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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

Welcome back to the Dennis Moon Vest podcast. Everybody been looking forward to this episode for a while, with my good friend, dr Simmel Shah, talking about how he took his dental practices from where they were to where they are and the reason that I say that is where that I know where they are. Where they were has been an amazing journey of progress. It’s been quite the adventure. Where they are is that similar was currently sitting on two dental practices and similar correct me if I’m wrong. The cumulative turnover of those practices is two and a half million. Is that right or is it? Is that in each one?

Dr Shah: 

Yes, so we’re at a cumulative turnover of two and a half million now, and that is grown significantly over the past at least three years, and it’s been an incredible journey.

Dr James: 

Very cool and much wisdom and knowledge gained along the way, no doubt, oh yeah.

Dr Shah: 

And a few years.

Dr James: 

All of the wisdom, all of the wisdom so similar. For the people listening to this podcast who have yet to meet you, it might be nice for you to do a little bit of an intro.

Dr Shah: 

Yeah, so my name is Simmel. I am a principal of two practices in the near South End, so one is in a town called Benfleet, the one is in a town called Leon C. I started my journey of practice ownership in 2011. And it was actually forced upon me whereby I had another business in the dental supplies industry, which was an incredible business. It grew really well and unfortunately, it was a partnership that the partnership didn’t work out, so I decided to pull out and then I went back into clinical, into practice ownership, and we bought a practice with very few UDAs very you know the sum of the dentists were going home at lunchtime and that was where it was. And at that time that practice was a three chair practice turning over about half a million and then over you know various things like marketing, patient training, the reception team, growing the practice. We grew it to about 750 now turnover and that then enabled me to purchase a second practice literally 15 minutes away, which again was turning up over about 550,000 at that time and today that second practice is actually being bulk of our revenue of about 1.8 now. So that has really grown well over the past few years and, yeah, it’s been an incredible journey, lots of ups and downs, but you know, like with ownership, it’s two steps up, one step down and it’s been amazing. It’s been amazing, yeah.

Dr James: 

That’s very cool. And just off camera, before we hit recording this podcast, you were telling me that you got your first practice when you were really, really, really young, the age of 29.

Dr Shah: 

Yeah, I was. I was fortunate and the right place came up and I just took up. Honestly it was a gut instinct decision, something felt right about it and I said I just have to go for it and it actually worked out it. You know, it had a really nice team at that time as well, and a lot of the team over the years obviously have retired. But it was great to start in that practice and for me that is still my effectively first baby. And then the second practice came along and that is where we’ve grown quite well because that’s been a predominantly private practice. The other one was a more mixed practice with a reasonable small NHS based. But then we had to grow the NHS based. Luckily we got more UDAs there and that from then on it just has been growing well on the NHS and the mixed side and the other practice has been growing really well on the private side.

Dr James: 

Nice one, Congratulations. And you know what? It’s interesting? Because I remember when I was in dentistry and whenever I was around about the age of 28,. I always thought that I’d probably buy a dental practice at some point further down the line, but I had this limiting belief back then. I’ve since learned that the terminology to describe what I was going through is known as limiting beliefs. What are limiting beliefs? They’re beliefs that limit you. They’re not necessarily true or false, they’re just beliefs that limit you. Right, and my belief was I had to hit a certain level of clinical expertise before I bought my first dental practice. Biggest load of flipping nonsense. That I only realized subsequently, whenever I left dentistry and started running dentists who invest and started interviewing lots of dentists via the podcast to find out mentally where the young guns who set up their dental practices very early in their career were at. And they just don’t have this limiting belief. Are you with me? So I met one chap and he is. His name is Jamil Turoftar. For anybody who hasn’t heard that podcast, the guy is 28 and he’s got three flipping dental practices Crackers, that is amazing. And here’s the thing. That doesn’t mean we all have to be like that. That’s an outlier. Are you with me? But to bring it back to this conversation, 29 year old Simmel right, what was 29 year old Simmel’s mindset at the time? Was it just like, let’s just go for it, let’s do it? And what would you say to that younger version of you if you go back and speak to him now? What was the advice or encouragement would you give him?

