4 Things Every Orthodontist Should be Doing Right Now

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it’s apparent that the future of the US economy is at best uncertain and at worst in big trouble. I’ve practiced through 4 economic recessions and no two are the same.

None of us knows exactly what’s going to happen, but with unemployment and inflationary concerns looming, there are steps that every orthodontist can take to protect themselves and their practices.

1. Preserve Cash

This one is a no-brainer. Obviously, in an uncertain economy, it’s essential that you and your business have enough solvency to ride out any potential storm. How do you do this?

Start by analyzing expenses and be smart. As one of my early mentors used to tell me: “There are only 100 pennies in every dollar and if you spend an extra one, that’s one less to take home later.”

Look at your P&L (you are running a P&L, right?) and see where you can trim the fat, but don’t take away budgeted items that might make money for you or help you grow like certain technologies, patient communication software, marketing, CE, etc., and DO NOT just cut staff because you’re worried. A negative mindset begets a negative outcome.

Also make sure that you take 10% of every deposit and put it into a solvency account. Make sure that it’s tucked away and know that you’ll do fine without that 10%. But, after 6 months you could have $50,000, $100,000 or more saved for a “rainy day”.

2. Keep Meticulous Employee Records

There’s a reasonable chance that if the economy turns south, you may need to let people go, or, with the unemployment rate higher, you might decide to finally dismiss that one underperforming team member and upgrade. Having meticulous records of conversations, reviews and disciplinary action will protect you from a wrongful termination suit or harassment in the event that you let the wrong (or right) person go.

Stay in touch with your HR company to learn more about how you can properly document and store any employee related data to protect yourself and your practice.

3. Work On Your Internal Referral Program

With an uncertain future, the least expensive and most valuable referral program is that which is word of mouth.

Train your team to use those positive moments in your practice to kindly ask for referrals and develop a strong culture of growth where everyone-from the check in person to the TC-is comformable asking for referrals and reviews.

4. Learn Your Practice Stats

What’s your production/hr? How many appointments does your average case take? How many patients is each assistant seeing every day? Where are your emergency appointments coming from and how can they be prevented? How many patients are over their estimated treatment time?

The more you know about your practice, the more you will be able to make smart decisions about your future. Guessing what you’re doing is like flying a plane through the clouds without radar; it’s doomed for failure.

As I’ve always said, the more you work on your practice, the more you will get out of it. If you treat your business like a hobby or a “side hustle” you’ll get what you put in.

The economy is uncertain and you can’t control what happens, but you can try your best to control those factors over which you have influence. Take your time, follow a stepwise approach and learn from those around you.

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

Want To Know The ONE Small Difference Between OUR Ortho Ads and Professional Social Media Ads That Makes ALL The Difference?

Want to know the difference between crappy engagement versus a flood of new patients when running ads on social media? Read on…

For the last 12-18 months I’ve been obsessed with reading and learning from the top marketing and entrepreneurial minds. These “pure” and “seasoned” entrepreneurs and masters of advertising like Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, Todd Brown, David Ogilvy and others have taught me so much and how to think out of the box when it comes to marketing my practice.

These giants of the advertising world have shown me examples of great copy, poor copy, great ideas and terrible ones. They’ve show me how:

The layout of your ad can make a huge difference…

…and how copy can influence the performance of even a mediocre idea.

They’ve helped me look at every ad in the way that we orthodontists simply were never trained.

I’ve also belonged to a couple of mastermind groups filled with entrepreneurs, where I am the only health professional in the room. These people have started and built companies with 8 figure incomes that now are turnkey and I’ve sat there amazed at how they make so much selling something far less engaging than getting a beautiful, healthy smile.

So why is it that most orthodontic ads simply don’t bring in a flood of new patients? Why do we get so exasperated with what we felt was a great ad when it doesn’t perform well?

Truth is, there is NO one quick change you can make to an ad to suddenly see a huge influx of new patients. I just wanted to show you how copy can grab you into reading more…but…

You MUST pay attention to two things when you advertise: Your Idea and Your Copy

Great copy will NEVER be as important as a great idea. It’s just as simple as that. The pros will tell you that over and over again. You need to understand your “Unique Selling Mechanism” (USM) and where your prospect is on the sales funnel. Understand those two things and you’re set up forever.

