DSO Scaling Lessons + Build Vs. Partner, Equity Structures, and the Entrepreneur Mindset

By September 1, 2020Operations, Strategy

By now you may have heard that DEO Senior Faculty Emmet Scott is the newly elected Association of Dental Support Organizations (ADSO) President. His wisdom, patient-centered focus, and success as Co-founder and CEO of National Dental Partners/Community Dental Partners (70 + locations) made him a natural choice.

So when emerging DSO leaders gathered recently during The DEO’s first-ever Masterclass, Emmet answered questions, sharing lessons he’s learned from scaling, tactical strategies, and more.

What Would You Do If You Could Go Back and Scale Again?

This is an often asked question by emerging group practice leaders and rightly so — why reinvent the wheel or make the same mistakes?

The first focus should always be revenue. Get patients in the door and provide quality care. It will pay for the systems and processes that you want to implement.

Here are some hacks to focus on when just beginning to scale:

  • Check your front desk process: make sure it is smooth and quality as it’s the gateway for your patients
  • SOP hack: have a project manager create SOPs and trainings based on the processes of your best people. You can use these to train others. It’s a training hack since as you are first growing, you likely won’t have the budget to hire trainers.
  • An additional great SOP hack is to listen to, learn about, and implement the success cycle into your SOPs. Don’t randomly SOP processes. The success cycle will teach you which processes would be the most meaningful to SOP. Check out this DSO Secrets podcast episode for more.

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To learn more about how The DEO can help you achieve your vision and grow on your leadership journey, click here.
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Pros and Cons: Creating Your Own DSO Vs. Partnering with a DSO To Grow

This is a big decision. It’s worth considering partnering with a DSO — you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and you’d have a ready-made pool of resources to help you grow. But, be cautious that it may not be worth it, if your visions are not aligned.

It’s important to gain different perspectives before making a crucial decision like this. For those emerging group practice leaders who are trying to decide between building and partnering,  take these steps: interview different DSOs to evaluate their platforms. Maybe you will partner with them but if you feel your visions don’t align with any, then build your own. Often the answer will present itself.

Click here to watch the entire video!

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To learn more about how The DEO can help you achieve your vision and grow on your leadership journey, click here.
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Thoughts on Equity/Ownership Structures

There are many ways to approach how to structure ownership with associate doctors.  The practice level isn’t my favorite because then the dentist can only sell to other dentists and it will depress the total multiples they’re getting.

The other options are to partner with the DSO parent company or at the practice level as a sub-DSO. I prefer the sub-DSO level because even though it’s more complicated, doctors can make more of an impact and can be given a larger percentage.

The Importance of Community To Cultivate an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Even with all I’ve learned through scaling, it’s still a challenge to keep the right mindset. I appreciate having The DEO community with which to surround himself.

With technology, I’m able to be surrounded by The DEO community and its members who are crushing it or if they are being crushed, they are helping each other through it. It’s such a competitive advantage.


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To learn more about how The DEO can help you achieve your vision and grow on your leadership journey, click here.
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