Victory Dental Management | Manage Your Calendar to Balance Your Life

Appointments and continuing education consume most of your time. How do you manage to live a happy, well-adjusted, balanced life when you simply don’t have time? The key is in planning. Do you use a calendar to manage your time or do you simply make agreements and arrangements as they come up? Here is how you can balance your schedule by managing your calendar.

Set Clear Boundaries

The first step to achieving a work-life balance is to consider your basic responsibilities and obligations. Set aside blocks of time in your calendar to meet with patients, hold team meetings, and attend organizational group meetings. Your calendar should be your primary time-management tool.

Time Off Means Time Off

You need to set aside time for activities unrelated to work. When you decide to take a day off, make sure it’s in your calendar. If it’s not in there, your time off is likely to be consumed by an emergency patient appointment, unexpected meeting, or other business-related expense. Make your scheduling priorities clear with your office team so they are not left with the burden of how to handle unexpected situations while you are away.

It’s Not Just for Work

Your calendar doesn’t need to be exclusive to work. In fact, it may be beneficial for you to regularly include your other commitments. From your children’s school activities to anniversaries and birthdays, seeing these events alongside your work schedule can help you make better scheduling choices. You’ll be more reluctant to accept an invitation to a meeting or convention when you know it will conflict with another occasion. By including other events on your calendar, you minimize the risk of dealing with a stressful schedule conflict between your work life and your personal life.

Never let your calendar run your day. You have the ability to schedule your day by using your calendar as a tool for time management. Start by setting clear scheduling boundaries by blocking the time you need for your main responsibilities. Don’t be afraid to take time off, but always make sure it is a part of your schedule. Also, consider including other life events and activities in your calendar to better manage your schedule.

For more tips on effectively managing your work schedule, contact our team today at Victory Dental Management.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

Dental Business Coach | Four Ways to Achieve Professional Freedom

Are you dreading going to work every day? Are you afraid of being trapped in the same place your whole career? We all can get stuck in a rut during our professional career, whether that means not getting enjoyment from your position, or working in a dead-end job with no potential growth. There is hope though, and her are four ways to acquire professional freedom and career excellence.

Continue to Act

The tiniest bit of progress is still progress. Continuing to work hard and getting everything done that you need to will continue to push you forward. If you are looking for career advancement, employers will see that you are always on top of things and that you meet your deadlines. The more progress you make, the closer you will get to professional freedom and being in control of your career.

Be the Best You

The only person that can make you achieve professional freedom and career excellence is yourself. Figuring out goals and strategies to complete those goals can be the motivation needed to be on the right track. Learn the skills you feel you need to improve yourself and your performance. Having the right tools will prepare you for anything that comes your way.

Branch Out on Your Own

If you cannot stand working for someone or believe you can do something better, the potential to start your own business is there. You will want to be sure that it is a realistic option before starting anything. Owning your own business is the highest level of professional freedom.

Find People Like You

Working can be much more enjoyable when you spend it with people that build you up. Finding people that can elevate your work and inspire you create a more welcoming business environment. If you are looking for a new company, reading reviews that current and former employees have written about the business to see the company culture. Poor employee attitudes can negatively affect the progress of a business.

Professional freedom and career excellence are not easy to achieve. By using the suggestions above, you can begin taking control of your career and setting it on the path to success.

For more ways to gain professional freedom and career excellence, contact us today at Victory Dental Management.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

Coach’s Corner | How to Account for Covid 19 in Your 2021 Goals

A new client of mine asked a great question, and I thought I would share it for my Coach’s Corner. In December, it is necessary to look back at the year and decide what changes you want to make for the upcoming year. Typically, these center around goals. Well, 2020 has taught us a lot of things, so I wanted to go a little deeper with specific items to think about for your own practice. 

My client was not sure how to update his goals for 2021. You see, his team totally changed due to Covid-19. There are fewer team members now, and their roles and responsibilities have significantly changed. Due to that, his goals should reflect these changes as well.  We started breaking down some different areas of his practice.  

There are many practices that find themselves in this situation.  A year ago, when you created your goals for 2020, covid 19 was not a reality. Now most practices are having to see less patients each day due to new protocols.  Another schedule metric that needs to be reviewed is your new patient numbers. Your schedule may or may not be able to handle seeing a certain number of new patients. Please review your production goals with this in mind to make sure you establish realistic production goals for the upcoming year. 

