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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

What is up everyone? Welcome back to the Dennis University Invest podcast. I have sat opposite me, dr Chet and Matthias, returning guest on the Dennis University Invest podcast, and obviously Dr Matthias has got quite the reputation which precedes him because he’s known as the million pound Dennis and we’re going to be getting into why that is the case today. But before we do that, chet, and how are you?

Dr Chetan: 

Amazing mate, I’m amazing, amazing. Yeah, I love the energy. Why so positive?

Dr James: 

Not that we need a reason to be positive. We can just be positive if we want to be.

Dr Chetan: 

But is there any particular?

Dr James: 

reason.

Dr Chetan: 

In surgery today. I spend my time in surgery. I get energy from my patients. I get energy from speaking to dentists. I mean, I’ll give you an example. Right, let’s give you a classic example. I just finished 11-hour shift today. We’re so close to 93 patients, a mixture of implants serial liners.

Dr James: 

Yeah it wasn’t a very busy day.

Dr Chetan: 

It wasn’t a very busy day but it was good. 10 hours in there, finished that, jumped on Zoom calls, got some dinner and now I’m here with you. Hey, I’m just for context.

Dr James: 

To anybody who’s listening to this we’re actually recording this at half 10 at night because Chet and is just so flipping busy, aren’t you, and so dedicated to what he does. This was the only time in a diary, but we were like, listen, we’re both so damn busy. If we’re going to make it happen, we just want to make it happen, hence why we’re both here. But you know what, when you have fun and what you do, then it gives you energy. You’d rather do it more than anything else, and that’s how I feel about dentistry and version podcast, and so I flip in, totally relate. How the heck did you see 93 patients in one day? How does that work?

Dr Chetan: 

Mate, it’s simple, right. I get this question asked. I mean you’re the first one to ask me this question. I mean I have people asking this question repeatedly, day in and day out.

Dr James: 

And that’s a slow day as well.

Dr Chetan: 

Yeah, but you know, I think the bottom line is the bottom line is it’s a team effort, right, it’s a team effort. I have an amazing, amazing team around me and, most importantly, systems and processes. You can systemize anything. You systemize the way you work and you standardize your whole workflow. It’s straightforward. It was I wouldn’t even say it was a stressful day, it was a chilled out day. It’s because every treatment I do I’ve been in dentistry now for the last 18 years right, and after a certain point it gets pretty much monotonous. But you have two options. Option one you get drowned in it and you lose your mojo, you lose your drive. Or the second option you have is to turn it around, standardize it and make it even more profitable for you, right? So for me it was a challenge. There was a challenge, I hit the challenge and I was like you know what the only way I could carry on doing dentistry or carry on doing dentistry is if I do something different. So I had that moment at some point in my career a few years back when I decided to sit down, streamline my whole workflow, standardize it and now, seeing 90 patients, in some days we see 100 and 304 patients. It’s no big deal, it’s absolutely fine, and that’s the reason I even invite dentists to come over. Come over see what I do. It’s open for everybody.

Dr James: 

Wow, okay. Well, that is flipping, unbelievable. And the fact that you’re saying that Actually, because of the power of this delegation, is streamline process. It doesn’t even feel taxing to see these 93 patients. That’s flipping amazing. Is that why they call you the million pound in a stand chatting?

Dr Chetan: 

you know I Seriously don’t know what this name came from, but you know I have no comes about it and I’m more than happy. I’m more than happy to share my systems and my processes in place and I’ve been doing this for the last couple of years. I mean I had dentist called me up and say listen, I’ve seen the kind of figures you do, I see the kind of patients you. You’re here there everywhere. Can we Watch you? Like you know what this? Come into the practice, be my guest, stay with me, be like a fly on the wall when I work, so you can see exactly how things work in my practice. Right, and Most dentists come to me once. They want to keep coming back to me again in six months time, in six months time, just to watch and see the system that processes. And the biggest thing is, you know there’s so much work here for everybody and we all can benefit. There’s nothing to hide. Everyone can benefit from each other. We’re just a small group of dentists here. What 40,000 maybe I’m, I’m sure I think 40,000 dentists and in the country, and you know, if you just hold each other accountable and work with each other, I think we all benefit from it.

Dr James: 

Cool, I like that. Collaborative, collaborative, exactly collaboration. Cool and we don’t know where the name came from.

Dr Chetan: 

The Dinosaur speak but we know it’s a reflection of the turnover and your output, right.

Dr James: 

But here’s the thing, right. Like people come to me all the time and they’re like, how can I make more money? How can I make more money? Well, it starts with flipping giving more. You give more value, you get remunerated more. It’s as simple as that noise is gonna make say nothing, right? So it’s understanding how we can be as efficient as possible in terms of the value that we give per unit time, which is, in essence, what you’re doing with all these systems and processes, right?

