Profit Killers in the Dental Office – Part 1

Posted on
December 18, 2020

As a Dentist, you believe in Preventive Dentistry . . . why not Preventive Management. Just like a patient – your practice needs a periodic thorough examination – diagnosis and a TX plan(s).

Since 1974, I have been involved with practice growth, stabilization and profitability. The common denominators of determining profitability have surfaced consistently – with time and trial. Consequently, it seems logical to identify the killers and the life givers of a Practice.

One of the biggest indicators of wealth for business owners is profit margin. As you develop written answers to the following questions, you will identify where and how you can increase your profit margin. This self-examination may prompt some 3rd party intervention. Enjoy the exercise & self-perception checking. Look at your practice – with a fine eye!

Remember – you simply have to plan your protocol, get started and stay with it.

In this first of two articles we look at profit killers in the Management side of your practice. This includes your Administration, Finances, Business Systems, and Legal Review. These first 13 of 31 profit killers could be your road map for creating a more PROFITABLE and SUCCESSFUL practice.


How often do you receive operating statements and what key information is tracked and utilized to measure numerical trends or indicators?

Is there a developed percentage based budget? If so, how are the results tracked? What are the ramifications of non-compliance? It’s not what you Produce . . . it is what you take home. See

Do you, as a business owner, have a clear understanding of your responsibilities to create a positive cash flow, generate a substantial profit and create a good quality of life for you, your loved ones and your employees? Do you have an Exit Plan?


Are you confident your current collection systems are optimized and competitive? Is there a system in place to track accounts receivables, payables and to manage cash flow? How much do you have to consistently collect each month – to run the business BEFORE you can take a personal draw?

How do you determine staff salaries and when to give salary increases?

How is overhead defined, monitored and measured? Are costs measured and compared to realistic/trend percentages? What systems are in place to control/flag costs and quantify results?

Are Dental and Medical codes utilized effectively and are you monitoring your “give-away dentistry”?

Is your bookkeeper properly expensing and categorizing bills, separating business and personal items – syncing with your CPA frequently?

Business Systems

Are you confident your current software is the best suited, priced, and most efficient/safe tool for your specific office?

Who is responsible for negotiating material contracts and managing cost controls? What role does the team have in goods control?

How is waste prevented? Does a perpetual inventory record for materials, supplies, work-in-progress and finished goods exist?

Legal Review

Does a third party periodically evaluate any contractual lease or rent obligations? Same applies to building ownership & upgrades.

What systems are utilized to ensure compliance to OSHA and HIPPA – Risk Management?

Capture control of the profitability of the Management side of your practice by sitting down and answering each of the questions outlined. Read Part 2 of 31 Profit Killers – in the Dental Office for 18 more killers in the Leadership side of your practice.

**Each of these 31 points have directives & solutions – ask us 1-208-286-0849

Posted on
November 1, 2019

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