This isn’t something you take a weekend course and suddenly figure out and if a potential marketing “expert” (i.e.-some 30 year old who took an online course in Facebook lead generation) promises you the moon, stars and sun, RUN away. Great orthodontists aren’t built in a week or month and neither are great advertising campaigns.

Unless…

…they sit down with you to figure out YOUR idea and YOUR copy based on your USM and which clients you’re going after at which stage of the sales funnel.

Sound complicated? It is.

But don’t worry…there will be more down the road. In the meantime, start reading up on figuring out YOUR USM and you’ll start to see how you can change everything!!!

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

Don’t Chill the F**k Out

If you’ve never heard of David Goggins, let me give you a really brief (and completely inadequate) introduction to who he is. Goggins was raised in a dysfunctional home, with little money and an abusive dad. He ultimately dropped over 100 pounds, became a Navy Seal, graduated Ranger School and became one of the top Ultra-marathon athletes in the world. In short, he turned his life around and has served as an inspirational beacon for many who are looking to overcome challenges in their own lives.

Goggins suffers no fools and accepts no excuses. He’s overcome a lot and expects others to do the same in their own lives. Heck, as a PT instructor, he had Navy Seals complaining that his workouts were too tough.😮

Yes, he can be considered a tad extreme, but there is a lot of wisdom in his words. He understands the human psyche and the ability to focus mind over matter to push the body to achieve more than one ever could have considered possible. One comment applies quite nicely to many orthodontists:

“Most people in the world, if they ever push themselves at all, are willing to push themselves only so far. Once they reach a cushy plateau, they chill the fuck out and enjoy their rewards, but there’s another phrase for that mentality. It’s called getting soft, and that I could not abide.”

Why does this apply to orthodontists? I know that we’re not pushed as hard physically as Seals, but to become an orthodontist means running the academic gauntlet and coming out on top. It means persevering through the science classes in college and excelling in dental school when competing against those who have already distinguished themselves. It’s not an easy road, and it’s one that most have worked pretty hard to traverse.

But what happens once you become an orthodontist? What happens when the practice starts doing pretty well? Do you keep the “pedal down”? I would argue that to be a successful entrepreneur (which you ARE when you own a practice), you’re once again in a crucible to make your practice stand out. There are many practices that people can choose. Why should they pick yours?

Goggins has another quote in his book and it’s amazing.

“Heraclitus, a philosopher born in the Persian Empire back in the fifth century BC, had it right when he wrote about men on the battlefield. “Out of every one hundred men,” he wrote, “ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior…” 

When it comes to making your practice (and your life) exceptional, do what it takes to make it the best. Don’t rest on your laurels and expect that because you do great ortho that the world will appear on your doorstep begging you to treat them. Read books on business. Attend courses. Learn to become a better manager, leader and delegator.

In short, continue to push the way you did when you wanted to become an orthodontist and strive to be that one “warrior”.

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

What are YOUR SPOFs, and How Do You Prevent Them From Ruining You?

Most orthodontists don’t consider themselves entrepreneurs. It’s not a dig at them. It’s simply the case. They consider themselves de facto business owners, clinicians and perhaps managers, but entrepreneurs? No way. Don’t believe me? Ask most orthodontists to tell you the difference between their AOV and their CPA (no, not their accountant) and they will likely stare at you wide eyed.

There are many business and entrepreneurial concepts that we simply never learned in our residencies and subsequent career experience. Orthodontists are smart people by nature and self discovery is strong in this group, but adventures in entrepreneurialism are rare.

So, I will ask the same question as the header: “What are your SPOFs?” Don’t know what that means? Let’s go there together.

SPOF is a very common business acronym that stands for “Single Points Of Failure”. Simply defined, it is: ” a part of a system that, if it fails, will stop the entire system from working.”

Take a look at the example below. It’s a very basic computer setup with an SPOF. 

In this SPOF system, the entire system is dependent on a single point-the router-to function. If it goes down, the entire system goes down.

In this example, it’s pretty clear the the router is the only thing holding together the network and if that single point of contact fails, the entire system is out of order.

So, I will ask you again: “What are YOUR SPOF’s and how can you prevent them from taking down your business?”