Dr Chetan: 

Yeah, and let me add one more thing there. Let me add. Sorry to interrupt you, james, but let me add one more thing. If you, if you, enjoy doing what you’re doing, if you actually enjoy doing what you’re doing, it’s not work anymore. For me, going to work is like going on a holiday. Right, I enjoy it. I would rather do that than do anything else with my time. So if you enjoy it, you’re gonna put all your energy into it to make it as effective as possible, so that you know what Systemizing, your systemizing and having processes in your practice not only increases your profitability, but you’re also doing a service to your patients, right? Your patients can see you, they can see right through it. They’re like, wow, how slick is this process. Yeah, everyone knows what they’re doing. Right? So not only does it increase your profitability, but, as a dentist, we have a duty of care to our patients, right? So I think it’s very, very, very important that each and every dentist needs to be able to systemize All their workflows Right, and they need to know exactly what are they fixed rates? What are their Variable rates, right? What’s what happens when a patient walks into the practice? What are their costs? What is your surgery time. Unfortunately, in dentistry we thought the dental side of things, most dentists, amazing clinicians, but unfortunately they’re not taught how to run a business right. No one’s taught how to run a business in dental school. We can do amazing class one, class two fillings, but if you can’t run a business, how can you be a practice owner? The numbers just don’t add. The numbers just don’t add. So by running a profitable business, you’re doing a service again to your patients Because you’re going to be providing them with the best quality care, the best technology. You can invest constantly in the best technology. Not only that, you can retain the best talent and the best stuff. A lot of people are there. A lot of dentists are there, are struggling. A lot of clinical practices are struggling because they can’t retain stuff. Why? One of the biggest reasons is they can’t pay them enough. And why can’t they pay enough? Because the practice isn’t as profitable as it should be. And why is the practice not profitable? It’s because the way it’s run right. So it all boils down to profitability. So if you look at it quite deeply, being profitable is not money in your back pocket, but being profitable helps you become a better dentist, a better business owner and you’re able to give back. That’s the most important thing. Sorry, I went on a tangent there, but I just got carried away.

Dr James: 

Dude, it came from here, right, yeah, and for anybody who’s listening to the recording of this, I’m pointing them a flippant heart and that’s what the level of passion that you deliver that with, which is cool and it’s true, right, because if we’re afraid to talk about these things, then really our business is never going to be as impactful as it could be and help as many people. Because you have to think about the bottom line, right, because that’s ultimately the lifeblood of the business.

Dr Chetan: 

Yeah, it’s so important. It’s so, so, so important. The bottom line, your figures. And listen, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that running a business is like a walk in the park. We have we have our what do you call it? Challenges that we face on a day-to-day basis. Oh yeah, but it’s how we can overcome those challenges. We make mistakes, we learn from them and make sure that we don’t make them again. That’s the important thing, right? So so it’s very important we systemize our whole workflows and make sure our practices run profitably. That’s my timeline.

Dr James: 

Boom and on that and on that, what would you say the biggest shifts or the most interesting things that you have found? Or the most implementable cool stuff that you found whenever it’s come to systems and processes, on your voyage into learning about these sorts of things and exploring and experimenting because it is gonna be an experiment, particularly if people have not done this before that’s where the best results or the coolest things are often found, which is on the frontier of knowledge, and naturally you’re somebody who’s pushed this boundary a lot, because far from many people are doing this to this level. What would you say the most implementable things to principles that are listening, what would you say the most cool things that you found, the things that have enhanced the profitability of the business most? Where would be the first place that we would look?

Dr Chetan: 

Okay, the biggest problem, the biggest problem that we, as dentists, face is all of us are looking to design the perfect crown, the perfect filling, the perfect implant, the perfect papilla, the perfect implant restoration. So what we are doing is which is amazing, which is great, because most dentists have an inherent trait of being OCD Right, they have this obsession about perfection, which is perfect. What’s important? Point number one you’ve got to learn to work on the business rather than in the business. And this was a mistake that I faced many, many years ago. It was all about me and my patients, me and my patients. But I slowly learned that for me and for my business to grow, I have to learn to work on the business. Now, that wasn’t possible, because I work long hours, I work long shifts and I didn’t have time to think on how I could work on the business. But when that shift happened, where I learned that by working on the business, I’m able to grow faster, right, I’m able to grow faster and I’m able to give more and, at the same time, increase my turnover and profitability, which is the most important thing, right, profitability is the most. You can have massive turnover, but if you don’t have any profitability, what’s the point? But then it’s easy me saying this, but there’s a whole system and process behind it. Right To bring me up at this level. But if you ask me the key point, I would say delegation. Delegation is the key. Like again, a trait that we all have is we want to do everything. We have this obsession as dentists. Oh no, I want to do it because no one else can do it better. I get it. No one else can do it as good as we do. But we’ve got to be comfortable with the fact that if someone does it even 70% of what you do and, more importantly okay, this is the important bit More importantly you get paid 30% of what you would be paid. You should be comfortable with that, right. So this mindset shift was very important for me. That helped me grow, see more patients and make a bigger impact. So, in a nutshell, learn to delegate, learn to do it effectively, is the key.

