Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Should your associate be self-employed?

Should your associate be self-employed?

Traditionally associates, hygienists and more latterly therapists have been considered self- employed, and have enjoyed the benefits, especially the preferential tax savings. This has reduced the financial responsibility for your practice in terms of holiday, maternity, sickness, and more recently pensions etc.

Over the last 15-20 years there has been murmurings and discussions about whether it is justified that associates are paid 50% or has the time come that they should be on a sliding scale starting at 35%?
A better question should be, is my associate self-employed at all?

You know that HMRC does random tax investigations. What would be the impact on your practice if they decided on balance that your associates, therapists, and hygienists were not  self-employed. What would the costs be to the practice in back PAYE, NI etc if they went back 20 years as they are entitled to? (they do generally only go back 6). Would they have grounds to prosecute you, would you be at risk of a custodial sentence? (A custodial sentence is possible although HMRC do generally prefer to take civil action)

On the HMRC website there is a simple check list of questions for you to answer to enable you and your associates, therapist and hygienist to evaluate whether they are employed or self-employed. You can click here
For your ease and convenience, the list is below
You’re probably self-employed if you:
·         run your business for yourself and take responsibility for its success or failure
·         have several customers at the same time
·         can decide how, where and when you do your work
·         can hire other people at your own expense to help you or to do the work for you
·         provide the main items of equipment to do your work
·         are responsible for finishing any unsatisfactory work in your own time
·         charge an agreed fixed price for your work
·         sell goods or services to make a profit

It is for you and your team member to robustly show that they deserve their self employed status.
I do realise that this will be a difficult conversation to have with new and current team members, and it is one you must have.

IF they want to keep their self-employed status what changes need to be made?

If they would prefer to move over to being employed, how big a drop in salary do they need to take to allow you to fund the additional financial responsibilities?

I would love to hear your comments on this thorny issue, let me know your thoughts 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Top tip Tuesday

Speak the same language as your patients.

Fully involve patients in the development of their treatment plans, explaining all options and consequences. Speak clearly and simply in similes and metaphors they can relate too, without jargon and dental terminology.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Wednesday Words of Wisdom for Dental Practice Management.

Wednesday Words of Wisdom for Dental Practice Management.

Where is your being good, preventing you from being great?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

10 tips for buying a dental practice

10 tips for buying a dental practice

Understand your reasons for buying.
To a greater or lesser extent most associates buy a practice because they think they can run a practice better than their principal, for some it its about clinical freedom and providing a superior quality of work and having a deciding choice over the materials you use. There are a few for who it is just about the money and I recently heard about one person whose parent thought he would be more marriageable.
Owning a practice is hard work, long hours, difficult decisions and generally not as lucrative as being an associate. Think long and hard about your WHY and are you doing it for the right reasons?

Be clear about your dental philosophy
What is your philosophy for treatment, prevention, minimal intervention, high end cosmetics, restoration of failed dentitions, orthodontics etc.
Who is your ideal demographic, families, children, professionals, retirees?
When considering buying a practice, consider the philosophy and demographics of the practices and make sure that there is alignment. If not are you prepared to completely reconfigure the patient base and reputation?

Make sure you have created a living business plan.
Experience shows, that buying a dental practice is always more expensive than you anticipated. Make sure you have created a workable business plan, with best case and worst case scenarios. Refer to your business plan frequently and regularly If you would like a business plan template tool, e mail for a copy of our targeted business plan.

Make sure you are adequately financed.
As you have realised already, buying a practice is always more expensive than you initially anticipated, many first time buyers make life more difficult than it need be because they have not made adequate financial provision for the support of a business coach, marketing budget, training and development, refurbishment costs and they extra time they need to spend building rapport and trust with their patients and team.

Know yourself
Until now you have been working entirely as a clinician and you will have excellent clinical skills. As soon as you become a practice owner you will take on two more full time roles, Practice manager (even if you have one) and Business Entrepreneur. These two roles require you to have a totally different skill sets to those you have been using until now. Work with a dental Business coach who has experience of owning a practice, recognise your strengths and weaknesses and develop your new skill sets.

