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?
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.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