Building a model dental practice

ModelLes Jones explains a simple planning model that will help you to devise a powerful strategy for the future of your practice.

Ask yourself this question: Do you have a very clear, compelling and exciting vision for the future of your practice that has been well communicated to your team?

If your answer is representative of the vast majority of dental professionals, it will probably be ‘no’.

Let me get you to ask yourself another question: Do you feel your team has more to offer the practice but, for some reason, they’re not delivering on their true potential?

I would suggest that when it comes to below-par performance, there is a significant correlation between that performance not having a clear, well-communicated vision for the future.

One way of helping you to create a vision and develop an inclusive plan to make it happen is to work with the ‘strategic triangle’ – a model for creating a powerful strategy for the future.

The big picture

Untitled-1This model starts at the top with your vision – where do you want to be? As an example, ask yourself what your practice will look like two years from now if your plan comes to fruition. Don’t just consider it in general terms; describe it in as much detail as you can so that it becomes real in your mind, and then communicate that to your team.

Once everyone has that vision in mind of where you want to be, you can move to the next level.

Strategic goals

If the vision is the ‘where’, the goals are the ‘what’. What needs to happen to make the vision a reality? The goals need to be tangible; having a goal about increasing income or treatment uptake isn’t good enough because there’s no tangible measure. Instead, think about setting a target for 25 new patients per month, for instance.

With this goal, you have a start point (the number of new patients coming in per month now) and an end point, allowing you to measure progress. In addition, think about setting goals that push the boundaries a little bit – that will get your creative juices flowing and that will engage the team into thinking about how you can do things differently and better.

Strategic planning

Once you have those goals, you can move down to the next level – the strategic plans. This is about ‘how’ you are going to deliver those goals. It’s about being creative and encouraging your team to come up with ideas to make your goals a reality. Once you have developed those plans, you can move on to the final part of the model – the day-to-day actions and tasks.

Daily satisfaction – your actions and tasks

The final part is to consider what everyone in the team is doing on a day-to-day basis, and how their actions can impact the overall performance of the practice.

Your vision needs to influence every single thing that the team does every day. So while the vision might be two years down the line, the actions are about today, tomorrow, next week. Who’s organising that meeting? Who’s talking to that supplier? Who’s putting that plan
into action?

Top-down success

Starting with the end in mind allows you to devise a plan with actions and tasks that will deliver your vision. By painting a compelling and exciting vision of the future and communicating that to your team, you will find that they will want to be involved too.

Once you’ve done that, you’ve got a powerful approach to the future supported by an engaged, committed and impactful team. Now that’s a recipe for success!

Practice Plan is a leading provider of practice-branded patient membership plans and an increasingly significant source of wider business support services for dentistry. So, whether you’re planning a conversion from the NHS, introducing a dental plan into an established practice or looking to change from another plan provider, it can help you take your practice where you want it to go.

Over the years, Practice Plan has helped thousands of dentists introduce membership plans and develop business strategies. Access to regional support managers, customer service advisers and expert marketers as well as dental business consultants and speakers, means a practice will get practical and strategic advice to help them achieve their unique goals.

If you’d like to know more about how Practice Plan could help you make a greater success of your practice, visit or call 01691 684164.

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