One area that your goals should not need to change compared to pre covid would be your collection goals. That is assuming your goals for each category were correct. Now, more than ever, you need to stay current with your account receivables. Please make sure you are working your outstanding insurance report. I am now suggesting to my clients to work your AR reports on a weekly basis, so you are aware of all outstanding claims and patient balances. Hopefully, you are on top of your collections reports. If not, it is never too late to get more stringent with your systems.

Another financial aspect for your practice is offering third party financing options as well as a membership program. There are several companies that offer these services, so you have options. 

I know these are just a few areas to review, and they are the priority that need your attention. If you would like to discuss some options to start 2021 off strong, please get in touch with me. I would be happy to help.

Dental Consultant Near Me | Big Picture

You and your team are personally involved in your business daily. This can make it difficult to evaluate the areas of opportunity that are available to you. Even the most well-trained team can have instances of inefficiency or miscommunication, leading to breakdowns in patient care and impacting your workplace environment. 

Just as you recommend your patients receive a full examination annually, we recommend the same for your business. Whether we have an ongoing relationship with you or it’s been years since we’ve evaluated your team, we recommend scheduling a checkup of your practice. During this evaluation, we may recommend the following: 

· Evaluate current practice goals and benchmarks

· Evaluate team morale and motivation

· Evaluate your systems and protocols

· Evaluate overall patient satisfaction 

· Create a success plan for moving forward

All too often, business owners attempt to motivate their team with no outside guidance. In some cases, this approach can have some success. However, as a business owner, it can be difficult to see the patient perspective or to evaluate a team member without being influenced by your personal connection. Having a person outside of your organization reinforce the importance of your systems can be difference between stagnation and the progress you desire.

If you’re looking to make this year even better than the last, schedule your consultation with Victory Dental Management today.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053
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Dental Team Coach | Building a Better Team

Recruiting employees can be a time-consuming, stressful, and sometimes costly endeavor. When you’re looking to build an optimal team, it can be tempting to hold onto old employees for too long and hesitate to hire new ones until you’re confident you’ve found the “perfect” fit. However, both of these common mistakes can be damaging to the efficiency and culture of your business in the long term. Building an ideal team can take time, but keeping the following tips in mind can help ensure your business is able to thrive.

Out with the old…

It can be hard to let go of any employee. Ideally, everyone you bring to your business will become a valuable member of the team. Unfortunately, that’s not always going to be the case. If an employee is displaying any of the following signs, it might be time to consider letting them go:

  • Bad Attitude: This includes eye-rolling, snide comments, complaints, confrontational tone, and passive-aggressive speech or actions. An employee that disrespects their co-workers won’t have the best interests of the team or the business at heart.
  • Lack of Engagement: Whether unfocused at work or unresponsive during meetings, an employee that’s not mentally present can’t give their best to their work.
  • Dishonesty: Whether this involves refusal to accept accountability, blaming others for mistakes, or outright lies, dishonesty is harmful to your business and your team.
  • Poor Performance: While it’s expected that an employee in a new role may need an adjustment period, if that employee shows an ongoing inability to grow professionally or meet the expectations of their position, it might be a harbinger of even bigger problems down the road.

In with the new…

Whether you’re looking to replace current employees or meet the demands of a growing business, you want to do everything you can to make sure you’re hiring the right people for your team. Here are some tips that can help streamline the hiring process:

  • There’s No Such Thing as Perfect: When looking to bring in new employees, it can be tempting to wait until you’ve found the “perfect” fit. However, that can unnecessarily slow down the process and cause you to skip over individuals who might become great assets for your team in time. Keep in mind that a good employee is one that grows and performs well, and look for individuals that possess the qualities needed to thrive long-term.
  • Follow Your Gut: Instincts exist for a reason. If something about a prospective employee isn’t sitting right with you, it could be a sign that there’s a deeper problem you’ll have to address in the future. While you shouldn’t necessarily make quick decisions on feelings alone, it’s worthwhile to take them into account.
  • Listen to Your Team: The members of your staff will often be able to offer good insights into how the company can grow. Whether a trusted employee is revealing the poor performance of a co-worker or a team is asking for another member to help manage their growing responsibilities, it’s worth seeking their input when making decisions.

Though there’s no exact science to building a successful team, there are proven strategies you can use to help the process be as painless as possible. By holding current employees to a clearer standard and exercising discernment with new and prospective employees, you can make the hiring process operate more smoothly and increase the overall productivity and happiness of your team.

