According to the American Dental Association, there are 200,419 dentists in the United States (2019). Dentists have undergone years of education and practice to be successful. Dentists, like other professionals are not accountants, human resources managers or legal experts.
The pandemic abruptly closed dental offices shutting off all revenue streams, creating significant challenges to dental practices. Now is the time, before the practice fully reopens, to review your office practices to create a healthy financial business.
Diligence, discipline, and cash flow.
The #1 and most important question: Do you understand the basic key financial terms to successfully run your practice? Cash flow statements, P&L and balance sheet paint a clear financial picture assuming they are properly prepared, and you can digest them. Diligent bookkeeping practices provide knowledge and balance to make sound decisions.
Do you know the difference between cash flow and profit? Managing cash flow is a critical part of managing a business. Because so many practices operate with small reserves, the question that they need answered daily is “How many days of cash do I have available?” This can be a very difficult answer to reach as practices are procedure driven and challenged with insurance payments and patient payments.
Budgeting and discipline go hand in hand. If you do not have a budget, let’s get one built. Review consistent recurring expenses and account for one-off items that are seasonal or annual such as dues, properly taxes etc. Purchasing is a critical component to budgeting.
Growing your practice.
You need patients and patience, but most of all you need a plan! You are professional dentists, not professional marketers. Marketing and consulting agencies specializing in dental practices can provide valuable insight and tools to facilitate the process. Jot down your goals for growth and think about what you would like to accomplish.
- Are you looking to buy out a partner or acquire another practice?
- Perhaps you’d like to upgrade your website to make it easier for patients to check appointments, pay bills, or fill out new patient forms.
- Start a social media or ad campaign to attract new patients.
- Join your local Chamber of Commerce or other types of organizations to improve your exposure in the community.
These are challenges, not obstacles.
The pandemic has created a challenging environment for most businesses, practices, and households. These are not obstacles on the onset. They are opportunities to review your procedures and methods for running your business. Technology exists to streamline processes such as bookkeeping, payroll, human resources, and marketing. Embrace these tools and lace them into your day to day functions.
Time is best spent growing your practice and enjoying a healthy work-life balance.
Expex is based in Schenectady, NY offering convenient and innovative bookkeeping services to help your business succeed. Our application, Carly, can do everything a traditional bookkeeper does and more. This financial management program expertly fulfills services such as bills payments, bank and credit card reconciliation, and financial records consolidation. Call (518) 389-2305 today to get started, or contact us to learn more about Carly.