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Dentists Who Invest

Episode 259

How I Started My
Squat Practice With
Less Than £100k

Hosted By: Dr. James Martin

Dr. James: 

Fans of the Dentists who Invest podcast. If you feel like there was one particular episode in the back catalogue in the anthology of Dentists who Invest podcast episodes that really, really really was massively valuable to you, feel free to share that with a fellow dental colleague who’s in a similar position, so their understanding of finance can be elevated and they can hit the next level of financial success in their life. Also, as well as that, if you could take two seconds to rate and review this podcast, it would mean the world. To me, what that would mean is that it drives this podcast further in terms of reach so that more dentists across the world can be able to benefit from the knowledge contained therein. Welcome.

Dr. Jamil: 

Welcome to the Dentists who Invest podcast.

Dr. James: 

Hey team, what is up everybody? Welcome back to Dentists Who Podcast, where I’ve got returning face. Dr Jamil sat here in front of us. People may remember Dr Jamil from the podcast. We did a little bit a while back about how Jamil had managed to set up and run three dental practice by the age of 28, which is no flipping mean feat. So hats off to Jamil, and you know what it’s not like. He’s been sat around on his laurels since we last spoke. Even more has changed, which is why we’ve got Jamil back on here today. Jamil, how are you, my friend?

Dr. Jamil: 

I’m very well thank you, that’s a very, very nice introduction. It seems to sound a lot more important than I really am, James.

Dr. James: 

Super important. We’re all super important in our own way. You know what? What you’ve done is flipping incredible, mate. I don’t even know it’s possible to set up set up a dental practice at 28. I don’t even think I’d thought that far ahead. You know what I mean, yeah, so yeah, fair play, mate. It just shows you. It’s just mindset, though, isn’t it like?

Dr. Jamil: 

anyone can do it. Where are you going to learn you can do?

Dr. James: 

anything when you’re in the squeeze zone, you’re going to learn, anyway, yeah.

Dr. Jamil: 

Anyway, so what’s?

Dr. James: 

new since we last spoke.

Dr. Jamil: 

So we spoke about. This is podcast number three, isn’t it? Yeah, we’re doing well, we’re doing well, dude. So the first podcast was about two practices. We talked about valuations and stuff like that, how I run a practice. I think we went off quite a bit of a tangent on the first one. Second one, we reeled it back in, spoke a lot about marketing, how I get patients, blah, blah, blah. So I’d say, james, if it’s I love sharing knowledge, if you allow me to, I will share my how I built a squat practice and I did it on a really reasonable budget of less than 100 grand. So I think it would benefit a lot of people that are wanting to start. Would you agree? Super beneficial.

Dr. James: 

Let’s do it. Let’s do it. How did that happen?

Dr. Jamil: 

So, basically my first practice. I’ll tell you what the issue is. My first practice is only two surgeries and we massively overgrown that surgery. Okay, so we’re waiting. An average person is waiting about four to five months for a simple filling, for example, and most of them were about 80 to 90% private, I think.

Dr. Jamil: 

At this moment what happened was there was a building opposite me, at a tattoo parlor, and I said look, can I buy the building? She was owing an RA. Then she said somebody else has bought it. That deal fell through. And then she approached me again. I said no, you know what? It was not needed in the first place.

Dr. Jamil: 

I’m not really key and then, as you do, I’m always looking at my right move anyway. I was just looking for commercial properties and then I happened to stumble across this, the new practice, ideal for me. Massive GP site Can’t get planning without anything. It can’t be used for anything other than a GP or a dentist. So it’s a D1 category, shall we say. They tried to get planning for a flat, but it got rejected. Um, so it’s an ideal case. No other dentists bidded on it, I was the only guy. Surprisingly, um, it did need a lot of work to be fair, but um, but yeah, that’s, that’s how I came about it really. So the reason I came about is not because I wanted to go open up a squat practice. It’s because our demanding number one practice was too much. This practice is about 20 minutes drive away, so it’s a good distance. You don’t want to cannibalize on yourself.

Dr. James: 

D1,. What does D1 mean? Where is that category found? Where is it used? Who created that?

Dr. Jamil: 

So think in england now I think they got rid of d declassification. I don’t know what it means. All I know is e and d and there’s these little different permits that the council give to each building, right, so you wouldn’t want to like a church in the middle of a nightclub street or like is there to make sure it’s in the right place. Oh, okay, um, so basically d1 is used for medical purposes dentists, gps. I don’t know what else is used for my james, if I’m being honest, um, in england now I believe you don’t need to have a declassification. I think you can open up with an E classification. So it’s a lot broader, so a lot more properties apply to it.

Dr. James: 

All right, it’s just some sort of terminology in terms of categorization for the purpose of the building. Okay, fair enough, let’s reel it back into dentistry in that case.

Dr. Jamil: 

I was like D1?

Dr. James: 

Is that dental one. What the heck is that? I didn’t know what that was. Anyway, one is that dental one. I don’t know what that was, anyway. Um, okay, cool. So you’ve, obviously you bought this practice, right. Then the next step was to kit it out. Right, and this is the amazing part, because you’ve done this in under a hundred thousand pounds, right? So this is the part I’m really intrigued about just how did you go about that?

Dr. Jamil: 

um, because a lot of people have listened to this podcast. A lot of people that are probably looking to start up a squat practice would want to self-fund it. I think it’s quite difficult to get bank funding for a squat practice, um, or unless, unless, you try and find an investor, um, but what I did, um. So I found the building, acquired the building and then I drew up the plans myself, um, with a guy from fiverr.

Dr. Jamil: 

Um, it sounds complicated but it’s really not, and in my opinion, I think we have a lot more knowledge than an architect does of exactly what we want. So I spent a lot of time designing it. I found a guy on Fiverr that just did all the CAD drawings.

Dr. James: 

No way, it’s amazing.

Dr. Jamil: 

No way I’ll tell you what it is, james. There’s only five things that dental chair needs, okay, simple enough. And then you need to just have like 90 centimeters from the headrest around. It’s not as hard as people make it out. To be put it this way, I think of a dental practice such as getting out a house, um, but you’re kitting out more kitchens, so you’re doing three kitchens instead of one kitchen. That’s all it is, isn’t it? So I designed it all. So start plan one. I designed everything, okay. Then we gutted everything out.

Dr. Jamil: 

I used a website called my Builder a lot. I didn’t want to trust one contractor for everything, so I used loads of little contractors for each part of the build. The disadvantage to that is that I was quite heavily involved and I wanted to be heavily involved. It’s something I really enjoyed. So when I got to the contractor stage, I subdivided every job out to each contractor. So electrician at each room, stage. One wiring stage, two wiring what is exactly needed, and then I we quote. They quoted a price based on that.

Dr. Jamil: 

One thing I did that was quite different to a lot of people is that all my contractors had company cards my company cards so they could just spend on my account and they would just give me a receipt with a justification is that all my contractors had company cards, my company cards so they could just spend on my account and they would just give me a receipt with a justification. But realistically, materials cost what they cost. There’s no two ways about it. Did some of it get stolen? Probably, I don’t know. But it was a good way of me managing how much, because I knew approximately. If you know a pipe, you’re going to run 10 meters of pipe. Somebody buys 50 meters of pipe. It a lot of bills start really low there, and so that’s what I did. I split it up into loads of little jobs and you’ve seen the pictures, james. I think I did a pretty good job.

