Recession Proof Your Practice

Proven fiscal strategies for dentists, by dentists, especially in recessionary times

The most widely accepted fallacy amongst small business owners is that productivity is the key to viability. It's not.
The secret to a business' viability and profitability is the ability to control expenses, especially in recessionary times.

—Dr. Kevin J.A. Orieux

Author of

Survive, Thrive or Dive

Our challenge

& what we can do for you

There's a void in our training and we all know it

While we all were taught the mechanics of doing dentistry, we were never taught Management strategies, Business protocols or the Application of these skills in dental school.

Dentists could learn a valuable secret from the tradespeople—the value of an apprenticeship. While both occupations require 4 years of training whereby the student toils under the watchful eye of a senior instructor, the trades offer a distinctive advantage. In an apprenticeship the trainer, or “master tradesperson” not only shows the apprentice how to use the tools of the trade, the master also teaches the apprentice everything they know about running the business side of the trade. When an apprentice graduates, they are truly equipped with all the “tools” of the trade.

Dentistry has associateships but it needs apprenticeships

The apprenticeship training model is really more of a mentorship model, with only a fraction of the training spent in the classroom. The majority of the training is spent on the job, experiencing real-life problems, and learning how to solve those problems from the mentoring of the master who has already made the mistakes, and learned from the experience.

What's of even greater value in an apprenticeship program, is that the master tradesperson teaches the apprentice how to avoid problems by sharing all the mistakes they have made. This is where dentistry and the trades are different. When we think back on our dental school training, how many of us can recall hearing a dental prof admit to all the mistakes they made in the business aspects of running a private practice—or for that matter, admitting to any mistakes?

The most expensive mistakes are the avoidable mistakes

In a real sense, our problems begin the day we take possession of our own practice. With pretty much zero business training, we are vulnerable to a myriad of mistakes we can't foresee because we don't even know where to look. Unfortunately, the mistakes are often expensive. Even more unfortunately, the mistakes are avoidable. Yet every dentist is going to make the same unavoidable mistakes because we're going to face the same problems every other dentist faces.

Except unlike an apprenticeship, we are at a serious disadvantage.

We haven't been trained, equipped and prepared to know how to deal with all the business problems that make running a private practice so challenging. The business side of dentistry was never part of the dental school curriculum, so we graduated with a void in our education. We graduated unequipped and ill-prepared to deal with the things that eat away at our bottom line and cause us financial stress and frustration.

Like when a supply rep is overcharging us.

Or when an insurance company is refusing to pay.

Or when some slick sales person is trying to suck us into buying something we don't need, won't need, and will never use, so it just end up taking space in our fridge or on our shelves.

If we want things to change for the better,
then we are going to have to learn to get better

That's why you need to attend Recession Proof Your Practice and that's exactly why we call this an MBA workshop.

We teach dentists how to be more empowered in the Management aspect of running a private practice, more equipped in the Business skills of dentistry, then offer ongoing mentorship to ensure that dentists will be able to Apply the principles that older dentists have learned the hard way, that is, the expensive way. But with this program, you won't have to.

Our new dental socio-economics

& other key factors that impact your practice

We need new tools and new strategies in our post-recession economy

In the aftermath of the Crash of 2008 socio-economic research showed that 85% of GP practices experienced a significant drop in revenue while expenses continued to soar.

Lower revenue along with higher expenses leads to decimated profit margins. More recent socio-economic research shows very few practices have rebounded to the levels of their pre-2008 profit margins. Clearly, we need to make changes if we don't want to continue to suffer from this past recession. More importantly, we need to learn how to safeguard our practices from the next recession, which economists are predicting is just over the horizon.

