The Golden Rule

Growing up my mom always taught me to treat others the same way I wanted to be treated.  I was a little kid, so she usually said this after I was trying to steal one of my younger brother’s toys or some of his candy.  The older I grew, the more I realized this simple rule should be followed regardless of age.

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Too often advice in the dental world is centered on “easy” ways to improve profitability for the doctor.  This guidance is sometimes given as cut and dry solutions to trim the compensation and benefits you give to your staff, so that more of the pie is left for the business owner.  While this route will no doubt leave more profit for the doctor temporarily, it is very short sighted.  A better approach to increasing profitability starts by identifying what your business is selling, a service.  Since you are not selling equipment, computers, widgets, or anything like that to your patients, the actual product your customers are purchasing is you and your staff.  This then means the quality of your product can only be as good as the people you employ.  Rather than looking for ways to cut the cost of your staff, dedicate resources to making sure your all-star employees can’t afford to leave.  Unfortunately dental offices turn their staff over about once every 2 years.  Each time this happens it has a negative impact on the practice’s profitability.  One good employee leaving your practice can reduce the number of new patient’s scheduling for treatment, the insurance claims being processed timely, and the overall satisfaction of your existing patients.

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This is not to say there isn’t such a thing as an overcompensated employee.  However, asking yourself   “how would I want to be treated”, can provide a blueprint towards continued increases in profitability over the long term.  Identifying and fairly compensating your all-star employees is what is going to allow you to grow into a practice other dentists envy.

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