Episode 191 – Strategic Plans for the New Year

“From a financial standpoint in the practice, there’s a place for everything, meaning every single item we write a check for, is it on the budget, or not?” ~Dr. Bruce B. Baird

In this episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast, your host Dr. Bruce B. Baird builds off of the momentum of the previous podcast (on leverage) and discusses the critical aspects of preparing for the coming year. Join Dr. Baird as he shares insights gathered from 42 years in the operatory, and the meticulous planning he and his partner undertake each year

You will discover the strategic approach to setting goals, crafting schedules, and predicting the trajectory of your dental practice. Dr. Baird also reflects on the significance of comparing year-over-year data, sharing anecdotes of how this practice has led to remarkable achievements, often exceeding goals by 20 percent. 

Whether you are a seasoned practitioner or you’re just beginning your journey in the dental profession, this episode offers actionable wisdom to guide you through the intricacies of planning for a prosperous year. 

As you listen to this episode, please think about the following:

  • How do you implement strategic planning in your own practice?
  • What role does technology play in your practice, and how does it impact your patient care and the bottom line?
  • Success is not confined to the professional realm – so how else can you holistically plan in your life?


Regan 0:00
Hi, Doctor. Regan Robertson, CCO of 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 productivedentist.com/workshop that’s productivedentist.com/workshop to secure your seats now.

