Reprinted by the XLDENT.com Blog
For many dentists, the dream of practice ownership is often met with the struggle to start and run a small business. Today, we will look at four common mistakes business owners make and how you can overcome these challenges.
1. Not sticking to your budget
For many, the concept of budgeting is easy to understand, but difficult to do. You probably know that creating and following a budget is key to building a profitable practice, but if you’re finding yourself stuck in a bad routine, it may be time to push the reset button. Dentists who run their businesses on a budget are able to keep their goals in perspective and make wiser purchasing decisions. If you’re just getting started, give yourself some grace for the first few months. Remember that no two months are exactly alike and your budget cannot be a template that you copy and paste over and over.
2. Letting your bookkeeping slide
Bookkeeping is a critical component to realizing success in your dental practice. If you’re not reconciling your books monthly, you’re missing an opportunity to correct mistakes sooner when transactions are fresh in your mind. Left unnoticed, even small mistakes will create additional work for your CPA and result in higher fees.
3. Failure to review practice reports
To take your practice’s daily pulse, you have to check reports daily. It will take you less than a minute to glance at your production, collection, debit and credit values each day. Making it a habit to review this information frequently will ensure there are no surprises when you’re reviewing the numbers over longer periods of time, such as monthly or quarterly. After you have a good handle on the basics, start getting familiar with other metrics such as outstanding insurance claims, new patient analysis, accounts receivables, and practice demographics.
Spend a few minutes perusing the Dentaltown forums and it might seem easy to setup and manage your own network. After all, there are many other dentists documenting their trials and successes, right? The average DIY dentist fails when it comes to seeing the big picture, especially as it relates to managing risk, aligning technology with practice goals, and long-term planning. Taking time from production to configure practice hardware is not a wise use of your time. This job is best outsourced to a network service provider who can help you manage the technology needs for your practice.