Identifying Habits of Successful Dental Practices | Negotiating a Dental Practice Purchase

Q: What are some basic steps I can take to be a successful practice owner?

A: First, harness the power of habit. Second, identify decisions you’ll only have to make once to ensure your success. In fact, some of the best habits are actually one-time actions that become an automated success system, yielding results over and over. 

Hiring a good dental CPA is an example of a one-time decision. A good dental CPA will help you understand your business results. Minimize taxes paid. Avoid IRS audits. Save money with bankers. Understand embezzlement controls and review them with you on a regular basis. 

The results are continuous, yet you only had to make the decision once. An organized  and sophisticated CPA or bookkeeper may cost a bit more, but you’re paying to automate a good business habit. 

Other good business habits can be a one-time decision, such as:

  • Setting up your 401k contributions on auto-pay with your payroll, making retirement savings inevitable.
  • Using software to survey patients after appointments for feedback and ask them to leave you a review on Google.
  • Hiring a compliance firm to schedule, train, and track OSHA requirements for staff.
  • Finding a dental specific attorney, even before you’ve closed on an office,  to make sure all your bases are covered from purchasing to practicing.
  • Asking your bookkeeper to deliver your monthly financial statements on a consistent day each month and to include notes on trends and opportunities.
  • Buying a house in a reasonable neighborhood where you won’t be surrounded by your neighbor’s expensive toys and the pressure of keeping up with a standard of living that will drain your bank account.

Don’t just make good habits easy. Make good habits inevitable and bad habits impossible. 

If you’re a dental practice owner, or aspire to be one someday, spend some time thinking through the types of habits that the most successful practice owners you know take on a regular basis and ask the question: “Is there a way to make this decision once so the habit is automated?”

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