Dr. James: 

It’s pretty nice astro dental, wasn’t it? Yeah, looks cool to me, man. I love the rocket ship logo. Oh no, it’s not, it’s an astronaut with a rocket ship logo. Dude, that looks exactly like the rocket ship emoji. Is that what it? Is no, it’s actually it’s something similar, but yeah, similar. Yeah, there we go.

Dr. Jamil: 

So I based um. When I tried to design brands okay, now, um, when I was coming to name it, I was like, oh damn it, what do I name it? I could have named it the local area dental, okay. So then I thought no people want to go to a fun, exciting, like. Did you see the emotions it had on you when you saw the logo? You’re like that’s so cool. I liked it, yeah. So that’s what I want to do I creating fun, childish brands. Um really resonate with people, and so I didn’t do the whole world astronaut dental is because a lot of people can’t spell astronaut. If you ask 50 people to spell astronaut, you’ll be surprised how many people can’t spell it.

Dr. Jamil: 

So you want very easy to spell. So, yeah, going off a marketing tangent, but yeah, I believe, um, so that’s what I did. There’s a few other things that I saved money. So I got in contact with a dental company that specializes in new build squat practices. One of them quoted me 10 grand for them to design it. Okay, and I thought, blimey, what are they quoting 10 grand for? It’s ridiculous in my opinion. It’s not anyone that’s listening, listening to this. If you’re going to set up a squat practice, I think you need to spend a bit of initiative and spend a bit of time learning about electric, electrics, plumbing, having base knowledge about electricity, about plumbing, about gas, about networking, because, realistically, if the way my practice has been done, I almost know where every cable is and where every pipe has been run. If there’s ever a problem 10 years down the line, I will know. Um, so it kind of created a lot of redundancies if a tractor did try and mess me around yeah but yeah.

Dr. Jamil: 

So my opinion is a lot of us go on these fancy courses learning about composite. If you’re going to set up a squat practice, it’s going to be one of the biggest things you do in your life. Ok, much bigger than a class. Five composite what?

Dr. James: 

What about a class six? They’re pretty big. I know Class six Whoa classics, whoa, whoa.

Dr. Jamil: 

I think you should really and I mean not me by going to courses and trying to learn about squat practice from course. I think you should, um, just research about how is a simple wiring done in a house, because it’s not much different than a house than it is in a practice.

Dr. James: 

There’s not much different um, well, well, it’s the same, isn’t it? I mean? It’s just the chairs, you know but I guess what most people uh don’t realize is the significance of that stuff, because quite often it’s like these things just have a budget and people just throw money at it until it’s done. You know, my experience, yeah, and what you’re talking about is doing a lot of the stuff yourself that can be bootstrapped effectively.

Dr. Jamil: 

Yeah so if you can keep costs down, okay, you’ll turn a profit a lot quicker. Yeah, okay, so if somebody let’s say a competitor of mine goes and spends 400 grand on a practice. Okay, if you look at their monthly repayments, um, for finance equipment or whatever, the return on investment, it’s going to take them a lot longer to pay that off.

Dr. Jamil: 

If not they’re going to have to charge a patient a lot more, and then they’re competing with the likes of me who have gone for the cheap of the cheap just to get a practice up and running. So a lot of people might have not heard this, but there’s this term that a lot of startups use, which is called minimal viable product.

Dr. Jamil: 

Yeah, yeah, so I don’t know in dentistry why it’s not applied to dentistry but any other industries is applied to. Isn’t it? Minimal, viable product. You want to spend the least amount of money, get your company off the ground and then later on, in later on, you can spend money on whatever you need to spend money on. Yeah, I saved a lot of money, um on like cabinetry. So I used a company called howdons um, you know, everyone must know howdons, but um, they trade uh furniture, um worktop stuff they make, they make kitchen cabinets and stuff. I don’t think there’s any difference between a kitchen cabinet and a dental cabinet. I personally believe it’s the same. So I went for the best one and I spent £1,500. A surgery £1,500, £1,500. And I spent about £1,400 at Decon. If anyone’s listening to this, they can google astral dental um cavilli and you can see the pictures.

Dr. James: 

It looks pretty cool um, I think it’s gone. It’s a quite nice touch, do you? Agree, james yeah, I like it, that’s cool yeah, the matte blue looks really nice.

Dr. Jamil: 

Um, so then I paid a contractor 500 pound per surgery for them to fit it out. So most dental companies will charge you in the region of about seven grand for dental cabinetry. I do not know how you could charge seven grand, just if I charged seven grand for a bit of wood. But each to their own. So I did a lot of that. My dental chairs and stuff I bought used okay, and there’s two reasons I bought used. Number one is the lead time for dental chair is about. It’s about nine months. You can produce a kid faster than you can get a dental chair, believe it or not. Another thing is. Another thing is is because of the cost. So I just paid about two grand a chair. Okay, that might last me.

Dr. Jamil: 

It might last me five years, but at least my startup cost is quite low that in the future I can go spend 10 grand oh, I like that, yeah, I like that mindset, yeah so is it all about keeping your cost low so that you’re not worried and you’re not drowning yourself in debt, because I believe if your startup costs are quite high, naturally so you’d be hoping I hope that patient takes that treatment plan because I’ve got x amount to pay. What if something happens to you? What if you get into an accident and your arm breaks? Then what? Then? You’ve got this huge you’re. Whether you’re locked or not, you’ve got a still got a loan to pay. You’ve got finance agreements to pay. So, even to the level where I bought used x-ray arms and holders, I bought used suctions. What did I buy? I bought used vista scanner.

Dr. Jamil: 

Everything I bought was used. Yeah, I’m that type of guy that’s taking. Wouldn’t be happy to take the risk, okay, yeah, I’d be knowing I’d rather cancel a day of surgery rather than spend an extra for me to get all that equipment. You would probably cost me about 70 grand. Well, each surgery 10. Probably about 70 grand on top of what I’ve already spent. Yeah, I can’t earn 70 grand in a day.

Dr. James: 

Yeah yeah, yeah, think about how many days I could lose before.

Dr. Jamil: 

Um, it would be worth me buying a chair, and don’t new chairs break down yeah, exactly, yeah. Everything breaks down, you just you’re just gambling on your chances and you know the money I’ve saved. I’d rather so.

Dr. Jamil: 

I’ve got up to five surgeries in this place, um, so I’d rather get out the other five surgeries makes no sense bro so then I’ve got that redundancy that if a surgery does break, I can use another one a lot of people won’t have be fortunate to have that, but in my opinion you’re better off getting one brand new chair if that, if you’re that worried about to get one brand new chair and get one used chair, so at least you’ve got that redundancy as well. Yeah, enough surgery space for two surgeries very, very, very cool, okay, awesome.

Dr. James: 

Well, some words of wisdom there, because how often do we just throw money at these things is what I was saying earlier, because most people are just in the mindset where they’re just like I just want to get this done. Where can I buy a chair? However much, here you go done, are you with me? You know, and now I would see, if I was in that position, I’d probably react exactly the same, whereas if you’re a little more thoughtful about it, like what you’re being, what it means is, you can do it in a much more efficient way and use all these little hacks along the way.

Dr. Jamil: 

Yeah, anything else, anything else that you can. That was big for you, significant. So I’ll tell you my bad experiences. All right, yeah, let’s do that. So I thought, yeah, I’m a hero, I’m young, I could do this myself.

