Developing an Operations Strategy for Successful Expansion

Our guest blogger today is By Jess Webber, CEO & Suzann Harms, Chief of Operations Development

As dentists throughout the U.S. are taking larger leaps into dental entrepreneurship through practice expansion, we often see dental practice owners putting the “cart before the horse” so to speak when it comes to business development and expansion.

Like any business pursuit, it is imperative in dental business that you put time and focus in the path you intend to take as close to the beginning of the journey as possible. But take heart – even if you are well on your way in the expansion of your dental business, it’s never too late to put solid business building blocks into place. This focus will lead you on a more successful route and will ensure strong decisions along the way. Here are 4 tips to get you on the right track:

1. Have a clearly defined Purpose, Mission, and Vision. Costly mistakes can be avoided by clearly understanding who you versus and who you are not. Foundational decisions need to be made early on and can be expensive to unravel if a significant change is made late in the game – such as allowing associates into partnership agreements that are not aligned with your Purpose.

2. Know what you are good at and stick to it. Don’t try to do everything yourself. Build a team of experts you can trust and listen to them! Time and time again we see doctors struggling with extraordinary stress and on the verge of burnout. They have taken on more than they can handle, have overcommitted themselves to tasks they aren’t cut out for, and have no resources and support to help keep them stable and moving forward. Establish the Vision of your practice(s) and find others that connect to your Purpose and Vision – keep your eyes straight ahead and run the race you are meant to run. Don’t allow distractions to run you off course.

3. Learn the difference between tasks and responsibilities. An Owner will always maintain responsibility but must learn to delegate tasks. As the number of locations increase, it will become overwhelming and stressful if there is no development of a hierarchical structure. Allowing another layer of leadership and authority is critical. How far into your organization have you allowed leadership to take root? As mentioned before, the more you have in your camp connected to the Purpose, Mission & Vision of your organization and pursuing that vision with you, the better off you will be. Identify what you and only you can do and do best – delegate the rest.

4. Find experts that can help you grow. In most cases, practice owners we have worked with that have expanded their businesses – practice expansion is new, uncharted territory for them. It’s important to find experts in the areas you are uncertain in to help you, teach you, show you how to be the best possible version of yourself in this new version of your business. Make sure you have a network of coaches, advisors, service providers that keep you compliant, safe, growing, and strategizing toward your ideal vision. In the end, the investments you make into your growing and thriving business will come back to you multifold.

Jess Webber is President & CEO of Jameson Management, a practice management, marketing and hygiene-coaching firm. Jess develops initiatives and strategies to propel the Jameson team and Jameson clients toward success with the goal to improve life profitability, reduce stress and keep people passionate about pursuing their goals. Webber also works closely with industry partners to develop collaborative initiatives to help stimulate growth and success for dentists in every phase of their practicing lives.

With her vast experience in operations management with some of the country’s leading dental organization, Suzann leads the Jameson Operations Development Program helping doctors achieve their vision of productive and profitable multiple location practices. Suzann has led dental organization in effective rollouts in new markets, personnel management and acquisition, development of company culture, fulfillment of annual revenue goals and overall patient satisfaction. Her diverse leadership experience in growing multiple location practices helps doctors and practice owners identify growth opportunities and forecast accurately the next steps in their strategic plan.