Dr James: 

Amazing, and you’re right. That is such a huge mindset shift, and I remember going through a similar thing myself and I can’t remember who exactly said it to me, but there was basically this roadblock that I hit in terms of there was only so many hours in a day, right. And then I was so reluctant to let go of the stuff that I did day in, day out, and this wasn’t in dentistry, this was in dentistry invest the business, so to speak. Yeah. And my coach at the time said to me he was like James, you know this limit that you’ve hit right now, right, in order for you to grow, you’ve got to let go. And what he meant by that was you have to let go of the 10 out of 10 expectation that everything will be done exactly as you want it, right. And, by the way, just because you think it’s 10 out of 10 doesn’t mean it’s actually 10 out of 10. It’s just your version of 10 out of 10. It’s important to remember that right, exactly, it may not even be accurate, it’s just how you think it should be done, right. So you’ve got to let go of your own subjective version of whatever you’ve off, that task being incredible right, at least in your eyes, right. And not only can you do that if you wish, but you must do it, or else you’re just going to stay where you are. You must do it if you want to hit the next level. On that, chetan, the things that you delegate, specifically the things that you delegated to someone else, which you find that commonly, most dentists are still doing in their own hands, what would you say those things are? And the scaling is a big one, right? You delegate or you’re scaling.

Dr Chetan: 

Yeah, the basics. That’s the basics, right? Listen, over the last I would say six, seven months, I’ve been on multiple Zoom calls with different practice on it and different in a practicing dentist. Yes, I have dentists who do everything right, from getting the toilet roll for their practice right. That’s one extreme right. And you’ve got to start delegating even the simple basic things right. You don’t have to look at. So let’s talk it. There are two aspects to it. So one is the clinical aspect and one is the non-clinical aspect. Okay, like, most dentists are practicing dentists, so let’s look at the clinical aspects. So things like scanning photography, right. Having TCOs, treatment coordinators to do your initial consultations. Having PGCs to do your virtual consultation, having an amazing team of implant dentists, restorative dentists, a good nursing team, good, amazing reception. Now this leads me to the non-clinical side. A very good reception team so you don’t have to answer phone calls and things have been done for you. A good practice manager. A good accountant, so you don’t have to sit down and look at figures. You don’t have to look at, do payrolls, because this is all being done. An amazing marketing team that works with you so that understands the way your practice operates. So all these different arms to a business. So, basically, what you need to do is break down your whole business and see who can do it at least 70% of what you do, right? So, like you said, yeah, scanning is a big one and it’s the most obvious one, right? But what’s obvious to me and you is not being practiced out there, right? I think digital dentistry has changed the way we do dentistry now. Right, I remember in 2006 when I had my first CADCAM machine it used to be called the CEREC machine it’s still around, but it was a CEREC machine and that was when I first started delegating, because all I had to do was do the prep. My nurse did the scan, my other nurse put it for milling, and I had another nurse who used to do my glazing and staining and everything. And then the Crown works treated. All I did was cemented the Crown back in. If you look at it, this took me 15, 20 minutes of my time for an hour and a half procedure. In that time, I could see another three patients, right, so something as simple as that. What’s important is having the mindset to think about that, right? So it’s very important. As practice owners, we’ve got to appreciate the fact that the business can run without you as well, right, and you’ve got to learn to automate it and systemize it. Let me add one small thing here as well. It’s very important. You know, the climate of dentistry is constantly evolving and since COVID we’ve had almost two to three cycles and I think we are now in the third cycle where we’re going to see a slight downturn in a liner treatment, a little bit in implant treatment, but we’re going to see a lot more into basic dentistry, basic high end dentistry, restorative dentistry. So it’s very and you can only do this if you work on the business rather than in the business. Because you work on the business, you have foresight, you know your projections. You don’t wear six months where your practice is going to be in six months. It shouldn’t be a coincidence that things are happening in the practice. Rather it should be predictable. You should have projections. You should have budgets in place, cash forecast. You should know exactly where your practice is going to be in the next two months. What is your profitability going to be in the next two to three months? I do get it, we’re going to have some variables, but if you can reduce the number of variables to a minimum. That’s when the practice thrives and that’s when you automate your business. You work on the business rather than in the business. So scanning is the basics, but you can take it to the next level. You can take it to the next level.

