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Here’s When It’s Time to Hire a Practice Coach – Episode 304


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Are you frustrated that your practice seems to have plateaued? Or maybe the holes in your schedule make it so disorganized it looks like a game of Tetris.

On this episode of the Dentist Money™ Show, Ryan welcomes consultant Heidi Mount who has coached dentists across the globe. On this show, Heidi reveals how good coaching can help you unlock the full potential of your practice.

 

Show notes:
www.coachheidimount.com
heidi@coachingdentists.com
Book – Hidden Treasures: Finding the Missing Revenue in Your Dental Practice


 

Podcast Transcript

Ryan Isaac:
Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the mighty Dentist Money Show, sponsored by Dentist Advisors. A no commission, fiduciary, comprehensive financial advisor, just for dentists like you, all over the country. Check us out Dentistadvisors.com.

Ryan Isaac:
Today on the show I have coach and practice consultant extraordinaire, Heidi Mount, hailing from the glorious state of Hawaii. And today we talk about a lot of things about practice and mistakes, post COVID, team, training, hiring. I ask some questions about when it’s a good time to hire an associate. When it’s a good time to know when you should hire a coach. When to get help.

Ryan Isaac:
Which parts of the practice you need help and where to begin. So many questions, so little time, I hope this episode is really helpful. My many thanks to you, Heidi, for joining us and sharing her time and expertise with us. If you have any questions for us after the show, go ahead and go over to Dentistadvisor.com. Click the book free consultation link.

Ryan Isaac:
Schedule a chat with one of our many friendly advisors waiting, standing by, to take your call and let’s have a chat about your situation. Or if you want to ask us a question directly, or make a suggestion for the show, please go to the Dentist Advisors discussion group on Facebook and post a question. We’ll post an answer. Thank you for being here. Thanks for supporting us. Downloading the show. And enjoy the show.

Announcer:
Consulting and advisor conduct your own due diligence when making financial decisions. General principles discuss during this program do not constitute personal advice. This program is furnished by Dentist Advisors, a registered investment advisor. This is Dentist Money. Now, here’s your host, Ryan Isaac.

Ryan Isaac:
Welcome to the Dentist Money Show where we help Dentists make smart financial decisions. I am your host, Ryan Isaac, and I’m here with a guest today. New friend of mine, new friend of the show. First time guest, so we’re really excited. It’s Heidi Mount, dental coach to dentist everywhere for I think, many, many years. Welcome, Heidi, to the Dentist Money Show. How you doing?

Heidi Mount:
Hey, thanks for having me. As we say it in Hawaii, it’s, “How’s it?”

Ryan Isaac:
How’s it, bra? Yes, you are in Hawaii. What a dream do? Well, this is my own question here. I don’t know how much the audience cares, but do you surf?

Heidi Mount:
You know, it’s on my bucket list to actually get lessons.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay. You should definitely-

Heidi Mount:
But I am a scuba diver.

Ryan Isaac:
You are a scuba diver.

Heidi Mount:
Advanced. Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
Wow. I feel like I could ask you a million questions about that. Okay. Let’s just do that. What is your favorite place to scuba?

Heidi Mount:
Oh, so many. So probably Two Step here is one of my favorites.

Ryan Isaac:
Cool.

Heidi Mount:
Kona, they’re in the top 10 diving sites in the world.

Ryan Isaac:
Amazing.

Heidi Mount:
Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
And scariest thing you ever saw while scuba diving?

Heidi Mount:
I don’t get scared easily, but it’s in my book. I did a black water pelagic magic dive and that was very, very scary. So you know what a night dive is? Where people-

Ryan Isaac:
Yes.

Heidi Mount:
… Manta rays and all that, are you a scuba diver?

Ryan Isaac:
No. I have friends who do it and it sounds intriguing, but also highly terrifying.

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. So this one, you go five miles out to sea, which means you’re over 5,000 feet of water and you are actually tethered to the boat. So we go at like 10 or 11 o’clock at night. So it’s pitch black. I can’t see land anywhere. We have like a parachute kind of thing that’s somehow wrapped down by these pros. And about six people can go and you’re actually dangling under the boat as just total shark bait.

Heidi Mount:
Now that’s not why I’m there. So pelagic magic means the fish are kind of iridescent.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay.