The only way we can maintain our revenues (without cutting staff hours which only cuts our customer service) is by learning how to retool our existing protocols in serving our existing customer base. The "answers" we are looking for involve strategies for increasing efficiencies with our existing resources, so we can adapt to recessionary economic pressures. While it may seem reasonable to ask "How can we increase our dwindling productivity?" that's the wrong question to ask in a recessionary climate. In a recession, demand drops while competition increases. To thrive in recessionary times requires a paradigm shift in our business strategies. Let's face it, we weren't even taught business strategies for when times were good, forget about when times are bad.

It's time to learn new strategies. We need a dental MBA. It's time to learn how to Recession Proof Your Practice.

The Recession Proof Your Practice Workshop

& how you'll gain by attending

You didn't learn this in dental school

Which is why the choice before you is black or white. Either you learn the MBA's of how to manage your way through a recession now, or you do the same things you've always done and somehow hope that you will weather the storm, a storm that economists are saying is going to last a long (long) time. Yet some practitioners are not only weathering the storm, they're thriving in spite of it.

That's what this program is about. It's about being taught the right navigation tools to steer your practice in the right directions, based on wet-gloved experience gained from several previous recessionary periods we've seen since the 1980's. It's about having senior colleagues share past experiences, past mistakes, and how to avoid these mistakes, thus empowering and equipping you with the knowledge you need to create, control and maintain fiscal efficiency.

This training involves strategies to optimize efficiencies. It's about what everyone learned to do in the Depression and every Recession since, namely "economizing". It's not about layoffs and cutbacks, it's about learning how you can do the best you can, with what you've got, which will be a great relief to the economic concerns of your staff! By the way, this is precisely why your staff are going to be enthusiastic about the training in this particular workshop—it's also about their personal security, not just yours.

It means you'll learn how to position your practice so you can make the best of whatever the economy is going to bring your way, by maximizing the effectiveness of your existing staff and resources you've already got. There are only two things that can increase your bottom line—decreasing your expenses and increasing your productivity. This workshop will show you how to do both, by focusing on the following:

No more no-shows!

We all know that an empty hole in the schedule means continued expenses but zero revenue. It's more than just a hole, it's a black hole that sucks up your profit margins. We also know that patients can think of a number of reasons to cancel an appointment on short notice or else not show up at all. This puts your front desk staff under major pressure and stress trying to fill these last minute cancellations, while you stress over the lost opportunity to provide the services you needed to do, and how to pay the bills.

This part of the training will teach you why people bail on appointments and how you can comunicate with your patients so they don't do that in the future.

Slash your supply bills by thousands

There are a number of reasons why some suppliers will sell the exact same supplies at substantially lower prices than the competition. The black-and-white of it is, dentists who do not have a strategy for inventory control are simply going to pay more, and dental suppliers know that. Dental school simply didn't teach us anything about inventory control and comparative shopping.

This part of the program will teach you how to implement your own inventory control program, plus give you the tools to train your staff members to rise to the challenge of saving your practice money.

For those who take this particular part of the training to heart and are prepared to invest the time (minimal) to gain the financial savings (maximal) you can EASILY cut your supply bill by as much as 20-50% compared to that of your colleagues.

Evolution of a 50% overhead practice

Is 50% overhead a myth, magic or is it simply a mystery to those who have never been trained in how to achieve it?

This program will provide you with strategic protocols that will guide you on the road to bringing your overhead to 50% and even below that. But once again, we need to be black-and-white about this—there is no "magic" in the formulas you'll learn that can transform your overhead to 50% (or less), so it won't happen “overnight”. But it can happen and it will happen if you take advantage of the strategies presented in this workshop. When you do, it will probably triple your after-tax disposable income.

Imagine the kind of freedom this training will give you.

What forms of advertising are a total waste
—and why.

Our keynote speaker, Dr. KJ Orieux, has a unique background. Prior to going back to school to become a dentist, he had a prior career as the Vice President of an advertising and marketing company. For the past twenty years, he has provided consulting on marketing expertise and has written numerous articles for the Canadian Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry and the American Association of Dental Schools. What you'll learn about marketing in just 60 minutes will forever change the way you contemplate what "marketing" means.

