Is Your Dental Business Killing You? Look Out For These Tragic Signs….

One of the real difficulties of being a business owner is the management of personnel.

As dentists, or rolling back the clock, as dental students, we are really unequipped or poorly trained in the management of the people we employ to be helping us with our business.

Now let me get this straight. This may be only an Australia thing. It may be only a Sydney thing.

But it also could be a generational thing….it could also be a Gen X or Gen Y thing? I am not sure.

You see, so often in my travels around the globe I visit businesses and dental offices where I see people without skin in the game having a say on how the game is played…

Well that’s just not on.

My philosophy on employment is simple.


If I’m paying you, paying you money, then I expect you to do as I say.


As long as what I say for you to do is not illegal, then heck, if I’m paying you, you do it.

After all, I’m giving you money for doing it, so do it!!

I own the business. I paid for it/am paying for it. I have taken the risk, you haven’t. So just do it!

To me it’s simple….

There are 168 hours in a week. For 38 hours, I pay you to do what I ask. From this you get money to do what you want with it for the other 130 hours.

I don’t tell you what to do with the money and time in the 130 hours. What I do expect is that for the 38 hours, you give me support, and respect, so as I can pay you.

Does that make sense?

As I said, so often in my travels I see dental offices with employees with no skin in the game having a say on how the game is played…

Recently I visited an office where there certainly was a renegade employee. Sadly, one employee was bringing down the morale of the whole office. Repeated sick day leave, chronic dawdling, not completing daily tasks.

The offending team member’s attitude reflected poorly on management and owners.

Other team members openly aired their frustrations to me about management’s failure to act on this toxic situation…

Now, I know, I know from first hand experience, that running a dental office is not easy.

For a start, unlike conventional businesses where management and owners can observe and peruse employees in action, the poor old dentist is often stuck being the producer of the business income and billings, drilling away down in a distant operatory, with no idea whatsoever what is going on at the same time with other employees in other parts of the office.

And therein lies the problem. Often, a big problem.

As a dentist, you are good at what you do. You love the dentistry, and the doing of dentistry.

But the business of dentistry? Ugh!!

You kind of know your business is not running as smooth as it can, but you let it keep going, on its own, because the pain of fixing it is something you just don’t want to have to deal with.

Well this is sad. Very sad. And it is a common scenario out there in dental business.

Sadly, running a dental office with even one recalcitrant staff member is like driving down the freeway at full throttle dragging two big timber tree logs chained to the back of your SUV.

You know you’re going as fast as you can, and heck, you know those logs are hurting your progress, but, you’re still getting to your destination eventually. Just not with maximum efficiency.

I’ve seen offices where toxic employees like this are costing the office $200,000.00 per year!!

Now that’s a big piece of change!!

Multiply that by five years, and there’s a million dollars, straight off the bottom line, going down the drain.

I know the pain of action is huge. But the pain of inaction means less profit, and more work, and that’s killing you, doctor.

It’s killing your life….

So what’s the solution?

Doctor, you need help.

You need *outside* help.

The answer is simple. You need to hire an outside consultant. You need to hire an independent firm to come in and look at your office, and work out where your handbrakes and restrictions are, and what exactly they are costing you and your family in loss of revenue and theft of your time.

While you go on doing the dentistry. The dentistry that you love to do.

The consultant will play good cop bad cop with your team. And they’ll work out who’s on the bus in your office and who’s not.

And they’ll solve your problems…

Now sure it costs. It costs to hire outside help.

But the cost to your business of doing nothing? Well that can be terminal…

Because your patients will pick up on the situation. For sure. And that’s not good.

Don’t think you need outside help? Listen to this tale.

I recently heard of a dental office where the owner had a nervous breakdown. And was hospitalized.

The front office lady at this office was described by one consultant, as the most toxic employee they had ever met in dentistry. She spoke badly to the staff, to the patients, as well as to the doctor, and to the doctor’s wife! And she didn’t mind doing it with an audience, be they other staff or even in front of patients.

Sadly, for this office, a consultant had identified this employee as being toxic some six years prior, and recommended her removal.

Very sadly, and now, tragically, in reflection, the doctor had kept her on, because the toxic employee had said that she was going to change her ways and come on board.

The consultant from way back then was horrified at what had transpired. Absolutely horrified.

In dental school, we’re taught the skills of dentistry. But we’re not taught the business of dentistry. And the business of dentistry is the business of business.

You’re in business to make a profit. And to do what you want with that profit.

You’re not in business to drive yourself into an early grave.

Hire a consultant! And act on their advice.

Get your office running smoothly.

Your quality of life depends upon it.

Your life depends upon it…


The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

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