Here are 10 examples of SPOF in businesses (with solutions) as listed by “Thinkingbusinessblog.com”:

  1. Machinery – the business relies on a single piece of machinery or software to produce its products or services.
  2. Internet – the business relies on the internet to generate revenue. If everyone is working from the same location and the internet goes down, so does your revenue!
  3. Power – the business relies on power to its building to generate revenue. Consequently, if everyone is working from the same location and the power goes out, your revenue disappears!
  4. Building – the business needs a physical structure to generate revenue. Therefore, if everyone is working from the same building and the building becomes inaccessible, your revenue disappears!
  5. A person – there is a person in your business that is responsible for generating or enabling the majority of your revenue
  6. A patent – the business relies on a single patent or a small number of patents to generate revenue. What happens to your revenue when the patent expires? What happens if there is a patent dispute and someone files an injunction that restricts you from using that patent?
  7. Software (accounting, point of sale, engineering, database, website) – many organizations today rely heavily on software to keep their business operating (e.g., airlines). What happens when the software crashes?  What happens in the event of maliciously hacking?
  8. An industry – the business depends on a single industry to provide it business
  9. Government regulation – governments are notorious for changing regulations without understanding the impact to business. Some businesses depend on one or more regulations to keep them viable.
  10. Supply chain – supply chain interruptions for a product manufacturing company can be devastating

How to deal with SPOF

So, look at that list and think of where you might be vulnerable. Does your office rely too heavily on a member of your team (including you)? Do you have a plan if your server crashes? What about if your scanner goes down? Your lead assistant is out for an extended time? You get the idea. An SPOF can cripple you if you don’t have a back up plan, so start thunking about what you can do to protect yourself.

Remember, dealing with an SPOF is like buying life insurance or taking a vitamin. It’s not glamorous, nor will it yield instant results, but you need it to protect yourself. Take the time to identify your single points of failure and start outlining some ways in which you can protect yourself. Like insurance, we all hope we’ll never need to use these contingency plans, but if you need to, you’ll sure be thrilled you had one.

…and if you do, your AOV and CPA won’t change. 😉

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier”

I’ve been reading Colin Powell’s autobiography, “My American Journey” and even though it was written 25 years ago, the text is still so appropriate for today’s environment. Keep in mind that the book was written before 9/11, yet Powell’s perspective is still so appropriate for what we’re going through today.

From his days as a decorated, injured Vietnam war veteran, to his rise to become the first African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Powell had a vantage point to view our country like very few others. He also has been described by many politicians (of both political parties) and subordinates as one of the best leaders they ever knew and one can’t argue with his record of leadership.

Powell loved to keep quotes -rules- under glass on his desk at work and when they were discovered, he made them public. They are listed below and they are great lessons for all of us.

Which is YOUR favorite and how do you use it to live a better life?

13 Rules of Leadership

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done.
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

gk-deep-elleum-1_pp.jpg

GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

Pay Yourself First

One of the most common things I hear from younger docs is that they struggle to take home a paycheck. “I work so hard and can barely pay my bills. I can’t afford to pay myself.” What if I told you there was an answer? There is. Pay yourself first.

What? Wait a minute, you can do this? Yes, but you need to be meticulous in how you handle your finances.

There is a theory that as our practices grow, our expenses grow and that by paying yourself first, you genuinely know what’s remaining to spend and you don’t make unnecessary purchases.

Many financial consultants suggest that you pay yourself first and then bills later. Their thought is that if you wait to pay yourself until all bills are paid, there will always be something else on which you can spend money and you’ll always be out of money for your salary.

Obviously, you cannot just indiscriminately pay yourself whatever you want, but you also don’t need to be working for yourself without a salary. Start with something small and see how it feels. Something is better than nothing.

So, don’t wait forever to pay yourself a salary. Be smart, pay yourself first and enjoy some of the fruits of your labors.

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

gk-deep-elleum-1_pp.jpg
GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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The Dog and The Nail

I was reminded of an old story today, one in which a visitor to a house sees an old man and a dog on a porch.  He strolls up onto the porch and hears the dog whining. He asks the old man:”Why is the dog whining?” The old man replies:”Because there’s a nail underneath where he’s lying?”  “Then why doesn’t he just move?” the visitor asks.  The old man replies:”I guess he’s not in enough pain yet.”

Every orthodontist has something that drives them crazy about their practice. Maybe it’s an employee that isn’t following the plan, or a tough landlord or system or policy you keep having trouble with. It might work itself out and it may not, but it causes you some sort of pain.