Dr Shah: 

So, 29 year old Simmel had actually been out of clinical dentistry for four years. No, way no way and had been busy selling dental products. So and growing that business and 29 year old Simmel was very quickly brought into the clinical world and in a strange way I love getting back into it. It was really nice to even pick up that first handpiece and open up that first tooth to get a patient of pain after all those years and it actually felt right to be there. Cool, 29 year old Simmel, I would say, firstly, you have to trust your gut and when you get that gut instinct, follow your gut, follow your dreams and things will work out. And not being clinically, there is not a reason not to purchase your first practice. The clinical side is important, yes, but it’s having a good team around you and that team and that group of other dentists other, you know, even the nurses, the receptionists, really drive you and they encouraged me from day one. They knew where I had been, they knew what my limitations were and I really worked well with that team to build up my clinical skills again. I went on so many courses, you know, just building, building, building and slowly I started to do more and more advanced stuff and with confidence and competence. But it was it’s having the team around you that is so important.

Dr James: 

Flipping cool right, and here’s the thing. Here’s another cool aspect, too, which I’m sure you appreciate Through running your dental supply business, you probably learned a ton of business wisdom that you could apply to the dental practice as well. What would you say those pearls were, those little bits of wisdom that helped you in the next leg of your career, which was to buy this dental practice at 29? What would you say those were?

Dr Shah: 

So the beauty of being in the dental supplies business. It taught me that you know when you’re a dental practice you have, you’re used to patients coming to you. You don’t have to go out to patients to find them and to bring them at that time. But it actually taught me a lot about marketing and how you can go about marketing a business any business Whereas at that time dental practices marketing was a taboo word or it was just starting to come out into the forefront. But I was, in a way, one step ahead from that point. The other thing being in a supplies business, I learned cash flow is king. You need cash in the business to be able to grow and develop a business, Regardless of borrowings and everything else, you need cash in the business and my main ethos at that time was to re-circulate as much cash within the business as you can, Because that is how you grow business and bringing that from dental supplies into dental practice. Those two things were really important. The other thing is your team. You have to work really well in that team. Yes, you are the principal or you’re the leader, and people should respect you for being the leader, but you have to also show that mutual respect going back and, for example, I was spending a morning on reception just to learn how reception works, Answering calls, answering at that time we were paper based, so putting records away Just to learn how that all bit works, because it allows you to find out where the bottlenecks are, where the issues are. When your receptionist come to say, oh, hang on, this just isn’t working, it’s easy to dismiss it as okay. So what is not working? Or hang on, I’m doing it. Yes, I know it’s not working. This is where I need to solve these problems and help inefficiencies. And, yeah, it was an incredible lesson, incredible.

Dr James: 

That’s flipping cool. Okay, next leg of the career, the second leg, whenever you’ve got the dental practice up and running. So, naturally a little bit of a trial by fire, because you just jumped in and I get that, you had this business wisdom and experience from the dental products company and then you took a lot of that into the dental practices. Right, what did you find? What were the key things that you learned in those first few years? Because naturally, here’s the thing in any business, a lot of it is trial and error, especially at the beginning, right, and wisdom. What wisdom actually is is being able to expedite someone’s journey through that trial and error process, because instead of spending one year trial and erroring something to find out the result, you can just tell someone what to do and you just sped their career up by a year. And there’ll be lots of people who listen to this podcast who feel exactly like that, either who own a dental practice or have yet to buy their first dental practice. So this is why what’s about the command your mouth, I have no doubt will be of huge value to those people.