Dr. Jamil: 

So the first day on site I had a demolition contractor in ripping out, gutting out a contractor, and I had a waste disposal contractor First day I walk in. I walked in at lunchtime. They started already and they’re about to fight and I was like I really cannot be helped. So obviously I got rid of. I knew which contractor was causing me the issue. But the great thing with me is that because I didn’t get fully into bed with any contractor, I almost could get rid of any contractor with a click of a finger because we had discussed every portion of the project. So if I wasn’t happy after they did surgery, one wiring, I could get rid of them. Got you, yeah, there is no headache. There’s no argument of no, actually, I did get rid of them. Got you, yeah, there is no headache, there’s no argument of no, actually I did more money’s work. No, we agreed to set fee, that’s it. Yeah, things like Polyflow and stuff like that. I’ve got a really good deal on Polyflow, so those that are listening will know who’s I’m running.

Dr. James: 

Give me a second, jake sorry it’s all right, um, you’re a busy man, you’re. You’re actually on site at present, so it’s cool that you’re, you’re taking phone calls, you know, and it’s cool that, yeah, you’re keeping on top of things, which is great james, james, you know what.

Dr. Jamil: 

So that was one of the disadvantages of it. Another disadvantage was because you’re losing loads of little smoke attractors. When they installed the dental chair, yeah, okay, we put the suction on and I go to my engineer. I’m like the suction’s not powerful enough. And then they blamed my, they blamed the guy who put the pipe in. I said, is the pipe? There’s a split in the pipe? I was like no, not today.

Dr. Jamil: 

Because at this point, james, you have to remember, they concreted the floor and also they put the polyfloor in. So if for me to correct if there was a true split in the pipe, I would have to rip up the whole floor, rip up the break the whole concrete to see if there’s a damaged pipe. Thankfully it wasn’t that. There’s a way of isolating things and working out what the issue was, but thankfully it wasn’t that. But that was a gut-wrenching moment. I was like, oh my gosh, if that was the case, that would delay the project by a month at least. To rip up the floor, find a contractor to break through the concrete, to replace the pipe, to put everything back, that’s a big old job. That is um. So that was another go right.

Dr. Jamil: 

So you take a lot of the risk um in a project when you manage it yourself. Was it fun? Would I do it again? How? Yeah, I would do it again. I learned a lot on the way. Um. You probably heard me speaking to contractors, jake, before we started. Uh, yeah, a little bit. Yeah, so we’ve got a problem with um with one of the pipes. Um with one of the pipes, as in when we’re putting the hot water in the decon is not running as powerful as we want um. So then it’s just a problem solving and us dentists, we’re great at problem solving you just work out what you think might be the problem and if not.

Dr. Jamil: 

The problem can’t be resolved. You just run a new pipe, not the end of the world, um, but yeah, so I, I, um, I split up the project a lot. Now a lot of people that are listening to this might go to one big contractor and say, no, I don’t want any headache, I want this contractor to do everything. Okay, when they, when, when somebody like that does go to a big contractor like that, they rub their hands together. Okay, because they’ve got to take into account mitigating circumstances that might happen during the build. If they agree a set figure with you, they’ve agreed to set figure. What if? What? If there’s a problem with one of the wars and the wars need to be knocked down and rebuilt, you’re going to have to pay for the main contractor’s management, which would be about 25. So by the time you add all of this, it adds up quite a lot, and the great thing about me was I didn’t have to pay any. I paid barely any vat because all the contractors I used weren’t back registered. So that’s another 20 that’s smart.

Dr. James: 

That’s like 20% off the top.

Dr. Jamil: 

That’s amazing. It’s 20% VAT, isn’t it? I saved 20%. I was more than happy to pay VAT on materials because everyone has to pay it, so it doesn’t matter, but I was saving that. That was a huge saving I had. So not only if you’re using a big contractor, not only are you paying quite a lot for contractors for the hourly rate anyway, but you’re paying another 20% for VAT on top, um, so that’s the issue. So that’s another way I’ve saved a lot of money.

Dr. Jamil: 

In my opinion, james me having amazing work in my surgery and all the corners being bang on 90% and all the rendering being perfect is not going to make me money, in my opinion. What’s going to make me money? I’d rather save 50 grand and blow 50 grand on marketing. Truth be told, that’s what’s going to get me patients through the door. Truth be told, my waiting room chairs are going to leave a positive impact on a patient. Truth be told, having nice pieces throughout the surgery that’s what really makes you money, in my opinion. Having a nice artwork, having a nice website. You’re better off saving the money and spending on a nice website because, truth be told, that’s what will get you a lot of.

Dr. Jamil: 

A lot of dentists want get a deck 500 chairs. No, I’m not sponsored by any of the chair companies. Okay, just claiming them. But a lot of dentists say, oh yeah, I want the top of the range chair and I think who cares? Which patient has ever sat on that chair and said this is an adec 500 chair? Fair play to you, james. You’ve bought one of the best chairs on the market.

Dr. James: 

Nobody cares yeah, they won’t know they will it’s, it’s it’s?

Dr. James: 

it’s like, I mean, here’s the thing, it all comes from the same place and it’s just wanting to serve the patient to a really high standard, right? But here’s the thing, it’s having the awareness to realize what impresses the dentist versus what impresses the patient, right. And here’s the thing it’s like maybe we don’t necessarily have to do too much of one or the other, are you with me? But we just have to be conscious of what the patient is thinking, right, because that is the main thing that’s going to drive value towards the practice, the perception of value which ultimately results in remuneration. Real quick, guys.

Dr. James: 

I’ve put together a special report for dentists, entitled the seven costly and potentially disastrous mistakes that dentists make whenever it comes to their finances. Most of the time, dentists are going through these issues and they don’t even necessarily realize that they’re happening until they have their eyes opened. And that is the purpose of this report. You can go ahead and receive your free report by heading on over to wwwdenisoninvestcom forward slash podcast report, or, alternatively, you can download it using the link in the description. This report details these seven most common issues. However, most importantly, it also shows you how to fix them. I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts forwards to hearing your thoughts.

Dr. Jamil: 

So I think that I think the most important areas in a dental practice is not your surgery, because the patient’s panicking. They’re bombarded with information. They’re there, put back bright lights in their eyes. All that matters to them the waiting room, how the waiting room smells and how nice is the waiting room, the reception and also the toilet. They’re the three main areas that need to look nice. If you’re going to spend money on anything, it’s them three areas, because that’s what leaves a lasting impact to a patient. It’s not about how big your screen is in your, in your surgery. Nobody cares. Okay, when they’re sitting there and they’re not under pressure and they’re not having to communicate with somebody, or they’re not worrying and they’re just really looking around, thinking blindly this is a nice surgery. That’s what they remember. What do you think, james? Do you think and you know you actually hit the nail on the head, james Us dentists we worry about we worry too much about what a patient really thinks.

Dr. Jamil: 

I’ll give you an example. When you’re doing a filling or a cram, sometimes you’re struggling to get a margin. Let’s say you’re struggling to get a DL margin on a low left sit. You’re spending another five minutes. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but it’s happened to me where I think, oh, the patient must think I’m incompetent because they realise it’s taken me so long to do a distal margin, you naturally think the patient thinks the patient must think less of me because it’s taken me so long. A patient doesn’t know how long a crown prep takes, peso doesn’t take, and once you get into that mindset.

