The most overlooked position in a dental office is the position of Office Manager, or Operations Manager. Call it whatever you want, it is a position that typically the wrong people are hired into. More than that, it is a position that has all the wrong duties assigned to it.
It is a role that is filled by someone who answers the phone well, knows about billing, and has an understanding of dental software. The position typically requires someone to help with treatment plans, accept payment, send out statements and check patients in.
Although all of these tasks need to be done, they do not help your business grow and can be taught to just about anyone. Hire people who are assigned to solely take care of these tasks!
A common conversation I would have with dentists in my travels to their offices, is that they needed better marketing, were constantly looking for ways to get new patients in the door. They were dealing with the headaches of turnover, having to train new staff. They had no idea what their accounts receivable reports looked like, or how to effectively schedule patients. They would say, they wished they could have a really great office manager, so that they could just do dentistry.
What they were really saying is that they had lots of businesses frustrations!
I get it.
Owning a business is a lot of work. There are employees to keep happy, revenue to expand, advertising, budget, goals, and the list goes on and on. If your desire is to be a dentist, and have a successful practice, then you need to have the right people on your team. You need to be really good at dentistry, and then have people to help your practice be successful who have the skills and knowledge to grow business.
Because there is more to a successful practice than just placing great crowns or calling people for recall!
So here is my suggestion, to help alleviate your stress about profits and growth, and to really create a dynamic team for success. Do not hire an office manager.
Hire someone with business knowledge. They need to understand marketing and advertising (there is a difference). They should be driven by reaching goals, and have stellar leadership skills. They need to be proactive in always finding ways to grow business, and work with you to see your vision come alive. Hire a Business Manager.
Now don’t just hire someone and then hide in the back, this is still your business. Weekly meetings and a great working relationship with your business manager can actually free up your schedule so you can focus on the reason you got into densitry…to be a dentist!
You don’t have to do it all yourself. Hire smart, hire people who are an asset to your business. Hire people who have strengths in areas of the business that you might not. In doing this, your time won’t be split between dentistry and the business of it!