It’s a tad crazy out there. Costs are jumping for everything, and chances are you’re feeling the pinch with appointment cancellations or declines in case acceptance. Your patients are tightening their belts in anticipation of rough waters ahead. Should you tighten spending, too?
Navigating a choppy economy is a lot less nail-biting when you’re prepared. Here are three things you can do now to help protect your practice and your profits.
1. Hoarding Supplies = Money Sitting on Shelves
Personal protective equipment (PPE) became a household name during the pandemic as health professionals scrambled to stock up. Costs of these items jumped, as expected, and many of you countered the increase by raising fees.
Supply chains are improving slightly, but this doesn’t mean you need to start buying up years’ worth of PPE and other items. Get your savvy shopping skills in order. According to a recent article in Dental Economics, you should find the best deals that don’t exceed 5% of your total overhead. If you tend to stock up once a month or every few months, try ordering items every other week to avoid compulsive buys. You’ll have a better handle on what you need (and how often) and won’t look like a medical supply warehouse in the process.
2. It’s Still a Numbers’ Game
Keep a close eye on your practice’s data, because it will reveal the health of your business. A critical data set is one we call the 5 As: Answered calls, Appointments made, appointments Attended, cases Accepted, and the Average value per patient.
Improving any of these, ideally all of them in time, results in major organizational growth using strategic marketing and managing tactics. Incremental improvements will help you achieve hyper growth. This ultimately means more money and more time for you to enjoy it — even in a rocky economy.
3. How Well Do You Know Your Team?
Do you feel confident leaving for vacation or skipping the office a couple days a week? Is there room for your team to be more efficient and disciplined? You can encourage your team to take on more responsibility before, during, and after the patient experience in several ways. Have them encourage the patient to schedule an appointment for treatment before leaving the practice. They can also follow up on unscheduled patients, and they can actively work recall.
These efforts will keep a consistent flow of patients coming through your doors to help offset rising costs. Having a stake in the patient journey will build your team’s confidence and efficiency, too.
You can also include your team in practice process improvements or decisions, and cross-train them so things run smoothly when members are out for vacation or due to illness.
Offering continued education (CE) opportunities shows them you are invested in their professional careers. Retaining good employees saves you time, money, and the aggravation of finding the right fit in the midst of a staffing shortage.
Going it alone can be intimidating. We’ve helped doctors in similar situations break through economic barriers and become cost-savers and revenue-generating machines. With the right team behind you and the right management systems, you can keep costs down, patients happy, and profits up.
SmartBox employs the best minds in dentistry to help you grow your practice. Our Practice Growth System™ is proven to help dentists in every market area across the country achieve predictable year-over-year growth.