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Defining success for your practice

A doctor looking out a window contemplating their success.

Every dentist who goes into practice for themselves hopes to one day make their venture a success. What does that success look like? Defining success includes benchmarks not only for profit but also for job satisfaction, lifestyle, work environment and other intangibles.

Practice success should follow in line with your vision

If someone asks you what your vision is for your practice, how quickly can you come up with an answer? Knowing exactly what your ideal future practice looks like is the best way to see to it that this vision one day comes true. Your vision statement isn’t something you write down once and then file away. You and your staff should know it by heart. A vision statement isn’t just a motivational tool, it’s a compass that keeps all your efforts pointed in the right direction.

An ideal length for a vision statement is two to three sentences and should include a time frame. Ideally, try to include both concrete, easily measured goals and more abstract concepts.

Tracking meaningful KPIs

Even if your practice vision isn’t primarily focused on maximizing profit, using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure your progress is very important. Accurate KPI tracking data provides you with a snapshot of how your practice is doing at any given point in time, which makes monitoring and tweaking daily, monthly and annual production goals quick and accurate. While some practices may track up to 20 KPIs, these eight are typically seen as the most relevant for determining financial success at your business:

  • Production
  • Collections
  • New patient count
  • Average production for new patient visits
  • Average annual production per patient
  • Case acceptance
  • Overhead
  • Profitability

The ultimate goal

In the end, a truly successful practice is one where you enjoy coming to work every day. Profitability matters, but not at the expense of your well-being. Manage your business wisely but don’t forget to manage your stress levels, happiness and work/life balance, too.