Dr. Jimmy Sisson and his wife Ambre opened up a dental practice in Pendleton, IN over a decade ago using the “If You Build It, They Will Come” strategy straight out of the movie Field of Dreams. Like many Dentists, they assumed they could hang a shingle with a phone number outside their office and new patients would come knocking.
And they did!
The family-friendly practice had built a loyal rapport in this small north-central Indiana town, and that loyalty was worth its weight in gold. But even as the practice grew beyond its four-chair capacity, the complexities associated with a maturing practice grew as well.
The Sissons first hired Four Quadrants several years ago to help them fully realize the value in their practice. And after we dove deep in their accounts and found several ways to unlock cash flow and set them up for college and retirement, the Sissons decided to handle finances on their own.
Our story does have a happy ending, however. Last year Jimmy and Ambre returned. Their practice had continued its profitable journey, but they needed a voice they could trust as they purchased and expanded a building to meet the needs of their growing practice. They had also noticed a big dip in retirement savings during the time they were away.
Jimmy and Ambre sat down recently to share why they returned and what’s on the horizon for the practice.
How would you describe your practice in your own words?
Dr. Jimmy Sisson - We’re from Pendleton Indiana; so it’s about a half-hour northeast of Indianapolis. It’s a smaller town, about 4,000 to 5000 in town. It’s a good place to raise kids. We started the practice about 11 years ago. They were putting a new supermarket in the strip mall, and there was room there, and we thought it was a great place to go.
It’s a growing community, still not really big and still not in the city, and so we opened up the doors, put the phone number out front and hoped people came. In the beginning, we always kept the electricity paid, and it got busier over time. Last year it got busy enough to where we could go to our own building, so we moved out of the strip mall and got our own office last year. So last year was kinda crazy.
What was it that brought you to us initially?
Ambre Sisson - Initially it was the dental representative several years ago that suggested that it would be a good fit.
Dr. Jimmy Sisson - We were doing OK, we were getting busier, but it still seemed like we weren’t making money yet. We were getting the bills paid like I said, but it seemed like we should be doing better.
Coming to Four Quadrants; they kind of lined us up with everything and getting the savings account done. Last year our son went to college for the first time, and we just wrote a check for college tuition. That’s something we wouldn’t have been able to do without Four Quadrants’s help.
When you said “we weren’t making money,” describe your expectation, if you could. Was there some goal you weren’t meeting or was it just because you couldn’t figure out where the money was going?
Dr. Jimmy Sisson - Kind of a combination of both. It seemed like we were getting busier. You know, we left Four Quadrants for a little while and then came back last year.
What did you learn in that time?
Ambre Sisson - We came back because we had outgrown our space and getting into a new one was becoming overwhelming. We needed advice.
Dr. Jimmy Sisson - For sure, yeah. In the time we were away we were still saving but not nearly as much as we had been and weren’t sure it was going in the right places.
What was the first sign that things were getting better after you started working with Four Quadrants again?
Dr. Jimmy Sisson - We had so many questions about the (office) build-out: “Do we need to do this, or should we be doing that.” If I did have a question, it was never a big deal to call Four Quadrants. Just a call or email and I could ask a staff member “What do you think about this? What do the numbers look like for that?” They always steered me in the right direction.
We knew what we were doing, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone behind you who knows what they’re talking about saying, “Yeah that’s the right thing to do,” or “No, you may want to go this route.”
How has being with Four Quadrants helped you on the personal side? You know, getting your practice in order so you can build a retirement?
Dr. Jimmy Sisson - I feel the personal accounts are a lot better now. We have a lot more in reserve now. In that time we were away from Four Quadrants, it felt like we were living week-to-week. Now we have the building under control, and the accounts are under control, everything just seems more fluid and easier to manage.
What is something, either personally or professionally that you would not have achieved without Four Quadrants’ guidance?
Dr. Jimmy Sisson - Our old office had four operatories, and we had definitely outgrown that space. We were getting busier and busier. An office became available in an old hospital building, and it just seemed like a really good time: we were busy enough to expand. Our lease was up in the strip mall space, and I didn’t want to sign a lease for five or ten years and get locked in there. Plus I also hated paying rent. It felt like throwing money away each month.
So, what’s new on the horizon? Any new projects to tackle?
Dr. Jimmy Sisson - I think just to continue to save, that’s the biggest thing. It has been a crazy year with the buildout. So I’m hoping to take this year step back and relax, but things are going really smoothly. Before Four Quadrants, it sometimes seemed like I had to make a deposit every day just to make sure funds were in there for the next day. That’s no longer the case.
Now If I go and take everything at the end of the week, it’s usually not a big deal.