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Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

What is up? Welcome back to the Dennis who Invest podcast Interesting episode today, because we’re actually very much proponents of talking about how Adventist can, number one, have an investment strategy and invest in the most efficient way to make the best possible gains whenever it comes to our investment portfolio. And the second side of things is okay cool. How can we actually increase our income, or how can we actually increase our profit and how much remuneration we are receiving as Dennis? And the very first thing that we have to do in order to do that is manage our outgoings, which, incidentally, is the area of expertise of our guests today, is the forte of our guests today, rida, and you know what? I almost said Rida when I said your name. Then I almost said Dr Rida, out of force of habit, but you’re not a dentist, of course, right.

Rida: 

I’m not a dentist, no.

Dr James: 

Cool. How are you today, my friend? Up to any exciting.

Rida: 

It’s been a phenomenal day, so I’m actually a really good mood. I’m having a great day so far.

Dr James: 

I love the positive mindset, bro, I love the positive mindset. It’s exactly the same as me. So, rida, you are someone that can help dental practice whenever it comes to becoming more efficient in terms of our outgoings and minimizing those as much as possible.

Rida: 

So, can you tell us a little bit more?

Dr James: 

on that area and your background.

Rida: 

Yeah, yeah, absolutely so. I just want to start off by saying what you actually just said about making money and saving money. So there’s something that I actually worked out If your profit margin is 20%, right, for you to make a grand, you need to in profit, you need to make. How much you have to bring in plus £5,000. Yeah, correct, but if I can save you a grant, how much do you need to bring in Zero? So there’s no extra turnover coming in, but you’re making an extra £1,000 profit.

Dr James: 

It’s true, man. The longer I go on my journey in business, the more I realize it’s like even costs down big time.

Rida: 

Exactly, and that’s part of the learnings that I’ve learned. So I’ve got over 25 years in business, working for major commercial businesses, making them savings and optimizations in their operations. I have worked as an operational manager, ensuring that businesses and managing teams is what I do. So I’ve hired and fired. I’ve managed teams as big as 5,000 or as small as 200. And plus I’ve got my own businesses where I’ve got a team of like three or four. So my scope of works is so vast that I’m able to help the big companies and the small companies. I think the biggest saving I’ve ever done for one organization is £150 million. So that’s sort of the scale of how big I go, but how small I go, you know, it just depends on the business. And this is the great thing about myself, because I’m dyslexic and that’s my superpower I see things that people don’t see and I think out of the box. I not only think that I do. That’s a little introduction to me.

Dr James: 

Hey, that’s good man. That’s amazing by way of introduction and, on that note, I know that you’ve been helping with dental practices on this exact thing and, dennis, we don’t really get much of an education whenever it comes to business and that’s really go out of the way for it, and I definitely know 100% that because of that. Well, whenever it comes to figuring out how we can be as efficient as possible, whenever it comes to cost that stuff that we need help with, what have you found in your journey to into helping dentists?

Rida: 

So I was lucky enough to have met you just over a year ago, james and me and you have spoken about other things, but what I didn’t know is that dentists don’t actually get trains, like you said, in business and but dentists also own businesses, so there’s a humongous gap in the market there which I wasn’t even aware of, and that’s why I’ve started since January last year 2023, to start working with dentists, and in that period, I’ve managed to save what? 25 practices in the region of about just over 300,000 pounds. So it varies per practice and I’ve had a journey with dentists trying to get people on the phone. I think one dentist who goes you are the most patient person that I’ve had to work with because you know I was. I was saving in the region of about 18,000 pounds, and all I needed, all I needed, from him was 21 minutes. That’s including, that’s all our conversations, from introduction to the savings, to just being on the phone. All I needed really was 21 minutes and a bit of correspondence of like emails, invoices, bills for me to be able to do my bit.

Dr James: 

That’s quite the return on 21 minutes.