Dr. Jamil: 

You realize what’s important, um, things like. So I advise a lot of dentists that are looking to start up a squat practice. Some of them say, oh, I need to go buy an itero on day one. Nobody needs to buy an itero on day one. Okay, you don’t even have five patients on your list at the moment. Forget about my itero. Treat a patient, use potty and wash at the beginning. Grow initially. Spend on spending 500 pound on itero. Spend on google ads, spend on facebook ads. Get patients through your door and then later on, in the later on in line, maybe you can get itero. But there’s a lot of things you don’t need to get straight away. I’m in that fortunate position where, like I, I’ll get whatever I need to get straight away. Um, because we’re self-funded, it’s like, because my cost to build is so low, it doesn’t really matter you know what it’s really clever.

Dr. James: 

Where did you get all this wisdom from? Was this just stuff that you learned on the job? Do you have a mentor? Do you network with a lot of dentists?

Dr. Jamil: 

I try and keep away from dentists myself, okay, um, the reason I do is because I think dentists personally from my experience dentists are very because, um, you’re in a job that grosses so much high money or grosses a lot of money, they kind of don’t care about the nitty-gritty things, in my opinion. So I I’ve met a lot of dentists saying, oh, it’s a who cases, another, it’s 400 quid for an Invisalign, for an iTero machine, and I think that’s 400 quid that I’d rather have in my pocket. So you hear a lot of it dentists saying, oh, who case, it makes me X amount. But dentists only think about turnover. They never think about profit. Very rarely they’ll think, oh, this is a 10 grand case by profit. Very really don’t think, oh, this is a 10 grand case by the time you pay for your overhead chair time. All the subscriptions you have in your dental practice is not actually much left.

Dr. Jamil: 

Um, so I try and be as lean as possible as a dental practice. Um, the more profit I make, the better for me, the less I can charge a patient and the happier, the easier I sleep at night if I don’t have a 10 grand monthly payment to make to the bank or leasing companies. I I sleep at night if I don’t have a 10 grand monthly payment to make to the bank or leasing companies. I sleep better at night if I take a week off. I’m not worried that damn it. I’ve got to pay eight grand to a finance company at the end of the month, so I’m very risk adverse.

Dr. Jamil: 

I know your dentist who invests maybe your people listen to you like risk, but I’m very, very risk averse. I hate risk. Um, I just I’m in a very fortunate position where, um, I can afford the nicer things in life but, um, even things like buying a car on finance 600 pound a month, everyone was like, oh, you can easily pay that. But I think about what if something happens to me and that responsibility is left with my wife? I don’t want to leave that hardship to anyone if I ever go. So I’ve always cared about building lean companies with very good we spoke about this on the first podcast but good debt, turnover profit ratios.

Dr. James: 

You know it’s interesting to hear you say about the risk thing, because let’s look at this from another perspective. A lot of people might look at you, Jamil, and think, whoa, this guy has created three dental practices at 28. This guy sails close to the wind, you know he likes to roll the dice in life because that’s how you’re successful in business. So it’s interesting to hear you say that. Are you with?

Dr. James: 

me yeah, it’s interesting because from the outside, looking in, some people might get that impression right. And then, but from your perspective, you’re like, no well, I do these things and because I manage the risk so well that these things that seem risky actually they’re not so risky from my end, because my cash flow is amazing, I’ve got a good profit margin and it’s not like I’m spending loads of it whimsically. Right, because here’s the thing right. If you aren’t, if you don’t have that mindset, what I’ve always noticed is, in business, you basically just do. You just do what you feel, okay. So what I mean is, if you have a good month, right, most people are like, oh well, I’ll spend a little bit then, right, maybe you have a little bit of a slow month.

Dr. James: 

Most people are like, oh well, I’ll spend a little bit then. Right, maybe have a little bit of a slow month. Most people are like, oh my god, I’ve got to work really hard to fix this. Are you with me? You know what I mean. So it’s it’s recognizing that side or aspect of your human nature and then not letting it determine your actions too much, or having some sort of financial target and then hitting that. Whatever that financial target is, and when you know you’ve done the math, that when you know you hit that financial target, that that gives you a huge amount of breathing space. That’s the other way to overcome that. It’s either from being a little prudent or by having some sort of target that means that you’ve got more than enough to suit whatever you’re spending on so in the midst of covid, what happened was um, actually, yeah, about a year.

Dr. Jamil: 

A year after covid, um, yeah, a year after covid, what happened was I’ll show you how risk adverse I am. Okay, a year after covid, I had enough money in the bank to clear my loan off. Okay, and the bank manager sat down with me and said look on, a zoom call was like Jamal, don’t, you’re never going to find interest rate this low, and I know this ideology of use other people’s money to make money. But for me it’s not that. For me, it’s what happens if I die and then somebody can’t keep up the payments. All I want to do is just be profitable. And to finish off, james, there’s one thing I want to tell people. A lot of people appear very successful on that outside.

Dr. Jamil: 

Okay, I analyze accounts. My wife calls me a loser, but I analyze accounts in my free time. I’ve analyzed hundreds of dental practices, any dental company I’ve seen, and one thing I find is that the debt-to-profit ratio is out of this world. Most practices will spend a million pounds but be generating profit as principal led of 180,000. That is just abnormally large. You could do that a lot quicker with a lot less budget. So for anyone listening to this and feeling a bit shitty about themselves, just bear, bear in mind you do not know what loan to what loan that practice has. Although they’re turning over as much as they are, maybe they have to in order to be sustainable.

Dr. James: 

Otherwise they’ll go six foot under very quickly you know what, right, I actually shot another podcast earlier today and what was? What was the stat that, uh, somebody threw out. They said that 90 of podcast, 90 of dental practices in the uk have a turnover of 600 000 or under. Right, so that blew my mind, because I was you always hear about. Dental practices are turning over like flipping x, y and z. You know what I mean, right, and it seems that those are the majority of dental practice practices. You know, when you hear about a dental practice turning over, however many million, and you tend to think to yourself that that’s representative of what most people are doing, actually that’s an extreme outlier 90 or under 600k. Right, it was the fact that somebody threw to me earlier and that surprised me I thought it would be like 50 or under under 600k or maybe like 30

Dr. Jamil: 

percent, we’re under 600k 90 that’s all I think people need to realize is don’t look up. Always look down. Sometimes I have the tendency of looking up. I see some of my competitors doing extremely well and I’m saying you know what? I’m in a very fortunate position.

Dr. Jamil: 

But james, I believe you’ve got a shoe but can I just put a little message out there. If any of you guys need any advice about squat practice, I’m not any guru and just feel free to DM me on dentistjamil and I’ll give you my honest opinion. I always have and always will.

Dr. James: 

Top stuff. Thank you so much for your time again, jamil. That was ever uh, that was a very insightful podcast, ever insightful whenever I get you on. So thanks so much once more thanks we’ll catch each other super soon.

Dr. James: 

See you later. Bye, if you enjoyed this podcast, please hit, follow or subscribe so you can stay up to date with information on new podcasts which are released weekly. Please also feel free to leave a positive review so others can learn about this podcast and benefit from it. I would also encourage any fans of the podcast to sign up to the free Facebook community from which the podcast originated. Please search Dentists who Invest on Facebook and hit join to become part of a community of thousands of other dentists interested in improving their finances, well-being and investing knowledge. Looking forward to seeing you on there.

