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If you’re dealing with large amounts of debt, there’s a pretty good chance it’s holding your practice back. Not only does debt cause extra stress, it also keeps you from investing in practice upgrades and new technology. If you’re constantly worried about money, you’re not able to focus on growing your practice – which hurts productivity as well as your bottom line.
This is actually a common problem for clinicians, with many finding themselves between $300,000 and $500,000 in debt. Nothing they do seems to get them any closer to climbing out of this hole, leaving them feeling frustrated and exhausted.
Does this describe you? If you’re struggling with massive debt, it likely stems from poor financial management. Sure, some of it is just the cost of doing business, but credit cards, loans, mortgages, equipment leases and lines of credit are among other contributing factors.
Don’t let debt keep you from meeting your full potential. Instead, take action. Gain control of your finances so you can start paying off the money you owe. Ready to get started? First, we have to figure out why debt has taken over your practice.
Take a look at your systems.
If your practice has outdated, inefficient systems, it’s no wonder you’re struggling financially. Let’s find out if this is part of the problem in your office. Here are two questions I suggest you ask yourself:
1. Do you remember the last time you updated any of your practice management systems?
2. Do you monitor your systems monthly?
Did you answer no to one or both of these questions? If so, we’ve probably identified the main reason for your financial situation.
When your practice’s 20 critical systems don’t perform as they should, you’re not going to meet your full potential. Instead, you’ll find yourself dealing with high overhead costs and struggling with debt. To get your systems back on track, you have to start giving them more attention. Take a hard look to determine what you need to do to improve their performance, and then do it.
Just remember this isn’t any easy fix. You really have to get to know each system so you understand how they impact practice profits, then determine exactly what’s being mismanaged so you can fix it. Does the thought of that seem overwhelming? Not to worry. An experienced dental consultant can give you the guidance you need to identify problems in your systems, address those problems and get your debt under control.
Fixing systems is a lot of work, but it will do wonders for your practice.
Getting your systems in order will elevate your practice, making you and your team members much more efficient and productive. You’ll start bringing in more revenue and finally have money to purchase the equipment you’ve been eyeing or make long-overdue updates in your practice. Everyone’s stress levels will go down, reducing the likelihood of conflict among team members and enhancing the quality of care your patients receive.
OK, so you’re probably wondering how much of a financial impact fixing your systems will actually have on your practice. Once your systems are finally running at maximum efficiency, you can expect practice revenues to increase within two months. Are you convinced it’s time to make this a priority now?
Don’t think of debt as a four-letter word.
Many dentists struggle with debt. It’s a common problem, yet it’s a problem no one wants to talk about. Dentists tend to convince themselves they can handle it on their own, and that it really isn’t that big of an issue. These dentists continue to do what they’re doing, which means their systems never improve. They often get worse, as does their money woes.
Getting out of debt isn’t easy, but it’s vital to your practice’s success. You and your team members need to make a commitment to fixing your systems so you can move the practice forward. Be willing to admit you’re struggling, then do what it takes to correct any system shortfalls you identify. When you do, you’ll be able to start paying off debt and investing in your practice’s success.
Don’t let debt keep your practice from meeting its full potential. Remember, you don’t have to do this on your own. Contact me and I’ll help you make the changes necessary to reduce debt and finally reach practice success and profitability.
Sally McKenzie is CEO of McKenzie Management, a nationwide dental management, practice development and educational consulting firm providing knowledge, guidance and personalized solutions that have propelled thousands of general and specialty practices to realize their potential.
Interested in speaking to Sally about your practice concerns? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.877.777.6151.
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