James Helliwell from Orthosynetics explains how you can run your dental practice, whilst still improving your dentistry.

Good dentists who have set up practices spend considerable time and money improving their clinical skills so they can offer patients the best dental services. How many of them however, spend that much time and money learning about business management of the practice? Not a lot. This is especially true for small dental practices owned by individuals. There is so much focus on ensuring that their patients get the best technical treatments that they sometimes forget they are running a business.

While it is true that if you do not invest in yourself and your practice to ensure that you can offer the best aesthetic dental treatments, restorations and implants you are unlikely to grow in terms of your number of clients. This does not however mean that you should not pay attention to managing your practice properly.

How can you manage your practice?

If you are going to deliver on both clinical expertise and practice management, you are going to have to be a jack of all trades – but we all know what they say about being a jack of all trades. Owners of small practices tend to do this a lot, they try to oversee all the parts of managing their practice while at the same time focusing on the clinical aspect.

Needless to say that doing this would be a futile exercise as there are just too many things involved. With a small team, which usually is made up of the owner usually the lead dentist, a dental assistant and a front desk officer, how can a small dental practice manage the practice well? Does the front desk officer double as the business manager?

Shake off the urge to do it all

The fact that you are a small practice does not mean you should be handling all the aspects of business management in-house. Learn to outsource. Outsource all those things that your team finds hard to handle so you can focus fully on helping your patients. There are businesses that can help orthodontists focus on building their clinical skills and delivering great treatments to their patients by taking away the burden of practice management.

You really cannot be a jack of all trades

If you thought you could manage your practice well by being a jack of all trades, you can only do so if you are not looking to grow. If you are looking to grow however, make sure you hire experienced personnel to handle the aspects you cannot, or outsource those duties to companies designed for such purposes.