You CAN change it. But the question is: Do you want to?

To have the practice of your dreams requires energy and commitment. It doesn’t happen quickly or easily. If you want change, you have the choice to make it happen or to let the pain continue.

Go take that CE course, or let that poorly performing team member go, or have those difficult conversations that you’ve been avoiding. Yes, it will take effort and maybe be a bit uncomfortable, but it will be worth it.

Like the dog from the story, you may be experiencing pain, but it’s not bad enough to do anything yet. But rest assured, by the time it gets to be so bad that you’re motivated to do something, the pain won’t be worth it.

Get up and move off of that nail and get rid of the pain. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

gk-deep-elleum-1_pp.jpg
GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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How Does Your Practice Compare?

Whether you like it or not, if you’re an orthodontist who currently owns or wants to own a practice, you’re an entrepreneur. Yes, you signed up to be an orthodontist, but as a business owner, you’re a willing or reluctant entrepreneur.

Many books have been written on the subject of entrepreneurship, but one of the best out there is “Traction”. Written by Gino Wickman, it introduces EOS-the Entrepreneur Operating System-the bible for many businesses. The average business that implements EOS grows 18% per year.

What does that mean to you?

Lets’ say that your practice collects $1 million/year. That means in 5 years, you will have collected $2,287,757 and in 10 years, you will have collected $5,233,835. That’s pretty solid growth. But, it doesn’t come for free. You have to work at it and EOS can get you there.

You need to be disciplined and there are many different facets about EOS that we can discuss at another time, but let’s hav you take the initial EOS questionnaire and see how you do. Before you take it, here are some simple ground rules:

  1. Be super honest in evaluating yourself. Kidding yourself and giving yourself a top mark when you don’t really deserve one doesn’t help you.
  2. See rule #1

Click HERE to go take the questionnaire and see how you stack up.  This is just the first step in helping your practice reach new heights.

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

gk-deep-elleum-1_pp.jpg
GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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Get a 10:1 Return On Your Emotional Investment

I don’t worry much. It’s just my nature. I do get nervous in certain situations, but I’ve always been a “let’s work the problem and do what we can” kind of guy. The last 2 months have certainly stretched my ability to stay positive but now that I’m back at work, I feel more “in control”. You may be the same.

But, many around us aren’t feeling the same way and we need to be aware and respectful of it. Many are on their edge. Months of home-schooling, loss of income, loss of routine and fear of illness have many on edge. It means that some may not be acting themselves. For many, your office will be their first trip outside of their homes and while novel and perhaps fun, it can be scary and illicit all sorts of emotions.

Some people may say and do things that might appear inflammatory. Mundane tasks and requests may cause friction or hostility. Do your best to be kind, generous and understanding.

Treat people with excessive emotional gentleness and when things seem tough, take a deep breath and have real one-on-one conversations. Most people, when treated with empathy and kindness tend to relax and conflict resolves itself.

I know, I know, it’s a lot to ask. After all, you have a business to operate, treatment to render, a team to take care of and the concern of what will happen to your practice in uncertain economic times.

But always remember that when we get out of this -and we will- you will look back on your role during the pandemic and wouldn’t you like to reflect with the knowledge that you did everything you could to bring peace and happiness to those around you who needed it?

I can promise you that for every bit you slow down to help others through their difficult emotional time, it will come back to you ten-fold. The gift is always for the giver.

I’m always here if you need anything.

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

gk-deep-elleum-1_pp.jpg
GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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A Cause For Optimism

This past week was my first time treating patients in a little over a month and a half and here are a few observations to hopefully lift your spirits:

Things are different, yet so much is the same
Orthodontics doesn’t change. Teeth move in the same way they always have. Yes, it was weird jumping back into my first patient (who incidentally asked me, half jokingly:”Hey doc, are you gonna be a little rusty?😂) but things will come back to you right away. While this new “normal” is kind of weird, like anything, a routine will form and all will be good.

The energy level of my team was unbelievable
When the Cares Act passed, adding $600 to unemployment benefits, many of us wondered how many practices would lose team members who would decide to stay home and collect their “free” money. Polls both in Facebook groups and in casual conversations make it clear that a lot of businesses-not just orthodontic offices-have found that many employees are not coming back to work. Is that a problem? Not really.