Dr. Bruce Baird 0:46
And at the end of the year, when we look at that previous year, we’re looking at all those forecasting. We did all the forecasts that we did and we’ve looked at it and Jeff, I remember him telling me that I’m blown away, we’re within like 1% or 2% of every goal we set, or we bought them out of the water we’re 20% over and we wouldn’t know that if we hadn’t prepared for that. 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 in 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 1:55
Hi, everybody, this is Dr. Bruce Baird with the Productive Dentist Podcast and today, I’d like to talk a bit about being prepared and, you know, not just going again, last, last podcast we did we talked about leveraging and now I really want to talk about the things that we do to prepare for the new year, the things that we look at to prepare for the new year and it’s critical. If, if you don’t prepare for where you’re going to end up at the end of the year and Jeff and I, every year in December, would go through and look at looking at a bunch of different statistics of the office and predict and set up our schedule and for the new year. These are the days that I’m going to be off, these are the days that I’m working. This is my goal for production per hour. Sometimes that would change over, you know, a certain period of time, if we’re in that growth phase where we were doing 550 or 600 an hour and we wanted to grow to six 650 or 700. You know, we began putting those things on our schedule, so that we know exactly what we have set as our goals and our team would know what those goals are so and at the end of the year, when we look at that previous year, we’re looking at all those forecasting. We did all the forecasts that we did and we’ve looked at it and Jeff, I remember telling me man, I’m blown away, we’re within like 1% or 2% of every goal we set, or we bought them out of the water we’re 20% over and we wouldn’t know that if we hadn’t prepared for that. What are some of the things we do? Well, I pulled the report from the computer that is Production by Procedure Report and I go through and I look at production by procedure. And I pull the previous year’s production by procedure. And I compare I go this is you know we’ve done X number of crowns. We’ve done X number period of a surgery, we’ve done this many fillings, this many whatever, but I’m comparing year over year are we growing? Or is there something it’s very much just like our p&l our Budget to Actual if something’s out of whack, then I want to address it and fix it. The one thing I remember and you know one year we did I don’t know when year we did like 700, 800 indirect pop camps, you know, indirect polecats and the next year we did like 100 Why? Why was that? Why did all of a sudden teeth just not have deep winds anymore. Did you know what what happened? And you know, you have to look, look internally to find out what happened but what happened was? Well, I just wasn’t diagnosing it and with I’m not diagnosing it, I’m not charging a patient for it. Is it fair to charge the exact same fee to someone who has a super deep cavity? super deep decay? As somebody who doesn’t have super deep decay? No, I mean, I think it’s harder, you have to do some extra steps, and it’s something that you should charge for. I would say the same thing, we’re looking at Crown Lengthening, you know, when you have a laser that is hard tissue laser that you can go in and do Crown Lengthening on deep restorations, then, you know, why is it fair to charge somebody $1,000 for a crown, that is sub crestal bone and deep decay the same as somebody who is you’re prepping a tooth, that super gingival, and it takes much less time? Well, it’s different. So I hope you understand what I’m saying but what I’m doing is I’m comparing last year to this year, and it keeps me in focus of what we’re doing, you go through times in your practice, where, you know, all of a sudden, I’m doing implants almost every week, and then a couple months later, I’m doing smiles and then you know, so that that kind of ebb and flow just happens in a dental practice. I don’t know why just something that that occur. So, but keeping track of those things, the production by procedure reports, going back and looking at your budget to actual meaning, you know, you can do that on QuickBooks, I would highly suggest you do it on some type software, that you’re taking care of all the bills, and you’re taking care of everything but every, like Pete Dawson used to say Pete would say, you know, “There’s a place for everything and everything in its place,” and I used to love that because, you know, we would go in and he opened up the drawers and his ops, and everything was perfectly organized. Why? Because that’s was his expectation he had, there’s a place for everything and everything was placed. I say the same thing. From a financial standpoint, in the practice, there’s a place for everything, meaning every single item that we read a check for, or we did make a deposit for, I want to know, is that on budget, or is that not on budget? Here? A lot of people said, Well, I have a miscellaneous category, well, how much is it? Well, three to 4% of my, my total revenue. No, I want to know exactly, you know, so I have subcategories across the board, a lot of different subcategories that say, you know, “What are we spending on trash in the office? What are we spending it on, you know, electricity, or electric bill and all those things?” And I forecast that, you know, at the beginning of the year, I’m forecasting that for the entire year. Why? Because I’m planning to end up somewhere at the end of the year that I want to be, if that makes sense. I want to be x production per hour, I want to work this many days, I want to change where I’m now taking an additional half day off on Wednesdays, you know, whatever it is planned for it and you’re going to find that you end up right where you planned and that’s something that you know, when I did the when I did the series of articles for dental economics, that was the dental rollercoaster, let’s get off the dental roller coaster. You’ve heard my podcast about that before but planning at the beginning of the year, that’s when it all really happens. That’s when you’re going to find out by planning. Everybody gets on the same page. Now yes, there’s going to be a seminar you want to go to that pops up and you just say I want to go and that’s okay. As long as you make up for it and what I say make up for it. If if you’re losing productivity in the practice, because you decide to just take off, and you’re losing that productivity, all of your budget to actual numbers in your accounting are going to be messed up because you’re counting on X amount of revenue. You’re counting on setting goals so that you attain that amount of revenue. You’re planning on collecting 97 to 99% or 100%. We collect over 100% often, but without planning that, then how do you know what to spend every month and we’ve talked about that before, but now’s the time to be looking at that for the new year. No question about it. So look at your schedule, get the whole year out there. We can do that so easily now. Run your reports. Look at you know, look at what you did last year, what you’re doing this year, look at your fee schedule, you know, evaluate your fee schedule, is it time to go increase your fees? One of the things I always tell patients when they, you know, they say, Well, you know, I don’t know, I’m going to wait and get this done. Later I said, “Well, you know, that’s no problem. I mean, I certainly understand.” I said, “But I’ve been doing this for 42 years, and the price has never gone down, it goes up every year,” and with inflation, you’re starting to see things go up cost of your materials, the cost of all that stuff, the supply chain issues, you know, so raising your fees, planning ahead, say I’m going to raise my fees 3%, that’s going to allow for 3% additional growth but what other things am I going to do? Am I going to put in maybe some new technology, very possibly want to I want to get that going for the new year and you know, that’s when you buy stuff at the end of the year. So you get your, you know, 179 deduction, but what are you going to do with that, you know, when I bought the perio, laser laser, I had already lined up like 10 surgeries before I ever got the laser. So I go in and all of a sudden, guess what happened to my productivity went up. Why? Because I had some new technology and new ways of addressing perio and periodontal health. We’ve got some doctors that are using robotics with their for their implants. Just make sure that whatever it is that you’re buying, there’s one of two things that’s going to happen. One is it helps you with marketing, so you get more new people in.

