As the United States emerges from “survival mode,” it’s all too easy to keep your nose to the grindstone of seeing as many patients as you can to get some revenue on the books.
It’s also too easy to lose sight of the longer view; staying nose-to-grindstone gives you a worm’s-eye view of the grindstone, but not much else.
No one is going to claim that the future – near, medium, or long-term – is clear at the moment. But there are some reasonable assumptions you can make, and you should.
COVID-19 is going to be around for a long time.
This is our world now – a novel and potentially lethal virus, against which no one had immunity, is loose. It’s going to take quite a while to put that evil genie back in the bottle, if that’s even possible. There may be one or more effective vaccines by year’s end; more likely, it’ll be another 10 months or longer.
However, coronaviruses like COVID-19 have a nasty tendency to mutate, and any significant mutation will probably render those vaccines ineffective. It’s not a question of whether the virus mutates – it already is – it’s how quickly and how much.
Unless there’s a “blanket immunity” against lawsuits over coronavirus infections that can be traced to your practice, all of the precautions you need to use now will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. And even if some sort of lawsuit immunity is passed, no dentist wants to be responsible for endangering their patients, or even worse, being the proximate cause of their deaths.
There’s another spike coming, and maybe another shutdown.
More people out in public, who aren’t masked and/or following social distance guidelines, means more infections. Barring some unknown effect of the summer months on the virus’s spread, it’s all but inevitable that we’re going to see the numbers rise, perhaps sharply.
It’s safe to plan on the attempts at contact tracing and isolation being less than effective. The efforts to assemble and train the army of personnel needed for those efforts are painfully slow and don't show signs of improving.
Your long-term planning has to address the likelihood that your business will be closed again at least once more.
A solid long-term plan allows for adjustments.
“Known unknowns” – things that you know you don’t know – can be planned for. That’s why we have earthquake evacuation plans, fire drills, mass casualty scenarios, and the like.
You don’t know exactly how events will play out, or the timeline for those events. But if you can imagine it, you can plan for it. And like most disaster scenarios, pre-positioning the resources you’ll need to cope with a disaster is vital.
During the initial business closures, the ADA reported that dentists were averaging just 5% of their normal revenue. However, SmartBox’s clientsnever dropped below 35% revenue on average during the same period.
If your practice is prepared to weather future shutdowns, and to steal market share by reopening strong, you’ll be in very good shape compared to your competitors. But that requires solid, long-term planning and taking steps now to pre-position the strategies and resources you’ll need.
The best way to take action now is to schedule a Practice Growth Callwith Ashley Best, SmartBox’s Director of Practice Growth.
The Practice Growth Call is actually a complimentary multistep consulting package we are gifting (we typically charge $5,500 for our Practice Growth Roadmaps) to qualified dentists who are serious about “leveling up” in every area of their practice.
Please understand, this is not a sales call, this is a consulting call. This is a call that is focused on showing you a clear path toward big results in your practice. We’re aiming at a level of result that is out of reach for most dentists in the country.
We’ll show you what’s possible for your practice with the right long-term planning and pre-positioned resources, even in the face of the unknown.
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.