The science of consumerism
—Why they buy (or don't)

How would you change your practice modalities if you could accurately predict what direction dental consumerism would take in the next 5 years? Imagine what kind of marketing advantage you would have if you were ahead of the curve, rather than playing catch-up? In the early 1990's, Dr. Orieux was teaching audiences who were "addicted" to amalgam restorations that they needed to change their mindset and embrace composite resins for posterior teeth. Then in the mid 1990's, he predicted that dental insurers would cut back their coverage for 6 month recare appointments to once every 9-12 months. At the time, he took a lot of flack from conference attendees for both of these predictions, but the fact remains—
...he was right.

Dr. Wayne Halstrom, past president of the Canadian Dental Association, has referred to Dr. Orieux as the dental futurist because of the socio-economic research his company, Aararat Consulting, has performed over the past twenty years. In this workshop, you will learn some of the latest socio-economic research findings that will help you position your practice way ahead of the consumeristic curve.

Eliminating bad debt & write-offs

Before you fix a problem, you first have to admit the problem exists.

Most dentists have been conditioned to believe that “bad debt” only accounts for a fraction of one percent of their production. Dr. Orieux will tell you the damage to your bottom line is probably in the realm of 1000% higher than that, it’s just that the whole realm of account receivables is so convoluted that it’s often extremely difficult to identify all the different ways in which losses are occurring. For those who have the courage (and the stomach) to do their own investigative research according to what you’ll learn in this workshop, many will find out they are losing tens of thousands of dollars a year. What's worse, many of you are still paying taxes on non-existent revenue. Bad debt is a much larger problem to the typical dental practice than what we've been led to believe.

In this part of the program, Dr. Orieux will teach those who want to learn to diagnose the truth about why their "bottom line" seems to "bottom out" far lower than they think it should and how to gain control over bad debt.

Overcoming “only if my insurance covers it”

Your treatment plan is sound, your recommendations are patient-centered and you have spent the last half hour explaining to your patient why their fractured lower left first molar needs a crown, yet the patient says “Only if my insurance will cover it”.

How many of us have heard patients use this phrase more often than Vancouver Canucks fans saying “Maybe next year”? Yet if you were doing socio-economic research on Craigslist in the Spring of 2010, you would have found Vancouverites willing to pay over $3000 per ticket for seats in the nosebleeds because they (desperately) wanted to see their team skate off with Lord Stanley's silverware (and no, their ticket price was not covered by their dental insurance).

People pay for what they want.

This workshop will help you learn how to get your patients to "want" the dentistry they need.

Our trainer

& why he can help you

He's an author, consultant, keynote speaker and corporate trainer in workplace dynamics. More importantly, when he's not doing that, he's a practicing wet-gloved dentist…

Just like you.

As a consultant, Dr. K.J. Orieux, has helped thousands of professionals reposition their practice in good times and bad. What makes Dr. Orieux unique amongst other practice management trainers however, is that not only is he a dentist, but he was also the Vice President of a marketing and advertising company prior to attending dental school.

Having spent years gaining expertise in the corporate world of marketing and sales, he learned invaluable business management skills. When he applied his expertise in the dental realm, this competitive edge enabled him to establish a private practice ranked in the top 1% of efficiency BEFORE the onset of the recession.

But now things are even better.

Since the economic Crash of 2008, Dr. Orieux's practice has thrived, growing by an unprecedented 27% during a time when more than 85% of dentists have seen patient flow, productivity and prosperity take a pounding.

In 2006, he began teaching audiences how to prepare for a major global economic downturn. In 2007 he backed this prediction by writing a book called “What's Your ROI? ” which was a veritable survival manual for what we now know as the Crash of 2008. This book provides corporations with the navigation tools to create the kind of synergy and teamwork required to weather any storm.

More recently, he has written a book called “Survive, Thrive or Dive” that shows any business owner, but especially dentists, how to position themselves to not just survive our current recessionary pressures, but thrive.