Dr. Bruce Baird 11:38
The other thing it does is it may allow you to do some of the dentistry that you haven’t been doing that you’re referring out and so when I think about the year ahead, I’m trying to put all of those pieces together to have a successful year for this year. Now, that that goes across the board, you know, New Year’s resolutions. I am, I’m in the process right now of starting on Manjaro and this is way off topic but I’ve just started it this past week and I’m doing it not so that I lose weight. I mean, although I wouldn’t mind dropping 15 pounds or 20 pounds, I’m doing it because the new studies showing that fatty liver, you know, you can get an 85% reduction in fatty liver by doing this in a matter of three months, right. I’m very interested in that I lost a friend, liver cancer. So if I can reduce, and it also helps my cardiac markers, which have been really good. So anyway, I’m planning the New Year. I’m planning healthwise, my workout regimen. I’m planning the new year. My practice, my travel schedule, where do I want to go that I haven’t been one of the things on my bucket list. I know. Next year, and I’m gonna assume we’re listening to this and 24 but next year is I turned 70 you know, which I love people like gosh, 70 that’s really old. Well, it’s not really old when you’re 70. You don’t understand what I mean by that, but you don’t feel any older. You know, getting old and for sissies when I when I lectured, you know, years ago that that was one of the lectures and it’s just one of the things that though you go through so plan your trips, plan where you’re gonna go and so next year, for my 17th We’re gonna go to Scotland with a bunch of friends, and we’re going to have a ball we’re going to, you know, they’ll probably be three foursomes, 12, 12, golfers and spouses that may play a few days. But we’re going to we’re going to do the whole thing. Why? Because I’ve wanted to go back to Scotland since I left the last time I played, which has been 12 years ago and that’s something I want to do. So these things planning the year, plan your year, this is the time to do it. Don’t just go through the motions and all of a sudden realize that it’s 2028 and you didn’t do the things you wanted to do or it’s 2031 Don’t do that. So anyway, I hope you guys enjoy this podcast. I am I am just sharing stuff that comes to my mind that I think can help folks. And if it does, please send us a message. Let us you know send send me an email bruce@productivedentist.com. Let me know if it if it means something to you. Let me know if you have questions about what I’m talking about. Please, I get questions and we’ll we’ll do a podcast about once every two or three months, just on the questions that you guys have. Or maybe this is just common sense. You know, I don’t know but I’m here. Have a great New Year planned for it properly and I’ll listen to you guys and kind of find out where you want this to go. This entire podcast so thanks again for listening and hey, vote for us and DentalWu. As the number one podcast last year, we were number three in dentistry and you know, hey, if you like it, give us a vote. I’d appreciate it. So, thanks. Talk to you soon. 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@productivedentist.com Don’t forget to check out other podcasts from the Productive Dentist Academy of productivedentistpodcast.com Join me again next week for another episode of the Productive Dentist Podcast


Have a great experience with PDA recently?

Leave a Review

Need help?
Accessibility Options
Accessibility On Our Website

We are committed to continuously improving access to our goods and services by individuals with disabilities. If you are unable to use any aspect of this website because of a disability, please call (800) 757-6077 and we will provide you with prompt personalized assistance.

If you have trouble seeing web pages, the US Social Security Administration offers these tips for optimizing your computer and browser to improve your online experience.

If you are looking for mouse and keyboard alternatives, speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking may help you navigate web pages and online services. This software allows the user to move focus around a web page or application screen through voice controls.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing, there are several accessibility features available to you.

Closed Captioning
Closed captioning provides a transcript for the audio track of a video presentation that is synchronized with the video and audio tracks. Captions are generally visually displayed over the video, which benefits people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and anyone who cannot hear the audio due to noisy environments. Most of our website’s video content includes automated captions. Learn how to turn captioning on and off in YouTube.

Volume Controls
Your computer, tablet, or mobile device has volume control features. Each video and audio service has its own additional volume controls. Try adjusting both your device’s volume controls and your media players’ volume controls to optimize your listening experience.

Read More About Accessibility and Why It Matters

Need help?

Oops! We could not locate your form.

Do not include sensitive personal, financial, or other confidential information (Social Security, account number, login, passwords, etc.). This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Helpful Resources

Below are links you may find helpful when scheduling an appointment with us.


Episode 213 – Requested Replay: The Waiting is the Hardest Part

“You’re not doing your patients any favors because their...

Episode 213 – Requested Replay: The Waiting is the Hardest Part (featured image)

Episode 239 – From Good to Great

“I’ve found ways to become free.” ~Dr. Chad Johnson Discover...