Rida: 

Oh, mate, tell me about it. So he said. He said for him to earn that money he would have to bring in an extra hundred K roughly that, from his margins and some what have you. So for him he was ecstatic. Now he’s able to hire in another nurse. Yes, because of the extra income Got you got, you got.

Dr James: 

You Just wanted to make sure. I heard that correct. I wasn’t sure if that was higher or higher, just then.

Rida: 

No higher Cool, Don’t worry. Don’t worry, james. I have gone into a practice and spoken to a practice manager who’s fired his nurse and receptionist because of my recommendation of how because dentists are working away. The principal was working away in here just recently, bought the practice nine months ago and unfortunately he was living off credit card. So I got recommended to go see him. He had asked me to come in physically to go see him, so I went in. I went in an hour early, sat in reception and unfortunately saw what the receptionist and the nurse were doing while he was in practice working away, how they were communicating with customers over the phone, how they were welcoming customers into the practice. And I just turned around and said from my opinion, I think these two people need to leave, and these were the only two employees he had. Nine months later his turnover’s doubled and he’s now not living off credit cards just because we got rid of two people, but because he’s too busy to look at the practice and he’s working away in the practice. He didn’t even know this was going on behind his back.

Dr James: 

Yeah, totally what it sounds like for whatever reason, that they were not aligned with the growth of the business. So, okay, so you’re coming from on that one, and this is the thing. This is actually something that I learned on my business journey as well. You need. The value of a second pair of eyes is phenomenal. The stuff that they can see that you can’t because your brain is so tied up doing the things that you need to do to run the business, oh my goodness. But of course, it’s about getting the right pair of second eyes and, on that note, really interested to know you know the things that you implement in the dental practices that we were talking about just a second ago. We know staff comes into it. What other areas do you tend to find in your experience that dentists are overspending in unnecessarily, or there’s at least huge savings that they can make?

Rida: 

So utility bills, phone bills, credit card terminals, dentists why I’ve seen is that whoever is already there, they’ll just renew the contract, or the bank that they bank with they’ll renew the contract with them that they get the best offer for the card terminals. Actually another one is Henry Shine, and not to actually yeah, I believe it is them they offer card terminals with a discounted rate because they’re part of a buying group, but that’s not always the best rate for the practice. At the end of the day, each practice is individual and each practice has its own unique ways, and so the prices can vary depending on your practice. And I’ve figured that out where I’ve managed to save practices sometimes, you know, on their car terminals, 500 pounds extra per month, depending on turnover, of course. But you know, that’s one thing, you know. But at the same time, unfortunately, when you walk into practices, james, I’ll tell you this scenario which absolutely made me laugh. So there’s a situation where there was a dental practice where he had approached me saying can you save me money? I said let’s have a look. Let’s have a look at your utilities first and your card terminals, from there, will look at other parts of the business. Initially, I went into. I offered him a saving of 16,000 pounds on his utility bills, and it’s a two-year contract, so over two years he would have saved 32,000. Claire say for.

Dr James: 

Yeah.

Rida: 

I’m with you. Yeah, so he went ahead and told his practice manager to have a look if she can do any better, which is absolutely fine, I have no issues at all. So the practice manager spoke to I think it was their provider and they turned around and they managed to tell them I will save you 11,000. Okay, the practice manager went and signed the contract with the utility provider. Now, when I eventually got hold of the principle, it took me about three weeks saying what’s happening. You said you were gonna check and let me know. I haven’t heard anything from you. He goes oh, my practice manager saved me 11,000 pounds. It’s about the same saving as you. And I just tried to say sorry, I don’t understand. How is it 11,000, the same as 16? He said oh, but you were gonna take a percentage of the savings and I’m very clear, by the way, with everyone the percentage of the savings on the utilities that I take, and how I do, is that I take 20%, saving, 20% of the saving, and then I split that saving over 10 months so that if I save you, let’s say, 2,000 pounds, you’re paying me 200 pounds, but I’m saving you two years’ worth of savings. So he would have saved $2,000 with me, but with his practice manager doing it directly they saved only 22, adding my expenses of 4,000 pounds. So in total that would have been 26,. So he could have saved an extra 6,000 pounds, but he decided to say no. No, the practice manager got me a better rough up and then I was. When I actually eventually sat down and explained to him how he lost an extra 6,000 pounds of savings, that’s another Whatever, depending on his profit margin, that’s an extra how many hours of work or income he has to bring in for him to save the extra 6,000. Let’s just say he wasn’t a happy bunny. Yeah, sure, I’m on. I’m one of those people that’s really happy for people to try and do it, and if people want me to train them to do it, I’m happy to do that as well. My point the reason why I started working with dentists and, james, you know, I think you might have been, you might have been there is that when I found out dentist, there was a dentist tax where people take advantage of dentists, and this is something that I really, really dislike with a passion is that it’s unfair that your people use and abuse people who may not be aware of how you can negotiate, and that’s why I use the word the dental negotiator to help dentists to negotiate the best rate possible.

Dr James: 

Love it, man, I see. So the phone bills are a big part of it. And then also watching out for this dental tax that you were talking about just a second ago, which is totally a thing.

Rida: 

Yeah, absolutely. I went into a practice where a squat practice was being built. A friend of mine invited me to come and view the practice and I was like, yeah, absolutely, let’s have a look. You know, we could talk about layout, we could talk about structures. So went into this practice to have a look at how out they’re planning to work. And he’s like, oh, by the way, a contractor’s coming in, a friend of a friend of my friend who’s a builder, he’s coming in to have a look at it, build some of the walls and what have you? Another car, absolutely. And then, before the contract contractor came in, I turn around and I said the building work will cost in the region of 18 to 20,000, which just building a couple of walls for the partitions for the different practices. I said 18 to 20,000 roughly. I said that’s what a decent builder would charge you. I said the pure cost of the building work is about 12 to a six grand profit margin 20, 30%, maybe. Even you know is absolutely fine for the builder. The builder who did come in quoted 20,000, just like you know, he’s like roughly about 20,000. I need to sit down and go do my papers the minute he heard was a dental practice. It changed from 20 to 29,000 pounds. No way, and that’s where the dental tax comes in. Because he said and then I questioned him right at that point, straight to us and what is different between the first quote and the second quote? He goes are plasterboards different for dental practices? I said there’s only what? Three or four different types of plasterboards the waterproof one, the fireproof one, the standard one. What’s what? What is special about the ones that you’re talking about? They just stood there and just stared at me because I know construction, I know building works, I’ve worked, I’ve worked with builders my whole life and project management. So you don’t. You know, don’t scam, don’t try and scam me. What are you doing differently? And he just stood there with, you know, like cat eyes, you know, as you’ve just seen headlights. He just didn’t know how to answer. I said listen, if you want the job, I’ll give you tier for 18,000, not up anymore. My friends, like he’s, like he’s like you’re negotiating. I haven’t even accepted the offer and I said, because that’s how you need to sometimes speak to builders, unfortunately, because they don’t understand the you know, oh, can you do it any better please? You know it’s about. Sometimes it has to be rough talk.

Dr James: 

Yeah, no, I would well it’s. It’s a style of negotiating, isn’t it? And it has its place sometimes, on occasion being yeah, no, absolutely.

Rida: 

Yeah, each to their own. As they say, each to their own, okay, cool.

Dr James: 

So you find that that was because of your background and construction. That expertise really helps in negotiations whenever it comes to practice, improvements, practice. Well, how can we say any? Any, any, uh, additional surgeries or anything where we may require work, man.

Rida: 

Yeah, so yeah, my degree is actually in IT, but because in IT, where where I’ve worked in business is where we’ve built sites, so I’ve had to work with builders, so, um, so that that time negotiation. I’ve learned a lot along the way in the 20 years that I’ve been working in business, but I’ve had to. You know, let’s negotiate with different types of people, the different types of builders. You know different types of IT systems and then you know each, each type of person has a different type of negotiating skill required.

Dr James: 

Totally awesome, and that’s a skill in and of itself. No one had to do that, yeah, and it’s.

Rida: 

It’s knowing what negotiating skill to use when, how to talk to them. What do people like? How do people not like it? It’s, it’s that give and take, you know, and you’ve got to be able to suss out that individual because, yes, that person might be in a building, but his style might be completely different. He might be a very soft and relaxed person. If that makes sense. Yeah, totally, you’ve got to, you’ve got to adapt to them.

Dr James: 

I can imagine no, you’ve got to play by your. You’ve got to play by your. Yeah, 100%, Okay, cool, so that is obviously helpful. Phones overheads there’s got to be a lot of areas in which you can look in terms of overheads for practice, in which they’re saving to be made.

Rida: 

Yeah, so there’s, there’s lots of savings from. You know your purchasing power. People, practices and I found this out very quickly is that they, once they’ve gotten a supplier, they tend to stick with them, because it’s easier to stick with somebody that you know. But sometimes when you’re shopping around especially for the uh sutures and the more expensive items and even sometimes the cheaper items if you shop around you might actually get better deals. Uh, what principals may not know is that, um, if you speak to your contact person who’s selling the items, sometimes they have special offers of like three for two. Yes, your staff, you know you only need two, but if you’re going to get the third one for free, why don’t you order it anyway? No, there are special offers to be made out there, but if you’re not made aware of them sometimes you miss out on it.

Dr James: 

I can imagine. So you’ve got your finger to the pulse on that front, because with dentists, I would say, a big part of it is a bandwidth problem. Our bandwidth is just so sucked up by the dentistry and running the practice that we don’t have the years or, if you don’t have our ears to the ground whenever it comes to opportunities like this.

Rida: 

Yeah, and most dentists don’t even know that the opportunities exist. The sales reps sometimes don’t even advertise them. Um, but if you are saying, do you have any offers? It’s a simple question. Um, they’ll say, oh yeah, this this month we’re doing special offers on buds, or we’re doing special offers on you know this gloves. You know, by 10 boxes will give you two free, you know. But if you you know, if you’re not made aware of them, yes, you only need two at a time. If you did order 10, it just goes in a shelf. You’re not going to lose out anything and they’re not going to expire. Awesome.

Dr James: 

And just going back to what I was saying a second ago, the number of times that I’ve got somebody in to help with what I do, and because they come in with a different pair of eyes and a different brain, like it’s just a spare brain in the business and when they have expertise on this they can always see opportunities and things that you don’t always realize. And I think that’s part of what you’re getting at as well, because you’ve got your fingers in the pulse and all this stuff and because of your background you’re able to see the opportunities, just like that 100% and, james, you know this as a business owner yourself.

Rida: 

It’s very lonely at the top and if you don’t have, sometimes, somebody there to bounce off of, you know somebody that you can communicate with, somebody. They say, by the way, is that a fair price, or what do you think of this? Or I’m thinking of this, or I’m trying to fire a staff member. Can I bounce some ideas on you? Because you’ve dealt with managing 5000 people, for example, you know, can I do this from a HR point of view? If you don’t have that somebody to bounce us or bounce off of, you know it’s. You can’t go home complain to your wife about it, you can’t complain to your other stuff about these things, because some of them are really private and confidential financial stuff for the business. So it’s, you know, most business owners. It is very lonely at the top for having people like yourself and myself who are coach, who are coaching people, who are mentoring business owners. It’s a lot more useful to have people like us around them.

Dr James: 

Absolutely, because your spouse or significant other, your, your husband or your wife they don’t always get it either, especially in their business and especially when they’re not necessarily in the dental world, and also there might be the stuff that they want to talk about whenever you get into. So we’ve got to remember that. And yeah, it’s really really, really super interesting to hear you talk, because I used to be a big proponent of, okay, cool, let’s just boost income by as much as possible, but actually, really, you’ve got to have one eye over your shoulder just thinking about how much is going out as well. Big time, big time, big time. The reason being going back to what you’re saying at the start, ultimately that means that any money that comes in, you get to keep more of it as a percentage, which is your margin, which is incredible.

Rida: 

Yeah, and the bigger your margin, the bigger your profit. Your, your practice becomes more profitable. The bigger you know, you know your, your way out, you know when you, when you’re thinking of selling, your practice becomes more desirable.

Dr James: 

Love it, okay, cool so just to add, on all the things that we’ve just said, any other areas that you find in your experience? You’re doing this for dentists. There must be some common areas that come up that we could cover high level right now, apart from the ones we talked about phones, phonies, pertinent, and then, of course, building work within the practice. What are the other ones that you find?

Rida: 

Yeah, phones, building works, utilities, waste management. Like I said just, initially you’re purchasing power what you’re buying and then also staffing you know I help with that as well and then accountants. Some accountants do charge a lot, so having the right people around you and to make sure that you’re not being mischarged, I think would be the right one.

Dr James: 

Okay, we’re gonna have to look that one up in the dictionary. Is it mischarging word? Yeah, we all know what you mean. Anyway, we all know what you mean. Okay, cool, and so those areas would be the super high level place that we can look and can you give us some interesting examples within those areas that you find on your journey? I’m really keen for everybody who’s listening to walk away with tangible stuff that they can use instantly.

Rida: 

Yeah, so straight away. So in commercial business, utilities is not a government thing, by the government. So in last year utilities went up by about 500%. Nobody’s really made aware of it. It went up gradually, it went up in hundreds. Everyone knows that their house bill went up, you know doubled. But you know commercial properties has gone up by about 500%. So that’s how big the utilities industry is and it’s dropped to very, very small. But so that’s where big savings are at the moment. I’ll give you direct examples on average, 7000 pounds. I’m saving practice and I’ve done talking about 20 different practices. I’ve done this on. These are pure realistic numbers. Sometimes it is changing providers, sometimes it’s negotiating with suppliers. That’s the basic one. Numbers for phone bills where I don’t like things. I don’t like badmouthing any supplier. But whereas the standard high street suppliers will charge you 90-100 pounds a month, you can get it through the same quality because all of them go through open reach. Nothing actually changes but they can save you to go down to like 50 pounds a month. That’s 30 pound a month saving. You know your credit card terminal, you know where you’re paying them every single month and they take some of them charged 1.2% for Visa debit. Now, if I can turn around and tell you, I can get it for 0.6%, which is half.

Dr James: 

That’s for every single card term. That’s actually a big saving.

Rida: 

You know that’s only on one different card type, you know. And then you’ve got right. Now I’ve got a deal with Barclays is that they will beat any person’s card terminal rates at the moment. And not only that in February because I’ve managed to get quite a lot of sites on to saving them in March or April I’m going to actually have a rate card specifically for anybody that joins my rate card. I refer that they will have something that they’ve Barclays have never done before with regards to their rates. And not only that the money is next day in your account. So you’re going to have next day money. So you’ve charged somebody five grand today for doing a implant. Tomorrow that money is in your account. That’s how quick it is that you know that I’ve, rather than two days waiting until your money is into your account. So that’s sort of that’s. That’s the sort of negotiation that I’m doing. That’s what I’m doing for my clients. People are people that hear about me and know about me are jumping at it straight away. Let’s just say, if I speak to somebody, 90% of the people that I speak to become my clients. But it’s about getting out there to be known. Unfortunately, dentists have been misled and you know this, james right? We’ve spoken about this in the past where dentists have been misled by dodgy sales people who promised them the earth and then charge them through the roof. And that’s what I want to eliminate. I want, I plan to start exposing businesses like that because I want, I want this to stop. I really want this to stop in business, and it’s something that I’m really, you know, keen to do to help out as many business owners as possible. Where I see dodgy builders, where I see dodgy organizations that mischarge and unfairly charge people, I will. I will talk about it and I will give you one example. There’s an electricity provider that was that opened up a comparison company that was telling people we will give you the best rate, and what they were doing is that they were giving their own company, saying that this is the best rate possible. They were charging people 100% more and that the currently right now the owner of that business is now in prison. The business that the utility provider for that is called BES, and I can say that because everything I’m saying is facts.

Dr James: 

Wow, food for thought.

Rida: 

The more you know, the more you know man.

Dr James: 

And, like I say for me, I think it’s a bad thing for lots of people. It’s a bad and especially for dentists, because it just takes so much brainpower to be able to run the business and keep focused on the patients. There’s so many moving parts in the down practice. There’s so many people to keep happy. You’ve got your staff. You’ve got people that are close to you, your family. You’ve also got the patients, of which there are thousands as well. It’s not an easy job and I actually think the sooner that you realize that actually sometimes the biggest limit in your brain, in your business, is the fact that you have only one brain and you’re only one human being, and the more people you can get into aid and assist on that and just give you the information short, fast, powerful and punchy, right there, right then, and what it means is that ultimately, the business can be much more profitable. It’s a really hard thing to conceptualize. Is that until you’ve been through it a few times, I’ve 1000%. Find that really. Does that make total sense?

Rida: 

What I’m just saying 100% I think it reminds me of the book. The book who, not how.

Dr James: 

Oh my God, you read that book as well. I love that book and, yes, it does.

Rida: 

It’s about finding the right who for your, you know, not asking how do I do this finding the right person that can do it for you, Rida you know what’s so funny.

Dr James: 

I mentioned that book on so many podcasts in a row that I became somewhat self conscious by talking about that book. So I think it was like 10 episodes ago. I was like, right to everybody out there who’s a listener? And then as soon as podcast, this is officially the last time I’m allowed to talk about that book and so I haven’t referred to it ever since, and it’s so interesting that you’ve brought it up, because that gives you an idea of how much I love it and how valuable I think it is. Rida.

Rida: 

To be honest, James, you told me about that book.

Dr James: 

No way. The pot thickens, the pot thickens, the pot thickens. There we are.

Rida: 

And I read it and I was like, damn, I’m the who to a lot of people, so but then I also have my own who’s. So you know, it’s a crazy world I love that.

Dr James: 

I love that, and you know what I would get into touching upon what the book does and what it talks about, but I’ve done it in so many episodes of the podcast I’m going to have to refrain from it today. It’s a flipping amazing book. Anyway, really listen, you’ve been super generous with your time today and your knowledge. What can people find out more about yourself and what you do?

Rida: 

So I’m on LinkedIn. My full name is Rida Alwan. I’m on Instagram. It’s Ridaprofectus. Profectus is the business name. The reason why I chose the name perfectus is a Latin word for striving to have affection, to improve your business all of the time. So and that’s why I love the effect is, or I’m on under the hashtag as the business negotiator or the dental negotiator, so both hashtags are I use quite a lot. So if you ever search in hashtags, that’s where you, that’s where you find me as well.

Dr James: 

Top stuff Rida. Well, as I say, once more, thank you for your time. I’m sure we can get back on the Dennis Fionnfot who invest podcast very soon to share.

Rida: 

I look forward to it. I honestly and I truly cherish being on here. Thank you so much for having me on. It really, really, is a pleasure to be with you.

Dr James: 

Love that, love that word Cherish, very, very, very kind. Well, as I say, I’m sure we could easily shoot like 10 tank on my episodes and all this stuff. So looking forward to listening to your valuable knowledge once more very soon, rida, thank you so much. Hope you have a smashing day and we shall speak super soon See you soon, thank you.