My practice reopened with a team that was three smaller than in March. Of course, my first response was concern. “How will we be able to service the needs of the patients with  a smaller team?” I have set columns of patients and losing two team clinical team members means needing to replace them (even after using protocols and software to lean my schedule), but the interesting thing is that even being down a couple of folks, my team was energized and ready to seize the day. They have been positive and upbeat and it was only after seeing their attitude that I realized we lost the baggage that was holding our team back. The ones who came back were there because they wanted to be there, valued the practice and (so far) the feel of the office culture in amazing.

If you’ve lost team members, don’t lose a moment’s sleep over it. You’ll emerge stronger and better because of it.

The potential employee pool is deep
I’ve practiced through four economic downturns and when they occur, you can be certain that there will be many more applicants for your business openings.

We’ve interviewed potential administrative and clinical team members during the last two weeks and I have been amazed at the quality of candidates. The average applicant is FAR better than what I’ve seen in the last decade. Smart, engaging, experienced people are applying in droves for jobs that I could not fill even 3-4 months ago.

Nobody wants to own a business in an economic downturn, but if you need to fill a position in your office, now is going to be a great time to find that next amazing team member.

It’s nice to be in a quiet office
The CDC/ADA recommendations of having as few patients in the office as possible has meant that patients have been coming back into clinic alone. No moms or dads or siblings and two things stand out:

  1. Appointments move so much quicker without distractions. It’s amazing how well things flow when there are no interruptions, questions, or siblings running around the office/chair.  And the office is so much more quieter, calmer, serene and dare I say…peaceful?  No parents at the front desk scrolling through their calendar for 10 minutes looking for that “perfect” appointment.
  2. Younger patients are now free to actually create their own healthcare experience with THEIR providers. You know those kids whose parents need to hold their hand during a cementation of an RPE “worried” for their child’s welfare, because the child is “scared to death” (and showing it)? So far, it’s gone. Without the parents there, do you know what happens to the kids who were scared? They come out of their shells and actually interact with the assistant and doctor and we see they aren’t scared to death. They have fun and learn how to cope with an appointment on their own. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I love my patients’ parents but there IS a reason why almost every pediatric dentist I know asks parents to stay in the reception area. These providers were taught what we’re now learning: Building a healthcare patient/provider relationship with a child helps empower them to trust and make it through a “scary” appointment better than any hand holding ever can.

There is lots of hope
New patients are calling, people are starting treatment, businesses are reopening and we know that we’ll get through this. When will things be “back to normal”? Nobody knows. But we will get through this. Our teams and practices WILL be stronger and better run because of the time we spent working on them while we were closed.

I missed my patients while I was closed and the other day I found myself walking out to cars to chat with parents from 6 feet away when I had the chance. I love connecting with my patients and it’s funny how when I first got back I thought I’d be much more focused on the phone ringing with new patients. In reality, the biggest concern I have is making sure that my patients are OK and that my team is aligned with the practice vision.

It’s clear that things are different than they were when I left the practice in late March. Not better, nor worse. Simply different. This is an event we will tell our grandchildren about some day and these tough times will pass. Keep an open mind to change, be smart and reasonable in following protective guidelines and keep working ON your practice while woking IN it.

I’m always here if you need anything.

Wishing you the best,

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If you want to be a part of a geographically exclusive Facebook group (OrthopreneursRD) where we come together to help each other build better practices and lower stress, please message me. To learn more about your region’s availability and what it’s all about, click HERE.

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GLENN KRIEGER IS AN ORTHODONTIST WITH 20 YEARS OF RESTORATIVE AND COSMETIC DENTISTRY EXPERIENCE BEFORE HE RETURNED TO ORTHODONTIC RESIDENCY. DR. KRIEGER LEARNED ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WELL-DESIGNED PRACTICE POLICIES AND SYSTEMS DURING A YEAR AT THE SCHUSTER CENTER FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA, AND AN UNDERSTANDING OF GENERAL ACCOUNTING PRACTICES AND INDUSTRIAL PSYCHOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON GRADUATE BUSINESS SCHOOL’S “DENTIST AS CEO” PROGRAM. HE IS THE HOST OF “THE ORTHOPRENEURS PODCAST”, MANAGES THE ORTHOPRENEURS FACEBOOK GROUP AND RUNS THE ANNUAL ORTHOPRENEURS SUMMIT.

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