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    4 things you need to do before expanding your practice

    Expanding into a multi-location is every bit as challenging as it sounds, so preparation is key.


    Knowledge and vision

    Knowledge and vision

    Dr. Marc Cooper, DDS, president and founder of the Dentist Entrepreneur Organization, a national consulting and training firm based in Portland, Oregon, that works exclusively in the group practice space, says the journey starts with an understanding of the differences between solo and group practices and what the doctor ultimately expects to achieve.

    “In the classic sense, it would be education,” Dr. Cooper says. “We see this space of emerging group practices as a very fertile ground for the work that we do. They have to understand, what is a managed group practice? How is it different from a solo practice? What are the legal components? What are the physical components? Who are the people that man it? They have to get a sense of that whole world and understand how it works. Education is something that they really need. And there are courses out there, besides the ones that our DEO company provides, and it’s becoming so much more popular.”

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    In addition to a basic knowledge of what to expect, Dr. Roger Levin, DDS, CEO and chairman of dental practice consulting firm, the Levin Group, in Owings Mills, Maryland, notes that the doctor should have some sort of philosophical perspective on what he or she wants.

    “By the time you start expanding, you should have a vision of where you want to go,” Dr. Levin says. “Do you want three, six, 20 practices? What’s the vision? You can’t build a strategic plan without having a vision.”

    Their philosophy must also be in line with and embrace an entrepreneurial mindset.

    “The resolve to get through the numerous problems and breakdowns that happen as you move forward,” Dr. Cooper adds. “That’s where we are talking about that philosophical bent. You must have the capacity to relate differently to certain things that are happening. Dentists are trained and cultured into what I call the ‘Beginning, middle and end model.’ Here’s a cavity; I’m going to drill it. I am going to do a perfect box on the distal of it. I’m going to fill it. I’m going to polish it. I’m going to check the occlusion. And I’m going to go. A beginning, a middle and an end.

    “So, they like to do their world that way, too,” he continues. “A beginning, a middle and end. If you get into the top business people, and I have consulted a few of them, they don’t do things that way. They have something called ‘Forward the action.’ It doesn’t need to be completed; it needs to move. So, from a dentist’s mindset, that it’s not complete, but from a corporate leader viewpoint, where we are moving forward, it’s a different view of how things are conducted on the field. It’s not a touchdown, it’s, ‘We got our five yards. Let’s get another five yards.’ There’s just a different mindset that needs to be instilled to be able to move from one practice to multiple practices.”


    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...


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