An Evergreen Dental Practice

April 18, 2018 Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

How do you make your dental practice resilient? 

In a recent article in INC magazine, venture capitalist Dave Whorton and Red Herring co-founder Chris Alden used the term ‘evergreen’ to describe the increasing number of private, profitable, market leading businesses designed to remain independent for a long, long time.

In other words, they possess abundant, healthy longevity that is grounded in their very nature. To me, that sounds exactly like the high quality, relationship-based practice each of us is attempting to create and develop all day every day in our professional lives.

Whorton and Alden identified seven very instructive characteristics of an evergreen company. I adapted them to be relative to a relationship-based dental practice. Let’s take a look.

How to Create a Relationship-Based Evergreen Dental Practice

1. Purpose

Being passionately driven by a compelling vision and mission. There is no substitute for clarity around your WHY. It is your unique story.

2. Perseverance

Having the grit to get through and past barriers. When you have a long term perspective of your practice, professional career, and life, the short term trials seem much less daunting. Those trials also occupy much less space in what you measure as important. The destination is a fixed standard. The time required to get there is a variable. I call that standard an ‘unchanging point of light.’

3. People First

The people of your world are both the reason for your work and the vehicle to make that work come to life. Surrounding yourself with the best and most talented people available to you is the most powerful accelerator to your practice development.

4. Private

Your dental practice, even with multiple dentists and a large team, is still a micro enterprise owned and operated by practicing dentists within the practice. This makes your enterprise much more agile, responsive, and tactical. It is one of the critical advantages we have over large corporate ownership.

5. Profitability

Profitability is a measure of value delivered to the patient. By building high trust relationships that essentially function as partnerships, the patient is much more likely to choose comprehensive solutions to their problems. This builds productivity and profitability.

6. Paced Growth

Focusing on long term strategies of practice growth and development creates a mindset of investment in people, technology, and skills. This creates a brand and practice culture that are unique in the marketplace with the power to attract and retain great people. These people are your team, your patients, and your interdisciplinary team of specialists and technicians.

7. Pragmatic Innovation

The best dental practices we know continually educate themselves and their patients. They employ contemporary technologies that are critical to their performance and results. They never stop seeking a better way to do what they do. In short, they lead, they innovate, and they teach others to do the same. It is a mindset and a way of life.

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About Author

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Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Dr. Edwin A. McDonald III received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Economics from Midwestern State University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Dr. McDonald has completed extensive training in dental implant dentistry through the University of Florida Center for Implant Dentistry. He has also completed extensive aesthetic dentistry training through various programs including the Seattle Institute, The Pankey Institute and Spear Education. Mac is a general dentist in Plano Texas. His practice is focused on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is a visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute. Mac also lectures at meetings around the country and has been very active with both the Dallas County Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Currently, he is a student in the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching. With Dr. Joel Small, he is co-founder of Line of Sight Coaching, dedicated to helping healthcare professionals develop leadership and coaching skills that improve the effectiveness, morale and productivity of their teams.

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