Dr. James: 

Fans of the Dentists who Invest podcast. If you feel like there was one particular episode in the back catalogue in the anthology of Dentists who Invest podcast episodes that really, really really was massively valuable to you, feel free to share that with a fellow dental colleague who’s in a similar position, so their understanding of finance can be elevated and they can hit the next level of financial success in their life. Also, as well as that, if you could take two seconds to rate and review this podcast, it would mean the world. To me, what that would mean is that it drives this podcast further in terms of reach so that more dentists across the world can be able to benefit from the knowledge contained therein. Welcome.

Dr. Jamil: 

Welcome to the Dentists who Invest podcast.

Dr. James: 

Hey team, what is up everybody? Welcome back to Dentists Who Podcast, where I’ve got returning face. Dr Jamil sat here in front of us. People may remember Dr Jamil from the podcast. We did a little bit a while back about how Jamil had managed to set up and run three dental practice by the age of 28, which is no flipping mean feat. So hats off to Jamil, and you know what it’s not like. He’s been sat around on his laurels since we last spoke. Even more has changed, which is why we’ve got Jamil back on here today. Jamil, how are you, my friend?

Dr. Jamil: 

I’m very well thank you, that’s a very, very nice introduction. It seems to sound a lot more important than I really am, James.

Dr. James: 

Super important. We’re all super important in our own way. You know what? What you’ve done is flipping incredible, mate. I don’t even know it’s possible to set up set up a dental practice at 28. I don’t even think I’d thought that far ahead. You know what I mean, yeah, so yeah, fair play, mate. It just shows you. It’s just mindset, though, isn’t it like?

Dr. Jamil: 

anyone can do it. Where are you going to learn you can do?

Dr. James: 

anything when you’re in the squeeze zone, you’re going to learn, anyway, yeah.

Dr. Jamil: 

Anyway, so what’s?

Dr. James: 

new since we last spoke.

Dr. Jamil: 

So we spoke about. This is podcast number three, isn’t it? Yeah, we’re doing well, we’re doing well, dude. So the first podcast was about two practices. We talked about valuations and stuff like that, how I run a practice. I think we went off quite a bit of a tangent on the first one. Second one, we reeled it back in, spoke a lot about marketing, how I get patients, blah, blah, blah. So I’d say, james, if it’s I love sharing knowledge, if you allow me to, I will share my how I built a squat practice and I did it on a really reasonable budget of less than 100 grand. So I think it would benefit a lot of people that are wanting to start. Would you agree? Super beneficial.

Dr. James: 

Let’s do it. Let’s do it. How did that happen?

Dr. Jamil: 

So, basically my first practice. I’ll tell you what the issue is. My first practice is only two surgeries and we massively overgrown that surgery. Okay, so we’re waiting. An average person is waiting about four to five months for a simple filling, for example, and most of them were about 80 to 90% private, I think.

Dr. Jamil: 

At this moment what happened was there was a building opposite me, at a tattoo parlor, and I said look, can I buy the building? She was owing an RA. Then she said somebody else has bought it. That deal fell through. And then she approached me again. I said no, you know what? It was not needed in the first place.

Dr. Jamil: 

I’m not really key and then, as you do, I’m always looking at my right move anyway. I was just looking for commercial properties and then I happened to stumble across this, the new practice, ideal for me. Massive GP site Can’t get planning without anything. It can’t be used for anything other than a GP or a dentist. So it’s a D1 category, shall we say. They tried to get planning for a flat, but it got rejected. Um, so it’s an ideal case. No other dentists bidded on it, I was the only guy. Surprisingly, um, it did need a lot of work to be fair, but um, but yeah, that’s, that’s how I came about it really. So the reason I came about is not because I wanted to go open up a squat practice. It’s because our demanding number one practice was too much. This practice is about 20 minutes drive away, so it’s a good distance. You don’t want to cannibalize on yourself.

Dr. James: 

D1,. What does D1 mean? Where is that category found? Where is it used? Who created that?

Dr. Jamil: 

So think in england now I think they got rid of d declassification. I don’t know what it means. All I know is e and d and there’s these little different permits that the council give to each building, right, so you wouldn’t want to like a church in the middle of a nightclub street or like is there to make sure it’s in the right place. Oh, okay, um, so basically d1 is used for medical purposes dentists, gps. I don’t know what else is used for my james, if I’m being honest, um, in england now I believe you don’t need to have a declassification. I think you can open up with an E classification. So it’s a lot broader, so a lot more properties apply to it.

Dr. James: 

All right, it’s just some sort of terminology in terms of categorization for the purpose of the building. Okay, fair enough, let’s reel it back into dentistry in that case.

Dr. Jamil: 

I was like D1?

Dr. James: 

Is that dental one. What the heck is that? I didn’t know what that was. Anyway, one is that dental one. I don’t know what that was, anyway. Um, okay, cool. So you’ve, obviously you bought this practice, right. Then the next step was to kit it out. Right, and this is the amazing part, because you’ve done this in under a hundred thousand pounds, right? So this is the part I’m really intrigued about just how did you go about that?

Dr. Jamil: 

um, because a lot of people have listened to this podcast. A lot of people that are probably looking to start up a squat practice would want to self-fund it. I think it’s quite difficult to get bank funding for a squat practice, um, or unless, unless, you try and find an investor, um, but what I did, um. So I found the building, acquired the building and then I drew up the plans myself, um, with a guy from fiverr.

Dr. Jamil: 

Um, it sounds complicated but it’s really not, and in my opinion, I think we have a lot more knowledge than an architect does of exactly what we want. So I spent a lot of time designing it. I found a guy on Fiverr that just did all the CAD drawings.

Dr. James: 

No way, it’s amazing.

Dr. Jamil: 

No way I’ll tell you what it is, james. There’s only five things that dental chair needs, okay, simple enough. And then you need to just have like 90 centimeters from the headrest around. It’s not as hard as people make it out. To be put it this way, I think of a dental practice such as getting out a house, um, but you’re kitting out more kitchens, so you’re doing three kitchens instead of one kitchen. That’s all it is, isn’t it? So I designed it all. So start plan one. I designed everything, okay. Then we gutted everything out.

Dr. Jamil: 

I used a website called my Builder a lot. I didn’t want to trust one contractor for everything, so I used loads of little contractors for each part of the build. The disadvantage to that is that I was quite heavily involved and I wanted to be heavily involved. It’s something I really enjoyed. So when I got to the contractor stage, I subdivided every job out to each contractor. So electrician at each room, stage. One wiring stage, two wiring what is exactly needed, and then I we quote. They quoted a price based on that.

Dr. Jamil: 

One thing I did that was quite different to a lot of people is that all my contractors had company cards my company cards so they could just spend on my account and they would just give me a receipt with a justification is that all my contractors had company cards, my company cards so they could just spend on my account and they would just give me a receipt with a justification. But realistically, materials cost what they cost. There’s no two ways about it. Did some of it get stolen? Probably, I don’t know. But it was a good way of me managing how much, because I knew approximately. If you know a pipe, you’re going to run 10 meters of pipe. Somebody buys 50 meters of pipe. It a lot of bills start really low there, and so that’s what I did. I split it up into loads of little jobs and you’ve seen the pictures, james. I think I did a pretty good job.

