Growing Your Dental Group — Knowing When To Scale and Pitfalls To Avoid

By June 15, 2020Strategy
- Dental Entrepreneur Organization

DEO Senior Faculty Emmet Scott, Co-Founder & CEO Community Dental Partners

You know you want to grow your dental group but when should you make the move to add another location (or more)? As you scale, what common pitfalls should you avoid? As a dentist-entrepreneur of an emerging dental group, there’s no doubt these questions are at the forefront of your mind.

With practices reopening and increasing patient demand, it’s time to refocus on growth.

Number One Mistake When Scaling

When an emerging group is deciding to grow, from @ 3-5 to 10-20 locations, for example, the number one mistake you can make is for your benchmark for success to be the number of locations you have. When that is the focal point, you tend to get caught up in creating processes and lose sight of the value your group brings to patients and clinicians.

Remember: Don’t judge your success on the number of locations. Judge your success by your impact on patients.

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

Where to Invest First

Another pitfall to avoid is making the mistake of centralizing too soon. It’s not the best use of your capital when you are first growing. Marketing is the best place to invest first as it will increase patient demand. Really, revenue covers all sins.

Next, put your capital toward tools and staff to gain financial/accounting clarity. Doing so will allow you to better review current financial benchmarks and forecast to plan for the future. However, both of these investments can be made only with the assumption that your clinical team is getting what they need first.

Click the video for my full discussion with Jake!

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

The Unicorn Mistake: Are You Asking Too Much of One Person?

When first hiring Executives as you scale, be careful about having too many expectations that one person can reasonably handle. This is especially true when it comes to hiring a Chief Operating Officer. When seeking someone for this role, it’s important to ask if one person can really do all that you are asking them to do. For example, would managing both the accounting functions and social media be too much to ask from one human? Would that really fit under the same role?

It’s important to vet and review the list of qualities and capabilities you are seeking in leadership and management roles early on, in particular the COO role.

Unicorns are great, just be careful you aren’t asking too much of one person and that you direct their leadership/managerial talents wisely.

How Do You Know You are Ready To Grow?

You know it’s important to push the limits and get out of your comfort zone but how do you know when it’s time to grow or if you still need to sit back and get your legs underneath you?

First, remember that it’s not a good enough reason to growing purely because you want more locations. You’ll also need a level of financial clarity to be comfortable to move forward.

Ask yourself if you fail with the next growth move — adding the next location — would it destroy everything? If the answer is no then why not take the risk.

Most importantly, you shouldn’t grow unless your team has buy-in with the path forward. It’s a risk tolerance game for you and your team.

If you want to grow and your team is not on board, then you need to re-evaluate. If your team is not reducing your anxiety then you don’t have the right team or you are missing someone from the team.

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