Episode 239 – From Good to Great (featured image)

Episode 116 – Requested Replay: Creating Patient Connections

In this episode of the Investment Grade Practices podcast, we invite...

Episode 116 – Requested Replay: Creating Patient Connections (featured image)
In the Press

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years.

from Dental Entrepreneur – Winter 2023 By Dr. Maggie Augustyn...

I’ve Arrived: From $100 in the Bank to Generational Wealth in Less Than 3 Years. (featured image)
From Our Blog

Free Case Study PDF: Results That Speak For Themselves

Dentistry is tough–you deserve support. But hiring a consultant can...

Free Case Study PDF: Results That Speak For Themselves (featured image)
Follow Us On Social Media


Stay informed on updates and upcoming events from our office.


Connect and learn more about Productive Dentist Academy.


Subscribe to our YouTube channel.


View fun photos and follow our team on Instagram.

Your Privacy
Privacy Policy

This privacy notice discloses our privacy practices and the use of Google Analytics 4(GA4), an analytic advertising feature. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website and the GA4 platform. It will notify you of the following:

  1. What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the website and GA4 platform, how it is used, and with whom it may be shared.
  2. The choices available to you regarding the use of your data.
  3. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information.
  4. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information.

Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about specials, new products or services, or changes to this privacy policy.

While Productive Dentist Academy is the primary data controller, Google, in the context of providing Google Analytics service, acts as a data processor. We use Google Analytics 4, a widely recognized web analytics service provided by Google, Inc., to track user interactions and gather data for advertising purposes. As a third-party vendor, Google Analytics operates independently and maintains its own privacy policy, which can be found at https://policies.google.com/privacy. We carefully select our third-party vendors for their commitment to user privacy and adherence to data protection standards. As part of our ongoing commitment to your privacy, we implement measures to ensure that services like GA4 comply with our high standards of data protection.

GA4 collects certain personally identifiable information from you as you interact with our website. This information includes but is not limited to your device ID, IP address, and geographic location. The information collected through GA4 is used to analyze user behavior, optimize our website’s performance, and tailor our content to better serve your needs. This data is compiled and anonymized, ensuring that it cannot be linked back to individual users.

Please note that GA4 may share the information collected with Google and other third-party service providers to enable data processing and reporting on website usage. However, we will not sell, rent, or share your information, especially your personally identifiable information, with any third party outside of our organization.

Your Access to and Control Over Information

You have certain rights regarding the data collected by GA4. You have the right to do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data.

In addition to opting out of any future communications from us at any time, you may also opt out of the GA4 feature if you so choose. You can opt out of the GA4 Advertising Features we use through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or through the NAI’s. This link points to Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs for the web https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout/ 


We take precautions to protect your information. When you submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected both online and offline. GA4 also follows industry best practices to protect your data both online and offline.

To ensure data protection while we are using GA4, we are implementing additional security measures that include and are not limited to:

  • limiting data access, 
  • using secure protocols, 
  • managing data sharing with Google

Wherever we collect sensitive information (such as credit card data), that information is encrypted and transmitted to us in a secure way. You can verify this by looking for a lock icon in the address bar and looking for “https” at the beginning of the address of the Web page.

While we use encryption to protect sensitive information transmitted online, we also protect your information offline. Only employees who need the information to perform a specific job (for example, billing or customer service) are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

Contact Us

If you have any concerns about the use of GA4 or believe that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, please contact us immediately. We are committed to addressing any privacy-related issues promptly and transparently.

By using our website and consenting to the use of GA4, you acknowledge and agree to the data collection and processing practices described in this notice. For more information about GA4 and its privacy practices, please review Google’s Privacy Policy on this link https://policies.google.com/privacy.

If you feel that we are not abiding by this privacy policy, you should contact us immediately.

Read More About Our Privacy Policy and Why It Matters

Terms of Service
Terms of Service

Entering this site or the links accessible through this site, you agree to be bound by this agreement. The information and the resources contained on and accessible through this site are made available by Productive Dentist Academy and/or its suppliers and vendors, and are subject to your agreement to their terms and conditions.

All contents copyright (c) Productive Dentist Academy

All rights reserved, Productive Dentist Academy makes this website available to all users for the sole purpose of providing educational information on health-related issues.

The accuracy of website, information, and resources identified are not warranted or guaranteed, or intended to be a substitute for professional health advice, to contradict health advice given, or for health care of any kind.