Heidi Mount:
[crosstalk 00:03:35] there’s only four places in the world that you have that kind of water. So [crosstalk 00:03:38]-

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
It’s like 4th of July sparklers.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay. I’ve swam in something like that in Puerto Rico once.

Heidi Mount:
Yes. Puerto Rico is one of the other places.

Ryan Isaac:
It’s amazing.

Heidi Mount:
Uh-huh (affirmative). And so if you shine a light, you get to see an octopus that looks kind of rainbow colors or different [crosstalk 00:03:54].

Ryan Isaac:
Wow. So cool. So kind of shark bait, but also sparkly, glow in the dark fish, mostly.

Heidi Mount:
Oh yeah. It’s an ADHD dream. Man, you’re just down there, just [crosstalk 00:04:04] and then you hope a big shark doesn’t get your, whatever.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. You hope. Okay. Well, we’re three minutes in and I could keep asking you questions about this. How about we introduce who you are in the dental world, because that’s kind of important here. I said, you’ve been a dental coach for a long time. I at least know that’s true. How many years have you been a dental coach?

Heidi Mount:
I don’t know. Over a decade. The thing is I worked in dentistry in 1988 and on. And so all along that people were always reaching out to me, “How does Heidi do this?” Office managers were calling, dentists were calling, study clubs were.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
So I kind of was coaching all along and I have to give a lot of credit to my first boss. He must have had a consultant. I never met or saw one, but he was a great leader. So I think I learned a lot from the systems, and all that from him. And in the ’80s, it was popular to have a front desk list office.

Ryan Isaac:
I heard you talking about this in a video on your website. Yes.

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. So they-

Ryan Isaac:
Which seems like I can’t even fathom that. Can’t even imagine.

Heidi Mount:
It is so weird. And it’s still that way. He still works in the Bay Area that way. There’s a big, giant salt water fish tank. So he was a scuba diver also and got me intrigued because we had yellow tanks and all these fancy fish in there. So that was part of the spark.

Heidi Mount:
However, I love water and grow with a boat for a little bit. But yeah, you wave through this fish tank and they pushed a button and off we went and I handled the patient from the front all the way to dismissing them.

Ryan Isaac:
And it still runs that way in the office.

Heidi Mount:
His office. Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
Wow.

Heidi Mount:
And he’s very, very successful.

Ryan Isaac:
That is so cool. Okay. I want to back up a little bit. So there is a video on your website, it’s in the like About Me section or something about kind of what made you get into this. And I kind of want to start there because I thought it was a really interesting story. It had to do with your dad and what you learned in the dental world, being an employee in dental practice.

Ryan Isaac:
Can you start… I mean, you don’t have to go the… I think it was like a 10 minute video. You don’t have to do all that.

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
But I’m just curious if you can walk us through, because I mean people’s stories are what’s makes everything so interesting and it gives the context to the experience that you are in now.

Heidi Mount:
Basically, my dad was not a dentist, but he did work six days a week, all year long.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
Rarely took a vacation. We grew up pretty poor. I grew up in Union City. Not that that area’s bad or anything, but it was one of the less expensive areas to live in. And yeah, he worked super duper, duper hard. We made all our own clothes and all that bit. And then when he planned to retire, he retired at 62, kind of a forced retirement because they were downsizing or doing whatever.

Heidi Mount:
And then he probably retired like a summer or so, and just passed away. And I was working, at this time, I’d worked for the same dentist for probably about 12 or 13 years. And matter of fact, that dentist is only 49 and she died with no will in place, no trust in place. No nothing. It was… So, yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
Oh man.

Heidi Mount:
And this was last year. But my last boss, I worked for her for a long time. And I was helping dentist during my lunch and after work, and anytime I could, because we just grew up with a very servant attitude in our house. But what came about when he died, I just kept thinking, “If I’m working 40 hours a week, I can only help, 1, 2, 3, 4 dentist. I can’t help enough.”

Heidi Mount:
And I actually developed a virtual coaching session because in my particular practice, I don’t really need to go and watch everybody be on their good behavior. And in office coaching are fabulous and highly needed, but I was really good at the business end. So I just needed to screen share and talk, and it worked out fine for me.

Heidi Mount:
So I decided to just resign and be a virtual coach where I could help dentist all over the world. So I help them in Canada, the Caribbean Africa, everywhere. Because we’re dealing business numbers and business people, and teeth are all teeth, and training the team is all the same for people.

