One of the beauties of owning a dental practice is that that ownership gives you as the owner the ability or the choice to decide whether you want to run a business that has a CONSISTENT REGULAR income or run a business that has an irregular and inconsistent income.
Let me make myself clear:
There are those two distinct types of businesses out there that exist [that I just described], and then between those two types of businesses are businesses that could best be described as a BLEND of the two. And that blend could be quite variable depending upon where exactly the needle on the gauge was located between the two “poles” we are using at each end….
Here’s an example:
Farming is an example of a business that provides irregular and inconsistent income.
Traditionally farmers are paid on the harvesting of their crop, which occurs annually, but throughout the preceding year the farmer works and incurs expenses that he is not compensated or reimbursed [financially] for until the harvest is sold.
And sometimes, due to circumstances outside of the control of a farmer, hail or fire or flood or drought, or some other natural disaster may impact significantly on whether or not the harvest has been profitable, or even goes ahead at all.
On the other hand:
Selling groceries, selling food, or selling newspapers, or selling running shoes [depending upon your climate] can be more regular and consistent. People have to eat. The news changes daily. Shoes wear out.
You get the picture….
Owning a dental practice does allow you as the owner to determine whether or not you want to receive an income that is regular or irregular.
Now, I do hear people ask me how this can be so, because a dentist can’t control where and when their patients have toothaches, or when their patients break teeth, or have infections.
But a dentist does have the power to address their availability of when and whether they do certain types of treatments.
In my practice:
In my practice I used to be frustrated by the days where I seemed to work my tail off and was poorly remunerated, and those other days where the workload wasn’t as demanding and the remuneration was much higher.
I’d often ask myself whether I had the ability to control the consistency of appointments and bookings from day to day, from week to week and from month to month?
And the answer was that I could…
Through careful analysis of past bookings at my practice I was able to ascertain that each month I would average a certain number of fillings, a certain number of extractions, and a certain number of crowns and a certain number of check-ups….
And I understood that it was within my power as the practice owner to distribute these appointments throughout the month in any way that I saw fit to schedule them, so long as I also paid attention to the necessity to be available a certain number of times per day or week to help new and also existing patients who were presenting with painful emergencies…
And once I understood this:
And once I understood that it was entirely up to me and that I could create consistency within my schedule from day to day, I then knew, and was at ease with the fact that on any given day that I was booked to treat patients I would be consistently rewarded with my average daily income.
A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
And why not?
Because bills and expenses come regularly.
Rent and loan repayments are monthly.
Staff salaries are paid weekly.
Why shouldn’t I do all that I could to create consistency of my own income to balance against these regular outgoings.
A surgeon’s life was not for me.
A specialist medical surgeon performs surgeries at a hospital on Mondays. Mondays are paydays.
On Tuesdays the specialist returns to the hospital and does his rounds. Tuesdays are poorly paid days.
On Wednesdays the surgeon consults in his rooms with new patients. These days are paid but not paid as well as Mondays.
Are you getting the picture here?
It’s kind of like a year of farming being compressed into a seven day time period…. up and down and up and down…. ok for some, but not ok for me.
The other good thing with a dental schedule is this:
A dental practice can look to the past and predetermine the future hygiene appointment bookings.
A dental practice can calculate with ease, how many new patient hygiene visits it can perform on a weekly basis, along with how many regular patients it will be seeing for regular hygiene visits, along with how many quarterly periodontal appointments it needs to be booking.
The past can be used to predict the future.
The past can be used to predict the future.
By looking at what we have done, we have the ability to forecast what we will be doing.
And we also have the ability to control or vary the outcomes of the future by working with our experiences of the past.
If we do not look back at the past we can only guess the future and hope for the future.
And hoping and guessing are not good strategies.
And doing nothing is also not a good strategy.
Doing nothing is like being in your car and being broken down on a motorway.
Firstly, you’re stationary. And you’re going to be passed.
But also, being stationary is not the answer…. Eventually someone’s going to run up the back of you and cause you some serious damage because you were in the way, when you should have been moving along…
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