Dr Shah: 

So, first, there’s obviously several parts of running a dental practice and I learned about the staffing side, about getting the right people on board. My nature at that time was very much you need everybody to be happy in the team and I realized later on that you cannot please everybody and there are certain team members, regardless of what you try and what you do, who will not be happy and who will eventually leave, and that’s not a bad thing. But you need a good team of focused individuals around you and don’t be afraid to say no to hiring somebody or don’t be afraid that, and never don’t live in that constant fear that this person is going to leave, this person going to leave, this person going to leave. If I do this and that held me back a lot because I was constantly living in that fear and that wasn’t a good thing. Secondly, I made a lot of costly mistakes as far as marketing went, because I kept on throwing money, jumping from agency to agency, looking for the best kind of way around, trying to almost, and I will admit it is that I was looking for the cheapest marketing solution and wanted the most out of it which is totally against everything we do now. We spend good money now and we get a very good result now, but at that time it was all about you know who is the cheapest. And then I was why was I surprised when I was getting only one invisible and lead every so often? And even that wasn’t very good quality? So you know, that was what I learned very quickly and, like I said before, it’s about spending time in the business. Initially you have to be at the call face, learning exactly what is going on at each and every step of the patient journey, each and every step of the business. And again, having two practices with a bit of clinical time, I realized that, being having that time away from clinical but spending it on reception, spending it with your nurses, spending it with all your team, you learn so much about what goes on. They are your eyes and ears and having that open communication with them is so important.

Dr James: 

Cool, and you know what. What I’m going to do in just a minute is get really in depth with those specific lessons that you learned through undertaking those steps, as in when you shadowed at reception and whenever you did this and you did that and you got really involved in the business, the takeaways from that. That’s where I feel the real goal dust is going to be in this podcast, but I want to share something with you first and with everybody who’s listening. This is something that I heard recently, which is which I learned this from a business mentor, someone that I brought into what I do, one of a few mentors that I have in the background, and he just described this concept very eloquently that I was aware of and it makes total sense, but I’ve never heard it described like this and I hope that you like this similar as much as me, because this is flipping cool. So somebody said to me this is what they said to me recently and this is it’s obvious, but the best bits of wisdom are obvious, they’re instantly understandable and you can take it and use it straight away. So here’s the thing If you want to increase profit very deliberate, with my words, profit, not necessarily turnover Turnover can be a component of profit, but not always, but specifically profit. There’s only actually three fundamental ways that you can do it. This is cool. Whether you Coca-Cola, whether you Tescos, whether you are, name any company in the whole wide world. Insert company name here a haulage company, whatever or you’re a dental practice, or if you’re even an associate right, because an associate is a business as well it’s just that there’s not as many cogs and moving parts as a dental practice, but you are a business. You’re literally self-employed, anyway, okay, cool. So here’s the thing If you want to increase profit and you’re a business, there’s only three ways that you can do it. First way decrease your costs. Obviously right. If you’re spending less on something every month, then what it means is that you have more profit, of course, but you can only do that so much. You can’t decrease your cost to zero. If you want to keep your business running long term, you’re going to have some outgoings. Every business has outgoings, right, and it’s about being a little smarter about it, like what you said, like if you look for the cheapest, you’ll get the cheapest. You know what I mean. Yeah, this is where we have to use our intuition. Sometimes we want to spend more to make more right, abundance mindset right, and we pay lip service to that a lot, but not everybody does it necessarily right, and I would actually rather spend more on something which I know is going to mean that I have to think way less about it and do a better job for me and actually make more, bring more revenue in, which often happens whenever you just look for the person who’s the best value rather than cheapest, because they’re two different things yeah, anyway, or not even necessarily the best value somebody who offers really good value at a reasonable price and you remunerate them to a level that they deserve effectively. So they’re more of a premium rather than value versus bargain. But anyway, let’s not get into that. So the first one is you reduce your costs. Second, one second way you can increase profit in your business is serve more customers. Now, who’s your customers when you’re at Dental Packs? It’s the patients, of course, and we have to remember that dentistry is a caring profession. So we serve patients, not customers Very important distinction. Here’s the thing. You want to serve more patients, then you might have to open more days in your book. You might have to open Sundays. You might have to get more dentists. All of those things right. Do we necessarily want to do that? For already working seven days a week, if we’ve got a good rhythm to the practice, do we want to squeeze more patients into the same amount of time? No, we don’t, because they can make more issues for a dental practice potentially, particularly if people feel rushed, because patients hate that. So we can’t always do it. If we’re Coca-Cola, we can, right, we can go to a new market, we can make more tins of coke and ship more and more people buy them right. And the dental practice not always. Maybe if we’re working three days a week and we start working four, okay, that’s a reasonable area, that’s a reasonable occasion into which we can insert that wisdom to use, to use that wisdom to increase the profitability in our practice. That’s the second way. So here’s the thing, the second way, the second way that can be used by businesses to increase their profit doesn’t actually always necessarily work for dental practice, but we have to be aware of it, right. What’s the third way? The third way is that you can increase the value of each patient to the practice. Now, how does that work? It’s about having conversations with them about their dental care, understanding what their needs are, diagnosing correctly what’s going on in their mouth so that we can treat them effectively, and a lot more things on top of that as well. But those are the main things, right? So, fundamentally, if you want to increase your profit as a practice or as a associate, then you have to use one of those three ways, because those are the only three ways. You can only reduce your cost so much, remember you’re probably you know you can only reduce your cost so much. You can’t necessarily always see more patients because there’s only so many hours in a week. So the only other way is to increase the value of each patient, and maybe that means investing in yourself, getting some new skills so you can serve them to a higher standard, right? Maybe that means becoming more efficient clinically. Maybe that means delegating more stuff, are you with me? But it has to be one of those three things and I thought that was flipping cool with me. And on that exact thing, simo, obviously naturally, taking your business’s turnovers from where they were to where they are. It’ll be a combination of those three things. Yes, let’s move. Let’s segue back to what I said just a second ago. What were those tangible takeaways from you spending time working in the business, almost so that you could come out of the business so that you could understand what’s happening from a higher level, because I think that’s really cool and not a lot of people appreciate the importance of that. They think to themselves well, if I’m on reception, well then I’m wasting a morning that I could have been in clinic, right. It’s kind of like we just see things like this. We’re not seeing the bigger picture. We’re not seeing that the wisdom could make the business 10 times more efficient and then therefore enhance profitability a lot more over a slightly longer time frame than what we would earn short term in the dental practice being in the clinic, yeah, boom.

