When Growing Your Dental Practice is a Bad Thing

Fri, Apr 25, 2014
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jengaGrowth can be good or bad for a dental practice, just like for any other business. Growing simply for the sake of it is not smart. Growing at a rate that’s well-thought-out, strategized, and steady is far better.

Many dentists grow their practice just because they want more production. But why? Because you want to make more money? Here’s a little-known fact – many times increasing production can actually cause you to make less money. That’s because in a rush to grow fast and make money, overhead skyrocketed, and now you’re stuck with a little more income and a lot more money going out the door.

There are three ways to increase your revenue.

  1. Increase your production and maintain your overhead
  2. Maintain production and reduce your overhead
  3. Increase your production and reduce overhead

To grow your income, you have to have a good financial team on your side. You need quickly reported numbers, you need to have your pulse on your finances, you need fast interpretation of your situation. If a negative trend begins, you need to know so you can act fast to counteract it. Is overhead popping up five months in a row? Know fast, so you can nip it in the bud.

This applies both to your production and to your overhead. You need solid numbers on both no later than two weeks into the next month, and the numbers need to be reconciled and analyzed by your accountant. To identify trends compare them to the same month last year, and also to the past few months of this year. That way you can see in real time what’s happening in your practice’s financials, and whether it’s a seasonal effect or something new.

Even if you grow intelligently, you can still run into issues. For example, you might get a good news/bad news call from your accountant. “Good news! You made a lot more money this year than we were expecting. Bad news is that means your tax bill is well into the five figures.” Without timely and frequent tax estimates, you can end up with a nasty tax surprise at the end of the year. And that will certainly put a damper on your booming business.

When managed poorly, growth will actually hurt your dental practice. But when you do it right, growing your practice will do nothing short of changing your life.

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Topics: dental advisor, dental financial planning, Financial Planning, business of dentistry

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