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to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

Your Dental Practice: Failing To Plan or Planning to Fail?

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

November 28, 2012

I am sure that you are busy with the normal year end tasks; preparing for Christmas, maybe busy completing treatment on patients who have insurance benefits that run out and planning for a successful year in 2013. If you are like most, that last item “planning for next year” probably needs more attention than you have given in years past.

One of the reasons most of our clients will have a successful year is because we are there to hold them accountable. We create a plan and work beside them to keep everyone on their team on track for success and the planned out goals.

Can you remember the days before you held a gps in your hand while trying to drive your car at the same time? I learned to drive by the Thomas Guide a large book I kept next to me in my car. Many times recently while my husband was driving and our gps was providing the directions we still got lost!

Your annual business plan really is a map. You may take a few detours during the year based on various factors BUT without this map, it’s guaranteed that opportunities will slip by and you’ll be more easily distracted by random things that don’t fit into the services you do best or want you need to do more of.

I am still very surprised at how many practices are “driving around with blinders on” and without mapping out their annual plan for profits each year ahead. When you fail to plan then you have surely planned to fail. This is no different than getting in your car and attempting to drive to a foreign location “hoping you will get there within the shortest time and miles driven.”

If you read Maslow’s needs pyramid, (He’s that psychologist) in his studies he discerned the fact that “people are inherently lazy” and the quest of all management (yes, whether of OURSELF or others) is to develop habits and tricks that counter that natural human tendency. This includes your annual business plan.

Here is a practical approach to counter the inherent tendency in yourself to not do something that’s important. Block at least a half day (I honestly suggest blocking one day) to plan for how you will produce and collect more in 2013. Even a small, simple plan is better than no plan at all.

 

Suggestions for your meeting action plan:

 

  1. Review your current financial performance against last year & current year targets.
  2. Analyze your successes and failures during the previous year.
  3. Make a quick S.W.O.T. analysis – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats
  4. Get 7 pieces of paper and begin brainstorming (one page for each of the following 7 areas.)  What new ideas do I have (or can I come up with, or can my team & I come up with) in the following areas?
    1. Marketing
    2. Patient Services
    3. Patient Reactivation & Retention Strategies
    4. Leadership & Organizational Management (Consulting, Courses)
    5. Cash Flow/Financial Management (Income, supply expenses. Lab fees, etc.)
    6. Front office/ Back office
    7. Hygiene Department

Once you complete these four steps you are then ready to start crafting your Annual Business Plan. The most important thing at this point is to keep it simple. Build your plan around 3 sections (1 page for each section):

  1. Marketing Calendar – Decide what you want to do each month for the next year and create a Marketing Calendar.
  2. Cash Flow Projection/Budget – Make a forecast of your income and expenses for the coming year and put it into a monthly budget.
  3. Operational Improvement – Look at each of the 7 areas that you brainstormed (above) and set 1-3 S.M.A.R.T. goals for each area. Pace yourself through the year. We typically over estimate what we can accomplish in one month and under estimate what we can accomplish in one year. If possible, assign a “Champion Leader” for each goal. If that’s not possible, find a consultant or an accountability partner who you will meet with regularly to report on your progress. Accountability & encouragement is essential for success!

So, I ask…Are you ready for 2013?

My Thanksgiving Letter to You

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

November 21, 2012


 

 

 

 

 

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s an American tradition; the day we give thanks for all we have. Thanks for the things, the conditions and the people we may take completely for granted the other 364 days of the year.

What I love most about Thanksgiving is the purity of it.

Notice how we don’t buy each other gifts. You know, the gifts we must make sure are at least as good as the ones we think we will receive. The gifts we cannot afford. The gifts we end up paying for, many months after the holiday has passed.

Notice how it does not matter what religion we practice. Anyone can celebrate Thanksgiving. It is the holiday that celebrates diversity and inclusion. Kind of like how our forefathers envisioned us as a country.

Notice how there aren’t any goofy, make-believe characters that we have morphed into being the icon of Thanksgiving. Not even the turkey has taken on any meaning, other than food for our feast. Now I don’t have anything against Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. They are great fairy tales for kids. They just don’t have anything to do with Christianity, nor does spending billions of borrowed dollars to celebrate these characters.

Gratitude carries such amazing power. Gratitude instantly reshapes our over-amped ambitions, competitiveness and rat-race mentality. Gratitude heals many wounds and every relationship, when we give it a chance.

If you want to give someone a gift that will really make a difference — a gift that they will remember and likely keep forever — write them a letter about how much you appreciate them, love them and cherish them. Tell them the specific things they do and who they are that is such a gift to you. It is free, but priceless.

