MY RECESSION CONFESSION
Recession, depression, oppression, regression, transgression, succession, obsession, decompression, bull session, rap session or jam session? I have no clue what we are going through. And let me tell you … neither do the “experts”!
Let’s face it; there is nothing any of us can do about this economy – at least on the macroeconomic side. And by the macroeconomic side I am referring to real estate markets, stock markets, interest rates, tax laws, etc.
But the good news is that we do have some control over the microeconomic side – our personal finances. Financial strategies that I have figured out by necessity have literally changed my life and given me a better outlook on everything, no matter how long this crazy economic climate continues.
Has anything good come out of the crazy times we are experiencing? I actually think so. Let me share a few things I have learned over the past few months and have incorporated into my life. I find that they are making a very big difference. I am fairly certain they will help you as well. OK, here we go…
It is more important than ever to have a total grasp of your finances.
If you were like me, you used to go out shopping, see something you wanted, and simply purchase it. The credit card bill came in at the end of the month and you paid it. No big deal, right?
And I bet if I asked you what your average monthly cash flow is for business and personal, you would give me a blank stare. I mean, there is probably no way you could tell me accurately how much you have coming in (after taxes) each month and how much goes out. Most people only guess (inaccurately).
In the past, buying on a whim and ignorance concerning monthly cash flow probably didn’t matter too much. The money was there, we spent it – no problem. But as Bob Dylan once said, “The times they are a’changin’.” The financial climate in this country now demands our attention. This recession (depression? – whatever it is) affects all of us. Ignorance of our financial situation is a luxury we can no longer afford.
I found this cool little Web site online that will totally change this and give you a perfect snapshot of your finances at any time of the day you wish. It is called Mint and the Web site is www.mint.com.
When you go there, you will have to input some personal and financial information, but they use the same security that financial institutions use so I have no problem giving them what they need. At any time, you can go to Mint and see exactly how much you have in any of your accounts, how much you have charged, if you are over budget in any category, etc.
Once you start using Mint, it will be clear as day where your money is going. And with a few little tweaks, you will be able to cut out the money wasters and ultimately have a balanced budget!
I have been using Mint for only a couple of months now, and it has more than paid for itself already. Oh, wait a second, Mint is totally free! Check it out.
Please do not stop your marketing!
Unfortunately, I hear this one all the time from dentists: “Things are a little tight as far as my cash flow these days, so I have decided to cut back on my marketing.” If you are even remotely thinking this, please be warned that making this mistake could prove to be very serious.
Think about it for a second. There is a very good chance that your bottom line is down 20% or so in this economy right now. That seems to be the national average. Maybe you are doing a little better or a little worse. But if this is true, then you absolutely need new patients, not necessarily to grow your practice, but to at least get your numbers up to where they should be. So you need to continue your marketing or you will slip even farther behind.
Now, of course, I am not recommending that you continue marketing that is not working. I would not recommend that in ANY economy, let alone a down economy. Make sure you are doing things that have been proven to work, especially in tough economic times. There are tons of things that work now.
In our one-day “Love Dentistry” seminars, Rich and I talk about many good marketing strategies that are working now for our subscribers all across the country. And the good news is that many of these are free or “almost free.” If you have not been to one of our seminars or you are not sure where you should start, please call our office at 1-800-258-0060 and one of our friendly team members will be very happy to give you some ideas! But please, no matter what you do, don’t close up your pipeline to the community.
It is crucial to save money on the things that you are able to save on!
So we have established the fact that halting or postponing your marketing because of the economy is perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that you could make. Having said that, there are many areas you SHOULD be saving on. As I said in my December 2008 article, I have found it to be true that many vendors are willing to negotiate on price because their numbers are down so much.
The most important expense that you can start saving on immediately is for your dental supplies. This one is such a no-brainer; I am surprised that 100% of you are not doing this.
It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that your dental supplies comprise a significant portion of your expenses. If you are like the average dental practice, you are most likely buying the equivalent value of a luxury car or SUV each year in dental supplies! If it were possible, wouldn’t it make sense to minimize this expense while purchasing the exact same dental supplies?
Well, this is very possible. As you know, many years ago, Rich and I teamed up with David Fry and Bryan Lindsay to create the Richards Report Buying Group. Since its inception, our goal has been to bring our members their dental supplies at the absolute lowest cost possible. The way we are able to do this is the same way that large companies are able to purchase goods at much better prices than the average consumer – by buying in large quantities.
Let me ask you a question: If you wanted to purchase some hamburger buns, do you think you’d be able to do so at the same price that McDonald’s purchases their buns? Or if you needed a flat screen TV, could you get the same price that Marriott Hotels gets? Of course the answer would be no to the above. These companies buy so many hamburger buns and TVs that they get to purchase these at probably half of what you or I would pay.
Well, the same applies to your dental supplies although not on as grand of a scale, of course. You see, over the last thirteen years, we have brought so many dentists into our buying group that we are able to negotiate what we believe is the best deal on dental supplies in the profession.
Some of the highlights of the Richards Report Buying Group are:
• Free membership ALWAYS! Some other groups lure you in with “free membership,” only to find out that it was a teaser and in order to stay in, you must pay to play! We have never charged for membership, and we never will.
• Affiliation with the best dental supply company! As you probably know, we have been affiliated with Darby Dental for quite some time now. Darby has a reputation for a great catalog of items at fantastic prices.
• Discount from already low prices! Richards Report Buying Group members take 12% off of the regular already low prices in Darby’s catalog. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this???
• Fastest shipping to-your-door!
• Dedicated phone number for our members! When you place an order, you call our incredibly dedicated staff at the Buying Group. They will treat you like part of our family! The phone number is 1-866-309-9472.
• Easy signup! Call 1-866-309-9472 immediately and get signed up in a matter of seconds. Then, as soon as you are ready to place your first order, you may call, fax or go online! It is so simple.
I cannot stress enough how important it is right now to join a buying group. In the past, if you wanted to overpay for your supplies, maybe it was easier to make up for it with increased revenues. Today, you need to save every single way you can. This is a MUST!!!!
Thanks for being a reader of The Madow Brothers Monthly. We are the “Love Dentistry Guys”! We have been teaching dentists and their teams how to “Love Dentistry, Have Fun and Get Rich” for just about twenty years now. Over the next few months you will be seeing more about how to “Love Dentistry!” And please watch out for the unveiling of our brand new Web site, www.lovedentistry.com. Others who have promised to help you have come and gone while The Madow Brothers are making more dentists successful every day! Remember, you are not alone anymore!!!