1.26.18 Issue #829 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Are You Drowning in Debt?
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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Over the years, I’ve worked with many dentists struggling to overcome debt. These dentists come to me exhausted and frustrated. No matter what they do, they can’t seem to get ahead. They’re not able to invest in the technologies and upgrades they know will elevate their practice, and the thought of saving for retirement seems like nothing more than a dream.

And I’m not just talking about dentists fresh out of school. Many experienced clinicians find themselves drowning in debt, with most dentists somewhere between $300,000 and $500,000 in the hole. How does this happen? While some debt is just part of the cost of doing business, all-too-often it’s a result of poor financial management. Business credit cards, loans, mortgages, equipment leases and lines of credit are all among the many factors that contribute to dental debt.

A large amount of debt will cause frustration for you and your team members and hold your practice back. If you’re constantly worried about money, you’re not able to focus on actually growing your practice – you’re just trying to keep your head above water.

Now is the time to take back control of your finances so you can finally start reaching your goals. But to get there, you first must determine why debt has become such a problem in your practice.

Where should you start looking? Your practice management systems. Typically, outdated, inefficient practice management systems play a huge role in debt. To find out if that’s what’s happening in your practice, take a minute to ask yourself a few questions. Can you remember the last time you updated any of the 20 critical practice management systems? Do you monitor your systems each month? If your answer to one or both of these questions is no, then I think we’ve likely identified the main source of your money woes.

If systems aren’t performing as they should, they’re not doing anything to move your practice forward. Instead, they’re contributing to your debt and skyrocketing overhead costs. Are you ready to turn this around? I suggest you start giving your systems some love. Really look at these systems and determine what you need to do to improve their performance. Take the time to learn them inside and out, and to understand how they impact your profitability.

Keep in mind this isn’t something you can fix overnight. It will take some effort on your part to really dig into these systems, determine what’s being mismanaged, and then make the necessary corrections. This might seem like an impossible task, but it isn’t – especially if you have the proper guidance from an experienced dental consulting company like McKenzie Management.

How your practice will change
Once your systems are finally running like well-oiled machines, you’ll notice a huge difference in your office. Production numbers will begin to rise and so will profits. The practice will become more efficient, and you’ll finally be able to purchase new equipment and update your office. You’ll be much less stressed, and so will your team members. Patients will receive even better care, and you might even find you have a renewed passion for dentistry.

Just how much can you expect your practice to improve financially? Once your systems are running at maximum efficiency, your revenues will likely increase 25-35% within two months – which would be a huge boost to your bottom line.

Don’t be afraid to talk about debt
While I’ve helped countless dentists overcome financial challenges over the years, I’ve found that many are reluctant to talk about their debt. They don’t want to admit it’s a problem in their practice, and think they can fix it on their own. The problem is, they never find the time to carefully inspect their systems and make the necessary changes. Often they have no idea what’s causing the problem, so the situation just gets worse.

Reducing debt in your practice will take commitment from you and your team. You’ll need to be honest with yourself about your system shortfalls, and be willing to change. But once you do, you’ll significantly reduce your financial obligations and finally start realizing success. You’ll no longer feel like you’re drowning in debt.

Even if you’re ready to make changes, I know this all can seem a bit overwhelming. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Feel free to contact me, and together we’ll get your practice back on track.

Next week: Get practice debt under control

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
Interested in having McKenzie Management Seminars speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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