Dr James: 

And I’m sure that’s something that you could talk about at flipping length. I get that impression, but it starts with the mindset. Right Is what you’re saying.

Dr Chetan: 

Yeah it’s actually the mindset. Sorry to interrupt, actually, no problem, you know, I’ll give you an example right. So for many years, for many years, I worked in my practice in between four walls. I did what I did and I thought I was doing well and I thought that was the norm all across the country. I had friends who wished to come up to me. I mean, I share this story with quite a few dentists I speak to as well. I used to have friends come up to me and say you know what? Listen, I like the way you work, I see the numbers you do. Can I come and watch you? Right, and they should come and watch me, spend the whole day with me, see how I work, see how I systemize my whole workflow. What happened was they used to see one side of it and they never saw the back end of it because it’s not happening in the back end. So it’s like an orchestra for me to perform. There’s a lot of work that’s going on backstage All day sees the orchestra, they see the beautiful music that’s being performed, but they don’t see what’s happening in the back. And I thought I was doing a disservice to them because I was showing them something, but they just didn’t know what was happening in the back. It’s like you having a Ferrari but not having a driving license. What’s going to happen? Just go crash. That’s what happened, and that’s when I realized that you know what I should be able to have a format in place to share with my colleagues so they can understand exactly how they can implement things like this in their practice. Right and James, listen, I know you for a few years now and you know me for a few years. You’ve seen it. You know, for me, it’s all about giving as much as I can give, give, give that little bit. We can all grow. You know, sharing collaboration, like you mentioned previously, that’s the most important thing.

Dr James: 

Beautiful and you know what. You know the thing about an orchestra they need a symphony to perform from. They can start to the symphony, which is basically the protocols in the practice. And I’ll tell you something else about the symphony there can be no symphony without the silence between the notes. Pause for reflection Exactly. The pauses for reflection and the thinking about okay, what can we do to refine the system and process and how can we make the next performance of the orchestra better? Yeah, I’m all out of orchestras and analogies now, but those were two goodies. I’m pretty pleased with those.

Dr Chetan: 

Anyway, back to dentistry. You can take a look.

Dr James: 

Out of stepping out of orchestras and symphonies and back to dentistry Okay, cool. So obviously, the things that you said, these are the things people don’t think about. It’s kind of like this. It’s like doing the boring stuff really. You know what I mean, right, because it’s obviously something we have to pour over and reflect over, but the power of it is huge whenever you unlock it, particularly whenever you get it right, and it looks like this, it looks like trial and error, unless you have someone who’s done it before, who can just come along and just say actually do this, do this and do this, and then you’ll get what you want. Yeah, something like that. I also feel it starts with knowing your numbers, right, because lots of principles don’t know their numbers. Would you do it?

Dr Chetan: 

Very true actually, yeah, I would agree with this because, lord and again, this is a common theme, right? You know, you’ve got to remember why did most people go to dentistry? They don’t want to be good at maths. Most dentists, they don’t want to be good at maths.

Dr James: 

Feel maths people.

Dr Chetan: 

They would have become accountants otherwise. And what’s so important in running the business, especially in this present climate when profits are getting squeezed, squeezed, squeezed, squeezed it’s so important that you learn how to run your practice profitably right. It’s a common theme across the board. Wages have increased. Patient charges haven’t increased the same rate as wages have increased. Inflation has gone through the roof. The mooks talked about all over the press. Again, that’s a topic for another day. What’s true inflation? What we can see is prices of everything have gone up, but our profits have gone down, down, down. We are not able to charge patients the same way as the prices have gone up. So it’s so important we understand our numbers, understand our profitability, and that’s the reason I mentioned previously right Budgeting, cash forecasts, sitting down with your accountant, having an amazing team with your accountant. Your accountant needs to understand your business and, most importantly, set KPIs, and I keep going about this, going on about this. So we have KPIs for all our staff members. We have KPIs between myself and my accountant. My accountant sets me KPIs. So it’s so important that you have accountability, know your numbers and know exactly what’s happening in the business, because everyone talks about marketing these days, getting more patients and getting more patients. And what if you have this bucket where you keep filling but there’s a constant leak happening at different places? So it’s very important you stop the leaks before you start filling the bucket, Otherwise you’re just wasting energy and time. Right, and we all have these buckets and we all work in these buckets. But the problem is what we don’t realize is that so many leaks happening all the time, we don’t have time to stop those leaks because we are so busy working in the business rather than on the business.

