You know, when we went to dental school, we didn’t also get an MBA. So even though you might feel like a rockstar for your patients, are you struggling as a business owner? I promise, I’ve been there, too. I’ve been through it all in my years of running a practice. We’re talking high turnover, crappy work culture, low production, low profits, fighting with insurance, meetings that were straight up unproductive, and at the end of the day being exhausted and questioning my life decisions. I could’ve used some dental practice efficiency tips back then. Which makes me think that some of you might be able to use what I’ve learned today.

So please believe me when I say, you can come through to the other side of all that and become a successful entrepreneur.

You can transform your practice, and in doing so, transform the way you live your life.

Dental practice efficiency tips—because summer break isn’t just for kids!

In July, I took a month off work. That’s right, for an entire month, I went to Europe and logged out of the company email. It felt good and absolutely necessary to take this time to reconnect with my family, myself, and my passions outside of endo.

When I announced my plans to head out of the office for a month to people, their first question was: “Why?”” and their second question was “How?!”

The truth is that since 2019, I’ve been super intentional about taking time off from work. I believe it’s important to step away, get clarity, get grounded, and come back with a new perspective on the practice. A month off can really help you see things differently, my friends.

In making the ability to step away from my work a priority, I knew I needed to build a multi-doctor practice. We have to step up and cover for each other!

For example, I recently covered my associate’s maternity leave. Which meant that, in July, she stepped up and made sure I could take my trip.

Whether or not you take a full month off, I want you to promise to use your vacation days at the very least. That’s my dental practice efficiency tip number one. Why? Because vacations reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase mindfulness, improve sleep, and boost your brainpower.

Get organized and get help

Back in 2018, I had three different business coaches.

You might say this was overkill, but I say it was acceleration. If you want to reach your business goals FAST, then you have to invest in coaching or other programming that will support you and hold you accountable.

So much changed that year.

In my practice, we totally changed our meeting format, for example. We broke meetings down into specific topics and integrated processes for problem-solving that took our meetings from “this coulda been an email” to “wow that was so productive.”

Now we run on time, stay on time, and get things done in between touchpoints.  And these tweaks have supported greater efficiency in every single thing we do.

There’s a lot to learn, and from so many different sources, so don’t be afraid to try out multiple coaches or programs (even simultaneously!) and use what works for you and your team. Ditch the rest.

I’d say I kept about 50% of things I was introduced to that year. And I’m still tweaking and optimizing.

Capture your systems

Hold on because this dental practice efficiency tip is a bit of a doozy.

Capturing not just your own systems—but the ones your team are using—is a super powerful tool that will help you step away when you need to and support everyone else in doing the same. Easier said than done, though, right?

I know, I know. No one wants a massive binder of SOPs and workflows and how-to’s floating around their office. And would anyone even read that thing anyway?

Pro-tip: Try creating a private YouTube channel to document this stuff. It makes the material far more engaging, it’s searchable, and it adds a more comprehensive visual component to everything you’ve captured. Plus, you and your team can refer to it from anywhere!

From training staff to going out of the office, finding a way to document your systems meaningfully so they can be handed off when necessary is an essential part of running an efficient business (because yes, when you run a dental practice, you’re running a business!).

Get your practice running on-point

Like I said—I’ve had about a million ups and downs in my practice. I had some real lean years in the past before I ever started operating at the level I do now, with the income I do.

I learned these dental practice efficiency tips and processes over the course of many, many years. I’m so thankful I was persistent enough to make it to the good stuff that was waiting on the other side for me after all that hard work.

And while I learned a lot, I also suffered through long days, from a real lack of sleep, and the stress that came from wondering if my practice was going to make it another year.

I don’t want any other dental professionals to have to deal with that kind of heartache and worry.

That’s why I’m creating a brand-new course on the business of dentistry. It’s your mini-MBA customized just for us dentists and specialists—so you can fast-track and skip to the good stuff (and avoid the decade of anxiety). It’s full of workflows and systems that you can copy and paste into your practice. Because being a CEO means not spending hours mulling over busy work. So if these tips appeal, I promise you’re going to love this course.

– Sonia