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March 13th, 2023

Episode 149: The Inside Scoop! Behind the Scenes at PDA with Dr. Bruce B. Baird

“We didn’t set out to do it, it was our members who said we want you to do this.” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird

Have you ever wondered what makes PDA tick? Why we do what we do? How it all works? And most importantly, what it means for you and your dental practice?

If you are a regular listener of this podcast, you know I love working with dentists. I love getting in their heads and helping them get past their obstacles. 

And I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about what PDA – Productive Dentist Academy –  is and what it is we do in the dental practice. This has been such a popular question that I am going to take today to take you behind the scenes into some of the core structures and values here at PDA.  

So I invite you to join me as I pull back the velvet curtain and give you an insider’s look at PDA’s philosophies and what they mean for you and your dental practice, including:

  • Why member-built-and-driven matters
  • What PDA does in the dental office (let’s talk details)
  • Creating generational wealth

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Regan 0:00
Hi, Dr. Regan, Robertson, CCO Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else. That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive, your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help visit that’s to secure your seats now.

Dr. Bruce Baird 0:47
And it’s been absolutely fantastic. We, you know and its total marketing. It’s from doing scripts for radio to videos for TV, videos for your website, we build the websites, we do social media, podcasting, you know, we do all of it, and what we found is, that’s awesome, you know, because now we’re helping the docs be in more control of what it is they’re doing.

Dr. Bruce Baird 1:20
Hello, everyone, this is Dr. Bruce B. Baird and you’re listening to The Productive Dentist podcast in this podcast, I will give you everything that I’ve learned over the last 40 years and dentistry working with 1000s of dentists. I’ll tell you it’s not that my way is the only way it’s just one that has worked extremely well for me and I’d love to share that with you. So you too can enjoy the choices and lifestyle the productivity allows, more time for things you love, increased pay, better team relationships, and lowered stress. Let’s get into it with this week’s episode of The Productive Dentist podcast.

