Thursday, September 20, 2012

Looking forward to 2013 – New Year’s Resolutions for the Dental Practice

As you know, from time to time, we ask our trusted friends to write articles for us that we feel would be valuable for you. DC Dental Supply Company shares our values of integrity and doing what is right for their clients. Enjoy.

Looking forward to 2013 – New Year’s Resolutions for the Dental Practice

By Howie Friedman, CPA CFO- DC Dental

“I’d like to work harder and make less money next year” - No One. Ever

As 2012 draws to a close, we hope it has been a prosperous year and one of growth. Looking ahead to 2013, we know you want to find more time to spend with your family, more time to pursue other interests and face it (though we know you love them), less of your patients.  And ultimately, to increase revenue and decrease overhead. We’ve compiled the following handful of resolutions that should help with just that. And obviously, there is no need to wait for the New Year to start implementing!

Before we begin, a one question quiz: What is your practice overhead? Is it 60%? Maybe 70%? As low as 40%? That would be spectacular. If you don’t have your overhead numbers pinned down, it’s time for a meeting with your CPA. According to the Dental Sales Academy, in 1999, average dental practice overhead was at 58% of revenue. When we fast forward to 2011, it jumps to a steep 69%. If your overhead is looming in that ballpark or worse, it’s time to think, what is my blueprint for 2013 to bring that number back to earth?
Do Not Collect $200, Do Not Pass Go. -  A dental office that decreases 10% in collections over 12 months loses 20% of its value. That’s right, the numbers are not linear. It hurts sometimes to make the collection call but that outstanding bill is worth more than face value.  Collect your $200 and you’ll find your practice going further.

Diversify. Diversify. Diversify.  Thoreau was a smart man but he wasn’t a 21st century dentist! Resolve to add or increase practice-boosters that help differentiate your practice such as Invisalign or Six-Month Smiles-type ortho services. Is it time to think about offering Botox or sleep apnea aid? Take the leap and look into training. Institutions like the American Academy of Facial Esthetics, among others, offer courses around the county. It’s the high-margin/low-time expenditure services that can make a big difference in your year. Be the anti-Thoreau in 2013.

Get Hygienic - You may be missing major revenue opportunities right in your hygiene bay.  According to research conducted by the Dental Sales Academy, a properly utilized hygiene department identifying and treating most periodontitis cases has potential to make up 45% of a practice’s revenue. Where are you now? If you are like most practices, it is probably in the15-20% range. Leverage your staff and you may find yourself with more time to leverage your golf game. 

Get Audited – Sound scary? It’s not the IRS. Reputable, dental-focused CPA firms have established benchmarks for how much you should be spending on your dental supplies and can perform an audit to help you get a handle on expenses. Very often the discrepancies between the benchmarks and expenditures are eye-popping. If the numbers are off-kilter, take steps to lower your supplies bill. Like…

Think Small – Size matters and very often, it’s the mega-dealers who can leave you with the inflated bills. There are still smaller dealers out there who can offer more reasonable pricing (and usually more personal service as well) on supplies and equipment and who can show price comparisons to back up claims. In the same vein, there are product manufacturers (think high-dollar value items like composites, impression and bonding) that might not be as well-known but have products endorsed by independent establishments like Christenson’s CR Report. Seek those out and say hello to lower overhead.  

DC Dental is a Baltimore based full service dental supplier dedicated to providing practices with all their needs at the highest level of service with the lowest price possible. Whether your needs are supplies, equipment sales & service, or a complete office design, we are your single source solution! You won’t have to deal with call centers or multiple people to place an order or pay a bill. We keep the relationship personal and offer one-point-of-contact to handle all of your dental supply needs – from ordering to billing to returns.

You can do business with us in whichever manner you feel most comfortable – via phone, fax, email or your personal web portal that I can set up for you. If you would like to learn more about DC Dental, I would be happy to set up an in office lunch and learn at your convenience.

For more information, contact Hal Gornbein at 877-653-7500 ext. 322 or direct 410-205-8072. Mention “Dental CPAs” for 10% off your first supply order.

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