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Archive for March, 2013

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The Three Most Important Things

Each day, we each have a limited amount of time. How we maximize that time defines who we become and what direction our lives will take. What habits we develop will determine nearly everything in our lives. Do we take time to pray, exercise, cook healthy meals, plan for business strategy, enjoy our loved ones and many other crucial habits? A wise mentor of mine, David Greenwalt, has often told me to remember the acronym, M.E.A.T. It stands for Money, Energy, Affection and Time. The point is that there is always enough M.E.A.T. for the most important things, but not for everything. For example, if you want to be fit and healthy, but never “find” the time to exercise or cook a healthy dinner, how likely is it that you will become or stay healthy? If you are giving all of your time to your practice, but not spending quality time with your family, how will your loved ones or your relationships fare?

It is the same in our lives or our practices, there is never enough time to do everything, but we CAN make time for the most important things nearly every day. It is a matter of priority, and believe me, with a busy practice and an amazing husband and four pretty darned great kids, there is a lot to do. I start every day (OK, to be honest, almost every day) with a list of the 3 most important things that once accomplished, will make the biggest impact in my practice. I also have an implied list of personal and family priorities. The rule is that before I can do anything else in addition to those 3 things, I must have finished the 3 priority items for that day FIRST. I nearly always have something on my list that I would rather avoid, but I am always happy and relieved to be done with those priority items first. Only then do I feel free to get the “busy work” done that tends to rule our lives when not put in the proper order on the good ole’ priority list.

Think of it this way, do you want to become super productive and enjoy the rewards of accomplishing the most important goals every day? It feels great and you will see significant progress when you do. I also recommend that if you need a push or accountability, you share your list of the 3 things with someone that you trust to hold you to them. An accountability partner plays a vital role in getting the most important M.E.A.T. items in our lives every day. Enjoy your life and your business to the fullest today and every day! Good luck!

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Taking the Guesswork Out of Marketing in Dentistry

Learning and studying marketing BY FAR the best dollars I have ever spent on education after my DDS. I didn’t start out to learn marketing, it was a case of “necessity is the Mother of invention”. I HAD to learn marketing, I started up with an associate as well as myself, two dentists, no patients…it’s a long story!

While I would encourage anyone that owns a business to invest in a marketing education, the real place to start is defining who YOU are and what type of practice you wish to have. Literally, anything is possible, but you can’t get there without a concept of what your dream practice resembles. If you love restorative dentistry, developing that part of your practice makes perfect sense. If you love ortho, there have never been more options to help patients get a straighter smile. Invisalign and Six Month Smiles have made orthodontics more accessible than ever before to the general population.

The great thing about dentistry today, is that we offer many services that our patients NEED, but also many that they WANT. For example, a patient can survive without teeth, but they are much happier with their appearance if they have a beautiful set of dentures. They are even happier if they have implants to secure their denture, so that it doesn’t fly out of their mouth when they laugh.

I look at my marketing as layers.  We market for new patients for replacing patients that move, die or just don’t click.  Then we layer on targeted niche marketing for implants, Invisalign, sleep apnea and TMJ/headache relief (Trudenta), and some other niches in dentistry that we have developed.

When I first began marketing, I have to admit, I was not great at tracking, but now it’s my favorite game – a little addictive, actually.  I check our system on MyDentistCalls.com nearly every day just to see what calls come in from which campaign.  It allows me to really pinpoint what is a better return on investment for my practice’s marketing dollars. It has made marketing so much more predictable and a ton more fun. It truly takes much of the guesswork out of marketing.

Referrals, PR (charity, networking groups, customer service, press releases) and training and teaching my team to think like a marketer and a caring, kind dental team is the best use of my time and energy.  Marketing is the best use of my money (along with time, as well), it’s built me tons of equity and a practice in which the revenue fuels tons of fun and freedom for me and my family.