Understanding and Growing Your Practice

There’s a business management aspect of owning a dental practice that you’re never really taught in dental school. Too often, dentists struggle to understand the financial numbers powering their practices, and that means they miss opportunities to optimize the efficiency of their teams and their profits.

That’s where Kiera Dent comes in. Kiera is the owner of Kiera’s Dental Consulting, and she specializes in helping dentists understand their numbers, smooth the rough edges, and build cohesive staffs who can help their practices advance to the next level of success. Kiera herself is experienced in many different aspects of a dental practice. She became a dental assistant straight out of high school, then later moved to managing the front office. That valuable experience led her to start her own business helping dentists start and run their practices more efficiently and effectively.

During our conversation, Kiera discussed the importance of truly diving into your practice’s numbers, from key performance indicators (KPIs) to case acceptance rates. She explained why it is important that your staff understands these numbers as well, and truly appreciates how each member of the team is contributing to those numbers and to the overall success of the practice.

Knowing and Understanding Your Numbers

If there is one point Kiera stressed during our conversation more than any other, it was the importance of taking the time to familiarize yourself with and understand your numbers. Too often, Kiera’s clients are often truly surprised when they are shown what is actually going on behind the scenes of their practices, because they never really looked that closely at the numbers before or because they didn’t understand what they were seeing when they did look.

Understanding your numbers will help you identify opportunities for growth, and it will also help you recognize the parts of your practice that need improvement. Having a solid data foundation to build upon is critical to growing your practice and improving its efficiency and profitability. When you understand your numbers, you and your team are empowered to make smarter decisions and better guide the progress of the practice to achieve its long-term goals. You don’t have to go get a business degree, but a solid understanding of the fundamentals will help you better handle the business-management side of your practice.

Building a Great Team

Having the right people in the right roles is vital for the success of your team. It is also important that you help your staff understand the practice’s KPIs and how each individual on the team contributes to the overall success of the practice. Accountability is important for everyone in your practice, but people can’t be held to account if they don’t understand the expectations you have set for them.

It’s also important to understand when your practice has grown to the point that you need to hire new staff members. As Kiera explained, it’s time to bring in another hygienist when your hygiene department is booked full about a month out.  When you have reached a 50-65% overhead excluding doctor salary, then it may be time to think about bringing in a new doctor. You should have a minimum of two hygienists per doctor, ideally. But if you’re really stumped and uncertain whether it is the right time to expand, this would be a great opportunity to reach out to a coach like Kiera. They can help guide you to make the right decisions based on your practice’s needs.

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