For more advice on building a better team and managing your practice growth, contact Victory Dental Management.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053
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Coach’s Corner | Gratitude – Look at us now

In November, I typically write something about gratitude, and this post is extra special. This is my first pandemic gratitude post. Hang with me for a moment. I think it took 2020 to teach us what we value as most important in our lives.  Yes, we had to deal with all the changes that Covid 19 placed on us and look at us now. There is a lot to be thankful for. 

We learned how to juggle family obligations like never before and look at us now. There is a lot to be thankful for.

We learned to handle changes in our offices like never before and look at us now. There is a lot to be thankful for.

We understand the stress our patients have felt and maybe some financial stress like never before and look at us now. There is a lot to be thankful for.

We know our health is important and something we should not take for granted anymore. Maybe we have learned to prioritize our healthy eating habits and work out routines and look at us now. There is a lot to be thankful for.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and get the opportunity to spend it with those you hold closest to you.

Dental Office Consultant | Get Organized, Get Productive

Time is money. If you want your practice to be as efficient and economically prosperous as possible, you don’t want to spend valuable time dealing with the effects of clutter and chaos. Disorganization is shown to have a direct negative impact on productivity and, by extension, your earning potential as a practice.

Whether you feel like you’re drowning in papers or you want to learn tips to take your efficiency to the next level, here are some tips to help you and your team get organized. Contact our team today at Victory Dental Management to learn more about the strategies we can help you implement to ensure you’re getting the most out of your practice.

Clean Up the Clutter

When you have so many different things demanding your attention throughout the day, it can be difficult to keep on top of everything. If you’re not careful, papers and other clutter can accumulate faster than you realize. Once the pile starts to get away from you, it can be hard to ever work your way back through without having to set aside valuable time to sort through everything.

It’s easier to avoid getting yourself into this mess in the first place once you have organizational strategies in place. You might create a unique filing system for handling the various kinds of mail that comes through your office. Perhaps you set specific team members in charge of returning calls. The best system of organization is the one that works for you and your team.

Don’t Let Your Time Manage You

It can be difficult to prioritize the different duties of your work. It’s rare that even an hour will go by without a variety of different distractions. While you’ll have the occasional emergency that demands immediate response, most of these interruptions will not need to be addressed right away.

Resist the urge to drop everything every time a new email or task arises. Operating this way will only make it harder to actually accomplish any of your duties on time. Instead, learn to prioritize which things need to be addressed immediately and which can be done later. Delegate what can be passed to another and clarify deadlines for things that must be completed by you to allow accurate prioritization of tasks.

The day-to-day efficiency of your business can impact its long-term success. Don’t waste your time digging through clutter because you’re working without a plan. For more strategies for your success, contact Victory Dental Management.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053
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Consultant Near Me | Things to Consider Before Buying New Dental Equipment

No matter how well-equipped your office is initially, time, wear, and changes in technology will at some point require you to purchase additional or replacement equipment. There are a few points you may wish to keep in mind before making your final decision on a major equipment purchase for your practice.

First, take your time. Like with any other major purchase, rushing into a decision can be costly. Instead, spend several weeks in preparation for this choice. Meet with your Dental CPA about any tax implications and ask if there is an optimal time to make such a purchase. Consider carefully the following factors to be sure you are choosing the right piece of equipment for your needs:

  • What is the main purpose of this equipment?
  • What features do you want/need it to have?
  • Are you and your team going to need extensive training to use it?
  • How often is this equipment going to be used?
  • Will it fit the space available?
  • Will you have to make changes to the space to use this equipment (ie, wiring, utility connections, etc)?
  • Is the manufacturer reliable?
  • Does the manufacturer provide good service for their equipment?
  • How long should this equipment last?
  • What is the expected benefit of this upgrade?
  • When do you plan to have it installed and in use?
  • If this equipment is to allow new services, is there a demand for those services in your practice/community?
  • Will your pricing for your services offset the investment cost and still be competitive in your market?
  • If the equipment you are buying is used, have you obtained an independent opinion on its condition?
  • How does the cost compare to other models? Other manufacturers?
  • Can you purchase directly from the manufacturer to save on cost?
  • Have you compared pricing from a variety of sources online?

While not all of these may apply to your equipment purchase in every circumstance, it should be clear that major dental office equipment should never be bought on impulse or without thorough consideration and research. Recommendations from other dentists or your dental CPA can also be helpful in narrowing your search.