Dr. Bruce Baird 2:00
Hi, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with The Productive Dentist podcast and today I’m going to talk a little bit I’m going to be a little bit self-serving today. For the next two podcasts, I’m going to talk about Productive Dentist Academy and our philosophy, because I have tons of questions coming in about what, about this? What about that? What do you guys do? How do you help us grow our practice? And so initially, I’m going to talk about what Productive Dentist Academy does, and and then in the next podcast, I’m going to talk about the newly formed Lampa Dental Group and what is that? Why? Why should it interest me? And those types of things. So right now Productive Dentist Academy and we talk about it, we’ve been around 19 years, my partner Victoria Peterson, and I have been, you know, we’ve evolved. PDA started 19 years ago with myself and eight doctors in a room over in Dallas, and I was talking and the reason I wanted to do it with doctors was because I believe, right or wrong, the buck stops here, you know, and most problems in the dental practice aren’t your team, it’s not your advisors, it’s us. It’s what’s going on between our ears, we have, you know, we’ve never been taught business, we’ve never, you know, you start to grow a great business and all of a sudden it becomes a million-dollar operation and we’ve never owned a business like that. So we have to learn those things. So PDA began with just eight docs and these are all friends and they knew I was very productive and they wanted to know how I did that, and so I actually charged my buddies a fee and I told them, “Hey, guys, here’s the deal. It’s going to cost three grand for three days, and I will write you a check back if it’s lousy course, I will write a check.” And they all laugh, and they paid and we did it and they said, “Great course. Unbelievable. I learned so much.” And I was very thankful. Over 19 years, I’ve learned as much from the dentists who come to PDA, as I think I teach and I think that’s a plus. We say that PDA is member built and driven. So when 16 years ago, the dentists that were coming to the, to our programs, were saying, “I want to bring my team to this program,” and I was really I was a little hesitant. Victoria came on board and said, you know, I told her if you can build a team program, then we’re, will be great. You know, let’s do it. Because I understand you want your team to be on the same page as you and maybe we can help that. So we built a team program and Dennis started coming they would bring Gosh, we’ve had people bring as many as 15 of their team and their entire team and usually people will ask, well, how many should I bring to PDA? I said, just the ones you want to keep. You know, so if and you might think, oh, gosh, to spend 15, 20,000, plus airfare and everything to go to a seminar, that just doesn’t make much sense, but what if I increased your production per hour by $100 an hour in the first two months or first month? Well, $100, an hour over a year, you’re looking at about $180,000 worth a return. So spending 30 to get 180, that’s a six-to-one return, but that’s not where it stops because over that year, year and a half, two years, you’re going to be over $300 an hour increase, which is a $500,000 a year added revenue to your practice. So that’s where PDA was, and then people started saying, “Well, can you come in our office and work with our team, individually, with coaches.” We had no coaches, and this is, again, 14 years ago, and we said, you know, Victoria and I talk and I don’t want to do that. I’m not traveling. She goes, I’m not traveling. We’re both pretty well retired, as far as in an unnamed practice, I was still practicing, but, I was retired in practice. I was still making great money, and I wasn’t sure but we decided, you know, what we’re member built-in German, and we established a coaching organization. When I say we, Victoria established. She’d already been involved in coaching, and she put together one of the most amazing coaching groups that I think that have ever been put together. Part of my philosophy of coaching, and I’ve had nine different coaches over the years, but, my philosophy of coaching is, I don’t want to have somebody that, for instance, was a hygienist come in and evaluate my whole office. I don’t want somebody who was a front desk, come in, and evaluate my whole office. Instead, what I wanted was a coaching team that had multiple people as a part of it, had a front, when I like it to a football team, they have a quarterback coach, they have a backfield coach, they have, you know, tight ends, they have defensive line, they have coaches for everything, and I wanted specific people who have expertise in those areas to become our coaches, and when you hire us, as your coach, we bring in everybody. Now, what I will say is we have a head coach, they come in and look at your business and say, “Okay, you really need this, this and this,” and we’ve got the people available to come in and help with that. We’re increasing your business by 300, 300 to $500,000. I look at that by productivity per hour, we’re gonna grow your productivity per hour, and so by saying, “We’re gonna grow you 300, that’s a half a million, we grow your 600, that’s a million.” We’ve had offices that come in at 800 000, and four years later, there are three and a half million, 4 million. We bring coaching in, they do that, and so it’s been a very successful endeavor for Productive Dentist Academy, but we didn’t want to do it. It was our members that said, “We want you to come in now.” It’s like, “Great, let’s do it.” And when I say let’s do it, Victoria did it. I’d still be lecturing dentists in a room, because I just love, I love working with dentists. I like getting in their heads. So then we go a little farther down the road and this is probably eight years ago, and I can’t remember exactly but, people, we were sending people because we believe in a budget. At PDA, what I will tell you is we’ll work with you so that you know exactly what you’re going to make. In the month of February or the month of March, you’re going to know exactly what you’re going to make the day you start the month, the day you start the month because we believe in setting goals that are attainable, we believe in and Budget to Actual, meaning every single line item of expenditures in your business, we want to make sure we have a cap for and, and so we would send people and we believe in a marketing budget of 8%. Most of the dentists come to PDA and that’s if you go back and listen to previous podcast, marketing Net Zero. Net Zero Marketing is the philosophy of an 8% marketing budget. We increase your productivity, your collections, and it drives down your fixed expenses. So the problem is we would send to a marketing company and we’d send to another market and they would overspend. They sell them hard, sell them $100,000 marketing package for the next year. Well that’s in no way within their budget, and they weren’t really consulting us along those lines and so people started coming to us and saying Why don’t you guys do a marketing, why don’t you guys do marketing program? And you know, Oh, Victoria has a degree in marketing. So we started a marketing program of which now we have, I think total with coaching and everything else, we’re closing in on 50 employees, and it’s been absolutely fantastic. We, you know, and it’s total marketing, it’s from doing scripts for radio to videos for TV, videos for your website, we build the websites, we do social media, podcasting, you know, we, you know, we do all of it, and what we found is, that’s awesome, you know, because now we’re helping the docs be in more control of what it is they’re doing and what’s happened since then. So now we’re in the eight years later, and after I sold to Heartland, and I sold the heartland, it was pretty controversial in the PDA community. They said, “Why on earth did you sell as well?” You know, I was I was closing in on 60. I had a practice doing 5 million a year.

