Why Would a Dentist Need a Coach?

Dental Business Coaching

We’re gonna call it like we see it: dentists get a raw deal. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get a clinical education–they graduate with excellent knowledge about how to be a dentist and help patients achieve optimal oral health. But where that raw deal comes in is when dentists achieve the dream of owning their own practice. Suddenly, just having a clinical education is not nearly enough. To be a successful practice owner, a dentist needs to have a clinical education AND a business education.

Why? Because, like the other 33 million American entrepreneurs, dentists are small business owners. Knowing how to properly place an implant or numb a patient just isn’t enough. Now they need to understand and implement business practices from hiring to payroll to managing overhead and beyond. While this is a situation that every practice owner faces, for some reason dental schools assume that this knowledge will spontaneously populate in their graduate’s heads–because they sure as heck don’t teach it.

So what’s a practice owner to do? They could shut the practice down for a couple of years while they earn an MBA, but that’s hardly practical. Instead, we suggest that any dentist who’s also a practice owner get themselves a coach…fast.

How Dental Business Coaching Can Help Your Practice Thrive

  1. Grow Your Leadership

Unless you plan on running every aspect of your practice by yourself, from checking patients in at the front desk to holding your saliva ejector during a restoration, you’re going to need to hire employees. And as soon as that happens, you go from just plain “dentist” to “boss.” 

The sad truth is that most dentists don’t know how to be a boss, and it shows. They’re inconsistent, demanding, and downright clueless about what their team needs, and as a consequence, their team is majorly unhappy. In fact, many of the team members that we talk to aren’t just unhappy, they’re downright angry. They hate the way that the dentist is leading the practice, and there’s nothing they can do about it. It’s no wonder that team turnover is so high in dentistry. Filling empty positions continues to be one of the top struggles that dentists face, even years after the Great Resignation.

What’s a dentist to do? Get a coach! A coach can help you take the temperature of your team and discover what’s really going on. By helping you hone your leadership skills, learn how to talk to your team, and even create a bonus structure that can make your team happy while also increasing productivity. 

A dental coach can help you:

  • know what to say in difficult situations
  • create goals for your team
  • promote transparency
  • make your morning meetings exciting and useful
  • train your team lead to help share the leadership role (without giving them so much power that even you’re afraid of them)

1. Create and Achieve Goals

It’s one thing to have a “goal.” It’s another thing to have an achievable goal…and then actually do it. For many dentists, their only goal is to make more money than they spend (and they don’t actually find out if they’ve met that goal until they talk to their accountant the next April 15th). If you want your practice to grow, you’ve got to take goals seriously. The secret is knowing where to start.

A coach will help you not just make vague, annual financial goals. They’ll help you make a clear, specific goal, then reverse-engineer it to make smaller, achievable goals that will feed into the success of the larger goal. If your coach knows their stuff, they’ll help you make quarterly, monthly, weekly, and even daily goals for you and your team to achieve. And they won’t just help you make those goals, they actively keep you accountable to help you meet them. A coach should meet with you regularly to review your progress, troubleshoot when you’re not meeting your KPIs, and celebrate with you when you do.

2. Install Better Systems and Processes

When was the last time you looked at how you do the work you do? Not the clinical work itself, but everything before and after. Things like appointment reminders, hygiene procedure, billing, supply ordering, patient retention efforts, marketing, and so forth. Are you doing those things because they really work, or because that’s what you’ve always done? One doesn’t always equal the other.

A coach will help you take a hard look at everything from your office layout to each team member’s routines and responsibilities, helping you optimize time, profit, and patient experience. By suggesting and helping you implement better systems and processes, your coach can help you increase team satisfaction, increase profit and profitability, and even raise the level of patient care. If you approach your coach’s suggestions with an open mind and willingness to change, you can take your practice’s success to an entirely new level.

Optimize Your Practice with Coaching from NextLevel

Just as you offer irreplaceable care and support to your patients, the coaches at NextLevel Practice are here to support you, helping you define and implement your practice strategy for maximum growth and success. Schedule a consultation to get started promoting the overall health of your dental practice.