Your dental equipment plays a vital role in the quality of care you are able to provide to your patients. When it is time to add or replace a piece of that equipment, make sure you take plenty of time to research, refine, and select the right piece for your practice. This will help you be certain that your investment will bring value to your practice for years to come.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053
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Dental Business Consultant | Why Your Practice Needs Effective Team Meetings

Regular effective team meetings can play a crucial role in the health of your dental practice. That one simple-sounding factor can impact every aspect of your business. Your people, your patients, and your practice all benefit from regular effective team meetings.

Your people need team meetings. The core of your practice is your vision, your goals, and your strategy for achieving your goals. Each member of your team needs to understand all of these things and, just as importantly, needs to understand their part in your plan. Without that understanding, your team is working blindly and is unable to actively contribute toward reaching your goals for your business.

A team meeting is an ideal format for open discussion about your vision, goals, and strategy. Not only can you use this discussion to ensure every member is clear on your expectations, but you may find that their unique perspective creates an exchange of ideas on more effective ways to reach your goals and how each person can best contribute.

While not every team meeting needs to include high-level discussion of vision, goals, and strategy, it is a good idea to include this at least once or twice a year and when bringing a new employee into the team. Additionally, many successful dentists find that it is highly useful to touch on how the strategies are being implemented and to discuss any measurable progress toward goals on at least a monthly basis. This helps to keep your team engaged and motivated toward achievement.

Your patients need team meetings. One of the most common components of an effective team meeting is education. Your team needs to know what the policies are, what is on the agenda for the day, if there are any specials being offered, if anyone is sick or on vacation. Any new ideas, training, or techniques that can be shared should be. Your patients need to know they will be given correct and consistent information from any member of your team. Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Your practice needs team meetings. Teach your team how to ask patients for referrals. Word of mouth can have a huge impact on your new customer base. Even happy, satisfied patients rarely refer anyone unless asked to do so, according to a recent study.  Your team members should be engaging your patients in every interaction to ensure a positive experience and should be able to ask for referrals when patients are pleased.

Only you can review your practice, your time, and your schedules to determine when and how frequently you should hold team meetings. Whether you meet daily, weekly, or on some other timeline, make your meetings regular and effective. You will see benefits to your team, your patient experience, and your practice.

Victory Dental Management
Phone: (804) 399-2053

Coach’s Corner | Dysfunction in dental teams and the road to redemption

I have seen some very dysfunctional teams – not only in a dental practice, but in other industries, and sports as well. The reasoning is different depending on the environment, but one thing is consistent. At least one person feels they need to be heard, or their opinion should mean more than anyone else’s. 

Think about that for a moment. One employee, not a team member by my definition, feels like their opinion of themselves rises to a higher level than the rest of the team.  This sense of entitlement is very detrimental to any dentist or office manager that is trying to create a true team in your practice. 

This situation will continue to raise its ugly head if corrective measures are not taken.  Case in point, I have a client that went through this a few years ago. Her dental assistant would always tell everyone that she was a team player. However, talk is cheap. When someone asked if she could help with a task, she would reply “that is not my job”. When the doctor wanted to have a team meeting on a day the office is closed, she replied “I can’t come in on my day off – I work enough during the week.” When the doctor told her, she was a member of the team and needed to be there she replied, “I am tired, I do too much already.” I can continue with more examples, but you know where I am headed with this. In fact, while reading this, you might have a picture of someone in your head that reminds you of a past or current coworker. 

All the previous examples are indicative of a bad attitude. I define attitude differently than most people – I believe attitude is based on emotion and environment. I also believe attitudes can change if an individual will allow for growth and change. This client of mine saw so much potential in her assistant that she asked me to work with her one on one. I will make a long story short for our purpose. It took some time to dig down and really find out why she so closely held to her entitlement attitude. 

Apparently, she had gone through a very rough divorce and had previously worked for an abusive employer. By abusive I mean an associate dentist used to throw instruments at her and would yell at her on a regular basis. She was equating her past with the requests that her current employer was asking of her. She had placed a wall around her to protect her and if it wasn’t for the doctor who saw so much potential, she would have been fired. We worked on numerous things for the next few months and she understood how her current employer and team members really wanted to break down her barrier and become a close knit, better performing team. She didn’t realize at the time she was the one blocking that advancement for the entire team! 

I will not use her name for obvious reasons but she worked really hard to improve her attitude and I am happy to share that she is doing very well and the rest of the team is performing better each year. 

Why do I share this with you? Well, this situation is not unique. Many times, there is one employee that gives lip service to being a team member, but their words do not match their actions. I believe the best in people and most want to learn and grow. If you can identify with this situation and you or your team member needs help, please let me know. Until next time, I will see you at the next Coach’s Corner.