Dr James: 

Exactly right, and I see it all the time as well, because there’s only 168 hours in a week, right? And if we’ve got 106, if you think about it like this, you’ve got 168 pounds in your wallet. Right, you’re spending all your money on something else, and what that corresponds to is spending all of your time on something which is low value or a per return on your investment of that time. Really, what you want to do is you want to give that to someone else, you want to delegate that right and then spend your pounds, spend your time on the thing that’s going to give you the most return, which is exactly what you’re talking about. But you can only do that whenever you free up some time, sure yeah, so that’s the thing, right?

Dr Chetan: 

You could be so involved in your business. You could be so involved in your business. One very important point, what I didn’t mention previously by doing what you’re doing, when you start working on your business rather than in your business, you start empowering people within your team. You make leaders within your team, and that’s so important, right? Everyone wants to grow. Everyone wants to grow, whether it’s your nurses, whether it’s your receptionist, whether you’re a practice manager. They love to operate. We love to micromanage. That’s our biggest problem. Stop micromanaging, start macro managing. Set KPIs and let people do their own stuff. As long as you get the results you need and as long as you can relate to your team, these are the results we’re looking for. Get your team involved in the process of practice building an automation. Very importantly, understand their why. Right, it’s so important. You understand your team’s, why and I go down to this because you’ve got to start down with the basics If you understand your team’s, why? Understand their motivation, understand their drive. You explain your vision, your mission to your team. Then empower them, delegate them and let them do their shit, and you just wait and wait for the magic to happen. Right, it’s so important. It’s so important, but making sure you have this right mindset. I compare it to I love Tesla. Right, I love Tesla. I mean, I love petrol cars, diesel cars, but I love Tesla. What I like about Tesla is the technology. What’s the point of having a Tesla that has an option for an auto drive but you never use it because you’re just too scared and you’re still keeping your hand on the steering right? It’s got to auto drive. You’ve got to let go and let it do its shit. That’s when the magic happens. That’s when the magic happens.

Dr James: 

Words of wisdom right there.

Dr Chetan: 

And you know what. That’s what we do with Dentist, and I love this analogy of the Tesla because I compare it to what I do outside dentistry, right? So, as you know, one of my biggest passion is doing dentistry, but I also have something outside dentistry that I actually love doing and that’s love helping dentists to systemize their workflow and make their practices as profitable as possible. And that’s the reason I have this two-day event that I run. I don’t advertise it as much because I just want to make sure that I have the right people on it, so we have a right group of people there. So I have a two-day event that we run where, in what we try and do is give dentist the tools to systemize and make sure their practices are profitable. So at the end of the two days they get a blueprint on how they can automate their business by working less in the business. I also try and give them clarity. Now every practice owner has different issues and different problems and I try and solve that out in those two days. So, on this two-day event that we do, I usually do it at the Bell Free in Sutton, Coalfield. Here what we do is I make sure that you stay on site. It’s an intense, intense two-day program. We start at nine in the morning, go all the way till late evening and then we have it the following day as well. But what tends to happen is we start all the way from mindset to marketing to accountancy. I get specialist accountants on board just to help you realize and recognize the issues and problems you face in your practice and by the end of it, you have clarity and you have this blueprint when on the Monday, you can go in straightaway and implemented straightaway in the practice. What I tend to do is I make sure that we have the right group of people with the right mindset so that they can achieve massive things. There’s no point someone coming on my two-day program and just enjoying the event amazing energy, good venue, great food and that’s it. It’s not an experience. You might as well go to Vegas. However, the whole idea is I’ll give you implementable. It should be a life-changing experience where you go back and you can implement these big changes in your practice. So yeah, that’s what I tend to do outside dentistry.

Dr James: 

Talk stuff man. Feel free to reach out to Chetan Chetan Matias, if that is of interest. You’ll be able to find him on Facebook and on the Dentistry Invest Facebook group. Chetan, you’ve been wonderfully kind with your time this Thursday evening every so late in the evening. What a fun podcast that was, and high energy as well, which is obviously something that doesn’t always happen at this time of the evening. But when you love what you do and you love talking about what you do, well, it comes naturally right.

Dr Chetan: 

James. Thank you so much. Mate. Thank you so much for accommodating me. I know we tried to do this multiple times. We did it in the morning, afternoon, evening, but our schedules were so busy. But it’s almost 11 o’clock now, thank you. Thank you so much.

Dr James: 

Hey, bro, my pleasure. We’ll speak again very soon. See you later, Chetan. You take care, mate.