While many dentists jump straight from dental school into work, it can be tough to get started and grow independently. Larger corporations and already established practices can provide an alternative route than the path of owning and running your own dental practice. However, if you do choose to run your own practice, creating the right processes and growing your practice is essential for long-term success.
At Duckett Ladd, we’ve discovered that there are six stages every dental practice goes through on its journey to stability and success. Below, we have highlighted these stages from Dr. Scott and Kelly Fischer as they grew Fischer Family Dentistry in Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Six Phases for Long-term Practice Success
These are the six phases every practice goes through along their path to long term success:
Phase 1: Prepare
Learn and build up the knowledge you need to make informed decisions about ownership.
Phase 2: Begin
Transition into ownership with a plan for the practice and its future.
Phase 3: Analyze
Pay careful attention to all the details to make the right decisions for your practice.
Phase 4: Set the stage
Find your footing and work hard to prepare for growth.
Phase 5: Hit your groove
When you are ready to level up, optimize your practice to surpass your peers.
Phase 6: Leave your legacy
After all your hard work, prepare your practice for when you decide to step away.
How the Fischer’s Started Fischer Family Dentistry
Having met at the University of Kentucky Dental School, Dr. Scott and Kelli Fisher instantly knew that they wanted to own their own dental practice where they could practice together. This led to them purchasing a dental practice in Hendersonville for $150,000 in 1990.
For the first 6 months after the purchase, Dr. Scott and Kelly Fisher both worked alongside the outgoing dentist to make for a seamless transition. They inherited a small staff that helped with this transition as they got to know each patient. Dr. Scott and Kelli Fisher also opted to do hygiene in the early years and lived below their means while slowly building a name for themselves around the community.
Implementing Changes to Grow
The first 5 years were tough but after finding and partnering with a good accountant, they managed to learn a lot about managing their finances and preparing for growth. With the advice of accountants that had experience in dental practice accounting, Dr. Kelli Fisher was able to learn how to optimize the practice and created formal systems for how they operate.
These new systems were implemented in year 7 and helped them manage their staff more efficiently and made training new staff easier. Members of their team took well to the new systems, procedures, and workplace culture as the practice saw a steady increase in both patients and collections.
This increase and growth resulted in Dr. Scott and Kelli Fisher purchasing a plot of land and building a bigger practice. They built this practice with future growth still in mind. After opening the new building, they increased their collections by $150,000 – $200,000 every year from their total collection of $500,000 in 1998. They have managed to further cement their growth in collections to an impressive $3,000,000 in 2021.
Leaving a Legacy
Fischer Family Dentistry has seen impressive growth in its practice over the last 30 years. With a keen focus on hiring the right people and managing their teams efficiently, they have built a solid practice that is essential and valued by their community.
From the beginning, they were always invested in the community and by doing so have made a name for themselves as the town grew. This was evident by their growth in the number of referrals and new patients. For the future, Dr. Scott and Kelli Fisher now wish to extend their team even further by bringing in another doctor but wish to do so carefully to ensure their legacy lives on within the community.
Grow Your Practice with Experts in Dental Practice Accounting
At Duckett Ladd, we want you to have the tools and resources to grow your practice successfully while achieving your ideal quality of life. Our world-class service and experience can help you with all your accounting, tax planning, and business strategy needs whenever and wherever you may need it. Feel free to visit our website to learn more about all the ways we can partner with you to grow your dental practice.
To find the fastest solution to any business challenges you may be facing, get in touch with our dental practice accounting team today!
Duckett Ladd, LLP does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This content has been prepared for informational purposes only and should not be relied on for, tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. Also, tax law is ever-changing and every effort should be made to seek out the most current information. Make sure to check the date of published content to ensure the most current information.
Listen to the full podcast episode at: Growing Your Dental Practice