This week’s post is by MGE Power Program Graduate, Ken Cirka, DMD. An MGE client since 2004, Dr. Cirka has increased collections by nearly 20X since that time, turning his small Philadelphia office into a powerhouse dental practice seeing an average of 125 new patients a month! Through diligent study and application followed by systematic implementation, Dr. Cirka built a highly efficient, productive and organized dental practice, with an intense focus on providing excellent customer service. Gradually transitioning from chairside to CEO, Dr. Cirka now practices only 4 days a month and resides in New York City, spending much of his time helping youth programs and addressing social betterment issues.
This post was originally written with MGE clients in mind. However, we found it so well written and applicable to any dentist looking to succeed that it would a shame not to share it with the entire profession! So, we hope you enjoy. You’re in for a treat with these wise words from one of the leaders in the dental industry!
Knowledge is Power.
Can you know a lot about a subject and never use that knowledge? Yes.
Can you go through life becoming an “expert” who knows more and more about less and less and learn everything about nothing? This too is possible.
So, I ponder this question: why do we have knowledge about something yet fail to act?
No amount of reading or memorizing or drilling will make you successful. How you recall and how consistently you apply this information is what will make you successful.
Of course implementing all the knowledge one has is easier said than done. It takes a definite effort and a lot of hard work day after day and year after year to change your vision to tangible reality.
With that in mind, here are 5 important items to consider when growing your office:
1. Identify that which has to be done once and that which requires constant attention
Some actions must be done consistently and steadily throughout the growth of a dental practice over multiple years. Other actions must to be done as early as possible when establishing a new office and not really tweaked much over the years as the office grows.
Items to establish once include establishing a Purpose or mission for the practice to which all actions are aligned, an Employee Manual outlining a staff member’s expected responsibilities, and state or federally required policies, 401K plan, manuals for staff positions, policies of how things will be done in the office, a communication center labeled properly with each staff positions, a three-basket system for each employee, and an Organizing Board are only a few.
Items that require constant learning/training include establishing games/incentives for your team to play or aspire towards, hiring and training new staff as growth occurs, expanding your sphere of influence, increasing your reputation in the community, creating a strong executive team, and strengthening the office’s purpose within the group.
2. Implement the knowledge you gain no matter what level of practice you have
To organize and grow whether collecting $20 K a month or $400 K a month, you need to do it as close to instant from the moment that you learn the data. Jot down notes in the margins of handouts at seminars and write “IMPLEMENT” next to that which you need to take action on. Or better yet, carry a pocket spiral-bound book and when you get an idea, jot it down. Later transfer it to your weekly plan as an order so that it gets done.
On the plane ride home from a seminar, write the program to follow when you return back to your office to implement that which you just learned.
If you identify that there is a policy missing, write the policy during the time that you have when you are away from the office. When you return to the office after being away for a few days, you definitely will not have time to write it then (or remember all the details).
3. Your most valuable asset in your practice
We dentists are taught that our future earning power is our most valuable asset and so we insure that with disability insurance. What about your team’s willingness to work? That needs protected just like your ability to work. Talk with them. Make sure they are happy. Ask them questions with the intent to see what their ideas are. Please don’t just bark orders at them all day.
4. Waiting without action is the biggest enemy to your business
Why do we know what we should do in a situation, yet stand on the sidelines waiting for someone else to act or worse yet, no one ever acts?
Staff need leadership. They need someone who is consistent, is fair, who is not a push-over and someone who knows the direction that the office is heading. You as the leader must know who and what you are up-against. Know your competition. You entered a race and other dentists are fierce competitors which we tend to underestimate.
Don’t wait. Check your competition’s social media now. See how many reviews your they have and get more. Communicate better, market better, and never go against what you need to be doing as a business owner.
There has to be an end-game for you to work toward. What is that personally? You must know – really know – what you want to have at the end of your career of dentistry and check it yearly to ensure you stay on course. If you do this consistently throughout your stages of practice, you will stay on target for retirement.
What is retirement anyway?
“Retirement is the time to enjoy and harvest what you have planted for years.”
If that is true, why then do so many people die soon after retirement?
To prevent your degradation after retirement, seek out challenges, keep your ability to confront high, never make the excuse that you are too old or not rich enough. You are a dentist. Find your purpose.
You are rich with knowledge, rich with perseverance; rich with those team members who have been by your side over the years you have owned the practice.
Researchers have revealed that we make nearly 400 friendships in a lifetime – but maintain only a handful – only 33 – who will stand the test of time. How many of these people who you work with for years are backing your vision, following your dreams, and having your back – wouldn’t they be considered FRIENDS? Maybe if you see it in that light today, you’ll treat them a little differently.
To learn and not apply is really not learning. To know and not act is really not knowing. You know that what you’re learning on the MGE Program works. You have learned it. The best gift you can give your staff – your friends – is the gift of this technology and the leadership to have them implement it. For only then will you have done your job.
We hope you enjoyed this article from Dr. Ken Cirka! For more information about the MGE Program, fill out the form below for a free consultation. We can’t wait to talk to you and help you boom your practice!