Dr Shah: 

So key takeaway from, say, for example, spending time on reception. Firstly, it allows the team to show to see that, hang on, you’re not in a hierarchical situation whereby the principal is at the top so I can answer the call and I can’t be on reception. I’m actually. We’re all at the same level, we aren’t. It’s not this principle of management versus everybody else, and that is one thing which I am always advocated against. Yes, there has to be leadership, there has to be decisions, but you have to be willing to do all the work within the practice, then learning about the patient journey. So, from the phone call to booking the appointments, obviously we were a paper-based system at that time, which was really painful and I had to make. My plan was to go computerized within 12 months. That came to within three months because it had to be done at that time it was not even a negotiable for more efficiencies. Secondly, the most basic of things the phone system. We had one line coming in into the practice and every software would be engaged. So, and yet, when I was in the dental supplies business, we had six, seven lines and the fully modern phone system so we could take as many calls as we needed to and that straightaway changed. Three months again. It had to change. It couldn’t carry on like that and automatically this thing of having more patients. So we started getting more calls. Less people were on hold or engaged on all that went, so that really helped. Then we were paper-based and you could see the massive inefficiencies of a paper-based system which was notes on papers. You’re taking cards out, you’re putting cards back. All that had to change and we had to go paperless. There was no other way to become a volume-based dental practice where you’re seeing a high volume of patients yet you want to serve them efficiently and serve them well. The paper system just didn’t work and it was actually a real waste of time when you look at the inefficient use of reception time. So that changed With all these things. I could only appreciate by being at that call face and actually doing that and seeing exactly where those bottlenecks were, where the problems were, and, to be honest, it actually helped me even speak to patients in a different light, because a patient in a surgery is very different from a patient on reception. How many times have you heard that on your receptionist? Actually tell you what the patient is really thinking about you, because when they come in the surgery, it’s like, oh, dr Shah, how are you this that? And when they go there, it’s like, oh, that was a really bad experience. You know how it is. It’s like they will be honest with the receptionist. They will not be honest with you.

