THE MILLIONAIRE DENTIST™

The ultimate podcast for dentists and specialists
apple podcast logo overcast logo spreaker logo pocketcasts logo tunein logo iTunes Logo google podcasts logo iheartradio logo

EPISODE 172: Are Faulty Systems and Processes Costing You?

Are your dental practice's systems and processes causing you to lose money and your peace of mind? From clinical work to staff management to financials, the importance of efficient and reliable systems cannot be overstated. Listen and Casey and Jarrod dive into this all-too-important topic.

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE? SUBSCRIBE TODAY

 

EPISODE 172 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 The Millionaire Dentist podcast in studio with co-host Jarrod Bridgeman on this rainy day.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Hey, Casey. How are you?

Casey Hiers:
I'm good. I can't be out in the rain.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
No.

Casey Hiers:
I can't be out in those conditions.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
You'll melt.

Casey Hiers:
That's exactly right.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Because you're so sweet. Made of sugar.

Casey Hiers:
Yes.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's what I hear.

Casey Hiers:
I have to have perfect conditions.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, it's certainly a nice drop in temperature compared to yesterday. Yesterday was high 80s and sunny, and I told you earlier, my son, who's in kindergarten, played his first baseball game ever. He didn't even know where first is, which is fine, but he hit the ball a couple of times and I basically melted and burned myself to death out there.

Casey Hiers:
Vitamin D, man.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Vitamin D. I should be good for the rest of the year now.

Casey Hiers:
You don't look that burnt.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Thank you. I came home and my wife thought I had eaten something that was allergic to. That's how red I was in the face. I was like, "I'm fine."

Casey Hiers:
A little aloe takes care of that.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's right. That's right. That's right. Casey, you're heading out to Minnesota this week.

Casey Hiers:
Really?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Out to the great land of-

Casey Hiers:
Have you peeked at my schedule? That's news to me. Yes, I am.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So you're going to Minneapolis?

Casey Hiers:
Yes.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I heard it's a wonderful city. I haven't been there in years.

Casey Hiers:
Quad City DJ's, aren't they from that area?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Sure.

Casey Hiers:
Come on, ride that train. Remember?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
No.

Casey Hiers:
No? (Singing). That's it.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's the name of [inaudible].

Casey Hiers:
Quad City DJ's.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I know this one, yes. Minneapolis. That was Prince as well. Prince came from there.

Casey Hiers:
That's right. Yeah, that's where I'm heading.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Purple Rain.

Casey Hiers:
For the purpose of presenting continuing education on the business side of dentistry.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It's going to be a wonderful time. You're going to be at a really nice restaurant where there's going to be a little cocktail class and some tastings, but the important part is you're going to be educating and informing some impressionable young dentists and some older dentists too, of what we do and things that can improve their practice.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, no doubt. Tough, underserved topic in dentistry that it's a big deal.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So Casey, kind of going off of that, I wanted to talk to you today about systems and processes. That's something that you and I discuss a lot off-air, especially dealing with what we do in particular.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, that's a big term around here internally for what we do. Also in practices and what they do. Yeah, that's a broad one. Where do you want to go with it?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Well, I kind of wanted to start with everybody knows that they're important. They may think they have a good system in place. That doesn't necessarily mean that they do. If you don't have a system in place, it's very, very, very easy to lose your place or misplace things or have things drop by the wayside. My system, for example, is I have to email myself my weekly and daily lists of things to do. If I don't do that, I don't remember what to do next. Now, that's not the greatest system on the planet and I'm sure there's a much better way to do it.

Casey Hiers:
No, but you have one.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right.

Casey Hiers:
You have to have order. You have to have a roadmap. You need systems and processes. So think about dentistry. In dental school, they learn how to do certain procedures, the clinical flow. But even clinically, there are systems and processes to how dentists and specialists provide patient care. Then you think to the team or the staff. Here's where it gets tricky. A lot of times there's not systems and processes in place and that can be really, really hard for assistants and hygienists and office managers and all the team and staff that are involved.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And it could have a very, very high learning curve.

