THE MILLIONAIRE DENTIST PODCAST

Episode 54: Looking forward to 2021

apple podcast logo overcast logo spreaker logo pocketcasts logo tunein logo iTunes Logo google podcasts logo iheartradio logo
 

EPISODE 54: Looking forward to 2021

Casey Hiers and co-host Jarrod Bridgeman welcome Chief Operating Officer and Analyst Brogan Baxter to discuss what 2021 may bring to practice owners.

 

EPISODE 54 TRANSCRIPTION

Announcer:
Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Millionaire Dentist podcast, brought to you by Four Quadrants Advisory. On this podcast, we break down the world of dentistry, finances and business practices to help you become the millionaire dentist you deserve to be. Please be advised, we do speak with an honest tongue and may not be safe for work.

Casey Hiers:
Hello and welcome. This is Casey Hiers, back at it again for the Millionaire Dentist podcast. I have our new cohost, Jarrod Bridgeman with me. And also in studio, we have a very special guest, our chief operations officer, head analyst, and part owner, Brogan Baxter, joins us to start the new year off to discuss all things dental in 2021.

Brogan Baxter:
Casey, thank you for having me. Happy 2021 for everyone. I hope the holiday season was restful for all, and 2021 hopefully will be a great year. It couldn't possibly be much worse than 2020.

Casey Hiers:
Well, we better knock on wood if you're going to say that. But let's say bright outlook, optimism.

Brogan Baxter:
Yes. Optimism.

Casey Hiers:
The cup is full.

Brogan Baxter:
Cup is full.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
The only thing I can think of that would be bad is the Mayans predicted 2012 was the end of the year. What if they just had dyslexia?

Brogan Baxter:
Got the numbers backwards?

Casey Hiers:
Well, I did read an article about that, but let's not get into that.

Brogan Baxter:
That might not be great. That's one way 2021 could be worse than 2020.

Casey Hiers:
Let's not focus on that.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yes.

Brogan Baxter:
Right, right.

Casey Hiers:
So COVID production CE, what do you think about with dentistry? What does a practice owner want to hear about, in terms of 2021 outlook?

Brogan Baxter:
What they want to hear about is what's going to happen after COVID, after the cities and the states and everything open up. When can we get back to normal? That's a million dollar question. From everything that I've been reading and seeing, I think it's fair to say maybe the back half of 2021 is when everybody's expecting things to return to normalcy.

Brogan Baxter:
The dental practice, for the most part, they didn't take much of a hit due to COVID. I mean, yes, they were closed, some for, I think the shortest I saw was about four or five weeks, longest I saw was damn near three months. And that was really tough. Luckily though, a lot of states, there were a lot of different funding options that were provided by the government, state governments, local governments, other entities, and with help of a good team, a lot of dentists were able to capitalize on that. So it did help in 2020. That's probably not going to happen much in 2021 though.

Casey Hiers:
Here's a question for you. Production-wise, has this pandemic caused, generally speaking, from the practice owners you've talked to, are they getting their good patients in? Are they getting the good cases in? How has COVID affected production? Obviously there's less production in 2020, but potentially speaking, is there a silver lining to some of that?

Brogan Baxter:
There is. We have clients all over the country right now, we're in 35+ states, so I do have the objectivity, huge towns, megalopolises, and the rural of middle of Nowheresville in the Great Plains. So I've seen it all. Generally speaking, when folks came back from COVID, they had a lot of big cases. Lot of people did not have... Let's just say oral hygiene may not have been a real high on their list while they were furloughed.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, and they were out for three months, not able to get anything looked at or done.

Brogan Baxter:
That's true.

Casey Hiers:
A lot of wine stains, probably, on the teeth.

Brogan Baxter:
A lot of emergencies, a lot of bigger cases, chipped this, broken that, all those things. So what happened was, the first month back, most of the clients that I'd seen and most dentists that I had seen that had been out there, their numbers were decent the first month back. The second and third month back, holy cow. I mean, they blew it through the roof. It is starting to peel back a little bit as they're burning through the pent up demand a little bit, but it's really not metering out to be a whole lot different than what it was pre-COVID.