Dr James: 

I love how they think that you just never talk to them, like that never makes its way back to you. It’s interesting. They feel like they can confide in them and that’s very valuable data, yeah.

Dr Shah: 

It’s so important and that can get you out of predominately a lot of trouble before you know. And also, the one thing I learned is that the reception team are very good at spotting red flag patients before they come in and have any especially high value or say something like implants, and you know they will straightaway flag it up Are you sure you want to have this patient or are you sure you want to have this treatment on this patient? And it’s so important to listen to them because they have this intuition about who would be a problem patient or a red flag, and you have to listen to that. But no, it was just. It’s really nice to be at that call phase from time to time. And even once you’ve done the major stuff, like your phone system, your computerization going paperless, you always pick up small, small nuggets here and there, which always and it’s all about adding little bits of efficiency, little bits of efficiency to then slowly improve. And you know we have to improve every day. That is so important. We cannot be complacent that everything is working. So this, we’re always improving and that is yeah. And that insight you only get from being actually seated on that desk.

Dr James: 

Very cool, so you’re a big proponent of dentists taking some time to spend some time on reception. Any other areas of the practice that you identified, any other important places that we should focus in order to make the business more efficient?

Dr Shah: 

So one of the key things is communication with the team, and that is really important for me. So just this week we took a whole day out myself and the practice manager and we had one-to-one chat with everybody Just half an hour each person coming in and it was really good. We picked up again some really good bits of information and bits where so. For example, we had a new lady starting on reception and she said I would really like to spend time in surgery, but to learn how the clinchecks work, for example, or to learn what an implant is even and how or what a crown is. Now, in the day to day, to be honest, I hardly get even five minutes to speak to anybody when you’re actually having a clinical day and rushing between patients and everything else. Yet having half an hour with her and having her being in surgery will then feed back onto reception when patients ask queries. For example, if a patient comes and says can I have an implant or would I be suitable, or what is involved, and she’s in a much better position to tell the patients rather than just reading off a script or a textbook or something like that. So little bits like that always come out in these one-to-one chats and it’s so important to make time for the team to have these chats and be open to all communication and be open to even criticism, because it’s not criticism, it’s constructive. The beauty of a member of team who comes to you and tells you something, that something is going wrong, is they care, and the person who doesn’t always come to you may not be the person who cares, so don’t take that as. Why is she telling me? Who is she to tell me? Who is he to tell me? You know? Why is he telling me what’s wrong with my practice? I know how to run this practice. It’s not about that. It’s about the bigger picture and it’s about the business. It’s not about individuals.

Dr James: 

I think you’re so right. I think that way too often people take things like that personally, whereas actually they’re a flippin goldmine for constructed information that you can use to go to the business. It’s a self-awareness thing If you can see through your own operating system. Sometimes your operating system just wants you to maybe be offended because it somehow feels that your status is diminishing. That’s the chimp brain speaking. Your status is diminishing and the tribe is bad for you according to your chimp brain. But it’s not like that. You’re misrecognizing that and actually the reframe is to understand how, if anything, it’s going to make your dental practice better If you can just see it through those pair of eyes and just not take it personally. See through your own operating system and develop that self-awareness that we spoke about earlier. Such an important thing, particularly in business, one of the best skills, in my opinion. I was going to say something. What I’ve always noticed, that one thing that I think people could get a lot better at and this is not just dentist, this is the flipping human race is to understand that if you’re doing something and it’s just not quite firing how you’d like it to, then in reality there’s probably a way to fix it that you can identify in one of two ways. You can either try to figure it out yourself, which you might get the answer quick, but in reality you’ll probably go through a lot of testing and trial and erroring and iteration to get to the point that you want to get to, or you can just find a mentor or find somebody else who’s done it before, because they can literally come into your business just say there’s your problem, bang. The whole point of a mentor is that you get to where you want to go. A good mentor, of course, is that you get to where you want to go, except like 30 times faster. People have a hang up on giving someone else some money in order for that person to tell them what to do. And again, it’s like, logically, if you want to see your business succeed which should be the overall goal, in my opinion, or it should be most people’s main goal, because that’s the point of a business number one, that it survives and number two, that it makes profit Then we have to be able to let go of these things internally which are holding us back, and that’s why I think mentors have such value. And here’s another unappreciated thing about mentors Remember they’re an authority figure, right, so you’re way more likely to actually listen to what they say. Therefore, actually do it, which means that you get results faster. Even still, it’s crazy.