Heidi Mount:
But yeah, having him just die with not being able to enjoy retirement, why did that happen? Because he was stressed out. He worked way too hard and way too long with no good plan in place. I figured we got to work smart, not hard because we need to enjoy retirement.

Ryan Isaac:
Yep. Yeah. I mean we see that doing financial planning for dentists. A lot of people will sacrifice a lot of their time, and their free, time with families, hobbies, kind of like outside of work life interests in order to make more money faster so that they could retire sooner. And sometimes that has worked out for people.

Ryan Isaac:
They accomplish that and they have tons of time and money later, but oftentimes it just doesn’t go according to plan, and there’s a lot of regret there sometimes when you trade a lot of that lifestyle for work and money in an imbalanced way. Which, it’s hard to say what the exact balance is, right? For every person because it’s pretty different for every single person.

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. Sometimes a lot of doctors they’ll, “Oh, I need to make more money. So I’m going to work nights and weekends, and add more hours, and this and that.” And I’m like, “Why don’t we just work smarter?”

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
There’s no need to work… They haven’t even had their children yet, where they’ve got to go to softball games and ballet.

Ryan Isaac:
Oh yeah.

Heidi Mount:
It’s not a way to develop a business. So I think knowing the end goals and reverse engineering it correctly is a big deal.

Ryan Isaac:
For sure. Can you maybe go over some of the… I’m interested in, and I have some more specific questions, but just interested in some of the main areas that you spend your time in a practice consulting. Or like maybe some of the main issues that are usually required to be fixed or worked on when you go into a practice.

Heidi Mount:
Right. Well, there is a screening process. I usually have them fill out a questionnaire, a practice analysis questionnaire, and then I’m diagnosing off that. So I’m kind of the CBT scan on the practice. Why is their AR growing? Why do they have no shows? What are the big issues we need to address? Plug the leaks.

Heidi Mount:
Do they have open time in their schedule? All that kind of stuff. So it just depends what the doctors want to have. Successful doctors that are like, “Just help me keep my staff sane and how can I get my practice worth a lot where it’s valuable later to sell?” And other people are startups. They have no idea how to market or bring in patients, or create this system, so they’re all over the place.

Heidi Mount:
But the common things that I see a lot is, people bring in their skills from other offices and then they just run it. So we hire people and expect them to know how to do their job. There’s no systems in place, and everybody’s complaining, right? You got the front saying, “Hey, the back needs to speed up.” You got the back saying, “I wish they knew how to schedule.” And then can’t bill insurance because the chart notes are wrong. So, there’s this constant frustration with people.

Heidi Mount:
I like to just take them one step at a time versus, “Hey, here’s the manual. Make sure you follow this.” I’m not that kind of coach. Let’s pick the biggest issues, that’s going to get us the greatest results in the shortest amount of time, you know? And I’m not really… The way I coach is to get people making money. I mean, that’s why people hire me.

Heidi Mount:
I want a good ROI. I want them to reach their goals and things like that. So I’m more a business person that comes in. But, the team members can relate to me because I’ve done their job. So that’s where it’s like, they can’t snow me how there’s no time. I’m like, “What do you mean it takes 55 minutes to take a full mouth set of x-rays? Or make a temporary, or something.”

Heidi Mount:
So they can’t snow me where the other doctors are like, “Well, I don’t know. That’s how long it takes them.” So, it’s not nice to have somebody who can work front and back and understand this stuff to pull the pieces together and get them running like a well oiled machine.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, for sure. And I’m curious, I mean, what did 2020 do to some of these systems and processes that were already problems in a lot of practices? What happened after that?

Heidi Mount:
Right. When I heard dentists are shut down 90 days in Australia, right now they’re shut down. So they’re going through it again. But when I heard it was shut down, I thought, “Well, we prepared for this. We budgeted and set our goals for retirement. That I’ll live without my income,” that type of thing.

Heidi Mount:
So we were prepared. I thought I was out of business, kind of. A lot of consultants had to go get jobs and whatever. It did the opposite for me because my systems were in place. So now the doctors are like, “Oh, we’re closed three months. So guess what we’re working on? Now, they’re getting all their systems in place.” So for me, I was working a lot. I was donating time trying to help consultants. I was rescuing practices.

