- 2 Minute Read -

If you’re waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel of our current situation, don’t.

If you think the light is another oncoming train, you’re probably right.

All of us were blindsided by this pandemic. Sure we had some warning, but no one anticipated just how much the remediation measures would impact society and the economy.

Now, as virtually all states take steps to reopen to varying degrees, you need to plan for the next shutdown. All the experts agree that it’s only a question of when, not if, businesses will be closed again, although it may occur on a local, state, or regional basis rather than nationally.

This time, you have the opportunity to put your own measures in place to blunt the impact of having to decrease your hours and/or patient volume. Or, at worst, having to shut down again except for emergency procedures.

Money Talks, But It Also Walks

Almost all dentists were unprepared to have their otherwise healthy cash flows dry up to virtually nothing. Cash in the bank, not in the markets or locked down in Treasury bills, is the key to having a strong position right now.

The federal government may institute another round of financial assistance during a second wave of Covid-19, but it's already taken a deep and expensive approach to supporting people, businesses, and local and state governments during this first wave. It’s unclear how much appetite is left in Congress for printing more money to address another shutdown.

So, don’t count on another bailout. You’ve got to start stashing cash when you reopen. 

To do that, you’ve got to take a hard look at your team. Do you have underperformers who simply won’t respond to corrective action? You can’t afford deadweight or drama queens right now, so you may have to make the hard decision to let that person or people go and fill their slots with A-players.

It’s clear that dentists have a relatively limited window of opportunity to markedly increase their revenues and to stash cash. The best way to accomplish that is to create your own team-driven practice, and that’s what SmartBox’s Success Academy is designed to help you do. If you’re not a SmartBox client, you can check out the Success Academy workbooks on our Resources page. 

Money, But Not Money To Burn

If you’ve attended Colin’s Survive & Thrive webinars, you’re familiar with SmartBox’s Cash Burn Calculator, also available on the Resources page. With another shutdown looming, you need to know how  long your money will last. The Cash Burn Calculator should be a work in progress; constantly update your numbers and projections based on the most recent figures available. 

Moving forward, where can you economize without impacting the quality of care? The less you lay out now, the more cash on hand you’ll have. Can you fine-tune your marketing outlay to continue attracting new patients now while maintaining contact with patients and prospects during the next shutdown? If so, now is the time to take action, not after your business is abruptly shuttered. If you need help in determining that, schedule a Practice Growth Call with Ashley Best, SmartBox’s Director of Practice Growth. 

Consider working out payment pre-arrangements with your landlord, mortgage holder, and other creditors that will automatically go into effect if your market is shut down. Include those numbers in your cash burn projections.

Don’t Wait For The Light… Make Your Own

The best case scenario is that the second wave will be low and relatively brief. If so, you’ll take all these measures and have a load of cash on hand that you don’t need to tap. 

But if the second or even third waves are steep and take time to die down, you’ll be able to see the light that you made illuminating the end of the tunnel.


Written by Smartbox

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.