Dr. James: 

It’s pretty nice astro dental, wasn’t it? Yeah, looks cool to me, man. I love the rocket ship logo. Oh no, it’s not, it’s an astronaut with a rocket ship logo. Dude, that looks exactly like the rocket ship emoji. Is that what it? Is no, it’s actually it’s something similar, but yeah, similar. Yeah, there we go.

Dr. Jamil: 

So I based um. When I tried to design brands okay, now, um, when I was coming to name it, I was like, oh damn it, what do I name it? I could have named it the local area dental, okay. So then I thought no people want to go to a fun, exciting, like. Did you see the emotions it had on you when you saw the logo? You’re like that’s so cool. I liked it, yeah. So that’s what I want to do I creating fun, childish brands. Um really resonate with people, and so I didn’t do the whole world astronaut dental is because a lot of people can’t spell astronaut. If you ask 50 people to spell astronaut, you’ll be surprised how many people can’t spell it.

Dr. Jamil: 

So you want very easy to spell. So, yeah, going off a marketing tangent, but yeah, I believe, um, so that’s what I did. There’s a few other things that I saved money. So I got in contact with a dental company that specializes in new build squat practices. One of them quoted me 10 grand for them to design it. Okay, and I thought, blimey, what are they quoting 10 grand for? It’s ridiculous in my opinion. It’s not anyone that’s listening, listening to this. If you’re going to set up a squat practice, I think you need to spend a bit of initiative and spend a bit of time learning about electric, electrics, plumbing, having base knowledge about electricity, about plumbing, about gas, about networking, because, realistically, if the way my practice has been done, I almost know where every cable is and where every pipe has been run. If there’s ever a problem 10 years down the line, I will know. Um, so it kind of created a lot of redundancies if a tractor did try and mess me around yeah but yeah.

Dr. Jamil: 

So my opinion is a lot of us go on these fancy courses learning about composite. If you’re going to set up a squat practice, it’s going to be one of the biggest things you do in your life. Ok, much bigger than a class. Five composite what?

Dr. James: 

What about a class six? They’re pretty big. I know Class six Whoa classics, whoa, whoa.

Dr. Jamil: 

I think you should really and I mean not me by going to courses and trying to learn about squat practice from course. I think you should, um, just research about how is a simple wiring done in a house, because it’s not much different than a house than it is in a practice.

Dr. James: 

There’s not much different um, well, well, it’s the same, isn’t it? I mean? It’s just the chairs, you know but I guess what most people uh don’t realize is the significance of that stuff, because quite often it’s like these things just have a budget and people just throw money at it until it’s done. You know, my experience, yeah, and what you’re talking about is doing a lot of the stuff yourself that can be bootstrapped effectively.

Dr. Jamil: 

Yeah so if you can keep costs down, okay, you’ll turn a profit a lot quicker. Yeah, okay, so if somebody let’s say a competitor of mine goes and spends 400 grand on a practice. Okay, if you look at their monthly repayments, um, for finance equipment or whatever, the return on investment, it’s going to take them a lot longer to pay that off.

Dr. Jamil: 

If not they’re going to have to charge a patient a lot more, and then they’re competing with the likes of me who have gone for the cheap of the cheap just to get a practice up and running. So a lot of people might have not heard this, but there’s this term that a lot of startups use, which is called minimal viable product.

Dr. Jamil: 

Yeah, yeah, so I don’t know in dentistry why it’s not applied to dentistry but any other industries is applied to. Isn’t it? Minimal, viable product. You want to spend the least amount of money, get your company off the ground and then later on, in later on, you can spend money on whatever you need to spend money on. Yeah, I saved a lot of money, um on like cabinetry. So I used a company called howdons um, you know, everyone must know howdons, but um, they trade uh furniture, um worktop stuff they make, they make kitchen cabinets and stuff. I don’t think there’s any difference between a kitchen cabinet and a dental cabinet. I personally believe it’s the same. So I went for the best one and I spent £1,500. A surgery £1,500, £1,500. And I spent about £1,400 at Decon. If anyone’s listening to this, they can google astral dental um cavilli and you can see the pictures.

Dr. James: 

It looks pretty cool um, I think it’s gone. It’s a quite nice touch, do you? Agree, james yeah, I like it, that’s cool yeah, the matte blue looks really nice.

Dr. Jamil: 

Um, so then I paid a contractor 500 pound per surgery for them to fit it out. So most dental companies will charge you in the region of about seven grand for dental cabinetry. I do not know how you could charge seven grand, just if I charged seven grand for a bit of wood. But each to their own. So I did a lot of that. My dental chairs and stuff I bought used okay, and there’s two reasons I bought used. Number one is the lead time for dental chair is about. It’s about nine months. You can produce a kid faster than you can get a dental chair, believe it or not. Another thing is. Another thing is is because of the cost. So I just paid about two grand a chair. Okay, that might last me.

Dr. Jamil: 

It might last me five years, but at least my startup cost is quite low that in the future I can go spend 10 grand oh, I like that, yeah, I like that mindset, yeah so is it all about keeping your cost low so that you’re not worried and you’re not drowning yourself in debt, because I believe if your startup costs are quite high, naturally so you’d be hoping I hope that patient takes that treatment plan because I’ve got x amount to pay. What if something happens to you? What if you get into an accident and your arm breaks? Then what? Then? You’ve got this huge you’re. Whether you’re locked or not, you’ve got a still got a loan to pay. You’ve got finance agreements to pay. So, even to the level where I bought used x-ray arms and holders, I bought used suctions. What did I buy? I bought used vista scanner.

Dr. Jamil: 

Everything I bought was used. Yeah, I’m that type of guy that’s taking. Wouldn’t be happy to take the risk, okay, yeah, I’d be knowing I’d rather cancel a day of surgery rather than spend an extra for me to get all that equipment. You would probably cost me about 70 grand. Well, each surgery 10. Probably about 70 grand on top of what I’ve already spent. Yeah, I can’t earn 70 grand in a day.

Dr. James: 

Yeah yeah, yeah, think about how many days I could lose before.

Dr. Jamil: 

Um, it would be worth me buying a chair, and don’t new chairs break down yeah, exactly, yeah. Everything breaks down, you just you’re just gambling on your chances and you know the money I’ve saved. I’d rather so.

Dr. Jamil: 

I’ve got up to five surgeries in this place, um, so I’d rather get out the other five surgeries makes no sense bro so then I’ve got that redundancy that if a surgery does break, I can use another one a lot of people won’t have be fortunate to have that, but in my opinion you’re better off getting one brand new chair if that, if you’re that worried about to get one brand new chair and get one used chair, so at least you’ve got that redundancy as well. Yeah, enough surgery space for two surgeries very, very, very cool, okay, awesome.

Dr. James: 

Well, some words of wisdom there, because how often do we just throw money at these things is what I was saying earlier, because most people are just in the mindset where they’re just like I just want to get this done. Where can I buy a chair? However much, here you go done, are you with me? You know, and now I would see, if I was in that position, I’d probably react exactly the same, whereas if you’re a little more thoughtful about it, like what you’re being, what it means is, you can do it in a much more efficient way and use all these little hacks along the way.

Dr. Jamil: 

Yeah, anything else, anything else that you can. That was big for you, significant. So I’ll tell you my bad experiences. All right, yeah, let’s do that. So I thought, yeah, I’m a hero, I’m young, I could do this myself.