Brogan Baxter:
Do they still have patients that are scared to come in? Yeah, I mean, they do. But it's not really impacting their numbers too incredibly much. It's a little more unique experience when everybody's wearing masks, and everybody's got on the garb, and they look like they're getting ready to go to war with somebody. That's different. There's no doubt about that. But from an efficiency level, I've really not seen a whole lot that that had fallen off of averages.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, in my opinion, the dentistry field already was a step above other things, like restaurants, or bookstores, or whatever. They were already sanitizing everything. They were already wearing masks when they're doing their thing. So I think they already had that leg up on that.

Brogan Baxter:
That's true. And that certainly did help them through this process. Dentistry, because they do sanitize things and they are used to operating in some sort of hygienic environment, that did give them a leg up over everybody else. That being said, dentistry has been, always will be, defensive stocks. Just because the GDP is down half of a percent for one quarter, people don't not go to the dentist, and excuse the double negative there. But I mean, that's what happens. People just don't quit going to the dentist if their teeth hurt. They still want to be taken care of.

Casey Hiers:
Well, as you know, I like sweets, and I was getting into my kids' Mott's gummy candies, and my crown came off. And so, I needed to go to the dentist. Long story short, go to the dentist, get it repaired. But I asked. I said, "I know you dropped a lot of your insurances in the last 12 or 18 months. Has this pandemic caused you to consider potentially accepting them again?"

Brogan Baxter:
Look at Casey. Always selling. Always selling.

Casey Hiers:
And the response was, "No. And in fact, we're playing catch up. We're getting a lot of the good cases and the patients that oral hygiene's important to, thus better case acceptance." There was almost a domino effect that was a silver lining to it. And while in there, everybody was calm and relaxed. Jarrod, to your point, they're used to being sanitary and doing all that. Now, did they add some medical grade air purification? Absolutely.

Brogan Baxter:
Questionnaire protocols on the front end, temperature checks, those things? Yeah. But I mean, it's a minor annoyance, but it is just minor.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. There was definitely more paperwork, signing away. I get it, and it makes total sense. Let's transition, if you don't mind, to continuing education. CE is a big topic for practice owners, for dentists, for specialists. They enjoy it for a variety of reasons, to improve their craft, they enjoy the travel. It's taken a hit, right? Dental society study clubs, the big meetings, the small meetings. Everyone's looking for some leadership, for somebody to go ahead and say, "We're going to meet. We're going to do it." And nobody's done it yet. How do you see continuing education in 2021?

Brogan Baxter:
Yeah. Who's going to shoot first here? Which state is going to be the first one that actually holds their meeting in all this? It's a nuclear arms race to CE, folks. No, but in all seriousness, yeah, a lot of the Destination CE, a lot of the state events and all that have all went virtual, which I'm sure stinks. Everybody's just about Zoomed out. It was a good investment to be in, in 2020, for what it's worth. But that's for maybe another podcast down the road. But CE is going to come back. And again, I would put that in more of that back half of 2021 that you're ultimately going to see that happen.

Brogan Baxter:
I think they're going to roll it out slowly. They're going to try it out, see what it's like, and I think a lot of these places are really going off of what the regulations are for their specific state. So, you have Spear, they're following what they're doing in Arizona. You've got all these different groups that are following in the home state, so to speak, of their headquarters and how things operate there. Dentists can't get the CE that they want. You cannot replace just sitting in a chair and doing it live time with your hands, instead of looking at pictures and videos, and listening to boring people talk online.

Casey Hiers:
Well, and practice owners in the back half of their career, half of it is what they learn, the other half is the comradery as a practice owner. We talk about this all the time. They feel like they're on an island sometimes, and so they do enjoy engaging with their peers and having that. And I know that a lot of folks have missed that this year.

Brogan Baxter:
Yeah. I actually think there's going to be, just like there was in the dental practice, pent up demand for people that are like, "Man, I've really noticed I've had time to learn about some of these other things, but I've not been able to go out and do continuing education." When they opened the flood gates, there is going to be a lot of water come rushing in, with a huge demand on the front end. I think they're going see a pattern very similar to what they saw in dentistry, which is this great big...

