Many of the factors affecting orthodontists’ retirement have changed in recent years, but one principle remains as true as ever. If you own your practice, what you get when you sell it will be decisive. This, combined with the fact that you need to generate and set aside maximum income between now and retirement, points clearly toward practice-building as a master strategy.

Growth Now, More Rewards Later

Not coincidentally, many of the steps you take to increase current production, revenue, profit, and income will also improve valuation, resulting in a more rewarding transition. Following are the major elements in building your practice’s financial strength for immediate and long-term gains.

  1. Develop new management systems. At any given moment, most systems in most practices are due for replacement (not just “tweaking”). That’s because even systems that were once highly efficient will eventually become obsolete. Systems such as scheduling, new patient-parent experience, collections, marketing, case presentation, etc, serve as the foundation for sustainable practice productivity and growth. Working with your team, design and implement the best possible protocols for all non-clinical aspects of running your office.
  2. Train everyone on the new systems. Build team skills for maximum efficiency. You’ll find it easier to delegate tasks to them, enabling you to perform more orthodontics without working longer hours.
  3. Upgrade your marketing. If you haven’t done so already, designate a marketing coordinator. You’ll need one to handle the many details of multi-strategy programs for generating both doctor and patient referrals … and developing a robust observation program.
  4. Tighten up financial management. Improvements in this area will have a dramatic effect on your bottom line and practice valuation. Review and tighten up spending to reduce overhead. Create a realistic operating budget and stick to it. Make sure your insurance and financing options are well attuned to your patients’ needs. And raise your collection rate.

Do all this—while at the same time consulting a financial planner to help you map out the path to a comfortable retirement—and your practice will make you happy you decided to become an orthodontist.

Attend Dr Levin’s new seminar, “The Business of Orthodontics… Simplified.” Learn the systems essential for orthodontic practice success in Oklahoma City on December 2, 2016. See his complete seminar schedule by clicking here.