Make sure you have business management skills and training.
There are 12 keys to running a great dental practice, fabulous clinical skills are just one of them. Without mastering the others, you and your practice will suffer. Your bank may not loan you funds and CQC may not approve your practice without you having some rudimentary Principal Business Proficiency
Once you have learnt the basics spend the rest of your career spending as much time honing your business skills as you do your clinical skills.

Do your due diligence
You will have heard the horror stories about dentists who thought they had bought a great practice only to discover that they had been sold a pig in a poke.  If there is a big capitation list, make sure you do a random check of notes and clinical examinations to ensure you are not buying supervised neglect. If there is a large patient list registered ascertain how frequently the patients are returning and if the list is an active list. What sort of treatments does the out-going principal do, can you provide the same level of clinical expertise as they do, or do you need to enhance your clinical skills?

Make sure you are working with experts.
You will recognise that as a GDP, that specialist clinicians have a level of expertise that you don’t and it serves your patients to see an oral surgeon, orthodontist, endodontist, periodontist when required.
There are many professionals who are peripatetic to dentistry, accountants, lawyers, business coaches, trainers, marketing agent, practice brokers etc. These experts know more about their field of business than you do and will prevent you making costly mistakes, save yourself, time, energy and heartache, use the experts.

Build a support team
Running a practice is hard work, you only have 24 hours in one day and now you will be clinician manager and entrepreneur Build a support team of experts around you, business coach, trainer, marketers, bookkeeper, accountant, HR consultant and within the team your Practice manager, lead nurse, receptionist, patient co-ordinator etc. learn to run and schedule frequent effective meetings, Learn the difference between delegation and abdication and become an effective communicator and delegator.

Ask questions
There is a commonly used expression “the only stupid question is the one you didn’t ask” and yet I so often hear, I wish I had asked that before.” When you are looking at the catalogue or accounts for a practice that you are thinking about buying and there is something you don’t understand, ask. Show the documents to your specialist accountant, lawyer and business coach, they have seen the details from lots of practices and will be able to notice mistakes and areas to be wary of and where to ask for more information.

If you would like more information about how business coaching and training will help you make a success of your practice call us on 07989 757 884 or e mail

Dental Practice management Top tip Tuesday

Simple tips for effective practice management.

Irrespective of whether you are a principal or associate, divide your time into

!) Recreation time(no work or work related activities)
2) Remuneration time (when you generate an income)
3) Readiness time (for planning and development of your strategy and tactics)

Schedule your days at least 1 year in advance with provision for flexibility
Make sure you have enough recreation and readiness time, they are your most valuable assets.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Are you planning to buy a dental practice within the next 5 years?

Does this describe you?
  • An associate who wants to buy your first practice?
  • A dentist trying to buy their first practice but your broker is not offering you suitable practices.
  • A dentist trying to buy their first practice but your offers are not being accepted.
  • The bank has told you they will not lend you the money because you don’t have adequate business competency and proficiency
  • You been on a practice brokers buyers list for ages without the offer of a practice?
  • A new principal who is struggling.with the business side of the practice.
Because you want you buy a practice you will know that lenders are deciding whether to provide you a loan based on your past and current financial track record and your current business skills and experience. You will know that practices are being sold prudentially to corporate and dentists who own more than one practice already, or who have been qualified for more than 10 years. You will also be aware that aspiring practice owners have had loans declined and failed CQC inspections because of lack of business skills training, experience and proficiency.
Because you are committed to becoming a principal, you will have heard stories about how even after many years in practice, some principals having a difficult time, they are short of money, short of time, short of patients and have difficult staff problem and you want to do it differently; sustainably and successfully.
 The common problems and stresses associated with running a practice can be prevented by learning and developing your business skills before you buy your practice and developing them in the early years of practice ownership.
What you will want is Principal Business Proficiency

 Now is a great time to ask yourself,
  • Did you have enough business skills training at dental school?
  • Do you know the 10 keys to successful practice?
  • Do you want to remain an associate for the rest of your career?
  • Do you have the skills and experience to be a successful principal?
If you answered “No” to any of those questions, you will want to
  • Be successful in raising funds
  • Have your offers accepted first-time ahead of the competition
  • Quickly complete on the practice purchase.
  •  Create a sustainably successful and profitable practice.
  • Acquire the knowledge, skills and confidence to successfully run a great practice.
  • Have a good balance between your business life and home life as a principal
  • Principal Business Proficiency
Now is your chance. Join us for the Principal Business Proficiency workshop and we will help you fill the gaps in your knowledge, experience and confidence.
Because you are serious about becoming a principal, you recognise the importance of getting an insight into the steps to be followed. Discover what successfully practices do and failing practices don’t.