Heidi Mount:
I was working super hard. But I think for a dentist, it’s like, I finally have time to do the things I should have done when I first opened or purchased the practice. So we were developing systems and job description, improving things, and fixing computers that everybody programmed wrong. So the reports are wrong.

Heidi Mount:
They’re working on accounts and getting them streamlined, and then preparing for the launch. Right? Once we open what’s our plan to reach what goals to make up for that closure?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
Right? So it was exciting help them and get them fixed, and they were prepared. So I loved that part of it when they were shut down. And obviously they were getting their checks, their loans, and different things like that to help out.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay. Yeah. I mean, it’s been kind of interesting. What have you seen? I guess the biggest problem I hear about, and it’s all over the country, which it’s not comforting. But when I talk to clients, they’ll be glad that it’s not just them, but it’s staffing and team right now.

Ryan Isaac:
And a shortage in a lot of industries, certainly in dentistry. What are you seeing with that? Is there any solutions? What are you working on with people? How are you addressing some of these team shortages all over the place?

Heidi Mount:
Right. So it is a huge issue, and it’s not all practices. I’ve been shocked when a doctor, and I’m not trying to dis the doctors who don’t have staff; it’s not all situations. But, the doctors who have a very good reputation where they appreciate their team, they spoil their team, all that.

Heidi Mount:
The ones that have a very good reputation are not having this staffing issue. They have three or four hygienist, and people working, and what have you. Training Front desk team is a little easier. You can train anybody to do that if they’re coachable. And even with assisting, you get a lot of that handled pretty well. So for the most part, the hygiene is the hardest part. A lot of them went and got other jobs, because husband wouldn’t let them work, or they have to be home with the kids. So it’s definitely different.

Heidi Mount:
The way I coach for that, for right now, is run ads that have a lot of adjectives in it. Try and attract the person who’s unhappy. They already have a job, but they’re unhappy while they’re working. So what do you have to offer them? Because honestly the hygienists, I mean, they’re making as much as dentists, some of these hygienists.

Heidi Mount:
So it is a very difficult situation that we have to write out. And hopefully the associates and other doctors can help with the hygiene and things like that. But unfortunately, I put myself in other people’s shoes too. If your kid goes to school and they were exposed, now they’re sent home two weeks. What are we doing? Right?

Heidi Mount:
There’s too many moms that it’s really hard to get everybody working. And then of course we have the people who are, “Hey, I like this working from home bid. I’m not going back.”

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, sure.

Heidi Mount:
So it’s been difficult. I know the people that are outsourcing insurance are gaining all these employees and want to stay working at home. So it’s definitely a difficult time, and are hoping, we’ve pushed and pushed for people to go to hygiene school and this and that. So eventually we’ll have more people in the industry-

Ryan Isaac:
Influx.

Heidi Mount:
… but it’s not just dentistry. The airlines, the restaurants, everybody’s suffering right now. So hopefully this will resolve soon. But it’s definitely challenges.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
So, if you don’t have systems, you’re definitely working over extra hard. And so we’ve got to sometimes slow down the schedule to make it less stressful, but work smarter. And that could have to do with your marketing. Where you’re marketing, seeing patients that are there a half a day and you’re only checking in or out three patients a day. I don’t know, but you got to figure it out.

Ryan Isaac:
There’s a blog post on your website. Maybe you should give a shout out to the website. You could probably tell me what it is before I pull it back up here. What’s your website, the best one?

Heidi Mount:
CoachHeidiMount.com. [crosstalk 00:17:28].

Ryan Isaac:
There you go. CoachHeidiMount.com. That’s what I was talking about. There’s a blog post from a little while ago that I thought, this is such a good question. We get this a lot as financial advisors. They want to know when it’s time… It was called how to know if you need a dental coach. And I would maybe add a subcategory of that as like when. I guess it’s probably the same thing. But can you touch on that question?

Ryan Isaac:
I mean, it’s really common. And maybe, from our clients, this is the things we hear is there’s so many areas in a practice that could be improved or could be broken, right? Marketing alone probably has a dozen different ways to approach a problem. Then you have front, you have back, you have different clinical, non-clinical staff, you have systems and processes that are different from all those things.

Ryan Isaac:
Then you have, doctor clinical things. And so I guess how do you know when it’s time to hire a coach? What are the signs? What are the things to look for? And how do you know, do you hire a coach that does everything? Like we’re going to solve a hundred problems at once. Or do you hire specific coaches in specific areas, at specific times? Like how does someone go about approaching that?

