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Management Advice from a Successful College Dropout – Episode 177


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Don’t let your insurance providers run the show.

Reese’s guest on the Dentist Money™ Show is Jordon Comstock, founder of BoomCloud Dental Membership Software. On this episode, you’ll learn about the impact of in-house membership programs. While new clients and an additional revenue stream sound good, discover reasons why memberships may or may not be the right fit for you.

In addition, Reese and Jordon discuss how adopting best practices from other industries can benefit your practice and lead to greater productivity and increased profits.

To find out how you can tap into a new source of client revenue:

Podcast Transcript:

Reese Harper: Hey, Dentist Money Show listeners, it’s Reese Harper here. Hope you’re having a great day. Today I interview Jordan Comstock, a friend of mine with a great dental background who had family in the dental business running a dental lab that he helped manage for many years. He also established a technology business called BoomCloud that helps dentists build membership programs into their offering. He’s got great insight in the best practices as an entrepreneur and as a dentist and got great insight into how dentists are doing with membership programs in their own practice and other areas that can have massive success in the way you approach your entrepreneurial opportunity.
Thanks again for listening and enjoy the show.

Speaker: Consult an advisor or conduct your own due diligence when making financial decisions. General principles discussed 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, Reese Harper.

Reese Harper: Welcome to the Dentist Money Show, where we help dentists make smart financial decisions. I’m your host, Reese Harper, and I’m excited to have a good friend of mine in the studio who also shares my passion for music, Mr. Jordan Comstock.

Jordan Commstock: Yo, Reese. What’s up dog?

Reese Harper: It’s a good day. You’re my first appointment today of like seven in a row. This is one I was glad to start the day off with.

Jordan Commstock: Hopefully it’s a good start for you.

Reese Harper: Yeah, man. I’m excited. It’s one of those Wednesdays.

Jordan Commstock: I know. I’ve had those Wednesday.

Reese Harper: All right. What people probably … I’m going to give a little bit of your background and I want you to … You’re going to fill in some gaps. But for people who don’t know Jordan, he’s the founder of BoomCloud, which is a very popular membership program or a software that supports dentists in building their own membership program in office. And in my experience, this is … Jordan’s one of the two or three people I would call to learn everything I needed to learn about membership programs. And I view him as someone whose got a lot of experience learning things the hard way-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -In membership programs and knowing what works and what doesn’t. And we’re going to get into some of that today, naturally, throughout the conversation. But he’s also build a business that, much like a dental practice, takes a lot of effort starting from scratch. And today I wanted to focus a lot of our time on the story of you and how you started this business ’cause I do think there’s a lot of lessons that cross over. And we’ll also talk about some of the things that are applicable to dentists and membership programs today as we go through that journey.
Anything you’d like to add to the background a little bit before … I mean, that’s who you are.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And we’re going to get your story next. But anything about your background or who you are or the company that you want to just lay out there so people get some orientation that might be better than what I just gave?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. I’ve been in the industry for 15 years. I basically grew up in dentistry ’cause my parents are … My mom’s an office manager, my dad owns a dental lab.

Reese Harper: Okay.

Jordan Commstock: And grandpa, when he was alive he owned the dental lab as well. So, dentistry I would say has been in my blood for a very long time. I grew up going to the lab, playing with plaster-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -Wax, casting bugs into metal. Right?

Reese Harper: Yeah. Of course.

Jordan Commstock: That was my childhood growing up. And then I managed the lab for a good amount of time, so I’ve had good experience on the clinical side of dentistry as well as the business side with BoomCloud.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: So, that’s all I would add.

Reese Harper: Yeah. That’s awesome, man. I think that is kind of an … That’s something people probably don’t realize.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: This wasn’t just something that you started to go into in 2013.

Jordan Commstock: I didn’t just wake up one day without knowing the dental industry and said hey, I’m going to go make something for the dental industry. I had been in it for years.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And I learned the … Which, my opinion, the biggest problem in dentistry is insurance. I learned through our customers at Salt Lake Dental Lab that insure … And through my mom, right? She would … She had a home office growing up from the pediatric office she worked for and she was an insurance coordinator so … And her home office was right next to my bedroom, so I heard every conversation with insurance growing up. And I just … Throughout my life I’m like man, insurance just sucks. Right?
I often say … When I speak, I say I’m a victim of second-hand abuse by dental insurance companies. So, that’s kind of my background growing up. I know a lot of the pain points-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -The office goes through.

Reese Harper: Well, and I … Let’s talk a little bit about … When was the point you got to when you said I’m going to start BoomCloud?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I’m going to do this. Because … Well, maybe even a little bit before that. What were you doing? Did you go to college?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: What did the study in school? What were you doing there?

Jordan Commstock: I’m proud to say that I’m a college dropout.

Reese Harper: Good. K, good.

Jordan Commstock: And I was speaking to Gary Takis … One time at an event we were speaking together and one of the … It was a small group and he’s like okay, everybody introduce yourself. Tell us your name, where you’re from, what college you went to. And I’m like oh, crap. Right? I’m like come on, Gary.

Reese Harper: Don’t start there!

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. And everyone was obviously dentists so they tell their college and it gets to me and I’m like I’m Jordan Comstock, I am the founder of BoomCloud and I am a college dropout and Gary, being Gary … He’s so positive and so awesome. He’s like … He named a list of other people that have been really successful that were college dropouts and it made me feel-

Reese Harper: A little better, yeah.

Jordan Commstock: I was always self-conscious about that but until Gary said that in the industry, it gave me some confidence, right?

Reese Harper: It’s an interesting side tangent, but I’m glad to know that that’s an actual … I’m glad to know that that actually happened to you because-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -I think a lot of people can relate to that.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. I hope so.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: When I was in college, I was studying marketing and I studied UX/UI design, which is basically software design.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Where you can … You do all that. I don’t do that anymore ’cause I have a team now that does that.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Which is nice.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: I am passionate about designing software, making it look good. And-

Reese Harper: When was it? What year was that, about? When would you first get your foray into UX/UI design?

Jordan Commstock: 2010 was when I … I think when I started school or 2009. Something like that.

Reese Harper: First time you got exposure to design theory or UX/UI training was-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -Kind of 2010-ish.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. 2009/2010 is when I started doing it. I obviously was learning stuff on my own.

Reese Harper: Yeah. On the side.

Jordan Commstock: Right? And I had a great opportunity when I was … When I was managing my dad’s dental lab, he didn’t have a website, right? And it bothered me, you know?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: I am a millennial. Sorry if that offends anybody.

Reese Harper: Yeah. What year were you born?

Jordan Commstock: 86.

Reese Harper: Okay.

Jordan Commstock: Born in 86. So, I’m older. Most of my employees-

Reese Harper: I think I was … I’m the first year of consideration of millennials-

Jordan Commstock: Of a millennial.

Reese Harper: According to the definition.

Jordan Commstock: 80?

Reese Harper: 82.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Reese Harper: I think 80 might be a little … Or maybe 80’s the year.

Jordan Commstock: I think 80 is gray area.

Reese Harper: Okay.

Jordan Commstock: From what I understand. But I always find it funny when people say that millennials are lazy because both you and I are millennials.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And we’ve started businesses from scratch.

Reese Harper: Which 24 hour day or hour a day do you want to work? That’s how I view it.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Yeah.

Reese Harper: I work multiple 24 hour shifts.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, exactly. But, yeah. I started 2009/2010 learning about it. When I was at the dental lab, my dad didn’t want to spend the money on a website so I’m like I’ll build it. I’ll figure it out and I’ll build it. And that’s kind of my first-

Reese Harper: I think this is really important. Just pause moment.

Jordan Commstock: Sure.

Reese Harper: I’m going to try and make this interview as relatable as I can to the dentists-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -That are listening. UX/UI design actually has some really important implications to the way we communicate, the way we think, the way we talk to people.

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: For those of you who are not familiar with this, I’m going to pause on it and just talk about it for a couple of minutes because I think we, as service providers, sometimes we under appreciate how the way something is presented changes someone’s ability to take your advice or accept the learning or do something or take action.

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: If you present things in the wrong way, either verbally or visually, I mean it’s …. You’re not going to get the results you want.

Jordan Commstock: You’re going to get a different result, right? And that’s exactly what UI/UX is, is your … And it stands for user interface/user experience for those that are wondering.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And basically, you … Let’s say you take something that’s existing, at least on a digital product, a software product, and you follow how users are using the software piece and then you figure out how you can present it differently.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: So the result is better or there’s no … Like they don’t do an error or mess up with something. So, yeah, it’s …

Reese Harper: And this is … I think that’s a great definition around it. Talk to me about how many users are there of a software product and are the user … What kind of users are there in a software product?

Jordan Commstock: Oh, like segments of users?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. You got … At least with BoomCloud you got officer mangers, you got dentists, you got the patient because we do have a patient portal. So, those are the three users that we look at. But then you have other segments in those segments, right? ‘Cause you have people that are high-end users that are using the software-

Reese Harper: Call them pro.

Jordan Commstock: We’ll call them pro users. Yeah. And you have people that are casual users and then some people that barely use it, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: So, you got to figure out, okay, for our pro users, how can we make it so it’s easier for them ’cause they’re dealing with … At least with BoomCloud they’re dealing with thousands of patients and a group of plans that they’re managing versus the lower guy that only has one plan with 10 patients on it, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah

Jordan Commstock: You’re going to get different feedback from both those people and you’re going to get different use cases-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -In regards to UI/UX. So, it’s kind of crazy.

Reese Harper: The reason I ask … I’m pointing this out is in dentistry, many times you’re going to have situations where you’re presenting a patient with a visual.

Jordan Commstock: Yes.

Reese Harper: Or an image.

Jordan Commstock: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Reese Harper: That was not designed for the patient.

Jordan Commstock: Exactly. No, that’s a good point.

Reese Harper: And I think there’s a lot of times when it’s really important to know or to create visuals that are designed for the right user.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Absolutely.

Reese Harper: Because … And you’re not going to get treatment plans accepted, you’re not going to have case acceptance rations that are successful, if you’re just using visual elements and designs that were never designed for those consumers, those users.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: They’re designed for you or they’re designed for the X-ray technician or-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, and sometimes copy on a dental practice’s website is … They use all these technical terms that patients are like what does that mean? I don’t even know what that means.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Too often I see that on brochures and websites where the practices are communicating but it’s like they’re communicating to another dentist.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Right? Another dentist would totally understand that but the patient, which is how your business is made, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Why your business exists.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: It’s not talking to them.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And that’s important.

Reese Harper: And the reason I’m forcing this issue in the podcast today, and you guys have seen me do this in the past, is part of my job as a podcast host is to bring ideas that are not typically found within dentistry-

Jordan Commstock: Into dentistry.

Reese Harper: -And let you hear them.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And kind of go, okay, I know that doesn’t seem like it’s related. It’s not related to our industry. Why are these guys wasting our time talking about UX/UI?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: The reality is if you don’t adopt best practices that are happening across multiple industries right now, you’ll be left in a less productive, less profitable place.

Jordan Commstock: I agree 100 percent with that. Business is universal and everything I learned managing a dental lab applied to managing a tech company.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And people for some reason … We’re in Utah. This is a big tech state. For some reason people think tech, including VC investors, they think tech is a completely different animal of business. But in reality there’s nothing different. I have an overhead. I pay employees just like that lab did. I have costs to manage the software, to build the software. A lot of times people think software, since it’s digital, that it should be either free or low cost. But nobody sees the behind the scenes; what it’s costing to deliver that software. Right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: It’s the same as a dental practice. You got costs to manage your dental practice and overhead. There’s nothing different from my company to a dental practice.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Really. Other than the product. End product.

Reese Harper: Yeah. And we’ll talk about that in just a … I want to … You said some really important things there I want to touch on, but I want to wrap up here on this UX/UI-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Yeah.

Reese Harper: -Idea. The founder … I was meeting with someone in another industry yesterday and they were trying to name their company.

Jordan Commstock: Okay.

Reese Harper: So, it would be like dentist naming his practice, right? And when you name a business there’s a lot of reasons … There’s a lot of different names you can throw at things.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Absolutely.

Reese Harper: For most of us, sometimes it just ends up being random and whatever we came up with over an hour.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: For the best businesses. I’ve had to change our business’ name since we started in 2007. We used to be Acquire Wealth and then went to Dentist Advisors.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, yeah.

Reese Harper: Even though we only worked with dentists when we started, we weren’t positioned the right way exactly.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And we … People were wondering, do you guys only work with dentists?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I say I changed the name of the business to say Dentist Advisors and then I don’t have to-

Jordan Commstock: Then you don’t have to explain.

Reese Harper: [inaudible][crosstalk]

Jordan Commstock: It’s right there. And if you ask that question, you’re like dude, do you know our name?

Reese Harper: You never asked that question.

Jordan Commstock: You never ask that question.

Reese Harper: You never asked that, but we spent a lot of our marketing bandwidth before clarifying that we only worked with dentists and so-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And we didn’t get the name right the first time.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: So, I’m very sensitive to words and names and the way … This is a UX/UI kind of issue, okay?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, yeah.

Reese Harper: So, I was meeting with this other business owner that’s starting his company and he’s going to target a particular … We was going to target business owners to do fitness coaching.

Jordan Commstock: Okay.

Reese Harper: So, he’s going to do fitness coaching for business owners. And the name that he had chosen to describe his target audience … He had a few different names and he was using the word executive to … He’s a dear friend of mine and someone who I hope is listening to this podcast. We’ve been talking about this for a long time, but he used executive as away to describe his customer in a few different names. Like The Fitness Executive.

Jordan Commstock: Okay, yeah.

Reese Harper: Or Executive Fitness or … He was using the word executive and in his mind, that was descriptive of his target audience. He didn’t want to eliminate people from his target audience that might not quite own a company but he also wanted to find a word that was inclusive of business owners, right?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Reese Harper: And so, he had a lot of people saying they liked the name and he was about ready to launch the name and the asks me about it, right?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And I’m a target customer. And I’m like well, do you want to work with non-business owners and business owners? Or do you just want to work with business owners?

Jordan Commstock: With business owners.

Reese Harper: He’s like well, my target is business owners but I just don’t want to leave anybody out just in case.

Jordan Commstock: Just in case, yeah.

Reese Harper: And I’m like well, for me, that doesn’t speak to me. You know?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: If I’m going to hire you and I wanted to see a name, I would want to know that that’s my name.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Or that you’re speaking to me; that this isn’t me and every other human that happens to be an executive.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, yeah.

Reese Harper: Right? And it wasn’t … He not having been a business owner in the past, this person-

Jordan Commstock: So, this is new to him.

Reese Harper: He did not realize that the word he was using that in his mind totally meant what he was trying to get across to everyone wasn’t getting across to me, his target customer.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: So, I just came up with a few names to throw at him and one of the names I threw out him was Founder.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And it struck him so weird.

Jordan Commstock: Founder Fitness. Fitness Founder.

Reese Harper: He’s like why-

Jordan Commstock: That resonates with me more.

Reese Harper: Yeah. Yeah. And you could see-

Jordan Commstock: Executive sounds expensive and-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -Red tape.

Reese Harper: Yeah. So, I gave him this name. I’m like I think the word founder, like Fit Founder or Founder’s Fitness or Fit Founders …

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: That would speak more to me.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: He’s like founder? That’s so weird. He’s like that sounds like an old person that used to … Started a business and now they’re retired.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I’m like dude, you have no idea.

Jordan Commstock: I’m a founder.

Reese Harper: This word. I’m like go Google this.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And look that your target audience that you’re trying to talk to, this is the word they use to describe themselves more than any other word.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: They won’t say CEO as much. They don’t say-

Jordan Commstock: No.

Reese Harper: Founders a very common word.

Jordan Commstock: When I introduce myself, I introduce myself as founder first.

Reese Harper: Yes! Yeah. And I’m not saying it’s … It’s not an egotistical word. I don’t think-

Jordan Commstock: No.

Reese Harper: -Founders use that word egotistically. They’re just saying-

Jordan Commstock: I think of a founder as a-

Reese Harper: That’s a simple word.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. As a scrappy person that is willing to do what it takes

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -To get something off the ground That’s how I think of a founder.

Reese Harper: It was so funny. This is why I’m illustrating this. It’s really important. This is an outside lesson for dentists I think can be learned inside.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: This person, the dentist in this example, okay?

Jordan Commstock: Uh-huh.

Reese Harper: The dentist is the founder in this case.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Not the founder of his customer, but the guy that was going to start this company is the dentist. He hadn’t had enough interactions with his customers asking them questions.

Jordan Commstock: Asking them questions.

Reese Harper: Finding out-

Jordan Commstock: Surveys.

Reese Harper: -The words they were using to know how to describe what they wanted this thing to be.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And I’m going to pause it to people on this podcast. I think that most of use generically describe our service, our treatment, procedures, our practice. We generically describe it and if we want to resonate with a target customer … Each of you have a type of customer. Even if it’s just the geography that you serve, the people that live in regions and cities, they talk a certain way about their experiences. If you spend enough time interviewing, you’re going to change the way you talk about stuff.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. No, I agree.

Reese Harper: That’s UX/UI, you know?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. UX/UI and just communication in general. UX/UI is part of … It’s a communication forum.

Reese Harper: A lot of people would say that’s not really UX/UI, that’s communication. But you’re right. I mean, I’m trying to like-

Jordan Commstock: Well, they overlap, right?

Reese Harper: They do.

Jordan Commstock: ‘Cause we need to figure out … At BoomCloud we look … We have so many measurements. We have so many now that I lose track of how many things we’re measuring. That’s for the development team now, right?

Reese Harper: Uh-huh.

Jordan Commstock: But we’re tracking everything and it really boils down to how the software is communicating to the end user and if it’s confusing or if it’s causing issues, then we need to change it. So, it is communication.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: But, yeah, I would totally categorize that as a UX/UI under communication.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: ‘Cause it’s just a different form. It’s not speaking or writing … In a way, it’s writing.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: But it’s basically visual.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Anyway, I think that’s … To me, that’s a really critical issue, communication within dentistry. The way … The images you show, they way you describe those images.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And there’s … I mean, I’m just … For the most part, inter-oral cameras are critical; a critical part of a dentist’s life and a critical part of a patient understanding treatment. But not every inter-oral camera is the same.

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: And not every set of images is the same. Not every word you’re using is the same.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And the way you describe your process, the way you describe your customer experience, the new patient experience. All of these things actually really matter. Your-

Jordan Commstock: Like, a lot.

Reese Harper: Your entire process. Your touch points. Your communication points. They really matter and the words you use really matter and the images you share really matter. And-

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: Every business outside of dentistry I think really knows. I mean, they don’t all know that but they live and die on it.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Oh yeah.

Reese Harper: Dentistry can sometimes get subsidized by the fact that people know they just have to go show up and get this thing done.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: But dentists that thrive understand this concept.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. You know? They understand how to communicate and how to give a good experience-

Reese Harper: Totally, man.

Jordan Commstock: -To their patients.

Reese Harper: All right. Passing this, now. You started studying this and then we get into this point where you had a first job probably before you started BoomCloud-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Or not. What was the-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, I did.

Reese Harper: -Job situation like before you found it? ‘Cause BoomCloud was founded in 2013, right?

Jordan Commstock: Yep.

Reese Harper: 2013? There’s a few years there of brain work to discover who am I? What am I going to do?

Jordan Commstock: Oh, dude, yeah. I mean, it was a lot.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: I was managing the dental lab at the time and the reason why I started BoomCloud is because insurance was affecting the dental lab quite a bit because we were working with practices and in Utah it’s pretty PPO-heavy. So they controlled a lot of the doctor’s fees, which then would have an affect on the dental lab. And it drove me nuts. We would get calls from practices all the time saying hey, I signed up for this PPO and it’s making me discount a lot on these crowns. Can I get a better deal and crowns through you guys?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: So, it was trickling down to the dental lab and it was driving me insane. And then knowing what my mom had gone through. So, that’s kind of where the idea started going with started BoomCloud because of the pain that I was feeling while I was managing the dental lab with my dad.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: So, that’s where it started. I’m like man, there’s got to be a better way to help these dentists with this massive problem. And I remember reading a book called The Automatic Customer, which talks about the importance of subscription revenue in businesses. And I was completely inspired by that book. And at the time I was … I built a marketing and sales department for the dental lab from scratch ’cause my dad didn’t have one and, again, it drove me nuts. I’m like why don’t you have this? This is how we’re going to thrive, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: So, I was visiting a dentist here in Utah and I walked in and I saw the sign that said join our membership program and I’m like hey, right after reading the book … Automatic Customer talked about memberships and subscriptions. I’m like hey, I’m really interested in what you guys are doing here. Tell me about this. Right? And they talked about it and they talked about all the pain points they were having with insurance. And me being … Studied UX/UI, built some websites … I had tons of experience doing all this. I’m like … Doing all the website stuff. And I asked this practice how are you managing this membership program? They’re like, oh … They pull out this binder.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Right?

Reese Harper: Something that had been given to them in some kind of physical …

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. They had this binder and they’re like yeah, we have all these patients documented in this binder and we just go through the binder every week.

Reese Harper: And this was like 2010/2011?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Roughly around that time.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Membership programs, even at that time, were very …

Reese Harper: Rudimentary. Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: It was unheard of. I was on Dental Town back then and I would get on and I would search for people talking about it. Nobody was talking about it, right?

Reese Harper: Okay.

Jordan Commstock: There was maybe one article on dental economics somebody had wrote.

Reese Harper: Cool.

Jordan Commstock: Right? And I’m like man, this is really interesting.

Reese Harper: Just saw the opportunity in the market.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Well, and then I saw how practices were managing it. I’m like man, there’s got to be a better way to help manage this. And I said to myself I can totally design a software that helps dental practices create, organize and automate a membership program.

Reese Harper: Who was your first customer?

Jordan Commstock: First customer was a doctor in Georgia.

Reese Harper: Oh really?

Jordan Commstock: Atlanta, Georgia. I have an amazing network here in Utah-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -Of dentists that know me.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And I thought that Utah was going to explode, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: With customers when we launched BoomCloud. I was writing for … I’ve been writing for dental economics for dentistry today and dentistry IQ ever since I was in the lab, so I’ve built up relationships. Like when I switched to BoomCloud … Or when I was creating BoomCloud while I was managing the dental lab, I started writing about it and documenting what I was learning.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And basically, that’s how this practice in Georgia, who’s still with us today … They actually have licenses with us.

Reese Harper: They read an article?

Jordan Commstock: They read an article.

Reese Harper: Okay.

Jordan Commstock: They called me. And at the time I was using Google Voice on my phone.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: On my cell phone. They called me and they’re like Jordan, we’re fascinated with this idea of creating a membership program. We’d love to use the software. And I gave them a demo and they signed up on the spot. And I was like Georgia! With a practice I don’t even know? I was like … I was amazed.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: So, that’s how it got started with us there. A practice from Georgia started using BoomCloud and me thinking that Utah was going to explode and Utah … It took quite some time to get some traction here in Utah.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Organically, right?

Reese Harper: Interesting.

Jordan Commstock: Because I think Utah is a little bit slower when it comes to technology, as weird as that is.

Reese Harper: Well, I think some of it might have to do with the PPO dynamic.

Jordan Commstock: That, too. Yeah.

Reese Harper: I mean, outside of dentistry it’s been one of the faster growing tech markets, but …

Jordan Commstock: Yes.

Reese Harper: That might be something to do with once you become so dependent on PPOs …

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: The market gets more competitive.

Jordan Commstock: It’s like crack. It’s hard to get out.

Reese Harper: If you don’t … Yeah. If you don’t accept Dental Select’s silver plan …

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: How are you going to compete?

Jordan Commstock: Yep.

Reese Harper: And people with less confidence less focus on the patient experience.

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: They just become entirely dependent on the –

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. It’s a bad drug, right? They get addicted to it not knowing that it’s causing them harm, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah. That’s why my [inaudible] … My position … I’m kind of agnostic to product. I try to be, as much as I can. Is a membership program the right thing for you? Depends on your market.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Absolutely.

Reese Harper: It depends on how already dependent on PPOs you are.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Or if you want to start reducing dependents-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -And build a platform.

Reese Harper: Totally.

Jordan Commstock: Before you’ve got insurance.

Reese Harper: Of course it’s a good idea.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Absolutely.

Reese Harper: There’s no situation in being so heavily dependent on third party payers and having your patients essentially say I’m only working with you because you accept my insurance. That’s never a good business relationship to entirely depend on.

Jordan Commstock: No, it’s not.

Reese Harper: But there’s situation where it might be the right strategy for people at a certain time.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. A lot of startups will start up for PPOs to get the ball moving, which I totally think-

Reese Harper: Yeah. It’s kind of like … In our business, too, there’s just … The more income people have and the more net worth they have, they generally … They can take more risks and they can do more things and they can expand their service providers.

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: And they can hire better people and they can … But when you’re really early on sometimes you just got to take that job that is paying you 400 bucks a day and-

Jordan Commstock: Totally. I compare it to … Have you ever been invited to join a co-op?

Reese Harper: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And they’re like hey, Reese, we want to offer your service to dentists. They’re like a PPO.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Right? Because they’re like we got this network of dentists that listen to us ’cause we’re apparently influencers. And if you sign up for our co-op we would like to see some type of discount.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: That’s a PPO. Right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: It really is.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: In a way, right? And in my book … At least for us at BoomCloud, we figured out marketing really early-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -As a company. So, when a co-op like that, AKA PPO-ish type model-

Reese Harper: Yep.

Jordan Commstock: -Comes to us like that I’m like, well I really don’t need those leads. We got enough leads coming in. Ideally, that’s how practice should look at a PPO. Focus on figuring out your marketing, what works, so you can get and generate leads every month. And then you’ll start looking at PPOs and say do I really need that or is our marketing working?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: You know? That’s kind of how I look at it.

Reese Harper: And a lot of the … What I found, too, in some of these … And this is what will happen in the insurance industry at some point. Some of these … We’ll call them discount programs or some of the co-ops will come to me, right?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Reese Harper: We’ll call them that … And say we want you to join this and offer a discount on your services to dentists-

Jordan Commstock: To our network of dentists.

Reese Harper: Or network.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And I’ll be like okay. I’ll take 100 dollars off my onboarding fee.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Reese Harper: And that changes our fee structure by … Or I’ll offer some meaningful discount.

Jordan Commstock: You got some control. Yeah.

Reese Harper: I have meaningful … I’ll offer some of what I believe is a meaningful discount but compared to the other service providers on the platform it’s not even close to-

Jordan Commstock: To what they’re offering.

Reese Harper: To what they’re offering in terms of the cut they’re willing to take.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Yeah.

Reese Harper: But I’m like … The membership program wants you on their platform still.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Not because they’re making a lot of money or that the discount is super deep, but their association with you brings value to the platform.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: The co-op.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And-

Jordan Commstock: Exactly.

Reese Harper: And insurance companies eventually-

Jordan Commstock: They’re the same model.

Reese Harper: If the best dentists, are not willing to take a haircut-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -From them, they’ll stop taking as much of your UCR.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. Absolutely.

Reese Harper: And so, if … And you’ll see this in some markets.

Jordan Commstock: Dentists have more control than they think-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -Is what I say.

Reese Harper: And I’m just saying that’s how it works in business is the better you are at marketing your services to your patients and providing them that value, like in the case I gave in our business. We have … Like BoomCloud, we have a lot of marketing channels that are creating leads for us direct.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: ‘Cause we have a good product and a good service and we focused on communicating that to the market.

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: And so you don’t have to depend on maybe buying-

Jordan Commstock: A PPO-type.

Reese Harper: -Your way into a new channel.

Jordan Commstock: Exactly. Yeah.

Reese Harper: And that’s just critical. I just think it’s critical. And if the dental industry wants to continue to thrive, that’s a direction … Even if insurance is a part of the future, which it will be-

Jordan Commstock: It will be, yeah.

Reese Harper: Becoming less dependent on it will force the insurance companies to then be less aggressive in how much they can demand-

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: -Of their UCR.

Jordan Commstock: Well, then you’re not as dependent on them, right? Which is a huge … I mean, every single client that we bring on at BoomCloud, that’s one of their biggest goals is we want to become less dependent on dental insurance.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And obviously, that brings a smile to my face ’cause I’m like, k-

Reese Harper: Just happens to work out great for you.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. It just happens to work great, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: But I enjoy teaching dentists about the importance of marketing their practice and their services because they do bring value to patients.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Right? I’ve seen that on the clinical end, how much value that dentists can bring to a patient.

Reese Harper: Totally.

Jordan Commstock: It’s not a commoditized industry like some people say it is. I’ve seen it change people lives back when I was in the lab.

Reese Harper: I’m just saying, let’s say an insurance company takes five percent of my UCR anyway?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I mean, but they brought me 10 new patients.

Jordan Commstock: Maybe.

Reese Harper: Maybe it’s worth it.

Jordan Commstock: Maybe.

Reese Harper: Maybe that’s worth it.

Jordan Commstock: Maybe that’s worth it. You got to measure it.

Reese Harper: But if I’m taking 40 percent-

Jordan Commstock: Which is pretty common.

Reese Harper: -Cut, which is pretty common-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -Of course that-

Jordan Commstock: Average is 43 percent.

Reese Harper: -Is a problematic issue.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: That’s a problematic issue.

Jordan Commstock: It’s a big issue.

Reese Harper: And so, we got to just be … Recognize that … I like the example you used of a co-op just because-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -People will think of that-

Jordan Commstock: ‘Cause dentists are familiar with co-ops. They’re part of co-ops. They want to get those deals. But it’s basically the same model that the PPOs are doing to them.

Reese Harper: Yeah. Like Apple right now, okay?

Jordan Commstock: Probably with less red tape, though.

Reese Harper: Apple, you get a deal if you work with Apple through a different channel. Yeah, you get one percent-

Jordan Commstock: One percent.

Reese Harper: -Off of the new iPad.

Jordan Commstock: I signed up for their business and it’s like you get-

Reese Harper: Yeah, I signed up for that, too.

Jordan Commstock: -Six percent. I’m like, okay?

Reese Harper: That’s like 40 dollars.

Jordan Commstock: That’s like 40 bucks. I mean I guess I-

Reese Harper: Okay.

Jordan Commstock: But that’s it, right?

Reese Harper: We have one ’cause we feel like it will bring us a little bit of business.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And they set that up.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: But they don’t have to really cut into their … They an appropriately discount it for the value that business relationship brings-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -Which is not a lot because you would have probably went to them anyway.

Jordan Commstock: But still, it was … Yeah, I was getting ready to buy from it anyway.

Reese Harper: That’s why they don’t have to discount it.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: ‘Cause they’re looking at it going, eh, this is the value.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And I think that’s where insurance right now still has too many dentists in … They have too much control.

Jordan Commstock: They do.

Reese Harper: And that’s-

Jordan Commstock: And it’s kind of sad, but-

Reese Harper: Yeah, and it’s changing, though. I think it’s shifting. And technologies-

Jordan Commstock: It definitely is.

Reese Harper: -Like yours will help move that needle.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. It definitely is shifting. And we’re seeing more and more practices and more and more patients sign up for membership programs across the nation, which has been really cool to see. I had no idea when I started the company that it would effect many people.

Reese Harper: Totally.

Jordan Commstock: Patients included.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And it’s really humbling to look at that and say wow, that just is one dumb idea. I thought it was a dumb idea initially, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: ‘Cause everyone was telling me in the early days that’s not going to work in dentistry. That’s not going to work. And I’m like, you know, I think it is.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Right? And when we launched, I was scared to death.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Because I, at the time … I’ll give you some backstory here. At the time, I was managing the dental lab and the dental lab follows the business trends, the cash flow trends, of a practice. And it was feast and famine, right? We would get … One month would be amazing record-breaking revenue for the lab. The next month would be like what the heck happened, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And kind of scary. We had a bad quarter in the lab. They’re doing fantastic now, but we had a bad quarter and my dad called me. I remember the call. He called me and he’s like I don’t know if I can pay everybody this month.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And I … At the time, I was a month and a half late with my checks from the lab. And I’m like another month?