Dr Shah: 

Yeah. So basically, post COVID, I actually started working with a coach myself within the business and looking at the whole team, how the calls were being answered, how the inquiries were being dealt, the whole workflow from lead coming into lead being booked into the chair side, conversations and everything else. And we’ve had to change a lot within the whole preparation journey from reception to and we then have it now I have a full time TCO, we have a full time a practice manager who is not compliance based, so we have another lady for compliance, but her role is purely to look at the business side and see what how the business is performing. But having that insight is so important. And working with a mentor if I look at post COVID and pre COVID, where we were, it’s a totally different practice and it could only happens in the space of three years or whatever, with the presence of a mentor. For me, and that is why it’s so important to have somebody to mentor you, to guide you, and an external pair of eyes will always see things that you’re totally blind to and or you don’t want to see, and that is where the tough love comes in and listening to that and acting on it. So, and again. You know, like I said, my biggest weakness initially was I’d be very nice to everybody because I was too scared to lose people, not realizing that anybody who was going to go is going to go anyway and some. So you can’t keep everybody happy. But that was my biggest failure yet having this mentor come from outside and actually say that to me, to my face, you cannot be. Running a business like this was painful initially, but I needed to hear it, and now my whole thinking around it all has changed. So mentor is so valuable, so valuable. Yes, it costs money, based on investment. It’s not a cost and that investment comes back to you year on year. It’s not even a one time investment, it’s a year on year investment.

Dr James: 

Ah well, sorry, perhaps it’s a one time investment, but it’s a year on year return.

Dr Shah: 

Year on year return. Sorry, yeah, that’s my yes. Year on year return.

Dr James: 

Here’s the thing here. Most people’s mindset right, see this all the time. Most people’s mindset think once before spending. Think twice before investing. Why is it not the other way around? Why is it not think twice before spending? Thing once for investing. At least an investment has a chance of making its way back to you. Yeah, even if it doesn’t right Okay, that’s still data. That thing didn’t work out. Now you’re closer to finding the thing that will work out, right? It’s all about reframe. So important we speaking of frameworks. We talked about frameworks, just, we talked about a framework just a second ago, the framework for increasing profitability in any business. Those three ways Reduce costs, serve more customers or serve more patients in the dental practice, or increase the value of each one of those patients, right? So we’ve talked about increasing the value of each one of those patients, and the way that we’ve talked about, the ways that we’ve explored today, are largely to do with efficiency and understanding your business. Let’s go back to the first one, which is reducing costs, which is actually very, very important as well, and I know that you’ve got some interest and insight on that, given your experience in the dental supply industry.

Dr Shah: 