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. Good question. Because that was, when you were saying, “How do you know when to hire a coach?”, I mean, first you have to know which one’s going to help you.

Ryan Isaac:
Right.

Heidi Mount:
So, the hiring, the do all, do all, I mean that just depends what you need. Most Dentists do need it all. But most dentist just need these top three challenges solved. So you’ve got to hire somebody who’s been there, done that.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
A lot of people, a lot of coaches have never even worked in a dental office. We got to go by results of what they did and not what they’ve done.

Ryan Isaac:
Can you give our listeners maybe a few top questions of what they should ask about a coach’s experience to really understand how helpful it might be? What kind of context they’re bringing?

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. I think a good coach will ask the proper questions too. What results do you expect? What would successful coaching look like to you? Right? If we just say, “Hey, I want you to fix all my team problems.” What you’re going to have is a coach telling you, “Well, you be a better leader.” And that’s easy to say, but we have to help them on how to be a better leader.

Heidi Mount:
It could be, we fired the wrong people. It could be that we just don’t know how to motivate them.

Ryan Isaac:
Sure.

Heidi Mount:
I don’t know. There’s a lot of issues. So there’s a lot of questions you have to ask first. But, most doctors are calling me when they’re frustrated or plateaued, because I help them launch, level up their business. And if they have open time in their schedule last year, they already lost a hundred grand. So we got to plug these leaks.

Heidi Mount:
But most doctors hire kind of when it’s too late. And what I mean by too late is there’s a lot of problems to fix.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay. Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
And what happens is we want them all fixed right now and that just doesn’t work. Right?

Ryan Isaac:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Heidi Mount:
So, let’s say a doctor’s like, “Oh I have way too many cancellations, or too many people walking out the door without paying or scheduling,” or this or that. Well, there’s not one thing you need to do. I can’t hand you a confirmation script that’s going to fix this no-show problem. Because of course they’re blaming the front desk, they didn’t confirm right, or who knows what? That’s not it. But we got to figure out who’s no showing.

Heidi Mount:
Maybe it’s one particular hygienist where the patient doesn’t value what they’re trying to get them to come in for.

Ryan Isaac:
Right.

Heidi Mount:
Maybe we’re just telling people what they need and we’re really good at pushing them in the schedule, but they just wanted you out of their hair so they booked the appointments. So there’s a lot of little things to look at when there is a problem. There’s a lot of questions you have to ask. But what would I ask a coach?

Heidi Mount:
I would probably ask are you available for me? Right? Like what’s the scheduling? What’s the layout? What are you going to look at? What reports do you need? What are you going to fix? Right? But the doctor has to say what they want fixed. Right? The doctor has to say, “I have no idea on how a billing should happen.” Because I mean, you just take that one subject of billing and it’s like, do I charge interest?

Heidi Mount:
Do I send a text? Do I send a letter? When do I send them to collections? How do I write it off? How do I figure out the adjustments? What do I say on the statements? Should they be automated? Should I send them out once a month? Should I send them out? Should I wait for insurance to pay first? There’s all these questions that go through on just that one topic.

Heidi Mount:
And so that’s where, you can hand a bunch of systems, but it really has to be customized. Because if I sent statements out all at once on a practice that has 10,000 patients that phone’s going to ring like crazy. So what’s going to be on the statement to prevent the phone calls, but maybe we need to do an alphabetical thing and have it sent by section each week. How are we going to have patients fully understand their bills to avoid those phone calls, to save you time?

Heidi Mount:
So there’s just a lot to it, but picking the big problems and chipping them away one at a time. So most consultants will go in and dig into all the numbers, which probably is what you do. Right? So what percentage is spent on the hygiene team, the administrative team, the supplies, the labs, the marketing? They do need to know what’s their budget. What are they spending? What percentages? And what’s out of whack and how are we going to fix it?

Heidi Mount:
Because just cutting people’s hours, doesn’t fix your budget necessarily, right?

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Oh, yeah. Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
Do I need to raise fees? Which fees? You can’t just say, “Oh, I’m just going to raise all the fees 5%.” That’s not smart. Some fees need to be double, right? Like they could have an extraction fee that’s like from 1940 and you’re like why is this fee that number? Everything fee should be looked at.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
So there’s a lot to look at to fix these problems. Anyway, I feel like I’m going off on tangent.

