In 1997 the great (and overlooked) band The Old 97s asked…”What’s so great about the Barrier Reef?” And in 2019 we are asking…”What’s so great about a million dollar practice?”
For many solo practitioners this seems to be a yardstick of sorts. If you have a million dollar practice you are doing okay.
So let’s talk about two dentists we met last week.
One produced and collected $625,000 per year – a quite modest practice by most dentist’s standards. He took a few of the better “plans” but they weren’t a large part of his practice. He worked four days per week and took at least four weeks off each year.
His team was small – just one front office person, one dental assistant, and a part-time hygienist. He worked at a pretty leisurely pace and really enjoyed what he was doing. And while every single day in his office was not as fun as a night at the movies, he usually looked forward to going in.
His take-home was around $245,000 and rising slightly each year. He had no trouble funding his retirement and still consistently socked away some post-tax dollars. And while he may not have been able to survive in Manhattan with those numbers, in his small town in rural Florida he was very satisfied with his career and earnings.
So why did he contact us? He wanted to “fine tune his systems” and prepare the practice for a possible sale in five years or so. Smart.
Then we met a dentist with a $1.8 million practice. Well, that’s what she collected. Before write-offs and non-collectibles she was producing about $2.6 million (and covering all the overhead that goes along with that large figure!). Her systems and strategies were either non-existent or not working. Her staff was anything but a team – they were more a hodgepodge collection of disengaged people who happened to work in the same office.
Practice debt was already high, and she was thinking about purchasing a CEREC, as if that would solve everything. She had little money in retirement and wouldn’t be funding her plan this year. Her take-home was a little more than the first dentist, but by her own admission she was not enjoying her practice or her life. And guess why she contacted us? To “take a look at her website!” As if ever! Is that really the problem here?? There are so many things that need help in this practice before even thinking about the website!
So, at least in this case, what’s so great about a million dollar practice???
Does that mean we are down on high producers? Absolutely not! Two of our TBSE speakers this year, Dr. Steve Rasner and Dr. Ric Zambito, each have practices that collect over four million per year – and both are in depressed blue collar towns! Their practices are expertly organized, well run, and happy places for docs, team, and patients. So what’s so great about a million dollar practice? Maybe everything. And maybe nothing. It depends.
The point is, we tend to focus so much on production and collections, but that rarely tells the whole story. And – this is important – don’t worry about how other practices are doing when you hear their numbers. As we have learned in over thirty years of working with dentists, that NEVER tells the story.
So whether your practice is a start-up, a struggling or plateauing one, or a successful one that could be even better, if you want to learn how to really do it right from amazing dentists like Dr. Rasner and Dr. Zambito, TBSE 2019 is the place to be!
Of course there will be more amazing speakers and lots of cool activities for docs and team. (Check out the lineup by clicking here!) And it’s back in Vegas at The Tropicana Resort Hotel!! TBSE is the no-brainer of the year, and it WILL sell out. Sign up now for discounted pricing and hotel rooms. Can’t wait to see you there!
Meet the Madow Brothers
Dr. David Madow
Influencer, Speaker, Author & Coach at The David Madow Lifestyle Show + Co-founder of The Madow Center for Dental Practice Success.