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.

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