How Can I Lower My Overhead?

Welcome back to Coaches Corner! We are happy to share our years of experience working with dental offices all across North America. Here is today’s question.

Hey Coaches!

My practice is doing pretty well, but I always sweat it out when payroll comes around, or there is a large bill of some type. How can I cut my overhead and get a little breathing room?

Dr. James
Enid, Oklahoma

Dr. James-

First of all, is that your first name or your last name?? We are not sure what to call you here.

Lowering your overhead is a great goal, but without knowing more about your practice it is difficult to give you truly effective pointers. When we do this for our coaching clients we have a fairly intense interview process and get really specific. But….. here are ten things that you can do, many of them starting tomorrow, that will surely help!

  1. Get on your collections! Make a list of everyone that owes you money for one reason or another and call them!! If you need to leave a voicemail, be somewhat vague. (In other words, instead of saying “I’m calling about the money you owe, you damn deadbeat!” say “We have a quick question for you that is very important…”) Get a credit card number from them right on the telephone! For those who don’t pay, send them a # 207 form!
  2.  Raise your fees! Do it now!! Don’t overthink it – just do it. And get paid more from your PPOs too! If you haven’t negotiated your PPO fee schedule, get in touch with Apex Reimbursement immediately!
  3. Offer fluoride to all adults. It’s not a huge money maker but it sure helps with cash flow.
  4. Offer sealants to all adults and kids. Both of these (fluoride and sealants) will bring in a little cash AND improve the health of your patients.
  5. Renegotiate your credit card fees. Establish a great relationship with your bank and let them know that you want to pay less for credit card processing. You may just be amazed!
  6. Renegotiate your lease.  Even if your lease is not up, with commercial real estate still down a bit, you can totally re-do your terms if you sign on for a few more years. This can immediately put cash in your pocket.
  7. Pay less for your lab bill!! Are you using our favorite lab, Maverick Dental Laboratories? They have extremely reasonable pricing and high quality. Plus – they will give you three free crowns – BruxZir, emax, or PFM –  just for trying them out! At the very least you’ll save a few hundred bucks, and probably more!
  8. Always get paid up front – don’t be a bank!! Never do in-house payment plans; you will get burned. That’s what Care Credit is for. Get the money in the bank and don’t look back.
  9. One bad apple DOES spoil the whole bunch!! A team members who saps everyone’s energy and positivity is costing you a TON! If you are in this situation, you know what we are talking about.
  10. Have a long talk with your accountant about the upcoming year. Now is the time! Are there deductions you should be taking? Things you can legally charge to the business that you aren’t? A good CPA can help immensely!

So there you have it – ten quick and easy ways to shave your overhead. While none of these are “home runs,” do five or more and we promise results!

Coach Rich
Coach Dave

Dr. David Madow and Dr. Richard Madow are actual dentists who have been helping dental offices become more successful for over 28 years. They are down to earth, real people who personally connect with their clients and are proud to call them friends. If you have a question for this column, please write to them at We are now offering a complimentary 30-minute coaching session! Please CLICK HERE to schedule yours. Doctors only please.

Satisfy Your Hygienist (And Your Accountant!)

There is not much doubt that the Cavitron Plus ultrasonic scaler is the best on the market. As you update or grow your practice it is one of those “must-have” pieces of equipment.

And its also true that your accountant has probably told you that as the year comes to a close, NOW is the time to but any equipment you need to maximize your tax savings.

That’s why our “M”-azing M Club has gotten together an incredible EXCLUSIVE deal on the Cavitron Plus Ultrasonic Scaler and the Cavitron Jet Plus Ultrasonic Scaler with Air Polisher that you just won’t be able to turn down!

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get close to five hundred dollars off of the price of the Cavitron Ultrasonic Scaler and close to a thousand off the Ultrasonic Scaler with Air Polisher.

Plus – to make things more fun, when more than ten people take advantage of this deal, the prices drop by hundreds more!

There is no doubt – this is the time to get one of the finest pieces of equipment made for providing high quality patient treatment AND save on your taxes for 2011. Why settle for some cheapo knock-off when you can get the real thing at this amazing discount?”

To view details of the entire deal and save a ton of money before 2011 comes to a close, please click here.

If you are not yet a member of The M Club – NOW is the time to join! Membership is free, the rewards are amazing, and you will get even more great exclusive deals like this throughout the year.

The M Club is where saving money is an everyday experience and dental supply buying is fun! After all, we are The Madow Brothers and this is what we do!!

You gotta check it out by clicking here. Then just call 1-855-THE-M-CLUB to join up (if you haven’t yet) and take advantage of this amazing deal!

By the way – these savings are only good through Friday December 23 – so ACT NOW! Pleae don’t miss out and kick yourself next year.

Why 2010 Will Be Better Than 2009!

As 2009 comes to a close, many people are saying “Good Riddance!” And why not? It marks the end of a decade that some are actually calling the worst in history. Are they right? Well, here is the evidence.

After the non-event of Y2K, we were witnesses to a horrific terrorist attack on American soil followed by wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of course we also had anthrax letters and the DC sniper.  Mother Nature was not very kind either as Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc and is still affecting many Americans. It was the largest and most expensive natural disaster in our country’s history.

Financially things were certainly no better. The Wall Street scandals of Enron and WorldCom made us realize just how vulnerable we all were. Then the housing market, artificially inflated by cheap money and easy credit, came crashing down like the house of cards it was. The major markets experienced their worst decade in the history of organized trading, and the economy pretty much had a total collapse.

Our infamous poster boy, prisoner No. 61727-054, a.k.a. Bernie Madoff, rots away in a Butner, N.C., jail cell, doing 150 years for orchestrating the biggest Ponzi scheme in the history of humanity. Yes – it was quite a decade.

Naysayers are still using every format possible to scream bloody murder and predict the collapse of mankind, as others are positive that the world as we know it will end on December 21, 2012. But believe it or not, there is lots of room for hope, and much of that is even based on fact! Here are a few tidbits to get you in a positive spirit as the next decade begins to emerge.

The economy is improving. That’s right! The unemployment rate dropped last month, the economy grew by 2.2% in the third quarter of 2009 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up a full 60% from its bottom in March! Practically every economist is predicting a huge upsurge in job creation next year. The release of a new Taylor Swift CD followed by a tour may also pick things up by a few percentage points. Things are pointing to a decent or possibly even great year ahead.

Banks are actually repaying their bailout money. Many major banks (even those that were predicted to “ghost”) have either paid back or have announced their intentions to pay the government (and taxpayers!) back. The Treasury Department has stated that just about all of the $700 billion will be returned. Who ever saw that coming?

Crime is down. Violent crime rates have not been this low since the early 60s! Criminologists have many theories and can’t seem to agree why this is true – but who cares? This has to be a good sign.

The Swine Flu wasn’t all that bad. With apologies to those who had serious health problems from H1N1, this was not nearly as bad as many health experts predicted. Put the masks away! (Keep using the Purell though.) The world is not coming to an end quite yet.

So there you have it – some positive signs at the end of a bad year and a pretty rough decade. Still, even with much of this bad stuff still lingering, many dental practices continue to grow and thrive; some are closing out the decade with their best year ever. But even if things have not been so stellar for you, we are excited about the year and decade ahead. Signs are pointing to great things for our profession and for the country as a whole. Keep going – don’t lose faith. We will prevail! We have to.