Your use of this website indicates your agreement to be bound by the Terms of Use and you expressly agree to be bound to the foregoing terms and conditions.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy, or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

Material on this site may be used for personal use only. Commercial use of any sort is strictly prohibited.

Use of Resources & Information
This site may not be used as a supplement or alternative for health care, and is not intended and does not warrant or guarantee the quality or quantity of any services of any of the advertisers identified; further, the information provided is merely for educational purposes, and its accuracy is not guaranteed. Do not use this site as a substitute for health care. Please consult with your doctor or other health care provider regarding any health questions you may have. This site may not be used for health diagnosis or treatment. Do not use this site to disregard any health advice, nor to delay seeking health advice, because of something you read or see in this site.

You understand and agree that neither Productive Dentist Academy nor its suppliers or vendors or linked domain names are responsible or liable for any claim, loss, or damage of any kind, directly or indirectly resulting from your use of this site or the information or the resources contained on or accessible through it.

Productive Dentist Academy expressly disclaims any implied warranty or representation about the information or accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for any particular purpose of any kind. Your use of this site is also subject to all additional disclaimers that may appear throughout the site.

Other Internet Sites Links
This site also includes links to other internet sites created and maintained by Productive Dentist Academy’s suppliers, vendors, affiliates, or subscribers. Be aware that Productive Dentist Academy does not control, makes no guarantees about, and disclaims any express or implied representations or warranties about the accuracy, relevance, completeness, timeliness or appropriateness for a particular purpose of the information or the resources contained on these or any other internet sites.

Further, the inclusion of these links is merely for your convenience and is not intended and does not reflect Productive Dentist Academy’s opinion on the accuracy or the importance of these other sites; further, Productive Dentist Academy does not endorse in any manner any of the views expressed in, or products or services offered by these other sites. All information in any site by Productive Dentist Academy, or associated or linked site, is extracted, read, used, or relied upon by you at your own risk.

Disclaimer of Warranty
Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors disclaim all express or implied representations or warranties regarding the information, services, products, materials, and any other resources contained on or accessible through this site, including without limitation any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. All information provided by Productive Dentist Academy is made available “as is” and “as available” without warranty of any kind, or any express or implied promise, including, by way of example, its continuing availability.

Limitation of Liability
With respect to products, goods, or services purchased from any entity identified, listed, named or contacted through Productive Dentist Academy’s website, or any links to Productive Dentist Academy’s website, to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors be liable for any direct, indirect, special, punitive, incidental, exemplary, contractual, or consequential damages, or any damages whatsoever of any kind, resulting from any loss, which by way of example, includes loss of use, loss of data, loss of profits, business interruption, litigation, or any other pecuniary loss, whether based on breach of contract, tort (including negligence), product liability, or otherwise, arising out of or in any way connected with the use or performance of this site, with the delay or inability to use this site, or with the provision of or failure to make available any information, services, products, materials, or other resources contained on or accessible through this site, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

You acknowledge and agree that the limitations set forth above are elements of this agreement, and that this site would not be provided to you absent such limitations.

You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Productive Dentist Academy and its suppliers and vendors from any liability, loss, claim, and expense (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to your violation of this agreement or use of this site in any manner. Your use of this site shall constitute your acceptance of the terms of this Agreement, as revised and modified, if any, each time you access this site. Productive Dentist Academy may modify this agreement at any time, and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified agreement.

Productive Dentist Academy’s failure to insist upon strict enforcement of any provision(s) of this agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right.

This agreement and the resolution of any dispute related to this agreement or this site shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Washington, without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of law. Any legal action or proceeding between Productive Dentist Academy or its links, suppliers or vendors and you related to this agreement or this site shall be brought exclusively in a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Skagit County, Washington.

All materials on this website, including the site’s design, layout, and organization, are owned and copyrighted by Productive Dentist Academy or its suppliers or vendors, and are protected by U.S. and international copyrights.

This site contains links to other sites. Productive Dentist Academy is not responsible for the privacy practices of other sites that are linked to us.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding Productive Dentist Academy’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, please contact us.

Read More About Our Terms of Service and Why It Matters

Search the Website

Use keywords in the search box below to find what you're looking for.

Go to the Top of the Page