Ryan Isaac:
No, that’s really good. It makes me wonder, like in your experience, is there any order, is there like a hierarchy to the most crucial things to fix first? If someone’s like, “We have growth problems, we have AR problems. I think we don’t charge enough. People aren’t coming back.” I mean, is there a priority or is it just totally different on every practice?

Heidi Mount:
Well, it is totally different in every practice because you got to figure out why the numbers are getting out of whack. How are you going to plug that leak? So if the numbers are growing, let’s say accounts receivable is growing. Well, is it growing because the patients, which is most likely the answer, patients were totally uninformed at what their out of pocket expense is. Right?

Heidi Mount:
All his team members do is go over percentages and all the confusing stuff that insurance covers. But the patient needs to understand the out of pocket expense and they need to collect it. So we have all these mindsets in the front desk that, “They can’t pay, we got a loan them money,” or, “Oh, they’re good patients. They might pay.” No, they won’t, we got to run a business. Right? So sometimes it’s a mindset that you have to plug now.

Heidi Mount:
Okay. From now on we don’t loan our patients more than $300, or whatever. But then how are they dealing with this growing AR? So you got to stop it from growing. And then you’ve got this AR that if it’s over 90 days old, you have less than a 13% chance of collecting it.

Ryan Isaac:
Right.

Heidi Mount:
So what are you doing about that? You can’t treat all patients alike. So what options are they giving patients to pay? And most likely these patients just don’t understand the bill. They don’t even know insurance is paid on everything. Nobody’s explaining these bills to them.

Ryan Isaac:
Yep.

Heidi Mount:
Or the person can’t even explain their own account because they did the write ups wrong. So digging into the issues and dealing with the biggest ones, I think are important. A lot of the times the biggest issues is the schedule. The schedule controls everything.

Heidi Mount:
So do I have enough time to clean the rooms and fully chart? Or what are these issues? So I like to really dig in and screen share, and get to know their practice. How are they programing the computer? How are they doing their chart notes? What are they saying at checkout, check in? What checklists are they… I can tell what’s missing.

Ryan Isaac:
Matt, it’s time.

Matt Mulcock:
Time for what, Ryan? It’s time to book a free consultation Dentistadvisor.com. Just click on the big, book free consultation button on the homepage and talk to one of our friendly advisors today.

Ryan Isaac:
I’m curious when you said earlier that a lot of doctors come to you too late, like it’s just a little later than they should. It’s kind of like patients in a dental practice. We don’t show up until it’s like way too late, you know? Could have been fixed easier. Are there common warning signs, or common red flags that should have something earlier? Like what would some of those be?

Heidi Mount:
Well, questions you can ask yourself that prevent problems is having an employee manual. Right? Because you’ll have an employee going, “Well, I’m going on jury duty. So you’re paying me.”

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
Or whatever. Right? So have an employee manual. They understand overtime, CE, all the little things that need to go in there.

Ryan Isaac:
So you’re saying, if you don’t have an employee manual, number one, that’s a red flag that later on down the road will probably make you call someone and be like, “Oh, we should have known.”

Heidi Mount:
Right.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay.

Heidi Mount:
Right. Because what’s the biggest issue, right? It’s HR.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Uh-huh (affirmative).

Heidi Mount:
It’s the employee. Those are the biggest issues. So one question you would ask yourself is have you had turnover in the last two years? Now, granite give it a grain salt, we’ve been [crosstalk 00:26:51]-

Ryan Isaac:
Weird time to ask that, but yeah. Makes sense. Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
If you constantly are like, “I can’t keep a front desk team member here,” there’s a reason for it. There’s a reason. And a lot of these people, because they come them to me and they tell me, they tell me that there’s no training. There’s no systems in place. So they’re frustrated. They have no job satisfaction.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
So if we can get the systems in place where they have some job satisfaction, plus people like to learn, but what happens? We just throw them out there. Watch some YouTube videos, learn the software, do this or that. And now they’re messing up your software. Your reports are all wrong. So we got to take that time to train.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
Just because they have 30 years experience and two years at every single job during those 30 years, they have two years experience. And they don’t have experience at your office and they don’t know your vision. So we got to get them on board with that.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
Too late means they’ve plateaued, right? A lot of people are like, well I made 900,000 last year and this year I made 1.2, but the writeups are bigger. They had no extra profit. Right? So we’ve got to be looking at these P&Ls and take home, and are they taking home more? Right? How are we growing every single year?

