Last updated on September 20th, 2019 at 07:48 pm

Who’s managing your practice?

Sure, you’re the owner/doctor, and you may have an office manager. But who is actively managing the business towards its long-term goals?

If you’re like most doctors, well, that would be… no one.

The Real World

In most practices, the doctor is chairside as much as possible. After all, that’s where they are most valuable to the business and patients. They work their four or five days a week, go home and start again the following week.

The Office Manager may be keeping on top of the day to day, but beyond that not much else. There’s no time built in to plan the course of the business, review progress and correct things when they go “off-course.”

This set up unfortunately doesn’t lend itself to sustained growth and success.

(Related: What Exactly IS an Office Manager? (And Why You Absolutely Need One))

Executive Time

You build time into the schedule for treating patients. You may even build time into the schedule for treatment presentations.  Heck, you may even have regularly scheduled morning production meetings.  But do you also allocate any time to wear your “executive” hat?  Again, if you’re like most – probably not. Well, how well would you do as a clinician if you didn’t have specific times and amounts of time allocated to perform dentistry?  Not that well. Same concept applies here. And ignoring that executive hat is what can get a business into trouble!

Spending time on your “executive” hat shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for when you have to because things are going wrong!  It’s important and should be a part of your normal schedule.

At a bare minimum, I’d allocate at least a half hour a week – maybe more – to a distraction free meeting with my Office Manager. And what would we do during this meeting?

Well, at a minimum we’d:

  1. Review office statistics.
  2. Examine the upcoming weeks schedule to ensure productivity and is under control. We’d also look to how we’re progressing towards our monthly production and collections goals.
  3. Review any personnel and financial issues in the practice.
  4. Review the effectiveness of any of the practice’s marketing.

I’d set this meeting up at an unalterable time every week.  Funny thing about meetings – if you don’t hold them regularly at a specific time (and enforce it stays in), they tend to drop out. People “forget” about them.

(Related: 4 Meetings You Must be Holding in Your Dental Practice)

Making Your Executive Meetings Work

We train our clients as executives and there’s quite a bit to successful management.  That said, how could you apply 1-4 above RIGHT NOW to better control your business?

Well, let’s have a look:

  1. Review office statistics.

There’s quite a bit to know about statistic management. An MGE Client will spend 11 days of training on just this subject. There are also a number of misconceptions as to what it actually IS.  Statistic management is not just “keeping” a statistic.  It’s keeping it, graphing it and then, as MGE clients learn, making specific decisions and taking action based on WHAT THE STATISTIC IS DOING.

For instance, if a statistic suddenly drops – this would require specific actions. Or conversely if it were to shoot up all of a sudden, you’d have a different set of procedures.  And another set of procedures if a statistic is slowly declining over time.

In any event, simply keeping statistics is a big upgrade over nothing at all. Running without statistics of any kind is not unlike driving a car with no instrumentation.  “How fast are we going?” “Do we need gas?” Who knows?

At a minimum you’d want to have the major office statistics graphed (weekly by the way – I’ll talk about this a bit more later), such as Production, Collections and New Patients. You might also add $ Value TX Presented vs Accepted, and New Patient Calls (versus scheduled).

(Related: Making Time for the “Business Side” of Dentistry)

Assuming you don’t have the training on the subject (you should get trained by the way – and we can help), you can still see benefits.

In many cases, people have no idea if things are contracting or expanding. Well, if you look at the stats every week – you WILL know. And why every week? Well, let’s say you have a production goal of $100,000 for a month.  If you’re looking at how things are progressing every week, you can catch if you’re behind before it becomes a disaster. For example – we’d know we’re only at $10,000 for week one when we should be at $25,000 and then can take appropriate action.

You could get fancier and look a bit deeper at the stats as well. Sure, new patients are down – but incoming promotional calls are up. What’s happening there? Maybe it’s time for the OM to look into what’s going on with the receptionist.

In any event, you want to keep an eye on these and make sure you’re moving in the right direction. And sure, it can get far more intricate than this with proper training – which in turn increases your effectiveness of action and improves the eventual result.

  1. Examine the upcoming weeks schedule to ensure productivity is under control. We’d also look to how we’re progressing towards our monthly production and collections goals.

In line with #1 above, compare how this all relates towards the monthly goal.  The office schedule more or less determines production and revenues and should be watched closely.  You’d look at what the coming weeks hold and where the schedule might need work. You have two-hours of primary time available on both Wednesday and Thursday.  Isn’t it best to know that now when you still have time to fill it? If you know at Friday’s meeting – you can bet, it will be “on the mind” Monday morning and probably get filled.

(Related: 5 Ways to Motivate Your Dental Team)

  1. Review any personnel and financial issues in the practice.

Any major purchases needed? Do we need a new compressor (assuming the old one still works and didn’t break two days ago)?  Should you give your hygienist that raise they are asking for? Now’s the time for you and your OM to look at these things and the impact on the practice financially.  Additionally, there may be some personnel issues that need to be addressed – your Scheduling Coordinator is moving and needs to be replaced – or your dental assistant isn’t performing. Here’s the distraction-free time where you and your manager can make decisions that are well thought out and in turn well executed.

  1. Review the effectiveness of any of the practice’s marketing.

Marketing can be expensive. Marketing that isn’t working is even more expensive.  Now’s the time to review what’s working and what’s not. And as a word of warning – be careful about changing anything unless you’re absolutely sure. For example – you might think your newsletter campaign is not working, only to find out that it’s getting tons of calls – but no conversions due to an ineffective receptionist.  Dumping this marketing is not the right call as opposed to training or replacing the person answering the phone.  Keep an eye on these things and you’ll not only maximize your marketing efforts – you’ll probably, as you get ahead of the game, improve your return on investment.

By the way, if you’re interested in learning how to get more new patients with easy to use marketing techniques from some of the best in the industry, I highly recommend checking out the MGE New Patient Workshop. We’re now in 8 locations across the United States – so click here to see when we’ll be in a city near you!

Ending your meeting

At the end of this meeting, simply take all the targets you list out (the “to-dos”) and work out who’s doing them and when they will be done.

Review the list every day to ensure you get everything done – and that’s progress!


I wanted to use this post to provide simple, easy to execute ideas as to how to build executive time (and what to do with this time) into your schedule. Of course, as I mentioned, the better trained you are, the more intricate and more effective you become with implementation and action. But it all starts somewhere.  Make time for that inner executive to come out and do their job! And if you didn’t already know, we offer free seminars across the United States and Canada! Click here to see all of our upcoming dates and locations. Or you can always schedule a free consultation with us – simply call (800) 640-1140. Hope this helps and as always, if you have any questions, email me at jeffb@mgeonline.com


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