Dr. Bruce Baird 11:03
Jeff brewski, and our partners and why would I sell? Well, I had a bunch of buddies that were selling. I didn’t even know what EBITA was, but I knew that they waveD $5 million in front of me And I thought, “Wow, that’s a lot of money.” And you know, that’s what’s happening today, and I have I have insight into that, you know, you wave a lot of money, you don’t look at the details, and I didn’t. If I just sold my practice today, instead of getting 5 million, I’d be getting 20 million, and you go, that’s a big mistake. Yeah, it is and I can pretty well be honest with you about that. I did make great money with Heartland stock, their stock continues to grow. They’re great DSO. You won’t hear me say anything bad. They didn’t try to change anything that I do in my practice, but then again, our practice was, I don’t know, it’s a unicorn, you know, we built it to be a unicorn, we built it to be what I would call a model practice. However, was it ever modeled practice when I was there? No, It was kinda like my book that I wrote called Legendary Leadership. Am I a legendary leader? No, but I’m working on it, and model practice? Yeah, I’m working on it. I want to be a model practice, you know, I want to do things, right. I want every system in the office, I wanted to reinvent every system to be better and that’s where compassionate finance came from for financing that we started. Interestingly enough, months after I sold to Heartland, why because I had cash and I could open up another business and start doing that, and then again, 18 months ago, we sold private equity, AKKR, one of the largest private equity groups in the country. So am I disappointed? Would I do it again? I had this question last week, when I was in San Antonio on a panel, they go, would you do it again? And I said, “On one hand, no, on the other hand, yes.” You know, I don’t, I’m one who doesn’t look back. You know, I’ve made bad decisions, good grief, business decisions. Bad. Yep, I’ve done it, but what did I learn? You know, I’ve got buddies that make a bad decision, and they’re pissed off at everybody else, but themselves? Well, when I make a bad decision, it’s usually because I made a bad decision. You know, I didn’t do my due diligence. I didn’t do my homework, you know, for whatever reason, and, you know, I hope this resonates with you guys, because we, none of us know everything. We just don’t, you know, I don’t know anything about private equity. I didn’t. I didn’t know anything about consolidation theory. I didn’t know anything about DSOs. I didn’t know anything about all that. Today, you know, I still got a lot to learn, but I know quite a bit about it. I know how private equity makes their money. I know how the dentists make their money. I know that there’s an opportunity right now, that’s going to be ongoing for the next seven to nine years that a dentist can create generational wealth, while still practicing dentistry as long as they want to, without being micromanaged from a private equity firm who doesn’t know shapeshift and cottonseed about dentistry, and you’ll see the DSOs that are formed, and some of these DSOs are trying to control what the dentist does, you know, steer clear, you know, find other people there and there’s some great DSOs out there, Dental Service Organization, that’s what a DSO is. So the next podcast I’m going to talk about Lampa Dental Group because it is part of what we’ve evolved to member built and driven. I’m going to talk about IGP, Investment Grade Practice, and I’m going to talk about Lampa Dental Group on the next one. So hope this has been interesting. You know, please send me questions at bruce@productive, And I would love to answer more questions from you. So thanks so much, and I look forward to our next thank you for joining me for this episode of The Productive Dentist podcast. If you found this episode helpful, make sure you subscribe, pass it along to a friend. Give us a like on iTunes and Spotify. Or drop me an email at podcast@productive Don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy of productive dentists Join me again next week for another episode of The Productive Dentist podcast.

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