Ryan Isaac:
I find that a lot of dentists, they’re not familiar with their P&L much. They don’t spend much time in it.

Heidi Mount:
They don’t even have one usually.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. It’s like, they’re not very clean. We’ve run into problems like that because we try to benchmark a lot of data. And that’s one thing that’s impossible to benchmark because nobody has a similar P&L categorically.

Heidi Mount:
Yeah, or you get the payroll report and here it is, the payroll report. But it’s like, wait, there’s more to payroll than just that [crosstalk 00:28:34]-

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. There’s like 12 sub classes here that shouldn’t be.

Heidi Mount:
Right. So let’s get it all in the proper categories to start with, with the subcategories. Put their uniforms in there, put their vaccinations in there, put all this… Whatever it costs, I don’t even care if you’re buying them Christmas gifts, it should be under payroll.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
This is what it costs to employ people.

Ryan Isaac:
Different sections. So yeah, we find that people don’t spend a lot of time, unless they have like a CPA or an advisor that’s forcing them to. What about a question we get all the time. I don’t know if this is your area or not, but I’m sure you deal with this a lot. Even if it’s not, is when people, they think they’re ready for an associate.

Ryan Isaac:
When is my practice ready to expand, bring on someone? When can I afford, as the owner, to maybe give up some production or some of my hours to a new associate? Do you deal with that much, and knowing like the timing of when it’s right?

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. It’s a little bit of a variety too, because some doctors want an associate so they can do the big case and give them all the bread and butter.

Ryan Isaac:
Right.

Heidi Mount:
So sometimes you’re buying back your time, which you’re still profiting on.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
But it is a little bit of to do with the new patient flow and how far you are booked out, and how big is your unscheduled treatment list? So sometimes people are so busy, and they’re steadily busy, and booked for six weeks to four months, they’re booked.

Heidi Mount:
They can get a new patient in within a couple days. But they’re properly booked, but then they can’t follow up on all these other patients that need their help, because they’re so focused on, “Hey, we’re solidly booked, making money. Things are clicking along. Our patients are showing up. We’re booked for months, who cares?”

Heidi Mount:
But patients need proper care. So if you have a big unscheduled list, I would get an associate in there. Especially if you have a room for them to work and an assistant for them. Get them taking care your patients and making more profit. Don’t waste a chair, if you have one available. And there’s a lot they can help catch up on and stuff. There’s same day dentistry, and things like that.

Ryan Isaac:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). So it’s probably case by case, like you said, with a lot of things. But there’s probably a systematic way too, to go in and look at old overhead production, growth, profitability. And know if it’s like going to be too big of a hit to bring someone on, if it’s too soon or too late. Like you can see that from practice data numbers.

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. You can calculate. I mean, even when it comes to how many hygiene days I need.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay.

Heidi Mount:
A lot of people are just guessing and hiring a hygienist four days a week. And then especially a startup, you may only need one or two days. I always say, “Take as much time off as you can.” So crunch these days. What happens if you look at people’s schedule, you go out to when they’re not booked. So whether that’s six weeks or four months.

Heidi Mount:
You go to when they’re not booked and you’ll see somebody on Monday, and then a couple people on Tuesday and Friday, and this and that. And it’s like, why not fill the days up before you open another day with one dumb appointment, right? Open it up with like $2,000 patient or something.

Ryan Isaac:
Sure.

Heidi Mount:
But crunch your days. And then maybe you block two days off a month that, until the rest of the month is full-

Ryan Isaac:
You just don’t fill them.

Heidi Mount:
… Let’s block these off and have more time off.

Ryan Isaac:
Uh-huh (affirmative). Yeah. You’re mentioning… Yeah. That feels like a huge world to me. Just scheduling is a skillset, and a system, and a process that probably isn’t working very efficiently in a lot of practices.

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. I give a lot of visual aids for the flow of the office and this is a big issue. So what I see in most offices, when I first start coaching is it looks like a Tetris game.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
Just colors everywhere [crosstalk 00:32:10]-

Ryan Isaac:
Which is so hard to run a day like that.

