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Denise Ciardello is a professional speaker, published author, and cofounder of Global Team Solutions, a practice management-consulting firm that brings clinical and administrative teams together through customized practice development and coaching. She is the president of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants (ADMC) and a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA). She is an expert in efficient business systems and helping practices improve marketing results, professional image, and the bottom line. Her enthusiasm and knowledge for the dental profession has motivated many dental teams. You may contact her at denise@GTSGurus.com.
What goals are set in your dental office? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Any? This is one of the first questions we ask and 90% of the time the answer is crickets. ‘We know we should’ or ‘We’ve talked about it’ or ‘We just try to schedule/collect as much as we can everyday’ are the typical responses. As we discuss the schedule with the clinical team, we hear things like ‘We are twiddling our thumbs one day and don’t have time for a bathroom break the next’. I would like to break down the necessity of goals and define the mindset needed when discussing goals.
What goals are set in your office? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Any? This is one of the first questions we ask and 90% of the time the answer is crickets. ‘We know we should’ or ‘We’ve talked about it’ or ‘We just try to schedule/collect as much as we can everyday’ are the typical responses. As we discuss the schedule with the clinical team, we hear things like ‘We are twiddling our thumbs one day and don’t have time for a bathroom break the next’. I would like to break down the necessity of goals and define the mindset needed when discussing goals.
First, when we ask if an office has a goal, the follow up question is: Do you recommend having a goal? We answer with a resounding YES! How do you know you’ve hit your mark when you don’t know what the mark is?
“In life, as in football, you won’t go far unless you know where the goalposts are.” – Arnold H. Glasgow
A goal defines what are you scheduling for everyday. Just filling the holes doesn’t cut it. There is a cost to opening your doors. This is the starting point. Know you overhead – the true overhead of running your business. (if you need help with determining your overhead, contact us at: info@GTSgurus.com) Once you know your yearly overhead, divide it by 12 for a monthly number. To determine a daily goal, you will take the monthly number and divide it by the number of days that the office will be open for each month. Typically, the hygienist daily goal will remain the same each day so only the Dr’s goal will change.
This is your BAM (Base Amount to Meet). This is the total needed to keep the doors open – to keep the lights on, pay for supplies, rent, utilities and meet payroll needs. We have found that if the team is aware of this number, they will understand and appreciate the need to know the BAM.
There are two ways to think of this goal:
1. This is just the beginning
2. This is all that is needed
Hopefully, your team will be in the mindset of #1 because it should be just the beginning. At times, I wish we would just call it BAM since the word “GOAL” means that you have achieved the top, the end, the apex. In football or soccer, when you make a goal, you’ve achieved your purpose. In this scenario, we are at the bottom line. This is actually the starting point for where we are going.
Sometimes upon further probing with the Dr., we find that a goal is not set because when a goal is met, the team expects a bonus. Now, in my opinion, we are comparing apples to oranges. If a bonus is in the discussion, it is not with meeting of the goal, yet for exceeding the goal. The goal in the aforementioned discussion is based on production; the goal on any bonus needs to be based on the collections in the office. A bonus can only be paid on monies collected, again exceeding the totals of meeting overhead.
Taking this conversation a bit farther, let’s say that the team would really like to go to the Midwinter conference in Chicago next year, buy a piece of equipment, or participate in a team building retreat – the team may set a BHG (Big Hairy Goal). Let’s say that the monthly goal is set for $90,000 – again we are talking about collections – the goal is moved to $92,000 with the additional $2,000/month going toward the BHG. No bonus is calculated until the $92,000 mark is exceeded. There are thousands of ways to create a ‘bonus’ system; our strongest recommendations always include calculating it based on collections. (If you are looking for bonus systems – contact us: infor@GTSgurus.com)
To wrap up this discussion, each office needs a goal – a target defined – whether a bonus is paid out or not. If you don’t have a target, you will hit it every time.
“People with clear, written goals accomplish far more in a shorter period of time than people without them can ever imagine.” – Unknown
The mindset should be that the BAM goal is just the beginning; it is the reason you can keep your lights on every day; it is the initial mark to meet. A team is stronger knowing that together they have a target to aim at and will together celebrate reaching that target. An additional goal – BHG – could be set to aim for a long-term goal such as a trip or piece of equipment that the team is really wanting. We are a competitive society and having a goal, a target, to reach is something in which we all can relate. Let us help you reach your goals. Contact us at: info@GTSgurus.com.