Casey Hiers:
Well, no doubt. And when there's no system or process in place, then it's up for interpretation. Then there's a lot of miscommunication. Then the culture, the staff, the attitude, it really can be harmful. Just like, again, going back to the clinical explanation. If you didn't have any order or systems and processes and were haphazardly doing dentistry, you'd probably have some problems.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Some pretty unhappy patients there. Well, one messed-up system, one messed-up process can start a snowball effect too. As you said, it could cause issues with not capturing the amount of money you need to capture. It could turn into miscommunications where...

Casey Hiers:
Just on getting paid. Accounts receivable. What's that process? Well, the patient told me a sad story and the office person that collects the money was having a bad day and wasn't sure what to do, and so the emotions overtook and they just kind let it slide. Little things like that absolutely snowball. That was a good point.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
A lot of places, am I correct in saying, that after 90 days, it usually just kind of gets swept under the rug? I don't know how to ask that question.

Casey Hiers:
Well, you hate to say it, but after a certain period of time, you have a decision to go after said person. You're probably not going to get that money. But more importantly, when that occurs in an office, empowering your people, here is our... Policy. I guess that's another word. What is our system or process for handling all these things? When that's spelled out clearly that's helpful.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And if there is an emotional reasoning that comes up, at least your front office person has something to fall back on as in this is our office policy.

Casey Hiers:
Well, no doubt about it. With what we do, it's twofold. Internally, as a firm, we have a lot of systems and processes that helps everybody pull towards the same direction to help our clients in an incredible way. But when you think about what we master, let's take it out to a listener who maybe doesn't work with us.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Hi, how are you? New guy. [inaudible].

Casey Hiers:
Income, simply something as simple as income. If you don't have a system and a process and a strategy around how income is structured within your practice, it's not going to be ideal. It's not going to give you the most opportunity to save for retirement and have the least amount of tax liability. Maybe a spouse is frustrated because there's no consistency, because there's no order around your income.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
This is where you fall into the trap of, "Oh, I'm just going to take whatever's left over at the end of each month."

Casey Hiers:
Oh, that makes me sad.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
If you have a poorly performed month, you're not bringing home very much at all.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. No, that's one of the big things that we see all too often.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And I know for myself personally that whenever I get some extra cash in my bank account, it's not really getting saved. It's, "Oh my god, guys, we've got an extra couple whatever. I'm going to buy myself something nice with it."

Casey Hiers:
Well, going back to systems and processes, again, even with tax management, if your CPA does not have systems and processes in place around helping a dental practice of your size and stature, then they're a historian. A lot of CPAs who are nice people and know how to do accounting that work in a dental or help dental practices, when we look at the stuff, they're more of a historian. They look at things and they tell you what's happened in the past, but they're not giving you proactive advice for the future. And if you don't have systems and processes around that, you're going to have a problem.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
They're constantly worried that the British are coming. You've got to worry about the things in the now and the things in the future, not the past.

Casey Hiers:
And then personal finances. Again, if it's just the wild, wild west, there's going to be some heartache, but if there's some systems and processes in place, that's helpful. Doesn't mean you can't have nice things, but ultimately that's important. When there's no order, then there's chaos and then that's problematic. And so many people... We've seen numbers where, wow, they bring in $900,000 in household income for the year. Sidebar, they spend 1.15 every year, so there's no-

Jarrod Bridgeman:
It's nice to make that much money, but if you're spending more than that...

Casey Hiers:
There's no order. There's no order. A lot of times it's not what you make, it's what you spend. Unfortunately, a lot of dentists should be making double what they're making. They don't know how to get there. They don't have the systems and processes in place. Let's take this another step, and this is more internally. When we go through our vetting process with people, we have agreed-upon target due dates for different steps. We like to have our data so that we can help people.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
So we do what we preach, is what you're saying.

Casey Hiers:
What do you mean?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
We have our own system in place to even bring on somebody.

