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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

What’s up everyone. Welcome back to the Denysio Invest Podcast, where I have returning guest Dr Bobby here again today to talk about squat practice. How are you, my friend? How?

Dr Bobby: 

have you been? Hey, mind you, I’m absolutely awesome. How are you?

Dr James: 

I’m really, really, really good. I’m 11 out of 10. Thank you for asking. I’m really looking forward to this episode today. What we decided that we would talk about for the benefit of everybody listening is the journey when opening a squat practice high level, but more specifically, the very moment that you open your front door to the very moment that you start turning a profit, because business is about tweaking things and sometimes just throwing a lot of shit and see what sticks. I know, bobby, you’ve been through that exact journey and I wanted to know how that looks for you, because most people out there listening this is the main thing that’s holding them back from opening a squat practice, because obviously, if we could open a squat practice and it would be profitable instantly, everybody would flip and do it because it’s a 100% ROI and the money that we’re going to put down. But it’s that purgatory phase. It’s the part in between opening the front door and getting to the point where we’re actually turning a profit that I’m really, really, really interested to know more about. So I’m hoping you can share your expertise on that one, bobby. So maybe if we start from the start, we seem sensible. How did that journey look for you today you opened the practice. Give us a little bit of context to you open the practice, how that journey looked up to the point.

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, so, leading up to the practice, I mean, for me personally, maintaining my associate job at the beginning was really important because that, you know, kept my cash flow ticking over. But what was massively, massively crucial for us was pre-marketing campaign. You know, we did not open with an empty door, so we have bombs on seats from day one and that was so, so, so, so important that we must have taken about 40, 50 odd new patients, you know, in the first month who were already in all booked in. And it was a really difficult time of the year as well. It’s coming up to Christmas. We were December. You know people don’t want to part with their cash, you know that time of the year. But it’s just about, you know, keeping them warm. You know, keeping them ticking over. Yeah, there’s a whole process behind that. You know you got to really look after these people, not just the case of taking the leads and you know giving them a call when you open. You know you got to. You got to create a bit of buzz.

Dr James: 

You got to nurture them, right so what did you mean to nurture those leads?

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, nurture them. So we do lots of things, you know so beforehand we would contact all of them on the phone. You know, initially let them know exactly what’s going on, what the update is with the practice. Then we started a little mailing list. So we started putting out a little newsletter. Just, you know developments about the practice. You know before and after pictures so patients could really start to get a feel for what the place is going to look like. One of the really hard things is when you’re starting a practice from scratch. Your patients can’t see anything. You’ve got nothing to show other than possibly some like pictures you know from architects or whatever. But it’s really difficult. So you’ve got to try and create that image in your patient’s heads. You know, before you open, you know how it’s going to feel, what’s the vibe going to be like. You know how are they going to be looked after. It’s really really important, you know, just to get that feeling across to them how are you going to look after them. So, yeah, we did that, and then we also did video consultations as well. You know patients who wanted to find out a bit more information. We really pushed on that beforehand, which worked really well.

Dr James: 

How big did the mailing list get then? How many leads did you have?

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, so we had about 100. Yeah, it was good. I mean, we only started. We did actually lose quite a bit. In all fairness, the reason why that happened was the building got delayed, so we started our marketing campaign too early. The building got delayed by about two to three months. So you know, that was a little bit on the downside, but that said, we still had a wicked opening. You know, we had enough to keep us going.

Dr James: 

That’s cool, but people I think people on social media and you know from the context of the internet they think it’s all about having a mailing list of hundreds of thousands of people. Really, actually 100 really good, decent leads is 100 potential patients. Naturally, we’re never going to get 100% conversion ratio, but because they’re warm, because they’re specifically what you’re looking for and they’re specifically interested in what you have to offer, that’s actually 100 people that you’re talking to, if we think about that.

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, yeah, you’re completely right, and you know. The other good thing for us was visibility. You know we’re on a massive corner plot. You know in the intersection of two main roads opposite supermarkets so people could see us. You know that went in our favor massively. We’ve banned the hell out of it. So I’m not talking little banners, I’m talking, you know, massive like. You know huge things with QR codes and whatnot. You know all that helps. You know the whole local community, even the ones that went on that mailing list the whole local community knew what was going on and knew that we were going to be a new dental practice. That whole nine to 12 months while we were being built, Well played, sir.

Dr James: 

And then, what that meant was that, presumably the day that you opened your doors, you had this delusion of people waiting to come and be your patients. How many people did you get coming to see the practice on the first day signing up? How did that look? Or did they all come at once, or were they spread out?

Dr Bobby: 

I’m just curious how we spread everything out. There’s a big reason for that. So we needed to test things in the practice. You know, one of the key things when you put together a new team, new practice or brand new equipment, you don’t want to overload the system from day one because you don’t want things to. You know, break down. They’re always going to have a few teething issues, you know when you first start it out. So you know, key for us was actually initially we purposely kept it a little bit slow, just so we could figure out everything. You know, refine our processes. You know, refine the patient journey. So we did that over December and then come January we had our official opening and that’s just when we went full on.