Today I am reminded of, and celebrate, those qualities of my life for which I am thankful. I share them with you here so that you will perhaps make a list of your own. Carry them in your heart all year, and all your years to come are guaranteed to be more peaceful, loving and abundant.

I am thankful for:

My GOD…for without faith where would I be today? God is with me and in my heart and mind always. He lives in my soul. I am thankful to live in a country where I can worship God freely!

My health … for without it, nothing else matters much. This is the area of my life I still take for granted, and I do make improvements every year. Keep taking more vitamins as they find new ones to cure more diseases. Need to learn that new dance step and zumba. Still want to fit in a marathon or triathlon!

My lover, husband and best friend Greg … who inspires in me a love like I have only imagined. He makes me want to be the best woman I could ever be.

My family, sister, brother, step-sons, granddaughters…they all love me unconditionally. Grandchildren are the most fascinating of all! Thank you GOD for these beautiful creatures!

My beloved parents Doug and Polly…it was a short lived life for them. I was their eldest child of 3 and they did their very best. They say they did without carpet so I could be dressed the best. They made certain I missed out on no activities; bowling, dance lessons, church choir and girl scouts to name a few of the many.

My friends … you know, the ones who do not have a vested interest in any conditions; they are just my friends. Period. I am so thankful for the people in my life who accept me as I am. No matter what, they are always there and always will be. These  people  accept me even with all the  mistakes I unintentionally make!

My experiences … some extraordinary, some frightful. Some I am happy to have out of the way, so I do not have to go through them in the future. They have given me great empathy, some wisdom, and have fed my infinite curiosity about life, people and places.

My education…as a child I didn’t appreciate this and now I am so grateful and proud of my college education. This is something no one can take from me!

My financial freedom … which gives me so many things. Freedom to pursue my passions: travel quilting, tennis, skiing, reading, personal development, business. The peace of mind that we will never be homeless, forced to take a meaningless job, or be in a position to not take care of each other.

My associates … so much of my freedom and peace of mind comes from the loyalty, gratitude and commitment of the people with whom I work: colleagues who are leaders as well; the team of people I work with in my  office; corporate leaders and the clients I serve. I vow never to take any of them or their efforts for granted, for without them … well, I would just have to start over. That would not be fun!

My country … what extraordinary blessing for those of us who live in theUSA. As selfish, immature and twisted as some of our country’s political, business and religious leaders are, we still are the place where people die every day in an attempt to come here.

People will die this week in pursuit of the level of religious freedom we enjoy; in pursuit of this economic opportunity; in pursuit of our Bill of Rights. They will give their lives attempting to cross our borders or cross an ocean to freedom. They will pay a king’s ransom and risk their lives just for a shot at the life that so many of us Americans, take for granted.

If you are thankful for nothing else this day, be thankful you live where you do and that you can do what you do today.

Thanksgiving.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this day was the most celebrated day in our year? Celebrated by us truly giving thanks, saying thank you and meaning thank you.

I do thank each of you for the part you play in my life. Without you, it would be maybe a little or maybe a lot different. I love it just the way my life is.

PATIENT CASE ACCEPTANCE: Why Will They Decide to Say “YES” ?

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

November 3, 2012

What I have discovered to be the #1 reason patients will accept your care and continue returning to your dental office is trust.

In Steven Covey’s book, “The Speed of Trust,” he makes the case that when trust is low, the cost of business goes up, and the speed of business decreases.

If you ask most people why they choose a certain company to do business with they will say that it is because of a relationship they have with a person there or a past experience. I think of Nordstrom and why I love to shop there. I believe they have good quality but I really go there because of the way people treat me. I always have a great experience and I trust that they have products that will last.

Trust is not just a matter of quality but equally skills, competency and your knowledge.

In Covey’s book he points out that just because he trusts his babysitter to watch his kids but he would not trust her to run his business. She lacks competency to trust her with matters of his business.

There is a turbulent time in our economy today. Business is slow around the world. For this reason trust must be high with your patients for them to continue choosing your dental office over another office closer to their home, work or one that is on their insurance plan. Trust must begin with a personal worthiness of character and competency. In an effort to extend and receive trust in your day-to day responsibilities, we can have a significant impact not only on our success but also on the speed at which we achieve it.

Dentists are reaching out today to improve their methods of patients saying “YES!” to their care. It is something I hear about every week.

In an effort to turn this challenge into a successful outcome I have developed a 12 week course to get your patients to a point where they must say “YES!” to your care.

You can view the week –by-week process and everything that is included here:

This is a course I will continue to repeat frequently but you can jump in now and receive over $1,000.00’s in bonuses.

Would you like to know more? LINK TO MORE INFO 

Or listen to the Introduction in Week 1: LISTEN WEEK 1