This day will give you
framework to plan the purchase and management of your practice
Tips to develop your business skills
Strategies to build success
Tools to save you time money and stress

About the day
interactive day with lots of opportunities for you to ask questions
Workshop format, so you will have created your workable action plan
Limited numbers so you have personalised interaction
Verifiable CPD 8 hours

What difference will it make to you, when;
  • You can show the bank and CQC that you have specific business skills training?
  • You start your career as a principal on with sound business foundations?
  • You know the 10 essential habits of successful practice owners?
  • You are supported by your own business coach and trainer?
  • You have Principal Business Proficiency?

Venue Bicester
Date Friday 1st July
Registration 8:30 workshop 9:00 -17:00
Ample free car parking
Refreshments and lunch provided

What people like you have said about our trainings

"Very clear and precise. Easy to follow and good guidelines for implementation."

"Informative and very helpful "

"Information that was given to me as well as any tools were really useful. I enjoyed the session."

For more testimonials click here

Monday, 9 May 2016

Dental Practice Management - Free Prize Draw

Dental Practice Management - Free Prize Draw

Would you like to win £360 of coaching free?

You can win a free coaching session valued £360, simply send us an e mail answering the questions below and the first person selected is the winner.
Send your e mail titled May Prize Draw to answering the questions below today and you could be a winner.
The closing date to submit your answers is the last day of the month
The winner will be announced in our June 2016 newsletter.
Prize draw questions
*On a scale from 0 to 10, where zero is completely inadequate, and 10 is perfect how satisfied are you with the customer service given to your patients?
*How much have your current customer service cost you financially and in lost opportunities etc?
*Unless you change your customer service what will it continue to cost you in your career?

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Funny Dentist Friday

Funny Dentist Friday

When you crack a smile please add a comment and share

Let the weekend start here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Dental Practice management, How painful does it have to be before. . .

Dental Practice management, How painful does it have to be before. . .

Last week I saw a dentist who was faced with a choice their spouse or their practice, the week before I was talking to a dental practice owner who was facing bankruptcy, and this week I heard about yet another dental principal who committed suicide.

When do you want your patents to come and see you when they are aware of a slight niggle, they have not slept because of an irreversible pulpitis or when they have a fat face and are unwell?

I have recently had some clients say to me;
“I wish I had started working with you three years ago when I first met you, I would not be in the situation I am in now.”

Another said

“If I had started working with you when you first suggested it, and done what you have now asked me to do, I would have seen the changes eighteen months ago and prevented all this expense and hassle.

How many times have you looked in a patients mouth and seen the signs and symptoms of disease that are so obvious to you, and yet the patient is blissfully unaware of any problems, even though they are advanced or severe?

As a dentist you want your patients to come to you regularly and early, so you can spot problems early saving your patients time money and pain.

As a dental business coach and trainer I want the same for my clients like you.

There is not a week that goes by that I am made aware of a practice owner that is in severe pain, because of their practice. The pain could be financial challenges, patient complaints, insufficient patients, staff problems, too much to do and not enough time, feeling trapped on the treadmill, poor health, failing relationships, drink, drug or food abuse etc

All these situations can be resolved and prevented when you seek expert support.

If you know a dentist who owns a practice and it is more difficult that it could be or you know a dentist who is thinking about buying a practice and wants it to work as easily as it should do, please ask them to do a BPE (Brilliant Practice Evaluation) to help them identify if they would value from some assistance and in which areas.

Please click here or follow the link below.

How will you know when you have found your key to success?

Practice Development - Words of Wisdom Wedneday

Practice development

Dental Practice Manager Words of Wisdom Wednesday

What are your thoughts on this week's quote?