#AskT-Bone – Ep19 – I’m Out of Space, Do I Have To Build a New Building


Hello and welcome to another episode of Ask T-Bone part of the T-bone speaks podcast. I’m T-Bone! And today I’d like to answer a question and really have a open discussion with you about something here. But before I start I’d like to ask a favor to each of you. If you could do me a favor I’m really trying to extend our reach to reach more people. If you find this podcast valuable, if you do notice we have no sponsors, I intend to have no sponsors. We do our best not to mention or too overly promote our workshops and courses and speaking events, but this is done as my way of reaching more people and I need your help in that. We already have a great following but I’d like to expand it. If you can do me a favor and post this podcast on your social media accounts, share with your colleagues and friends, subscribe to it on iTunes and leave us a review on iTunes, I would be unbelievably appreciative of that. So let’s get going.

T-Bone! You ask me what’s keeping me up at night. I’m trying to decide if building a new building will be worth it. I have two Associates in a 8 op Clinic. I work, the owner of the practice, Monday through Thursday 8 to 5, they work Monday through Thursday 8 to 8 and Friday 8 to 5 and Saturday 8 to 2. I have no practice debt and I own the office space. But we’ve run out of space, no storage, break room converted into another op, so team is lunch in corners and closets. One Dr. op now being used for hygiene sometimes, decrease in capacity. office needs a facelift, it’s 15 years old. Financially I’m very comfortable and in the top 5% in terms of income for dentist. I already work hard and don’t want to work harder. In fact I’d like to have some cash flow that doesn’t depend so much on me being involved. Will building a new office lead to happiness? I hope that provides some inspiration.

Boy! Doesn’t provide some inspiration, really I’m thinking about this, you really don’t have a choice! unfortunately I believe that you do need to renovate your office. Now that may mean building an entire new office or renovating your current office. What I know is that often times, especially with offices that were built 15 to 20 years ago, were designed 15 to 20 years ago there’s not a maximization of the space. We know that where we can get 8 ops typically with some creative planning, some attention to details, we can often get ten ops in there. And that may be a worthwhile thing to look at. I would like to recommend my friend dr. David Ahern at design ergonomics, he has a wonderful way of building more operatories in less space. If you really think about it, what do people in the north-east do? or Southern California where real estate is unbelievably expensive and scares? They have to find a way to have a smaller, thinner ops. And really our ops have been a standard size and hygiene doesn’t need 10 x 10 operatories or  10 x 11 operatories. Hygiene, in fact I don’t believe we need side cabinets in operatories. So before I personally looked at building a new building, I would look at what would it take to renovate my existing building. Because taking on debt for renovation is a lot less than building an entire new building, because then you also have to look at selling your building getting your Equity out of that building or what’s involved in that. And then, the actual fact of moving your practice and what risks that takes to your practice, another words will that cause your practice to shrink? Will it cause your practice to grow possibly? Depending on what kind of location that you have now. So those are some of the things that I think about there. Now, really I believe that you should have a break room your team. It doesn’t need to be fancy, but certainly they need to have a place that they can call their own. I believe that one should have a dedicated consult room for Firm Financial arrangements and for meeting and greeting patient and to discuss more complex treatment. Now, really what I think is that you have an unbelievable opportunity here. And that is an opportunity to transition your practice into something that you wanted to be. Now, personally my guess, and I don’t know you, okay? But my guess is that you’re working hard doing fillings and crowns and you’ve been working X number of years, fifteen, twenty years and that your Associates get paid the same as you do, because you’re with insurance and I don’t think that fair. And I think ultimately what needs to happen is that you need to become the senior doc in your practice, and that means you should be doing very specific procedures and add procedures to your practice, and moved yourself to a schedule where you work smarter not harder, and you work less. And the truth is, as you are set up for this, you already have two associates, you already have a stack of schedule, you already open 6 days a week, so I can’t really tell you to do any of those things to avoid the need for expansion. So to me the need is, you have one doctor too many and you need to become a half doctor. And by that I mean you need to work 9 to 3, maybe 3 days a week, you need to be able to spend more time working on your business, that doesn’t mean that you’re not in the office, It’s just imagine if you didn’t have to work on patients, you could produce the same seeing less patients, by doing different types of dentistry, and then you could do great hygiene exams, you can have a better relationship with your patients, you could coach your team members. So to me that’s the opportunity I would look at if I were in this situation. How can I work less without producing less? To me that’s the key component there. I want to work less but I don’t want to produce less, because I don’t want to take a pay cut. So, for me to work less and produce the same or more, that means I have to change my procedure mix, that doesn’t have to do more work on same patient, that may mean that I need to focus on not doing feelings anymore. Why should you be doing feelings? Maybe feelings should be done only by Associates, and you can move into doing implants or Orthodontics and sleep apnea. Maybe you can look at taking some time off, so you can really focus on Integrated Medical Billing into your practice. Maybe you can do Invisalign, maybe you can do the pinhole gum lift technique. There’s so many things out there that when you have such a strong General Dentistry base, which you obviously do because you’re supporting two associate and 6 days of dentistry and yourself, that you have such a strong General Dentistry base that you can expand into that advanced dentistry, in that emotional dentistry. And that would allow you to work less, produce the same if not more, and by doing that, that will alleviate some of the pressure that you put on your practice for space, and will honestly create less stress for you. Because you already said you like to have cash flow that doesn’t depend so much on you being involved, and then what can happen is you can start building Business Systems in place that depend Less on you, you can start taking more time off of work and you’ll notice that you won’t be so stressed out anymore. So thank you, and I hope that this episode really shows that the answer isn’t always growing bigger, but to me the answer is always growing and hopefully growing better, not just bigger.

Thank you very much and I look forward to additional questions. If you have questions or thoughts or concerns please don’t hesitate to visit www.tbonespeaks.com and submit your question.

Until the next episode, enjoy yourself and create a great day!

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