So that for me, when I first got into the dental practice, ownership was bringing that side of the knowledge straight away into the business and we managed to slash the cost by about 35 to 40% just by negotiating well with all the suppliers. All the suppliers have a margin. So if it’s their own brand products, remember they have at least 50% margin to play with. So when they say I’m going to give you 20% off, that is rubbish because on own brand they can actually give you 50% off and they’ll still do very well out of it. So they is as important to understand that own brand products, make sure go for 50% off those products. On the branded products they don’t have as much margin but they get a lot of kickbacks from the manufacturers. So they need to sell, for example, 100,000 of dental supply to get 10% free stock for them or something like that, or 3M or everybody else. So once they are selling, hitting those targets they want to hit those targets so they get more free stock. So that is where you can negotiate, especially free stock offers from your suppliers. And for example, if you’re buying an expensive, say pro temp 4, for example, which is about 60 pounds of cartridge, if you’re getting a 2 plus 1 on that, that’s 33%, saving just that. So you can really save money by getting free stock on branded products and that really works well, and it worked well for us. Again, fixing prices of all your consumables, so your gloves, your masks, all that If you get it on a fixed price, it makes a huge difference. So you know what you’re paying. Yes, the costs of those have really increased over the past couple of years, but it’s still better. Your fixed pricing should still be better than what your pricing would be otherwise. And it’s important to understand the margins involved in all these products, and that, for me, was huge and we managed to bring down the costs quite a bit. Obviously, in this inflationary time, prices have gone up quite a bit, but we’re still out there paying below average pricing on most things still.

Dr James: 

Very cool. So it’s about negotiating what you’re paying the suppliers. And here is the thing. This is what’s interesting, because you’ve seen it from both sides how many dentists can say that they’ve worked in the supply industry and being a principal? Really cool. Any other bits of wisdom on reducing costs?

Dr Shah: 

Yes. So obviously, certain costs you’re not going to be able to bring down at the moment. So, for example, we all know that our staffing bill is going up, our energy bills have gone up a lot, but again, even on these things to control this. So, for example, the other day I had my energy broker come to me with an offer that was actually about 35% or so cheaper than what we were paying for guests. And, yes, it’s a fixed price, but it’s worth going to these brokers and I know some of them can be a pain and they keep on hounding you, but there are some really good ones out there and going to them and saying, what can you get me? And, to be honest, there are still deals to be had on all these things to reduce your costs Definitely and simple things like your insurance costs. Shop around, there’s lots of insurance, but insurance is out there. You could save 300, 400 pounds a year just on that, which in the grand scheme, is not a lot but still allows it all to add on. And speaking to your labs as well, seeing what they can offer you. And, yes, we all used to our labs and that is, we don’t compromise the quality that we give our patients, but there’s still a little bit of a margin to be had and even just a simple conversation and you might get 10 pounds off your crowns, which over the year adds up with the same lab. So little bits make a big difference in all these things.

Dr James: 

I will never say I agree. I actually think that, of the three things that we talked about earlier reducing costs, increasing patients and increasing the value of each patient, the increasing the value of the people that we serve yeah, I think that of those three ways, often our head gets turned by the increasing turnover, yes. Pair the second to yeah, yeah, the increasing turnover is way more sexy than reducing costs, right, yeah, but actually it’s actually reducing costs is very, very, very important, yeah, super important, right, because then it means it means that there’s less, it’s less of a dice roll every single month, that you’re going to be able to meet your outgoings. You know, you’re reducing that pressure on yourself, right, which is the fortitude mentally that you get from. That is flipping amazing, right, and I actually didn’t really fully appreciate that, I reckon, until maybe a little later on in my business journey super, super, super important, which is why the things that you’ve just shared will be very, very, very useful. Simo, we’re coming up to the 40 minute mark. I like to keep these things by its side around about 40 minutes. Yes, anything that you’d like to say just to wrap up today.

Dr Shah: 

No, just thanks. A lot, james, for the opportunity and to speak to you. And one thing I will say to everybody out there like what James touched on get a mentor, get somebody who you can talk to, who can guide you, because, remember, life is lonely at the top. A lot of people won’t come to you, and it doesn’t have to be and don’t make the same mistakes which some of us practice owners have made over the years and in the hope that you know things will work out or you know you can get to a very, very good level in your business very quickly just by having a mentor on board, and don’t hesitate to take that step because it will make a huge difference to everybody out there.

Dr James: 

Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. Anybody who’s listening. If you want to reach out to Simo off the back of this podcast, feel free to do so. Simo Shah on the Dennis Union Facebook group and Simo will be happy to go over everything that we said today on a one-to-one basis. Simo, thank you so much for your time. Let’s catch up super, super soon, my friends, see you later.

Dr Shah: 

Thanks, James.