Dr James: 

My man, awesome. Ok, and then how did that official opening look? What did you do differently? Or was it just that you made a little bit of a fanfare about it? Or was it an open day, or what was that like?

Dr Bobby: 

It was a bit of everything really, to be honest with you. It was just a massive party in the practice. We invited all the patients, all the people that registered with us. I’m quite fortunate I’ve got loads of friends and family in the area. You know what the funniest thing is? What I’ve got was the most leads on that day is putting balloons stand outside the practice doors. Can you believe that? One of these big balloon arches? The phone was ringing all afternoon that day, people driving past saying we’ve seen those balloons. Are you open now? Yeah, I have one because of that. That’s amazing.

Dr James: 

You know what? It’s interesting, it’s funny, but then human beings were such creatures of well. That sort of stuff appeals to us. We’re definitely not creatures of logic, no matter how much we make ourselves out to be. Sometimes you might have the most logical proposition as to why you’re the best practice and you’re opening for business, and in addition to that, you need these big balloons just to announce that fanfare to the world, to really, really, really get people talking about you and to really get people to notice. And actually you need both of those things. And the second that we’re open to understanding how we can use marketing to spread our authentic message that we can help a lot of people is, all of a sudden, how we can serve way more people because we’re now appealing to them in a way that they can understand not all the technical stuff, but flipping balloons, art ways of balloons, balloons and banners old school. That’s awesome. I’m taking notes over here. That’s actually really cool, actually. Okay. So what happened next then? After you opened the practice and you had the balloons and all the people signed up, how long was it until you became profitable?

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, by month three, we were taking way more money than was going out by the third month and, bearing in mind, I was still at that time only running the practice three days a week and I was still working as an associate for the other couple of days. So I get asked this question by dentists so often how quick do you get a return on your money? And there’s so many different factors to it. But for us, by month three and it’s as simple as that just having all the right systems in place right pricing, right branding, right marketing, right strategy. It’s not as hard as what you think. You know everybody’s really scared about it, but you know, if you’re a dentist, you work in practice, you know what you can gross anyway. You’re just translating that into your own practice and figuring out the ways to do that, got you?

Dr James: 

Okay, cool, very, very, very cool. So what I’m curious to know is obviously, at that point the practice became cash flow positive, which was wonderful. And to give us a little bit of context, to give us a little bit of context as to your South, bobby, and how you got to that point, were you a really profitable associate? Would you say that you were out of the ordinary in that respect?

Dr Bobby: 

I wouldn’t say so, but I think most dentists would just class themselves as average Joe’s.

Dr James: 

Okay, yeah, I go as average goes to the.

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, so I’ll grow as well as an associate dentist. I have a special interest in implants, not doing too much of the complex stuff, but that helps massively. That’s definitely a key thing. That helped with us as well, having some form of a niche, something that you can grow some highly in. But, to be honest with you, the majority of our profitability to date has actually just come from general dentistry, believe it or not, without all the fancy stuff and that’s all yet to be built in massively.

Dr James: 

How long until the diaries were full. How long did that take? Yeah, so don’t worry how long before you could go into the clinic and you’d see a week full of patients in your diary.

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, so by that third month we were at that point. So now that the weeks are full, we hold an appointment every single day for same-day emergencies, but week to week we’re full and even if we’re not full we fill the day. It’s like magic. We do a certain amount of marketing. We’re very proactive, so we know for a fact that if we’re going to go in tomorrow and there’s gaps, we will fill them. And that happens every day when we have gaps without fail.

Dr James: 

Gotcha.

Dr Bobby: 

OK, cool, so it’s not an issue basically. No, it’s not an issue. It used to scare me so much right at the start. It was like you constantly just looking at the diary and you’re seeing gaps and you’re thinking, oh my God, is this going to fill up? Am I going to get patients in? And we just got to a point now where we have our system in place. It doesn’t worry us. You can look at the diary a week ahead. If there is a gap, no fear, it doesn’t matter, we know it’s filled. Good stuff, good stuff.

Dr James: 

What about recruitment? Has that been something that’s been straightforward for you?

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, recruitment’s been an issue, as everybody was saying. Dentistry right now. Fortunately, I haven’t had the need for an associate dentist as of yet, so I’m not going down that journey to a little bit later in the year. But with the rest of the team, recruiting nurses has been a bit of an issue. We’re very fortunate we’re growing the team now, so we’ve got another two team members starting next week, and that’s actually one of the things that has held back our growth. Finding the right team. It’s not just the fact that you don’t just want to hire anyone either. You’ve got to make sure that that person is going to fit into your values, your systems, your beliefs and your vision for the practice. Now, that’s so, so, so important rather than just hiring any randoms.

Dr James: 

Beautiful and you know what? Here is something I would like to know and something that I think is really interesting. If you could pick three of the biggest factors, three of the biggest reasons why you believe your practice became profitable so fast, what would you say?

