If you own your own dental practice, you’ll know how hard it can be to juggle all your responsibilities. Running a business smoothly while staying focused on your own goals is no simple task, which is why managing a business isn’t for everyone. When you do learn to manage your business, how do you find the time to nurture it while looking after patients and perfecting your skills?
While hiring an in-house team to manage your business may help, it may not be the best option for your specific needs. As such, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the support and guidance you need — and this is where a practice management consultant can play a key role.
What is a Dental Practice Management Consultant?
Dental consultants help dentists through many facets of their practice by offering advice, expertise, and even training. Their assistance extends to many areas, such as:
- Human resources
- Office management
- Staff training
- Patient interaction
- Finances and billing
- Marketing and advertising
- Equipment purchases
Dental practice management consultants may be hired for individual training and workshops, as an ongoing retainer, or even on an as-needed basis. Your consultant of choice may be a group of professionals or just an individual. Moreover, a dental consultant may specialize in one specific area, such as staff training or online marketing, or they may take an approach that can cover all your needs.
What Does a Dental Consultant Do?
Hiring a dental practice management consultant is especially useful if you wish to do any of the following:
- If you plan on establishing your practice
- If you plan on growing and expanding your practice
- Are making the transition to a new management tool or software
- Are looking to elevate the success and operations of your practice in general
Additionally, a dental consultant can assist you in a wide range of dental practice management aspects, such as:
- Creating a business plan
- Developing both your short-term and long-term goals
- Establishing your brand
- Designing and implementing strategies for marketing and advertising
- Improving patient experience through better scheduling
- Creating definitions for employee roles and systems
- Building a culture within your office that leads to your practice’s success
- Making improvements to internal communication
- Streamlining both your record-keeping and charting system
- Ensuring that the business complies with regulations, both local and federal
- Developing financing programs and promotions
- Training front-office staff to grow your revenue
- Reducing or eliminating appointment cancellations and no-shows
Most importantly, a dental practice management consultant will provide you with objectivity. This means that they will help you make the big decisions regarding your practice, even if it’s not always easy. Having an experienced pair of eyes observing from the outside can provide you with a balanced look regarding your practice and let you know where you need to improve.
Do You Need a Dental Practice Management Consultant?
For some, hiring a consultant can breathe new life into your dental practice. However, it’s not always the best solution, and you’ll need to ask yourself if it’s the right approach for you with these questions:
- Are there specific things you wish to learn about how your practice is being run?
- Are you confident about running the business side of your practice?
- Do you ever feel like your practice can be more efficient?
- Are you clear with how you can accomplish the goals you have for your practice?
- Do you wish you had more patients coming in through your door?
- Are you planning for a change, growth, or transition in your practice?
- Are you experiencing a growth in revenue within your practice or is it failing?
Many dentists will be able to relate to at least one of the thoughts above, but the real question is: are you prepared with the right skills, tools, and the time to tackle each of the concerns above?
If you’re not sure about handling things yourself, then consider working with a dental practice management consultant. You can also choose to hire a dental management professional for your staff, or you can also come up with a solution using their help to address your specific needs.
For example, perhaps you already know what you need to make your practice successful — in this instance, it is a new patient scheduling or charting system. You may find yourself feeling comfortable just working with a charting or scheduling company to directly train your team and implement changes. But, if your practice needs a whole restructure or you aren’t sure what needs to change, then a dental consultant can guide you through the right process and may even be a long-term partner.
Choosing the Right Dental Consultant for Your Practice
As a business owner and a practitioner, you should know that your practice deserves more than just a consultant to come in and simply tell you what to do, in the end taking off without giving you real insight. This isn’t how a consultant should work, and, as such, you need to choose the right consultant to help you lead your practice.
A great consultant won’t just dictate what you need to do but will act as a partner to your team. An excellent consultant will listen and will truly try to understand you, your values, your approach, and where you wish to lead your practice. It’s only through a real connection that a consultant will be able to inspire great changes, as well as success for you and your practice.
With this in mind, we suggest looking into the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC). The ADMC is a professional organization dedicated to helping dentists achieve extraordinarily high standards of practice, as well as maintain them. This organization also offers great resources and can get you in touch with some of the best professional advisors in dentistry.
If you’ve decided to go ahead and proceed with dental consulting from a dental practice management consultant, consider the specific areas that your practice needs assistance with, such as:
- Marketing solutions for getting new patients
- Keep patients coming to you
- New systems to address inefficiencies
- Goal setting for your business
- Leadership, communication, team building, and others
- Human resources
- Addressing concerns or issues with compliance
- Treatment presentation
When you get a better idea of the areas where your practice needs improvement, you can start to pinpoint your options. Look up the ADMC member database and talk to other practitioners about the consultants that have helped them before, and inquire about specific details. The questions that you need to ask will depend on the kind of service and advice that you’re after. Here are a few questions you can consider asking:
- What should I expect out of this relationship?
- How will this relationship work?
- Who will I be working with?
- What will be the outcome of this partnership?
- How will you define the success of my practice?
- What is the billing structure and pricing model?
Grow Your Practicing with an Online Marketing Strategy
Leanne Meier works with dental practice owners across the country who wish to grow their businesses. Our dental marketing strategies don’t just deliver results, but also strengthen your practice long after we have provided our services. We will also:
- Help more patients get in touch with your practice
- Help you rank higher in Google searches
- Help you see more patients and grow your practice
Our team at 2740 Consulting knows what works and we will start by developing a partnership that’s built on mutual trust. By combining our proven methods with the best practices in dental patient marketing, we work side-by-side with your team to create and carry out a strategy specifically formulated to meet your goals.
Call Leanne at (602-361-3256) or reach out to us today to see how we can help you improve your practice through our dental marketing services.