Volume 36: Having a Better Team

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I talk about "stars" to most dentists for whom we are doing a valuation. A "star" is an employee who is worth their weight in gold because they handle their job with an expertise and speed that others cannot do. I have talked to dentists who feel that their receptionists are stars BUT in one case there are two receptionists to do the job and the practice was only billing $600,000. The staff said they cannot keep up with the work and they need another person in reception. There was only one doctor and one part time hygienist. These receptionists were not "stars".

I have seen practices with "stars". In one of these practices there were two hygienists, four days per week each, (8 days of hygiene per week); one doctor also four days per week , one chairside assistant and one receptionist four days per week. Billings were over $900,000 and accounts receivable were low. This practice thrived because of the team that the dentist created around himself.

Things to consider:

  1. Too many dentists have learned to live with mediocre staff. The excuse is that they have been with him too long to do anything about it. He probably feels too much loyalty to take dramatic steps to improve his staff.
  2. Let me say at this time that before taking any direct or indirect action you should work with a labour lawyer who will steer you through the minefield of potential legal suits.
  3. Good staff are not easy to find and if you have one try not to loose that individual. I would rather pay one star $28.00 per hour than have two average employees at $14.00 per hour.
  4. It’s more important to have a star on your front desk than at your chairside. Your front desk is the least supervised staff member of your team. Your chairside is the most supervised team member.
  5. The easiest way to develop stars is to hire a star rather than try to convert someone to become a star. If the employee does not have the basic innate make-up to be a star, I think it is hard to make them a star. Stars are bright, cheerful, self motivated individuals that can handle their job with ease.
  6. Always check references. This step is often missed but for the time it takes it can avoid big problems later.
  7. Remember to utilize the three month trial period when an employee starts, if the new employee is not excelling, you might be better to find a new candidate.
  8. Never hire someone that you cannot let go if they are not performing well. Personal friends may be considered in this category.
  9. Often referrals from your good employees make good candidates. Expect it to cost you time and energy to find great employees and to train them.
  10. If an employee leaves your practice this is an opportunity to find a new employee who is a star. The trick is to be focused to find a star to replace the leaving employee. Finding stars is not easy! I have a three and a half minute test that I have used for 30 years to select the potential star candidates from the mediocre candidates. It does not rate personality or other personal traits but if a candidate scores well they, in my experience, would have the inherent background to be able to be trained to do the job and to be a star and if they have a low score it would not be possible to be a star.

If you would like to get a copy of the three and a half minute test that I use, contact me and I will send it out to you (with the answers) at no charge.

The Professional Advisory

  1. One Year Later

  2. Dealing with Unsolicited Offers

  3. Covid-19 Practice Sales Update

  4. When is the Right Time to Sell Your Practice and Why?

  5. Partnership Pitfalls

  6. The Real Cost of a Dental Practice Set-up

  7. Smaller Practice Realities

  8. Dental Market Update - 2019

  9. Creating Your Own Most Valuable Practice (MVP)

  10. Small Practice Economics

  11. The Market is Very Efficient

  12. How Can Dental Practice Values be Rising and Declining?

  13. Hygiene as a Value Driver

  14. The Value of a Good Team

  15. Is it Time to Move?

  16. Staging A Dental Practice

  17. The High Cost of Dying

  18. Deal-Busters

  19. Patients - Attract and Retain

  20. Should I Stay or Should I Go?

  21. Is There a Buyer for Every Practice?

  22. Good, Better, Best - The Market has Spoken

  23. Smooth-Sale-ing

  24. Buying Time

  25. Patients, Patience, Patients

  26. A Real Patient

  27. Why Do a Practice Valuation? I'm not Selling

  28. Irrational Exuberance or The New Normal?

  29. Do dental equipment and dental technology affect a practice value?

  30. Finding and Being a Mentor

  31. Bigger is Better

  32. Dave's Top Ten List for Buyers (Vendors should read this too!)

  33. How Well Do You Know Your Practice?

  34. Dave's Top Ten List for Vendors

  35. What will happen to dental practice Values in the next 10 years?

  36. Your Premises Lease is an Important Asset

  37. What are Associates Thinking?

  38. There is Life Outside the GTA

  39. When Is the Right Time to Sell My Dental Practice?

  40. Mergers are a Viable Option

  41. Is Your Associate an Asset or a Liability?

  42. Has your Practice Facility Kept Up With Your Billings?

  43. The 100 per cent of Gross Myth

  44. The Past, The Present and The Future

  45. Caveat Emptor

  46. Overpaid Long Term Staff

  47. Selling your Practice in Stages

  48. A Potential Pitfall of Selling Shares

  49. Value in Your Practice Through Balance

  50. Only Trusted Staff Can Defraud You

  51. To Own or Not to Own Practice Real Estate? That is the Question.

  52. Coping With A Large Patient Base

  53. Successful Dental Practice Transitions

  54. Taking Care of Business

  55. The Investing Dentist Phenomenon

  56. Two areas to focus upon that could negatively impact the value of your practice

  57. Organize your Debt in Order to Sell your Practice

  58. Having a Better Team

  59. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale

  60. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 3

  61. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 2

  62. How Do I Prepare My Practice For Sale? Part 1

  63. Advice to My Son or Daughter Graduating from Dental School

  64. Transition - What to Expect

  65. Discussion on Digital X-Rays

  66. Partnerships and Shotguns

  67. Strategic Planning - How to Get Started

  68. Calling All Vendors - Practices have Gone Up in Value

  69. Purchasers: Expect to Pay More for a Practice because of Lower Professional Corporation Tax Rates

  70. Matrimonial Practice Valuations

  71. Purchaser's Guide to Affording a Practice

  72. Location Improvements Throughout Your Career

  73. Small Practice Valuations

  74. Partnerships – The Best and The Worst

  75. Changing Location When the Opportunity Comes Along

  76. Visual Presentation of Your Practice

  77. Presentation of Charts

  78. Your Premises Lease Can Be Your Worst Enemy

  79. How to Select an Appraiser for Your Practice

  80. How Are Your Billing Ratios?

  81. It Pays to Invest in Your Tangible Assets

  82. The Importance of Separate Financial Statements

  83. Five Time Frame Levels to Sell a Practice

  84. 12 Suggestions to Safeguard Computer Data

  85. How to Buy a Visible Practice

  86. Why is there a shortage of good practices today?

  87. The Importance of Equipment in the Purchase of a Practice

  88. The Balanced Practice

  89. Will My Practice Be Saleable in The Future?

  90. Buyer Be Aware

  91. Excess Profit - The Second Key

  92. Patients and Profits are the Keys

  93. Plan Ahead