Dr. Jamil: 

So the first day on site I had a demolition contractor in ripping out, gutting out a contractor, and I had a waste disposal contractor First day I walk in. I walked in at lunchtime. They started already and they’re about to fight and I was like I really cannot be helped. So obviously I got rid of. I knew which contractor was causing me the issue. But the great thing with me is that because I didn’t get fully into bed with any contractor, I almost could get rid of any contractor with a click of a finger because we had discussed every portion of the project. So if I wasn’t happy after they did surgery, one wiring, I could get rid of them. Got you, yeah, there is no headache. There’s no argument of no, actually, I did get rid of them. Got you, yeah, there is no headache, there’s no argument of no, actually I did more money’s work. No, we agreed to set fee, that’s it. Yeah, things like Polyflow and stuff like that. I’ve got a really good deal on Polyflow, so those that are listening will know who’s I’m running.

Dr. James: 

Give me a second, jake sorry it’s all right, um, you’re a busy man, you’re. You’re actually on site at present, so it’s cool that you’re, you’re taking phone calls, you know, and it’s cool that, yeah, you’re keeping on top of things, which is great james, james, you know what.

Dr. Jamil: 

So that was one of the disadvantages of it. Another disadvantage was because you’re losing loads of little smoke attractors. When they installed the dental chair, yeah, okay, we put the suction on and I go to my engineer. I’m like the suction’s not powerful enough. And then they blamed my, they blamed the guy who put the pipe in. I said, is the pipe? There’s a split in the pipe? I was like no, not today.

Dr. Jamil: 

Because at this point, james, you have to remember, they concreted the floor and also they put the polyfloor in. So if for me to correct if there was a true split in the pipe, I would have to rip up the whole floor, rip up the break the whole concrete to see if there’s a damaged pipe. Thankfully it wasn’t that. There’s a way of isolating things and working out what the issue was, but thankfully it wasn’t that. But that was a gut-wrenching moment. I was like, oh my gosh, if that was the case, that would delay the project by a month at least. To rip up the floor, find a contractor to break through the concrete, to replace the pipe, to put everything back, that’s a big old job. That is um. So that was another go right.

Dr. Jamil: 

So you take a lot of the risk um in a project when you manage it yourself. Was it fun? Would I do it again? How? Yeah, I would do it again. I learned a lot on the way. Um. You probably heard me speaking to contractors, jake, before we started. Uh, yeah, a little bit. Yeah, so we’ve got a problem with um with one of the pipes. Um with one of the pipes, as in when we’re putting the hot water in the decon is not running as powerful as we want um. So then it’s just a problem solving and us dentists, we’re great at problem solving you just work out what you think might be the problem and if not.

Dr. Jamil: 

The problem can’t be resolved. You just run a new pipe, not the end of the world, um, but yeah, so I, I, um, I split up the project a lot. Now a lot of people that are listening to this might go to one big contractor and say, no, I don’t want any headache, I want this contractor to do everything. Okay, when they, when, when somebody like that does go to a big contractor like that, they rub their hands together. Okay, because they’ve got to take into account mitigating circumstances that might happen during the build. If they agree a set figure with you, they’ve agreed to set figure. What if? What? If there’s a problem with one of the wars and the wars need to be knocked down and rebuilt, you’re going to have to pay for the main contractor’s management, which would be about 25. So by the time you add all of this, it adds up quite a lot, and the great thing about me was I didn’t have to pay any. I paid barely any vat because all the contractors I used weren’t back registered. So that’s another 20 that’s smart.

Dr. James: 

That’s like 20% off the top.

Dr. Jamil: 

That’s amazing. It’s 20% VAT, isn’t it? I saved 20%. I was more than happy to pay VAT on materials because everyone has to pay it, so it doesn’t matter, but I was saving that. That was a huge saving I had. So not only if you’re using a big contractor, not only are you paying quite a lot for contractors for the hourly rate anyway, but you’re paying another 20% for VAT on top, um, so that’s the issue. So that’s another way I’ve saved a lot of money.

Dr. Jamil: 

In my opinion, james me having amazing work in my surgery and all the corners being bang on 90% and all the rendering being perfect is not going to make me money, in my opinion. What’s going to make me money? I’d rather save 50 grand and blow 50 grand on marketing. Truth be told, that’s what’s going to get me patients through the door. Truth be told, my waiting room chairs are going to leave a positive impact on a patient. Truth be told, having nice pieces throughout the surgery that’s what really makes you money, in my opinion. Having a nice artwork, having a nice website. You’re better off saving the money and spending on a nice website because, truth be told, that’s what will get you a lot of.

Dr. Jamil: 

A lot of dentists want get a deck 500 chairs. No, I’m not sponsored by any of the chair companies. Okay, just claiming them. But a lot of dentists say, oh yeah, I want the top of the range chair and I think who cares? Which patient has ever sat on that chair and said this is an adec 500 chair? Fair play to you, james. You’ve bought one of the best chairs on the market.

Dr. James: 

Nobody cares yeah, they won’t know they will it’s, it’s it’s?

Dr. James: 

it’s like, I mean, here’s the thing, it all comes from the same place and it’s just wanting to serve the patient to a really high standard, right? But here’s the thing, it’s having the awareness to realize what impresses the dentist versus what impresses the patient, right. And here’s the thing it’s like maybe we don’t necessarily have to do too much of one or the other, are you with me? But we just have to be conscious of what the patient is thinking, right, because that is the main thing that’s going to drive value towards the practice, the perception of value which ultimately results in remuneration. Real quick, guys.

Dr. James: 

I’ve put together a special report for dentists, entitled the seven costly and potentially disastrous mistakes that dentists make whenever it comes to their finances. Most of the time, dentists are going through these issues and they don’t even necessarily realize that they’re happening until they have their eyes opened. And that is the purpose of this report. You can go ahead and receive your free report by heading on over to wwwdenisoninvestcom forward slash podcast report, or, alternatively, you can download it using the link in the description. This report details these seven most common issues. However, most importantly, it also shows you how to fix them. I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts forwards to hearing your thoughts.

Dr. Jamil: 

So I think that I think the most important areas in a dental practice is not your surgery, because the patient’s panicking. They’re bombarded with information. They’re there, put back bright lights in their eyes. All that matters to them the waiting room, how the waiting room smells and how nice is the waiting room, the reception and also the toilet. They’re the three main areas that need to look nice. If you’re going to spend money on anything, it’s them three areas, because that’s what leaves a lasting impact to a patient. It’s not about how big your screen is in your, in your surgery. Nobody cares. Okay, when they’re sitting there and they’re not under pressure and they’re not having to communicate with somebody, or they’re not worrying and they’re just really looking around, thinking blindly this is a nice surgery. That’s what they remember. What do you think, james? Do you think and you know you actually hit the nail on the head, james Us dentists we worry about we worry too much about what a patient really thinks.

Dr. Jamil: 

I’ll give you an example. When you’re doing a filling or a cram, sometimes you’re struggling to get a margin. Let’s say you’re struggling to get a DL margin on a low left sit. You’re spending another five minutes. I don’t know if this has ever happened to you, but it’s happened to me where I think, oh, the patient must think I’m incompetent because they realise it’s taken me so long to do a distal margin, you naturally think the patient thinks the patient must think less of me because it’s taken me so long. A patient doesn’t know how long a crown prep takes, peso doesn’t take, and once you get into that mindset.

