Welcome to September!
After what we hope was a great summer for you, it is time now to look ahead to the future. The first step is always to see how your practice has performed thus far in 2019 with a view to a great push in the final quarter. Then you need to focus on a clear image for how you want to improve in 2020.
That’s right…it is time to sharpen your 2020 vision!
The first step in this process is to consider whether you even have an existing vision statement. If not, you need one! If you already have one, is it still relevant or might it require an update?
Like any business, your dental practice evolves over time. A vision statement prepared years ago may need to be updated. Now may be the perfect time to work with your team to revise your collective vision for going forward.
Encourage, bold, creative thinking. Nothing should be off the table because dentistry is undergoing dramatic change as we speak. We are all watching the growing impact of corporate consolidation and, as long as there is available capital, we can expect this trend to continue.
But consolidation is not the only change coming. It is expected that dentistry will become a female dominated profession in 2020. If you are looking for an associate, does your practice culture appeal to a female dentist? Cultural fit is very important to today’s young, female dentist…and for many males as well!
Perhaps you are considering a capital investment in your practice. As I wrote in my July blog, if you want to maximize the value of your practice, you need to ensure your technology is current for two reasons.
First of all, a more modern practice is easier to sell and can command a higher purchase price. If you are not willing to put money into your practice, don’t expect a third party to do so.
Secondly, even if you have no plan to sell in 2020, modern patients want modern treatment. You need to constantly invest in your practice to make sure you are not falling behind or risk losing these modern patients.
And when you budget for technology updates, make sure you allocate funds for training. Too often, dentists spend big on technology but then ignore training. This leaves your team lacking the skills to get the most out of your investment.
Finally, artificial intelligence is the field gathering the most headlines in the business world today. Be ready…because AI is coming to dentistry. Using it effectively means understanding what it does well and how you need to allocate your human resources to capitalize on those areas it is not as well-suited for. The smart dentist is already planning on how to use AI effectively.
I realize this may sound overwhelming. After all, you still have to actually practice dentistry while doing all this planning. Fortunately, it is not necessary to tackle all of these tasks at once. Work with your team to identify the most pressing issues and focus on them. Make sure you assign responsibility and due-dates for any tasks that need to be performed to achieve your vision. Defined action items complete with follow up are a must if you want to move forward.
We all know the benefits of having “2020 Vision”. So now is the time to take the first step to work on yours!
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