining first and informative second because there is a lot of information you can put out there, but you want to make sure people can relate to you as a person before you tell them anything.
Dental Hacks Academy
The podcast formed a strong enough following that Jason and Mead decided to create the Dental Hacks Academy to help other business owners market their practices effectively. There are so many ways you can spend money to gain visibility, so Jason and Mead teamed up with a group of digital marketing professionals to combine their knowledge of the target audience with the knowledge of results-driven marketing strategies.
Learning How to Run a Practice on the Fly
Much of his knowledge was gained through building a successful practice over the last twenty years, but he tripped over most of the things that created its strong foundation. It is important to note that Mead experienced a lot of growth because there was always room to grow. He didn’t make the mistake of buying the most expensive equipment or moving into the high-rent office, and as a result, he faced a lot less adversity while other practices went under. But sometimes making mistakes can be the only way to learn and thankfully they weren’t high stakes in Mead’s case.
Avoiding Costly Mistakes
We’ve talked a lot about fraud and theft in dental practices previously, but smaller financial mistakes can quickly add up. They don’t teach you about taxes and balance sheets in dental school, and unfortunately, Mead became an entrepreneur by accident. He bought a practice because it was a good deal and it seemed like a better option than what he had at the time, but that required a lot of learning on the fly. Mead still relies heavily on his accountant for things to run smoothly and he believes strongly that dentists just don’t understand taxes very well.
Whether you are building a startup or buying a practice, a slew of unique challenges is presented with each option. Mistakes will be made along the way and you will have to teach yourself processes that you knew nothing about previously, but there are a lot of troublesome financial mistakes that can be easily avoided. To hear more about Dr. Alan Mead’s experience with starting a dental practice, listen to the latest podcast episode, Dental Entrepreneurship, with Dr. Alan Mead.