Dr Bobby: 

those three things are yeah, first thing is having strategy. You know that’s absolutely having a plan of what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Second thing is team. You know the team is so, so, so important and making sure that you’re proactive and not passive. You know that is the second thing. And the third thing is just letting go of fear. Just don’t be scared, because that enables you to just do other things, that other practices, other people aren’t doing. You know it’s taken me a few months to learn that, but we’ve got there now.

Dr James: 

It’s so true though, especially in business. It’s like lots of the time people are making decisions in business, they don’t understand that they have a massive cognitive bias to stay exactly as they are and not change anything, which is one of the worst things that you can do in business, because you have to constantly be adapting and agile. Even that process is so powerful, that internal bias is so powerful that for some people, even when you give them an opportunity just like flipping, nine out of ten is going to work, because nothing’s ever a guarantee right Then they’ll not do anything, they’ll not change, they’ll rather accept where they are, their current situation, rather than take an opportunity which is a 90% likelihood of working out. And obviously it’s difficult to quantify, but what I mean is the flip in low-hanging fruit, obvious thing, obvious things? Yeah, because our brains are designed to allow us to survive and not to thrive. And the second you realize that cognitive bias in yourself is the second you think to yourself hmm, I’m feeling this fear, but it’s probably not rational, because it’s probably from my subconscious and it’s probably holding me back, so I’m going to choose not to listen to it.

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, and I can tell you a little story about that as well. So before the practice opened, I actually used to stalk all of the local practices and see what was going on in their social medias you know, having a little nose and it used to strike so much fear into me and I’ll be like, oh my God, they’re doing this or they’re doing that. Now, how can I compete with that? And now, exactly the same, that fear is just gone. You know, all I look at now is this is my practice. I know how well we’re doing. How can I make my practice even better? And I judge it against myself.

Dr James: 

Boom, I love it. Well, it’s all about how you frame things, isn’t it? You can either think to yourself, hmm, they’re the competition, they’re the head of me, or they’re ahead of me. Or you can think, hmm, what can I learn and implement into my practice? And if I work harder than them, chance to, I can implement it better than them. Boom, exactly, look at what the kids guys do copy it and make it better. Boom. If you could go back to yourself and you could share with yourself that previous version of Bobby, a few bits of wisdom about opening the dental practice, about getting it to the point where it’s profitable, what would you say? Or maybe you just like flipping, re-emphasize the three points that you made earlier. Just do those things and you’re good. Or maybe there’s something else in there as well.

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, no, the main thing is just don’t be scared, don’t listen to what other people say. That is massively important. Other people have so much influence on us by what they tell us. But if you’ve got a desire, you’ve got passion to open your own practice, don’t hold back Because somebody else said to you oh, it’s too expensive or you’re not going to make your money back. It’s a lie. You’ve got to believe it yourself and then make that happen, and you can do that by having the right strategy and the right planning in place. Don’t be scared and don’t listen to what other people say, because I’ve done it and in my head I was just an average Odentist and I never thought of myself as anything that’s special. But I’ve created something magical and it’s amazing, and that can be you, if you’ve had that thought in your head. But don’t let other people kill it.

Dr James: 

Love. That. That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful and you know. Just to re-emphasize what you have just said, what it would be interesting to know is, naturally, we start out we’re going to build a dental practice and we have this idea of how it’s going to pan out in our head and then we actually do it and then usually, more often than not, it’s different than how we expected. Was there any big epiphanies that were happy, that you realized along the way? Happy epiphanies that you realized about practice ownership, that you realized about that life, that you thought to yourself, wow, if I didn’t do this, I would have never had the opportunity to learn this lesson, this thing that I’ve just realized, this really cool, awesome thing that I never appreciated.

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, I mean, for me it’s just massive. It has changed my life completely in so many different ways. It’s learning a brand new skill. It is literally life transforming in a great way. It’s hard to describe it. It’s just the best feeling in the world you can ever have is walking into something that you’ve created out of your own head. That’s the only way I can describe it. Think of it in your head and then you’ve made it happen, and then you walk into that, you breathe it, you live it. No one can give you that feeling. It’s incredible.

Dr James: 

Love that, bobby. Bobby, we’re coming up to the end of this podcast Now. I understand that you helped Dennis as well. We want to start doing squat practice.

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, yeah. So on the back of setting up my practice, I was getting a lot of dentists inquiring asking about how I set things up. So I decided to set something up just to do some training, helping some dentists. So I’m taking groups of dentists through all of the process of setting up their own practices, explaining exactly how we did what we did, sharing my complete journey and it’s been yeah, it’s been incredible so far. We’re building such a great community Guys who start on their own practices, they’re all learning, sharing ideas and, yeah, it’s phenomenal, that’s cool.

Dr James: 

And Bobby, where’s the best place to get a touch to you regarding that?

Dr Bobby: 

Yeah, so just reach out to me on Instagram, Dr Bandal, or say on Facebook.

Dr James: 

That’s cool Top stuff. Listen, bobby. Thank you so much for giving up your Tuesday evening in the day. Good to see you once more and I’m sure we’ll speak again very soon. All right, bang James.