Is your packed schedule starting to wane a bit, or are you busier than ever? Either way, you’re probably stressed. Doctors are juggling a lot these days. From staffing shortages to dwindling insurance reimbursements, crammed hygiene schedules, struggles attracting quality patients and trying to fill gaps in the schedule, the “business of dentistry” is increasingly taking the passion out of the profession for a growing number of practice owners.
Overwhelmed is an understatement. You might even feel paralyzed at times wondering how to manage it all. So why do some dentists continue to work under this intense pressure for decades and never rise to the elite levels of the industry? Why do so many spend years beside the chair and never break free of constant financial and physical stress?
It seems that just a handful of dentists end up living a life that sounds like fantasy, with plenty of money and the time to enjoy it. What they’ve accomplished appears a far-fetched dream that leaves the rest of us wanting more. More collections, more time and freedom, more quality cases, and more patients that value your expertise and superb clinical skills.
What if I told you there is something elite dentists do that sets them apart from the “average dentist” that’s within reach for any clinician willing to put in the work and look at doing dentistry differently? It isn’t a get-rich-overnight strategy, but rather a build-wealth-steadily strategy that is reshaping the way we look at the industry.
The Power of Your Practice Data for Marketplace Alignment
How do you make the best treatment decisions for your patients? I’m guessing you draw from experience, maybe consult with a trusted colleague, use what you’ve gained from CE or another research. I would also guess that doing so has made you a great dentist. So, what if you applied this same approach to running your practice? For example, researching the market in your area, studying dental trends, and paying attention to your practice’s own performance metrics are great ways to ensure you’re positioning yourself in the market to attract the most profitable cases.
When it comes to promoting and growing your business, it’s crucial you do the research and gather data to make calculated decisions. We live in a data age, and data-driven marketing provides us with information about our prospects’ reception of our messaging, the channels we should focus on to deliver that messaging (e.g., website, google, social media, OTT, direct mail, emails, advertisements, etc.), and how often we should use them. Unearthing data insights from your practice’s marketing efforts reveals what’s working to attract the patients that you want. It also enables you to adjust your investment away from strategies that aren’t performing, helping you to be much more agile and effective in growing your business. This is market positioning.
Think of it as walking through a maze that offers various avenues for movement, only you have an advantage that gets you to your destination without wandering in circles. Marketing offers so many channels for promoting your business that it can be a daunting challenge to determine the most effective route. This is where data steps in and steers you in a profitable direction, positioning you for success. If something’s not working? Your data will tell you. This is where repositioning yourself in the market commences. The key is to match your clinical skill and your marketing, anything less and you risk attracting the wrong kind of patients to your chair.
This data-driven strategy is being used by dental practice owners to double, triple, and even quadruple their revenue. One of my favorite case studies is that of Dr. Ben Watson, a practice owner we worked to reposition in the market to tap into an unrealized production potential of over $200k/month.
By pretty much every measure, Dr. Watson was already a “successful” dentist. He was running a single location doing about $369k/mo. in collections. But, while his numbers were great, his “success” didn’t leave him much time to actually enjoy the life he was working so hard for.
Like most who enter the profession, Dr. Watson started in dentistry determined to build a thriving practice. Having built his practice collections to around $369,000 monthly within four years, it’s safe to say he achieved his goals. But his achievement came at a price. For him, his success at the office was at the expense of his family at home. Sure, he was making money, but he was missing his kids growing up. One day, he decided his “success” wasn’t good enough.
That was when he decided to completely rethink his business approach and reposition his practice. He put a plan in place to keep his practice going while giving him the time he needed for his personal life. Not only did Dr. Watson achieve both goals, but he also actually saw his collections continue to increase to $584,000 a month.
If your schedule is packed, but not with the cases you want, or you’re looking to fill the holes in your schedule with more than just hygiene, it’s time to rethink your approach. Working harder is not the answer – better positioning is. Most dentists are positioned by default. They just want to do dentistry, so that’s what they do. They give up control over their positioning to whatever their patients think and say about them.
We can push patients to go to a practice like this with advertising, but it’s not so easy to attract them there. And attraction is what we want if we’re looking to bring the most profitable patients in our area.
For inspiration on how you can break from the constraints of doing things the “old way” and embracing a data-rich approach to financial wealth, check out Dr. Watson’s case study here: