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The Pros and Cons of Dental Partnerships – Episode 217


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The potential cons of a dental partnership may seem obvious. But the pros may surprise you.

On this episode of the Dentist Money™ Show, Reese and Ryan answer the question: “As I’m choosing a partner, what would you recommend that would be different from running a solo practice?” Not a question with a quick or easy answer … but a question many dentists ask during their careers.

Partnerships can change financial implications, decision-making dynamics, productivity, work schedule, and staffing requirements. Reese and Ryan take an in-depth look at all the related challenges and benefits.


Podcast Transcript

Ryan Isaac:
Hey Dennis, Money Show listeners. We’ve got a great episode for you today. Reese and I are coming to you live from our hotel room in Voices of Dentistry 2020 here in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona. Today on the show we’re going to tackle a listener question. It has to do with partnerships.

Ryan Isaac:
How do you pick the right person, how do you deal with all of the ups and downs? How do you make the right decision? A lot of content here, lots of things to cover. Really appreciate the question that was submitted. If you want to submit a question for the podcast, just do so by going to the Facebook group, dentistadvisors.com/group. We take a lot of our questions from there. And also thanks for tuning in, thanks for listening. As always, we really appreciate the support. Catch you next time and enjoy the show.

Announcer:
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 or 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 here with my trusty old co-host, Sir Ryan Issac.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, it’s, it’s good to be here. We are live from probably the most luxurious suite in this entire hotel at Voices of Dentistry.

Reese Harper:
Voices of Dentistry, overlooking Saddleback Mountain, it’s what it’s called, Saddleback.

Ryan Isaac:
Top 10 hiking places in Scottsdale.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, and by luxury suite, I mean we’ve got two … are these full size beds or are these twiners?

Ryan Isaac:
My back feels like it was a twin.

Reese Harper:
Back indicates.

Ryan Isaac:
The back’s indicating a twin bed.

Reese Harper:
My neck is indicating also something not that great. I was going to wake up and work out and I just decided that my back and-

Ryan Isaac:
Everything hurts so bad, you’re like, “I feel 80. Nevermind.”

Ryan Isaac:
Well, we are here, Voices Dentistry. It’s going to be a killer weekend if you’ve never visited this event before. It’s one of my favorites of the whole year in the entire dental industry conference schedule, it’s awesome. We’re excited to be here.

Ryan Isaac:
Today’s podcast is actually brought to you by a listener, which is cool. Today we have a question from a listener and it’s funny, because I was going back through our email exchange about this question and it turns out he submitted a question two years ago-

Reese Harper:
Oh, nice.

Ryan Isaac:
… that we answered on another Q & A. Shout out to Jared B. We’ll just call him Jared B, that’s his name.

Reese Harper:
This listener is-

Ryan Isaac:
Jared B., thank you man.

Reese Harper:
… keeping up with the Q and A’s.

Ryan Isaac:
He keeps submitting-

Reese Harper:
He must have some insider savvy that makes us decide that he’s got the question power.

Ryan Isaac:
The algorithm chooses him.

Reese Harper:
He’s got a connection. If you’re looking for a second job, we have a few financial planner openings or sales development reps or on the website.

Ryan Isaac:
Where do you find that? Dentistadvisors.com and then?

Reese Harper:
/careers.

Ryan Isaac:
Careers?

Reese Harper:
Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
Jeez. Do you want him to bail on-

Reese Harper:
Dentistry?

Ryan Isaac:
If you want to make less money [crosstalk 00:02:56] work harder, then you should apply for that job. Come join us. It would be really cool to actually have a dentist financial advisor. I’ve had those conversations before where people have said, “When I’m done, maybe I would like to do that, because I’m interested in finance. It would be kind of cool.”

Ryan Isaac:
Anyway, shout out to Jared B. and a invitation for everyone. You can email us from our website and just submit a question for the podcast, but if you go to dentistadvisors.com/group ,that’s our Facebook group, which I would describe as illustrious. That’s the word I would probably use for it. Join it and then post a question there, because we take content for the podcast from the Facebook group.

Ryan Isaac:
Without further ado, this question from Jared B. says, “I’m about to enter into a 50/50 partnership with my partner who-” … he’s planning to retire in the next five to seven years. He’s been an associate at this practice this whole time. “We work well together. I hope he stays around longer. My question is that so much of the information in podcasts today focuses on solo practitioners. So as I’m choosing a partner, is there anything you would recommend to me and this partnership that would be different from a solo practice in terms of finances, P and L’s, profits, investments, planning a business together, working on a team togethe? All the things that come along with how to choose a good partner and how to run a business with a partner. What are some of the main things that go along with that?”

Ryan Isaac:
That’s the question from Jared B. Do you need any clarification on that Reese?

Reese Harper:
That’s a great question. What a fun question!

Ryan Isaac:
It’s very full. It’s a big plate. It feels like a Thanksgiving feast. It’s a big plate of many, many different items and flavors.

Reese Harper:
This will also help solo practices who are thinking about bringing on that associate and making someone a partner or this will also help people that already have one associate and are thinking on a second associate or another location, I think.

Reese Harper:
Let’s lay the groundwork with this simple, simple concept. If you own 100% of $1 million in collections, you have the same value as if you own 50% of a $2 million in collections practice. So, if you are just looking at what is better for you financially, those two choices are equivalent.

Ryan Isaac:
Right, mathematically they’re the same.

Reese Harper:
In most cases, the reason that people don’t do partnerships is because they fear that somehow financially it won’t be better for them and they fear having to have to share decision making and-

Ryan Isaac:
It’s hard!

Reese Harper:
Responsibilities and emotional tension and pressures.

Ryan Isaac:
I’ll just skip the pain. I’ll have a smaller business and less flexibility.

Reese Harper:
I will tell you, it is … growing into a partnership is much more difficult than being a solo practitioner, in terms of the type of personal growth that you’re going to have to experience. It doesn’t … it’s not the same as staying solo.

Ryan Isaac:
Here, I’ll guide us with a few questions that are coming to my mind too. How does someone know right off the bat if they’re cut out for partnership life? A larger business with more cooks in the kitchen versus you’re going to be better off in a smaller business with just you running the show? How would someone know that?

Reese Harper:
Well, I don’t … for me, I would say that most people won’t always get to choose that. It’s not a choice that everyone will always get to make, given the circumstances that they’re in. Sometimes they were an associate somewhere and they enjoy the job that they have and the partner wants to sell them half, but doesn’t want to leave.

Reese Harper:
Sometimes you’ll have a choice. Sometimes you won’t have a choice, but I think it’s just important to acknowledge that. But I think that for in either situation, whether you’re choosing it or whether you’re being forced into it, I think there’s different skills that you’re going to have to learn and develop in order to see that be successful.

Reese Harper:
The one thing I wanted to just highlight about the financial differences, just equalize that. The reason I brought that financial differences up is that you have to get to the point to where you think of more about the health of the overall practice and not the health of your own production as an individual.

Reese Harper:
We’ve had experience in our own practice over the last few years, where we’ve had to make decisions on whether it’s appropriate for advisers to have really, really transparent compensation around a percentage of their production. Strangely enough, the financial services business that we run has a lot of parallels to dentistry in this regard, because there’s a lot of associates that work with clients. By compensating them on a percentage of their production exclusively, we found that there are some downsides to that.

Reese Harper:
I know this is a little non-traditional in dentistry, but it’s also a little non-traditional in financial planning to do it this way. But I do think although you can reference your personal production as a measuring stick for compensation, I don’t think it’s important. I think it’s important to at least consider if you want a partnership that’s really healthy and you want people to look around and say, “What could I do to help the practice? What can I do to help other people? What can I do to help the hygiene department? What can I do to help the front desk?”

Reese Harper:
As soon as you start paying on personal production exclusively, it will cause people to start going into silos of their own small world and not think about the business the same way. I think that if I were starting a dental partnership or I was going into partnership, I would only use production as one of the metrics by which my salary and my bonus was calculated.

Reese Harper:
If I was producing more, I do think there should be an appropriate bonus for that, but I think there needs … and I would use percentage of production as a general measuring stick for part of my compensation, but I would also set goals, for myself and for the other partner and the hygienist and the office manager, that they’re trying to stick to each year at a minimum. Each quarter, if you’re able to be this active on what it is that really they can do that would help the business in a unique way over the next three months or over the next year, depending on the goal period that you used.

Reese Harper:
That’s how I would … I would make sure that I preserved the culture of the business by making sure that there was more to someone’s compensation than just what they produce.

Ryan Isaac:
What they’re personally doing?

Reese Harper:
Yeah, how do you feel about that?

Ryan Isaac:
Well, what phrase did you just use on that that just made me get a visual. Oh! You said, “Look around.” Compensating someone differently can cause them to look around at the rest of the business. That’s a good visual. If compensation just forces someone to head down in one spot in front of them and that’s all they’ll focus on. They’ll miss the things going on around them. incentivizing people to heads up and look around to the different moving pieces in a business.

Ryan Isaac:
You’ve heard this though too, where partners are like, “Well, yeah, we split profits, but I outproduced this other person by quite a big margin and I’m starting to wonder like, why am I doing this?”

Matt Mulcock:
Hey Dentist Money Show listeners. It’s Matt Mulcock with Dentist Advisors. I want to invite you to join Ryan Isaac and me for a monthly webinar series where we tackle one of the elements topics each and every month. It’s going to feel a lot like the Dentist Money Show, but you’ll have the ability to ask questions, answer live polls and get a behind the scenes look at how we work with clients. You can sign up for free at dentistadvisors.com/webinar. Hope to see you there.

Ryan Isaac:
When partners bring different talents to the table in a business. Any thoughts on how to make things more equitable so there’s not … it’s not easy. Having a partner is not … there’s no simple solution for it, but-

Matt Mulcock:
No, this is a much more sophisticated business model and it has a ton of benefits. If there are … one of the practical benefits would be access to a better schedule for the patient. If there are two doctors working in one location, the hours are going to be able to be a lot more flexible for the patient. There won’t be an entire day that’s blocked off of the week, for example. It doesn’t have to be. Hours can be longer. The doctors can work different shifts on different days. When you take time off, the practice is still able to cover its fixed costs more efficiently.

Ryan Isaac:
Man, how often do you hear that though? As a dentist, even really successful solo docs get a little further in their career, mid-career, you start hearing more and more, “I can’t even take a vacation that’s spontaneous. All my vacations have to be planned six months out. I can’t just be like, ‘You know what? Next weekend, let’s just get out of town for a little bit?'” Because there’s no … who’s going to cover it? Then, we can’t shut down and-

Reese Harper:
Yeah, and the more producers you do have in one location, the more opportunities it allows you to invest in staff that’s not available when you’re smaller. If you’re doing $700 or $800,000 in collections as a solo practice, you don’t really have a budget on your P&L for someone to focus full-time on marketing. You’re going to have a part- time person doing a little bit of marketing work. That’ll consequently affect … if you’re in a competitive market, it’s going to be difficult for you to compete as population grows.

Reese Harper:
As you get larger, if you can continue to add producers and those producers can help offset the cost of some of those employees that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford, because when you go from $1 million to $2 million … maybe at $1 million, you had 10% of your payroll was going towards shared office staff. Well, at $2 million, if you kept that same percentage of 10% or even dropped it to 7% or 8%, you then have almost $50 to $60,000 more-

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, budgets bigger.

Reese Harper:
… of payroll that can be allocated to another full-time person. So, the benefits of … I think in one of the questions though that Jared was heading on was, “How is it different when you think about partnership versus individual?”

Reese Harper:
And I’d say that the financials are actually not any different. In terms of the way you think about your P&L is the same. Instead of thinking about your P&L in a when you say, “I’ve got 30% of my-” … whatever the doctor’s compensation is, if you want to keep doctors compensation between 25% and 35% of their total collections that they are responsible for, or maybe 20% of the total revenue. If you’re adding hygiene, wherever you want to keep the doctors percentage at, that’s going to stay.

Reese Harper:
That goal will be similar. In fact, the goal will probably be to have it be less than it would be or more than it would be depending on how many people you want and how much you want to take home or how … If you want to grow the practice to multiple locations or a bigger single location, you’d want to not take as much money out as doctors. You’d agree the right percentage to take out would be maybe a little less than normal as salaries, because you want to invest in a bigger team. You want to a more vibrant marketing department or do you want another full-time, a front office person to help grow or you want to make sure and dedicate enough money to having an amply large and available hygiene department?

Reese Harper:
So, the way you’ll think about your P&L is similar to how you would as a solo practice, but you’re in terms of the percentages you’re going to use, you’ll still want to target the same amount of profitability, if not higher as you get bigger. You’re not really thinking about your P&L in terms of different percentages. You’re just trying to make sure that you fit two people into one category or six people into one category instead of one or two.

Ryan Isaac:
So as you’re saying that, I’m curious as things flow through down to the personal side of finance, in terms of the income you bring home and your spending ability and your saving ability … do you have to have a different mentality when you’re building a business that’s going to be larger with multiple producers or partners than you do if it’s just you producing?

Ryan Isaac:
If it’s just you going to be producing, then you can maybe count on an income stream probably that’s bigger and happens sooner. Well, not bigger, but you get the money sooner. Do you think there’s a mental shift that has to happen in someone’s own personal finances when [crosstalk 00:16:52]?

Reese Harper:
Yeah, what have you seen? I think that’s probably something that you’re highlighting.

Ryan Isaac:
I think there is! Yeah. I am just thinking the people that I’ve seen grow in our business or dentists who have grown to either a large single location or multiple locations with partners. In most of those cases, they’ve had to temper their own income, which is what you’re saying, because so much has to stay in the business and go back to the business to keep feeding it basically salaries for people.

Ryan Isaac:
The expectations of that, I think that trickles down into different personal financial behavior. The house you buy today, the spending you do today, the car you drive today, vacations you do today, those will be a little bit different. If you’re saying, “Look, I’ve got to defer a little bit more than I would if I was just on my own, because we got to get more people in here sooner” or else it’s pointless.

Ryan Isaac:
I think that it does play into the psyche in what happens in your personal finances. That’s just what I’m thinking about it.

Reese Harper:
Totally. Yeah, I think in Jared’s case where he’s … I don’t know if their ambition is to add more associates than just a two person partnership … but I think one of the things that really is required when you start adding a partner is you have to really start thinking about other people and their success on your team as much as you do your own success. You need to have … we had a podcast episode a few months ago on a book called The Five Dysfunctions of Team. If you haven’t read that, I would recommend that as you try to continue to build out your team dynamics, but your success really is dependent on the health of your overall team and the interdependencies that each of those team members have on one another.

Reese Harper:
If your personality doesn’t enjoy or want to have interdependencies on other people. If you just want to have more personal autonomy, if really in your career your goal is to just not have to deal with the interpersonal dynamics and the courageous conversations you’re going to have to have with each team member. If you’re not wanting to engage in that, then I don’t think building a team or having a partnership is probably going to bode well. The more you are resisting that internally, the harder it’s going to be, even with one partner or with one person.

Reese Harper:
Yeah. That’s what I was going to ask about too, is just the difference in … so in our business as we’ve had multiple people come in, in executive roles and take a lot of ownership in the practice and as we’ve raised money from financial partners … what have you learned … I think this is the hardest part. What have you learned about personality differences?

Ryan Isaac:
Because you need different people to come in. You don’t need just a bunch of Reese Harpers to run Dentist Advisors, right? You’ve needed a lot of different people. What if you learned with personality differences as you need different people, different talents … and by the way, the episode you’re talking about, it’s 207. It’s called How to Turn Your Employees Into Teammates, where we talk a lot about that book. That’s been fascinating for me to see, but just curious to your take on personality differences and selecting the right people for a team when people are really different.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, I think it’s been a real privilege to be able to sit back and have to go through this personal growth period of letting … when you’re smaller, you can control everything. When you’re smaller, you can jump in and put out fires and you can fix stuff when it’s broken and you can rush to … you can outwork the problems. You can show up and get things done when maybe no one else is willing to.

Reese Harper:
But as you get larger, what happens is you have to … you’re literally have to trust other people more. You’re depending on other people much more and either you learn to trust people and learn to let them do their best … even though it might not be perfect every time, the way you’d exactly want to do it … you have to let them put in their best effort and do their best at … and sometimes fail and get feedback and … and that can be hard.

Reese Harper:
But it’s been interesting to see how many people are required in order to have a vibrant, successful, larger business and how their personalities and their personality differences are so critical to a diverse and very … if you want to grow and if you want to change things and improve things, you have to have people that see the world differently and that bring ideas to you and that aren’t afraid to have courageous conversations and have some conflict and push through difficult moments, because you need those changes. You need those ideas, you need those differences in opinion or you won’t grow. You’ll just be status quo and you’ll stay stuck.

Reese Harper:
I think that’s a really … to me it’s been pretty humbling to not feel like you can be in complete control. You have to create an environment that allows people to try to be their best selves.

Ryan Isaac:
Let go of things.

Reese Harper:
And let go things and then you have a chance, but if you don’t and you don’t trust people and you keep it all on your plate and you want to control everything, people won’t develop and they won’t feel that they have responsibility and that they won’t understand their role. It’s a much harder thing to do than people realize.

Reese Harper:
That’s why most businesses in dentistry, they do stay smaller, because it is much harder to go through the pain of moving to that next step, but as the industry continues to shift over the next 20 years, you’ll see fewer and fewer … not in an extreme way … but you will see fewer small solo practices. You’ll see a lot of variety along the way and people that are willing to go through the pain of sharing success and sharing the upside and sharing the growth.

Reese Harper:
I think those types of businesses will be able to compete more efficiently and provide a good service to their patients. There’s always going to be a place for one person doing really specific high quality work, even in a small practice. There really will be, I don’t see that ever changing- [crosstalk 00:24:04] for some procedures especially, but I I don’t think that it’s the right or wrong way necessarily, but I do think there’ll be fewer solos and a lot more small ensembles and more large organizations that have tried to figure this out.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay. yeah, that was my next question actually, is why do you think that is? With where you see the industry headed with what you’ve seen in building a business that’s not just you. Why do you think that’s the case?

Reese Harper:
Well, in a lot of it, as time passes and a lot of industries have things with the internet and with technology, it can create more efficiencies in a business, which makes the price come down to make the same amount of money. What happens is before a small practice … because there wasn’t a lot of technology in dentistry and because there wasn’t a lot of availability to decrease the cost of dentistry … dentistry evolved in a way that a lot of industries evolved. CPA firms were this way and are consolidating, financial advisory firms were this way, where they have a lot of solo boutique small operations.

Reese Harper:
But with the internet expanding the public’s awareness of the information. Now, the public becomes very hyper aware. They have lots of knowledge, they know things and they have access and the technology evolving brings down the cost of some procedures objectively. Well, what happens is the public’s willing to pay a little bit less than they used to be for the same thing.

Reese Harper:
It happens in all industries over time, unless you innovate and create something new-

Ryan Isaac:
New value for the [crosstalk 00:26:11] price.

Reese Harper:
… create [crosstalk 00:26:11], then the old price will become cheaper. It’s much harder … in dentistry, there’s not an obvious new thing that you can create that a lot of people are latching onto that all of a sudden doubles the price of a comprehensive visit now.

Ryan Isaac:
Well, it’s almost done the opposite. As you said that I’m like, “What’s a new obvious thing that came along for the end consumer, the patient?” And a lot of the Do-it-yourself at home braces kits, but what [crosstalk 00:26:48] did that do though? It drove prices down for that product, but then the … the implementation and the outcomes are very questionable to you.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, the customer doesn’t always value quality. Price will always drive a lot of the marketing universe and price drives the market in our industry too. We have to innovate and add value, in order to find a way to provide the customers that do select us with the highest quality experience that they can have.

Reese Harper:
My point in this is it’s a long way or maybe a a holistic economic view of why there are a bunch of big businesses or why businesses are going from small to large is because when you have an industry that the prices are going down, you need to spread … the more efficient models will then be required, in order to support those prices.

Ryan Isaac:
And building more efficiencies, you need more [crosstalk 00:27:50], more funding-

Reese Harper:
More and more people out of one location, more people operating out of one building, more people operating off of one CEREC machine, or one lab spreading its costs across more producers in one location so they don’t have to be interacting with as many doctors.

Reese Harper:
It’s one cone beam getting more usage out of more implants, out of one area in the city. These types of efficiencies will help preserve the profitability of an industry and that just happens.

Ryan Isaac:
Booking a free consultation is super easy. So why haven’t you done it yet? Just call 833-DDS PLAN or go to dentistadvisors.com and click book a free consultation. You can find a time on your calendar that works best for you, so why hesitate? We can help you take control of your financial future and find out how by going to dentistadvisors.com today

Ryan Isaac:
For a dentist listening to this though, because some people’s personalities, they’re just, “I don’t want a big thing. I just don’t want that in my life. I want a simple thing and I’m a-” … people will self-describe as, “I’m a lifestyle person, so I don’t want a big thing.”

Ryan Isaac:
Is there a happy medium, where you can take advantage of where the future’s going in business and have some scale and some more people involved without making it a big thing in your life?

Reese Harper:
Yeah! I think you just have to figure out how you’re going to add more value. You’re going to have to do that through your own education, through the way that you do treatment, through the way that you bill. You’ll have to offer different services to your patients that-

Ryan Isaac:
Patient experience.

Reese Harper:
… that you didn’t offer before. You’ll have to have differences in those experiences. For example, there’s big difference between you’re paying a price that gets you in any time that you want to come in at your drop of a hat versus this is the price that we can get you in for, if you’re willing to work [inaudible 00:29:57] eight weeks.

Ryan Isaac:
Have you ever pitched anyone that?

Reese Harper:
It’s just one-

Ryan Isaac:
Subscription model, the VIP scheduling subscription model.

Reese Harper:
I can get you in whenever at this price or I can get you in when we have an opening at this price. There’s a lot of ways, it doesn’t have to be anything with dentistry, but-

Ryan Isaac:
Urgency, you pay for urgency.

Reese Harper:
You can say, “Look, I know this is a convenience that you’d like and I can make this work.”

Ryan Isaac:
You can pay for it.

Reese Harper:
I just think there’s 100 innovations that you can come up with that-

Ryan Isaac:
There’s a free one, right there for you.

Reese Harper:
… that you can find, that you can innovate with and preserve your value and your lifestyle practice and continue to have a healthy income, but you can’t just do the same thing that people did 20 years ago and expect the same outcome, because prices are being driven down and the cost of technology will continue to drive some procedural expenses down to some degree.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, I think about that. Every time someone now … we’re recording this now in January of 2020 … every time someone mentions to me they have to buy a new cone beam and they’re like, “Yeah, it’s like 50 grand or something.” Do you remember our first clients? 12, 13 years ago buying the technology? They’d be like, “It’s 170.” Do you remember those loans? It’d be like, “I’m going to drop-

Reese Harper:
185.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, 185, 200 on this whole setup and now it’s 60.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, and if you just think about the way … can you remember when an LCD screen TV or a flat screen TV was-

Ryan Isaac:
I remember my first plasma.

Reese Harper:
They were like, “You’re coming in at 10 large, trying to get into the market. Now, you can get the same TV for 300, 250.”

Ryan Isaac:
I remember paying $2500 for my first 50 inch plasma and it was so thick.

Reese Harper:
So heavy.

Ryan Isaac:
It was so heavy man! I don’t know how it stayed on my wall.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay, one more question that Jared put in his question here was, “When you do have partners and you do have multiple key decision makers, what have you learned on how to navigate big decisions?”

Ryan Isaac:
Consensus among everybody, everyone not being on the same page. Everyone having … one person’s afraid of costs, the other one’s afraid of not growing fast enough. What have you learned in making decisions with multiple people that have to give input?

Reese Harper:
Yeah, I think it’s really difficult when there … I think you need to establish some chain of command that allows you to not be stuck in a 50/50 decision all the time. I don’t think it’s healthy to say, “Look, every choice we ever make together has to be 100% we’re on the same page.”

Ryan Isaac:
The book in the episode that we referenced, the book that we read as a team talks a lot about that, about moving forward in decision making in a big team where consensus is not required. Everyone’s voice being heard is required, but consensus is not.

Reese Harper:
I think that is much different if you have three partners than if you have two. If you have two partners, the way I would personally … this is just one suggestion of many ideas that I would consider … is that you would break up a lot of your decisions around topics, around maybe someone is responsible for marketing decisions and maybe someone is responsible for new employee hires and maybe someone is responsible for employee interviews-

Ryan Isaac:
And you just give them the ownership of that-

Reese Harper:
… and they own that. Now, they can ask for your input on it-

Ryan Isaac:
Feedback.

Reese Harper:
They have final say, but ultimately it’s their call on how they want to move forward.

Ryan Isaac:
And you would break that up by someone’s interest and skill set and what’s their wheelhouse?

Reese Harper:
Yeah.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay.

Reese Harper:
It’s just not good to say, “We both decide everything all the time” or it will happen, it’ll slow down the business.

Ryan Isaac:
Okay, that’s really smart.

Reese Harper:
It’ll be frustrating, but if there’s three people then sometimes it’s a little bit … maybe you can have a few more decisions that are joint. There’s always going to be decisions that are … you can put these in your operating agreement too, that these decisions require unanimous vote among partners, like selling the company, hiring an associate-

Ryan Isaac:
Buying anything over X dollars, paying a salary.

Reese Harper:
Borrowing [inaudible 00:34:07] debt.

Reese Harper:
But if you want to minimize the number of times you have to be interacting around every decision.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, that’s interesting.

Reese Harper:
It’s easier if there’s one … even in a situation where there’s one person in charge, in our business technically I’m the CEO and manager, but and so technically I could make all of the decisions.

Ryan Isaac:
You have a shirt that says that exact thing. “I’m CEO and manager and technically I make all the decisions.” That’s your T-shirt you wear at the office every day, just so we know.

Reese Harper:
But if you think about it, I definitely don’t do that because of how much it would slow down the company.

Ryan Isaac:
We wouldn’t do anything.

Reese Harper:
Yeah, so you empower people to make decisions that they feel they are within their wheelhouse and the best decisions they can make. You might not agree with everything and you have to let them have some a leash and some room to make mistakes and learn and grow. By allowing five or six people to do it imperfectly, you still get more accomplished than if you were trying to make all the decisions-

Ryan Isaac:
Perfectly, all by yourself.

Ryan Isaac:
Well, thanks off for the thoughts. It was a good-

Reese Harper:
I appreciate the conversation, a good question from Jared. It was great insights.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah, Jared’s two for two, a batting average on the questions in the podcast. Is that a batting average? I don’t really know.

Reese Harper:
Well-

Ryan Isaac:
It’s two for two, it’s 100%. I don’t know what that means. Thanks everyone.

Reese Harper:
Shout out to all of that are thinking about the future in this creative way.

Ryan Isaac:
Yeah. Well, thanks for listening. Really appreciate everyone tuning in and supporting the show. If you want to talk through any of these decisions that you’re making in your life and your practice, any of the big financial decisions you have in your personal life, the easiest, best way to just get some closure on good decision making is just to call us, schedule a time on our calendar to chat with one of our advisors.

Ryan Isaac:
You can do that by calling us at 833 DDS PLAN, but most people just go to the website, dentistadvisors.com and they book a free consultation right there on the website. Also, just like our friend Jared did, please submit questions to the podcast. We love answering these questions and you could do that in the Facebook group, dentistadvisors.com/group.

Ryan Isaac:
we are on the road a lot. This week our team is … you and I are here in Scottsdale, we’ve got team that was just in Seattle, in Portland. You were just somewhere else I think too, but we’re on the road all over the place. We’re doing dinners, we’re at shows and we love seeing people and meeting you in person. So check out the events page on the website, but thanks for tuning in. Hope you enjoy the show and we’ll catch you next time.

Reese Harper:
Carry on.

Practice Management

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