Casey Hiers:
Absolutely.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
Practices need systems and processes. We have them. We know that they work. But it's interesting. A lot of different practice owners, they'll be like, "Well, I'll get you that next month, or I'll do the..." It's a reeducation for them of, no, we have these in our firm. We have these in our process. You don't get to get away with being the busy dentist or specialist. Guess what? All we work with are busy dentists and specialists that have lots of unique things going on.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
The longer it takes you to get your stuff in, the longer it takes us to do our job on top of that.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. Well, from a tax perspective, they're used to having extensions and being behind so that it's [inaudible]. "What do you mean you want a P&L and balance sheet by next week?" Well, it's going to help you. We're trying to help you, but a lot of times it's kind of breaking that mold of what the patterns people are used to being in of, I'll do it when I can. I'll do it when I'm not busy. And again, for us to help people, we have to create a roadmap for them, and ultimately when they follow it, even if we don't end up working together, they learn a lot about their current situation.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
That's why I wanted to point out too is you have to start somewhere. All of this is always evolving. Things can be fine-tuned, things can be changed, but you have to have a place to even start before you can make corrections and edits.

Casey Hiers:
There must be order.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yeah.

Casey Hiers:
So let's bring it back in. Are there companies out there that offer employee handbooks on policy and procedure? There are. They're not hard to find. They're not hard to get. That's a nice starting spot for a practice. Like attorneys. There's too many of them and only a few good ones. Practice management. There's a lot of practice management out there, but there's a place for practice management. We're not necessarily promoting or not promoting it, but it could provide order. Answering the phones, scheduling, collecting money.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I know companies that have paid tons of money for training on just how to answer a phone.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah, no, that's out there.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I learned it working at Blockbuster Video. You see what happened with that one?

Casey Hiers:
You just dated yourself right there. But to your point, building blocks. Have manuals, have systems, have processes, not just with the clinical, but with everything. I've been in a dentist office where there's earpieces and they know when patients are there and it is efficiently run and you're in and out about the time you imagine others... You can just tell there's no order, and those people are 20 minutes behind and it's kind of messy, the culture, the attitudes. We've seen that ourselves. So the take home is have systems and processes, have order, have a roadmap. As the practice owner, it's on you to do that.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
If you're not sure of all the areas that could potentially use work, it wouldn't hurt to talk to your staff. Maybe your front desk lady knows, or man, might have an idea in mind of like, "I've noticed this has been a consistent issue."

Casey Hiers:
What are your challenges? What do you need?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Right.

Casey Hiers:
And with all the free time practice owners have, that's actually really important for them to do.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Yes.

Casey Hiers:
I say that tongue in cheek, but trying to do all that yourself is...

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Bad News Bears.

Casey Hiers:
... infuriating.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Throw a Walter Matthau for you right there. Casey, listen here, dude, I've already looked at your schedule. I know where you're going to be. I like to keep my eyes on you at all times. Today you're going to be hosting a class in Minneapolis. After that, you'll be popping up in Houston, Texas in September, as well as the Chicago and Naperville area. Those are two completely different sides of the country there, but it should be a good time.

Casey Hiers:
Yeah. The tasting's at a venue called Spoon and Stable, which apparently is top-of-the-line, five-star, an amazing venue. We like to pick good places to go over important subject matter, but this place is pretty spot on.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
I'm pretty jealous. I looked at the photos and the menu online and I might have to stuff myself in your suitcase.

Casey Hiers:
Well, you know what's rough? When I do these, I eat two hours before and I want to be as sharp as I can be to present this subject matter. So I watch everybody consume all the goodness and then get a take home for 9:45 back in the hotel.

Jarrod Bridgeman:
And cry. I get it.

Casey Hiers:
Hey, no sympathy here. We're excited to get to Minneapolis and go over some important subject matter, and again, systems and processes have order. If you don't have it, how are you going to expect your staff or team to be successful?

Jarrod Bridgeman:
Make sure you go to fourquadrantsadvisory.com/events and check out where we're going to be. We update that constantly. Also, if you are not a subscriber to our podcast, go to our podcast page and fill out the form and get added to that as well. Feel free to give us some likes, give us some comments, and recommend us on whatever social media platform you use. We'd appreciate it. Thanks, Casey.

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.