Small is beautiful

Posted on Updated on

Dr Mark HassedAs I travel around Australia I see many dentists who’re keen on growing their clinic bigger and bigger.

In a big majority cases, that I have seen, this turns out to be a mistake.

Being able to manage a large team of staff, hygienists and dentists is a particular skill that is possessed by very few practice owners.

Instead of the larger practice producing more profits the practice owner often finds that they are working harder, having more stress and earning the same or less than before. Suddenly they have many mouths to feed and any small downturn in the economy crimps their profit incredibly. I’ve even seen large practices where they have worked for a month and the owner lost money.

In one case I saw recently the practice owner was stressed to the max, working very hard and yet earning significantly less than their hygienist.

Before you head down the path of expansion ask yourself, do you want to spend a large part of your day managing people? Do you want to be a rainmaker constantly drumming up business for other people? Do you want the stress that comes with worrying about someone else’s clinical mistakes? Do you want the massive overhead to meet each month that comes with a big clinic and a big staff?

You can have a wonderful life, with a fabulous income and minimal stress as a single practitioner.

Think long and hard before you decided to go down the growth path.

12 thoughts on “Small is beautiful

    Ian Crump said:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:43 am

    19 chairs….now only 2. Life is much better; income much the same. Crumpet.

    Dr Mark Hassed responded:
    June 4, 2013 at 11:46 am

    So true. Thanks for sharing.

    Nadine lindsay said:
    June 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    How true. Great sensible practical advice.

      Dr Mark Hassed responded:
      June 4, 2013 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks Nadine. I’m sure that this advice would be heartily endorsed by our good friend Omer Reed.

        nadinelindsay said:
        June 4, 2013 at 4:46 pm

        I’m sure Omer would agree with you.

    davidmoffet said:
    June 4, 2013 at 8:04 pm

    Yes Mark.
    I agree. Sometimes I believe one dentist one hygienist can be the ideal dental office set up…what do you think?

      Dr Mark Hassed responded:
      June 5, 2013 at 10:45 am

      I’m not even convinced about the one hygienist! My practice was at its most profitable when the hygienist left and we didn’t replace her. You can do $900 per hour just doing check-ups and clean with no lab costs.

    dentonomy said:
    June 6, 2013 at 1:47 am

    we really agree with your article….we know so many dentists here in Spain that work for their staff salary….sad, isn’t it?

      Dr Mark Hassed responded:
      June 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you. I would have subscribed to your blog but it is in Spanish!

        dentonomy said:
        July 14, 2013 at 2:57 am

        Well….hope that sooner or later we will post something in english…we are really international people!

    George Nitsopoulos said:
    June 6, 2013 at 11:40 am

    Interesting article.So I guess Michael Gerber’s Emyth(and Emyth physician) is just that a myth when it comes to the business of denistry.

      Dr Mark Hassed responded:
      June 6, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      I reckon so. There are quite a few fundamental differences between dentistry and a normal business. Also, management and system engineering is not as easy as they make it seem. Building great systems is a very particular skill and my experience tells me that either you have that skill or you don’t.

Leave a Reply