Brogan Baxter:
It might start off a little slow as they're putting in their new systems and protocols and whatnot, and then there's going to be this huge tidal wave, at least for a handful of months, as people get caught up. I think that's something else that this whole COVID thing has done, is it has allowed dentists to look themselves a little bit harder in the mirror from an ownership standpoint, replacing employees, things that they're offering in their practice, things to make themselves indestructible a little bit.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It got them to look inward more, because they had the time to do that those two, three months off. And as you said, with the tidal wave coming, I think it's just, as you said, the pent up frustration for nearly everybody to just be like, "I'm sick of sitting at home. I am tired of Zoom. I am tired of this." And as soon as our peak goes down a little bit, or as soon as that vaccine starts kicking in, or whatever ends up working for us, I think we're going to see a large rush.

Casey Hiers:
Well, and here's a plug. Jarrod, you've been helping me, but I mentioned leadership with continuing education. And we're finding a need for that, as Brogan alluded to, so we're doing some private dinner events with CE on a topic, the business side of dentistry, that a lot of practice owners have had to deal with this year because production typically overcomes a lack of systems and processes, or a lack of business acumen. And so now, they've been exposed a little bit and they need to fix some things. Well, we're going to do private events. People want that interaction. Of course, protocols have to be in play.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, the bonus to that, too, is it's more contained. You're not going into a room of 200+ people.

Casey Hiers:
We're controlling it. We're going to have 12, 15, 18, 20, and every venue I'm calling, which of course is the nicest restaurant in town, they're private rooms. I mean, it's going to be impeccable. But people are looking for it. And that's what we're going to do here.

Brogan Baxter:
Who shoots first? We'll shoot first. We'll do it.

Casey Hiers:
There you go.

Brogan Baxter:
We're planning it right now.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yep. So speaking of 2021, I know a lot of you guys are sports fans out there. Who do you think is going to be the big sporting team of 2021, in terms of football?

Brogan Baxter:
Okay. I was going to say, "Sporting team?" 2021 is going to be the year of the Colts. I don't know.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Not from what I've been hearing, but okay.

Brogan Baxter:
No. That's right. That won't happen.

Casey Hiers:
Is sports going on?

Brogan Baxter:
Yeah. Some of those are. Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
I enjoy the tailgating aspect of college football, at least, so it kind of feels like it's not really happening. But I guess I can tune in on TV.

Brogan Baxter:
Yeah. 2021, it's going to be better than 2020. Let's all hope that's the case. Unless the Mayans are right, and then we're all screwed.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's right.

Casey Hiers:
Leadership, courage, let's do it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
The one thing I wanted to say, a lot of people look to high level professionals and highly educated people to be the local leaders of their area. So I feel like that we are that way towards the CE thing. I think dentists can be that way, as well, in terms of their areas as well. It's just encouraging people, to be like, "It's safe, we're taking care of everything, and let's get together as a community and fight any way we can."

Casey Hiers:
Listen. More than one thing can be true, right? We've got to be careful, precautious. Obviously, practice owners know there's so many additional things they need to do. That being said, lions don't understand the mentality of sheep. And those who want to be sheep will be scared of their shadows for a long time to come. Most of the practice owners I speak with, they are incredibly cautious, but they are achievers, and they're leaders, and they are ready to get back to normal. I don't know what normal means, but 2021 is going to be a good year. It's going to be a bright year. And I think a lot of our practice owners feel that way.

Brogan Baxter:
Excellent. Well, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.

Casey Hiers:
Thanks, Brogan.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Thank you.

Casey Hiers:
Jarrod, well done.

Announcer:
That's all the time we have today. Thank you to our guests for their insight and for sharing some really great information. And thank you to you, the listener, for tuning in. The Millionaire Dentist podcast is brought to you by Four Quadrants Advisory. To see if they might be a good fit for you and your practice, go on over to fourquadrantsadvisory.com and see why year after year, they retain over 95% of their clients. Thank you again for joining us and we'll see you next time.