Heidi Mount:
And everybody gets an hour appointment. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking out a suture or taking out a tooth.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
I’m just like, wow, there is no thinking to this at all.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
So let’s really customize this, and make it purposeful.

Ryan Isaac:
Like this is not something that gets implemented once and then perfectly executed forever, and maintained. Right? I mean, so what should they be doing long term?

Heidi Mount:
Yeah. I’m kind of checking on them until it’s a habit.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay.

Heidi Mount:
It has to be a habit. So they will go back in their own ways and you have to remind them, things like that. Basically, I work on something and I keep following up on it and then we add stuff, and we keep following up to make sure that it’s still happening.

Ryan Isaac:
Man. Yeah. Ill bet it’s an ongoing process. What would you recommend, how often would you say somebody needs to have a coach in the practice? Even if things are going well, is there a healthy kind of interval of when it’s just good to have someone come in every so often?

Heidi Mount:
I know consultants that they’re in every team meeting twice a week. And then, I know consultants that spend 15 minutes a month with a doctor. I mean, they’re all over the board.

Ryan Isaac:
Sure.

Heidi Mount:
For me, the sweet spot for my success, or their success, right? What works well for my particular clients is every other week.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay.

Heidi Mount:
So they get a recording, coaching, they keep all the training. And then they work on it for two weeks and then we follow up. However, they have full access to me, text, we use a video chat app.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah.

Heidi Mount:
Email, yada, yada. So it’s not like they’re alone. It’s just, there’s no point in pushing too fast. Like there’s no point meeting weekly because they just have a lot to do. And frankly, their time’s valuable.

Ryan Isaac:
Is there anything that, like any high level advice, timely advice right now, maybe we didn’t cover that you would want people to hear, or no?

Heidi Mount:
I don’t know. I just say that millionaires have million dollar habits. And tracking your time is the most efficient thing you can do to make sure things are happening. I mean, I don’t mean to get anal or anything like that, but I have my exercise in my calendar, my brainstorming, thinking, planning in my calendar, my date nights are in there. Everything’s in there.

Heidi Mount:
I know exactly when I’m going out to taco Tuesday, all this bit. And I think people need to get that proper rest and set goals, and break it down into baby steps. Otherwise, it just never happens. So, when you have these habits, whether it’s chart review, whether it’s setting goals, whether it’s putting away money, whatever it is, you will get further, faster, if you have daily, great habits.

Ryan Isaac:
Awesome. I love that. Where do people find you? How do they get in touch?

Heidi Mount:
My email, Heidi@CoachingDentist.com. So H-E-I-D-I, at CoachingDentist.com, or CoachHeidiMount.com. I’m on Instagram @HeidiMountDentalCoach. You can find me there. My website, you can book a call. My schedule’s up, and happy to help in any which way I can.

Ryan Isaac:
If as long as you’re not floating five miles out from the coast in the pitch black in the middle of the night.

Heidi Mount:
I’m not riding a whale, I’m available.

Ryan Isaac:
I love that. Heidi, thanks for being with us and sharing this. This was really great. We’ll put all this stuff in the show notes, but I appreciate your time and sharing your expertise with our audience. So thank you very much for being here.

Heidi Mount:
You’re so welcome. And my book has some great stuff.

Ryan Isaac:
Oh yes. The book. What is the book called? And what’s it called? Where do they find that?

Heidi Mount:
Amazon. If they’re international, I have an international link on my website, but it’s called Hidden Treasures; Finding The Missing Revenue In Your Dental Practice. And if you probably search Heidi Mount on Amazon, it might come up.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay.

Heidi Mount:
But there’s a lot of good juice in there. Consultants aren’t too happy with me. Because they’re like, “Why are you putting an intellectual property in there?” It’s like, “I don’t know, because I’m old.”

Ryan Isaac:
Because I’m old and I don’t care. I just want to write it. I like that.

Heidi Mount:
Oh, yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
I like that. All right. Well, thank you for sharing all this stuff. We appreciate you being with us. Thanks for the audience for being here and checking this out. And please everyone, if you want to reach out, there’s a lot of ways to reach out. Get the book, get in touch with Heidi. So thanks for being with us, Heidi, thank you.

Heidi Mount:
Awesome. [Crosstalk 00:36:42].

Ryan Isaac:
Have great day. Talk to later.

Practice Management

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