Thriving In The Business Of Dentistry

By Andrew Jacobsen

Many dentists who have spent eight or more years preparing to practice have not had much exposure to the methods needed to create a successful business of dentistry. They leave school ready to take care of people, passionate about their new career, and many feel that they will naturally be able to create a thriving business.

A successful business model incorporates the skills and expertise of many professionals. No one professional, including the owner, attempts to perform all of the tasks that are found in the business. The owner of a business, as with a dentist, is an expert in their field, and depends on the experts in other fields to work on the team to achieve success.

There must be a solid foundation of basic business management principles established early on for the business of dentistry to be successful. The first, and most difficult principle for most dentists is their management style. Dentists, by nature, are very "hands-on" people. They want to be sure that every part of their patient's dental care is provided at the high standard they have set. In the business world these characteristics would be referred to as a micro-management style.

When creating an effective business model one wants to use all of their resources to the maximum level possible. This includes hiring individuals who are experts in different aspects of the operation of a dental practice. These individuals normally have spent several developing and perfecting their skill set and are adept at providing the level of service that one desire for their growing practice. However, these individuals will not thrive or function well in the negative environment that results from a micro-management style.

Creating clear job expectations and descriptions will be crucial in having a team that functions smoothly. The job descriptions provide the employee with clear expectations and provide the practitioner the visual boundary that they need to allow their team to function effectively.

When individuals are hired who meet the requirements as outlined on the job description and have the characteristics needed for a positive work environment the business can thrive. The dentist can focus on patients and their needs while the professionals that have been hired can grow the practice externally. Through the use of the communication tools available one will find that it is easy to stay abreast of what is happening on the business side of the practice without taking time away from patients and slowing internal growth of the business.

When a dentist has developed a solid team that is working toward the same goals he/she will find that learning the techniques to work in a macro-management style will serve them very well in developing a successful business of dentistry. - 31382

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