Reese Harper: You’re like …

Jordan Commstock: I’m like oh, man. I’m like okay. I’ve got this idea. I’m going to take it and I’m just going to just 100 percent focus on it. I think that’s a key point. A lot of people when they start a practice or a business they don’t get … They’re not 100 percent focused on what they’re doing. If I weren’t 100 percent focused, BoomCloud wouldn’t exist. I told my dad. I’m like look, I’m going to leave and I’m going to try to start this company. I had no money, no income anymore. At the time when I launched BoomCloud I almost lost my house.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Right? ‘Cause after months of having no money you can’t way your mortgage, right?

Reese Harper: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jordan Commstock: But I was committed and I went to the office I was renting through my father-in-law. He was giving me a deal ’cause I was managing his website so we were doing trade there. And I went to the BoomCloud office. It was one office. One little office at the time. And I went to it every day, treated it like a full-time job and then I got home and I applied for jobs just in case this didn’t work out.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And I think at the time I applied for like 75 jobs. Didn’t get a single one, right?

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: I got a few interviews.

Reese Harper: That’s ’cause they’re all looking for that MBA.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. And I’m a dropout right?

Reese Harper: Where is your MBA?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, so I’m like crap, this sucks.

Reese Harper: You don’t respect me.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah. And it was hard, man.

Reese Harper: Yeah, totally.

Jordan Commstock: Starting the company. And a lot of practices out there that are starting a startup practice you probably can relate. It is stressful. But at the same time, I was confident in myself, which I recommend you as a dentist be confident. You have a valuable service. And that’s what I say when I talk to practices whether it’s starting a dental membership program or starting a practice. It’s worth every ounce of effort you put into it but you gotta focus and you got to commit.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: If you can’t commit, it’s not going to be successful in my opinion.

Reese Harper: That’s great advice, man.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: I think you’ve left us with a lot of good insight today, man.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, dude.

Reese Harper: Talked about the importance of having … We just talked about five or six subjects that I’m going to-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -Put in the show notes that I think are really, really critical. I think wrapping up here, what final thoughts would you like to leave with everyone about your experience? I mean, we’ve … I don’t know if you’ve realized how fast an hour has flown by but-

Jordan Commstock: No, I haven’t realized that. It’s gone by fast. Yeah, I’ve learned a lot from … In the early days, I had partners. I bought all my partners out last year. That was probably the biggest lesson that I learned. Getting the-

Reese Harper: What’d you learn from that? ‘Cause I mean, I think it’s … Let’s pause on that just for one second before we wrap up.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: What did you learn from … When did you …When you started the business did you go into partnership?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Or you add a partner?

Jordan Commstock: I started it adding a partner and I’ve always been majority share-

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: -Holder of BoomCloud. And I added a partner and he couldn’t commit.

Reese Harper: Focus, like what you’re saying?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah, but we left him on because he was very smart.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Technical partner. And we brought another guy on and he was able to commit for some time and it was great. But what I learned there is find people that are passionate about the vision that you have for your practice or for your company, right? That was my biggest mistake. Well, I was desperate in the early days.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: To get the product off the ground. So, I chose … When you’re desperate, you make some bad decisions sometimes.

Reese Harper: I think that happens to a lot of us, you know?

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: When you’re … Whether it’s selecting an associate-

Jordan Commstock: Yep. Exactly.

Reese Harper: -Or selecting a partner.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Or an office manager. You bring on-

Jordan Commstock: Or anyone, really.

Reese Harper: Sometimes you put yourself in a situation where you’re dependent on a team member that probably isn’t the right fit.

Jordan Commstock: But I found that after I replaced the team with a fantastic team that is passionate and just by replacing that team and getting people that are dedicated and committed, the product has improved immensely and the dynamic or the culture of the office is completely more enjoyable.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: Right? I would think that was probably my biggest lesson that I’ve learned recently. That make sure no matter who it is, from founders or partners to team members, make sure that they’re committed to your practice, your culture.

Reese Harper: Yeah.

Jordan Commstock: And to you as a business owner.

Reese Harper: Yeah. That’s great advice man.

Jordan Commstock: Great.

Reese Harper: I think the curtain’s been pulled back a little bit. Now we know a little bit more about the Jordan Comstock.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: Where he came from, how it … And I’ve always just admired the passion for what you approach your business and I think the value you’re trying to create. And you’re always reachable, accessible. You’re not afraid to fix and improve the product-

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: -When there’s gaps.

Jordan Commstock: Absolutely.

Reese Harper: You communicate well with customers, so just like to say thanks for coming by and sharing some of your experiences. I think a lot of those can really translate to help people build a practice so thanks so much, man.

Jordan Commstock: Yeah.

Reese Harper: And look forward to having you back soon.

Jordan Commstock: Anytime, Reese. Thanks, dude.

Reese Harper: Thanks again for listening, guys. I really hope that you enjoyed the show.

Real Estate, Getting Organized, Work Life Balance
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