I find the overwhelming complaint of dentists/practice owners, is the constant change of thinking – switching between business owner and clinician all day. For most, the energy used can be draining. Sometimes you just want to escape at the end of a grueling day and not use your business owner hat anymore. If this sounds like your struggle, I have some ideas for you to try.
As clinicians, you work “in” your business all day. What I am asking you is to set aside devoted time to work “on” your business. I know this is not the fun stuff – you would rather keep your clinician hat on all day instead of being interrupted to switch to your CEO hat. Think of it this way, you block your schedule according to the procedures you want to do in the morning versus the afternoon, the same idea applies. Block your time as the CEO.
I know you, you obviously can have laser focus on things you want to focus on. By being intentional with your focus for certain time periods, you can get a lot of things done as the CEO of your practice. Pick at least 4 hours a week to work “on” your business, breaking up your week with that focus in mind. This amount of time assumes you have someone doing your payroll, and other weekly tasks. Use this time to think and to come up with a strategy for your business. Where are you today? Where do you want to be in 6 months or a year? Answering these types of questions require focused thought, not while you are driving home from the office. Understanding where you currently are is the key to understanding where you want to be in any given future time period. I find that May is a good month to really start looking at how you are going to answer these questions since you just paid federal and state taxes and have had a recent meeting with your accountant.
Start your day by getting into the office at least 30 minutes before your morning huddle begins, and make sure you are delegating certain tasks to members of your team for your meeting. You are the CEO, they need to be accountable to you and the area they represent in your practice. For example, have your scheduling coordinator prepared to speak about any openings that day/week in the schedule. Are you able to do any same day dentistry? Where are you as team with your scheduled production vs your daily/monthly goal? You should know where to see these numbers but as the CEO, it is not your responsibility to provide them at your morning huddle. I know for my clients that do not enjoy switching clinician and CEO hats all day appreciate a designated time for their team to communicate to them. The best time is at the start of each day, during your huddle. There is no mystique about a morning huddle – it is just communication time for your team.
If you have a team and not employees, they will welcome this responsibility to share their areas of responsibility during each huddle meeting. The more you can get your team to focus their questions to you during the huddle, the less switching of hats you will have to do during your clinician time.
This process has worked so well for some of my clients that the dentist like to have a quick time together before starting in the afternoon. I realize that may not be feasible for some practices, but it is something to think about for your situation. For those offices that have an office manager, making time each day before you leave the office is important as well. There needs to be a separate, intentional time that you spend with your office manager to review any items that need your input.
Victory Dental Management