Dr. Jamil: 

You realize what’s important, um, things like. So I advise a lot of dentists that are looking to start up a squat practice. Some of them say, oh, I need to go buy an itero on day one. Nobody needs to buy an itero on day one. Okay, you don’t even have five patients on your list at the moment. Forget about my itero. Treat a patient, use potty and wash at the beginning. Grow initially. Spend on spending 500 pound on itero. Spend on google ads, spend on facebook ads. Get patients through your door and then later on, in the later on in line, maybe you can get itero. But there’s a lot of things you don’t need to get straight away. I’m in that fortunate position where, like I, I’ll get whatever I need to get straight away. Um, because we’re self-funded, it’s like, because my cost to build is so low, it doesn’t really matter you know what it’s really clever.

Dr. James: 

Where did you get all this wisdom from? Was this just stuff that you learned on the job? Do you have a mentor? Do you network with a lot of dentists?

Dr. Jamil: 

I try and keep away from dentists myself, okay, um, the reason I do is because I think dentists personally from my experience dentists are very because, um, you’re in a job that grosses so much high money or grosses a lot of money, they kind of don’t care about the nitty-gritty things, in my opinion. So I I’ve met a lot of dentists saying, oh, it’s a who cases, another, it’s 400 quid for an Invisalign, for an iTero machine, and I think that’s 400 quid that I’d rather have in my pocket. So you hear a lot of it dentists saying, oh, who case, it makes me X amount. But dentists only think about turnover. They never think about profit. Very rarely they’ll think, oh, this is a 10 grand case by profit. Very really don’t think, oh, this is a 10 grand case by the time you pay for your overhead chair time. All the subscriptions you have in your dental practice is not actually much left.

Dr. Jamil: 

Um, so I try and be as lean as possible as a dental practice. Um, the more profit I make, the better for me, the less I can charge a patient and the happier, the easier I sleep at night if I don’t have a 10 grand monthly payment to make to the bank or leasing companies. I I sleep at night if I don’t have a 10 grand monthly payment to make to the bank or leasing companies. I sleep better at night if I take a week off. I’m not worried that damn it. I’ve got to pay eight grand to a finance company at the end of the month, so I’m very risk adverse.

Dr. Jamil: 

I know your dentist who invests maybe your people listen to you like risk, but I’m very, very risk averse. I hate risk. Um, I just I’m in a very fortunate position where, um, I can afford the nicer things in life but, um, even things like buying a car on finance 600 pound a month, everyone was like, oh, you can easily pay that. But I think about what if something happens to me and that responsibility is left with my wife? I don’t want to leave that hardship to anyone if I ever go. So I’ve always cared about building lean companies with very good we spoke about this on the first podcast but good debt, turnover profit ratios.

Dr. James: 

You know it’s interesting to hear you say about the risk thing, because let’s look at this from another perspective. A lot of people might look at you, Jamil, and think, whoa, this guy has created three dental practices at 28. This guy sails close to the wind, you know he likes to roll the dice in life because that’s how you’re successful in business. So it’s interesting to hear you say that. Are you with?

Dr. James: 

me yeah, it’s interesting because from the outside, looking in, some people might get that impression right. And then, but from your perspective, you’re like, no well, I do these things and because I manage the risk so well that these things that seem risky actually they’re not so risky from my end, because my cash flow is amazing, I’ve got a good profit margin and it’s not like I’m spending loads of it whimsically. Right, because here’s the thing right. If you aren’t, if you don’t have that mindset, what I’ve always noticed is, in business, you basically just do. You just do what you feel, okay. So what I mean is, if you have a good month, right, most people are like, oh well, I’ll spend a little bit then, right, maybe you have a little bit of a slow month.

Dr. James: 

Most people are like, oh well, I’ll spend a little bit then. Right, maybe have a little bit of a slow month. Most people are like, oh my god, I’ve got to work really hard to fix this. Are you with me? You know what I mean. So it’s it’s recognizing that side or aspect of your human nature and then not letting it determine your actions too much, or having some sort of financial target and then hitting that. Whatever that financial target is, and when you know you’ve done the math, that when you know you hit that financial target, that that gives you a huge amount of breathing space. That’s the other way to overcome that. It’s either from being a little prudent or by having some sort of target that means that you’ve got more than enough to suit whatever you’re spending on so in the midst of covid, what happened was um, actually, yeah, about a year.

Dr. Jamil: 

A year after covid, um, yeah, a year after covid, what happened was I’ll show you how risk adverse I am. Okay, a year after covid, I had enough money in the bank to clear my loan off. Okay, and the bank manager sat down with me and said look on, a zoom call was like Jamal, don’t, you’re never going to find interest rate this low, and I know this ideology of use other people’s money to make money. But for me it’s not that. For me, it’s what happens if I die and then somebody can’t keep up the payments. All I want to do is just be profitable. And to finish off, james, there’s one thing I want to tell people. A lot of people appear very successful on that outside.

Dr. Jamil: 

Okay, I analyze accounts. My wife calls me a loser, but I analyze accounts in my free time. I’ve analyzed hundreds of dental practices, any dental company I’ve seen, and one thing I find is that the debt-to-profit ratio is out of this world. Most practices will spend a million pounds but be generating profit as principal led of 180,000. That is just abnormally large. You could do that a lot quicker with a lot less budget. So for anyone listening to this and feeling a bit shitty about themselves, just bear, bear in mind you do not know what loan to what loan that practice has. Although they’re turning over as much as they are, maybe they have to in order to be sustainable.

Dr. James: 

Otherwise they’ll go six foot under very quickly you know what, right, I actually shot another podcast earlier today and what was? What was the stat that, uh, somebody threw out. They said that 90 of podcast, 90 of dental practices in the uk have a turnover of 600 000 or under. Right, so that blew my mind, because I was you always hear about. Dental practices are turning over like flipping x, y and z. You know what I mean, right, and it seems that those are the majority of dental practice practices. You know, when you hear about a dental practice turning over, however many million, and you tend to think to yourself that that’s representative of what most people are doing, actually that’s an extreme outlier 90 or under 600k. Right, it was the fact that somebody threw to me earlier and that surprised me I thought it would be like 50 or under under 600k or maybe like 30

Dr. Jamil: 

percent, we’re under 600k 90 that’s all I think people need to realize is don’t look up. Always look down. Sometimes I have the tendency of looking up. I see some of my competitors doing extremely well and I’m saying you know what? I’m in a very fortunate position.

Dr. Jamil: 

But james, I believe you’ve got a shoe but can I just put a little message out there. If any of you guys need any advice about squat practice, I’m not any guru and just feel free to DM me on dentistjamil and I’ll give you my honest opinion. I always have and always will.

Dr. James: 

Top stuff. Thank you so much for your time again, jamil. That was ever uh, that was a very insightful podcast, ever insightful whenever I get you on. So thanks so much once more thanks we’ll catch each other super soon.

Dr. James: 

See you later. Bye, if you enjoyed this podcast, please hit, follow or subscribe so you can stay up to date with information on new podcasts which are released weekly. Please also feel free to leave a positive review so others can learn about this podcast and benefit from it. I would also encourage any fans of the podcast to sign up to the free Facebook community from which the podcast originated. Please search Dentists who Invest on Facebook and hit join to become part of a community of thousands of other dentists interested in improving their finances, well-being and investing knowledge. Looking forward to seeing you on there.

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