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Dentists Who Invest

Going From One Practice To Multiple Practices with Dr. Amit Jilka

Full Transcript

Dr James: 

Try again. Anyway, back for one more time too the Tennessee Invest Facebook group. This evening Accidentally, the Zoom just terminated there and the last one. So, anyway, we’re picking things up where we left off, but you know what we had just began. So guess what? Guys? We’ve got all of that good stuff in front of you whenever it comes to knowledge from Dr Amit Jilka. Just before we do that, just before we jump into Amit and Amit giving us a little bit of a description as to who he is and also his opinion on going from single practice ownership to multiple practice ownership, because that is something that Amit has actually smashed out of the park. We’re going to do that in just a second. We’re going to touch upon that in just a second. Just before we do it as ever, if you’re watching this live this evening, tuesday, the 6th of February, just past half past six, then go ahead and throw a live in the comment section so we know how many people we’ve got watching this Facebook live broadcasting on the Tennessee Invest Facebook group. And then, in addition to that, if anybody’s watching it on replay, it would be super helpful if you could go and throw replay in the comment section Again, it’s just so we have a really good idea of how many people are watching this broadcast on catch up versus live in the house, and therefore it allows us to tailor the content, make it even more engagement, make it make it even more engaged worthy, I suppose, so that we get even better engagement on the Tennessee Invest Facebook group. Feel free to do that now. Anyway, guys, looking forward to your comments in the comment section, remember this is a live Q&A. Anything that you ask us while we’re on air, we will go ahead and endeavor forward to the best questions to Amit so that we can benefit from his immense expertise on the subject at hand. Anyway, that’s enough of a spiel from me. Amit, how are you this evening? I’m good. Thank you, vunderbar. So, amit, you’ve been on the Tennessee Invest podcast before and some people will know you from the broader world of dentistry. The Dentistry Invest audience will know you from that podcast, so I’m wondering if you were able to do a little bit of an intro about yourself on the podcast this evening for people who are yet to come across you.

Amit: 

So, yeah, I bought my first practice in 2012, two surgery practice and over the tenure period, kind of expanded it into four sites and recently launched a squat in August, which was our fourth site. We’ve grown a team of four people up to now, 110. Wow.

Dr James: 

Can we just take two seconds and do that with our hands, because that is something else. Fair play, amit.

Amit: 

We’ve over 30 clinicians that work as part of our team.

Dr James: 

Wow, we have 110 team members that are flipping something else, and through that journey, you will well know the transition from single practice ownership to multiple practice ownership, amit, and that is specifically the topic at hand tonight. So I guess, if we were to look back on your journey and review how things were before you took on your second practice, if you could just paint a little bit of a picture for us, amit. How were things at that time? How did they look? How big was the practice? Where was it? Nhs, private, all of that? It would be really, really interesting to get a window into your mindset at that time.

Amit: 

So, yeah, it was a NHS practice, approximately 10,000 UDA contract, and I recently started my implant diploma and was really focusing my efforts on doing more private dentistry. So we wanted to revamp the practice initially. So we moved it from two to four surgeries but felt that there was a bit of a disconnect for patients who wanted NHS treatment to the patients that wanted more high-value treatments. So the plan was to move our private clinic to another area, another building. So we purchased another building nearby and thinking that two surgeries would be enough. So we had two surgeries built in there and that was practice two. And then we quickly realised that the private side really took off as we started to do more in Visiline. My wife is in Visiline only practitioner and she was doing a lot of in Visiline. We joined the MySmile network as well with Sandeep Kumar and focused on growing our Invisiline numbers. So then we had the NHS practice that remained as four private one and then realised we needed a much bigger site, so then purchased a third building which was then dedicated to kind of high end dentistry and that was kitted out to a high level to kind of have that difference. And then we re kind of branded the second one into a hygiene and therapy service, put an extra surgery into. Now our hygiene team just work out of that building, the NHS team work in the NHS building and then we increase the surgeries in that building as well. And then with the last building we well, it’s got five surgeries now but we’re building surgery number six in that one and that’s purely private, mainly implants, small makeovers, that type of stuff. And then realized again that the demand is there for more and more of this high end stuff and being only implant, only wanting to grow the implant side, grow the Invisalign, composite bonding numbers, all of those things, so decided to have a completely new area and opened up a squat in Stoke on Trent just last year in August. So we’re kind of six months into the launch of that. But the new facility was not just a dental practice, it was to encompass a academy as well. So we’ve got the ground floor with five surgeries and then the upstairs is conference facilities and training areas.

Dr James: 

Wow. So it’s been from strength to strength to strength by the science of it, which is awesome, and you know what it sounds like. It really wouldn’t have started all of that subsequent success. Well, it didn’t really start until we started thinking ourselves okay, we’ve got one practice, now we’re going to expand into a second practice, which, of course, led into multiple sites, which is amazing. So that’s off to you, mate, a team of 110 people is quite something to flip in achievement and you must be amazing at delegating, because that is a skill that is required whenever that happens.

Amit: 

Yeah, 100%. Yeah, I mean delegation is kind of critical. You know I’ve got some exceptional managers, senior managers and TCOs and the full team have just been given so much of the effort, and not just from a delegation, from a management and admin perspective, but the associates as well. The associates have been trained to be able to offer complex dentistry that a lot of the complex dentistry that I was doing. They’re trained to do it so that not everything rests on me and my wife’s shoulders anymore.

Dr James: 

Love it, my man. So let’s go right back to the relative start of that journey, and that was the day that you decided actually one site was not where you saw yourself in the long term and you wanted to expand in the multiple sites. How did you find that transition different to, perhaps, the transition that you went through whenever you went from associate to principal in the very first instance?

Amit: 

Yeah, so I mean, I was an associate for a number of years and the dream was always to have my own practice. I don’t think I ever planned to have more than one practice and I think when we had that first practice and we’d refurbished it to four surgeries, we were quite happy and content with what we wanted. It was really the dentistry that pushed us to continue offering more and more services, rather than us as individuals wanting more buildings. So, like I said, the next two buildings are all based on offering different private treatments and giving the patient a better experience, and so we kind of just grew and grew. So the mindset was very different when we first bought the practice. There was a need and I want to have a practice, and the other ones have just been almost a snowball effect from wanting to offer all these different services and having the academies part of that. That’s another snowball effect in that the number one thing I always get asked is how do you grow your invisible numbers, how do you grow your implant numbers, how do you grow your private associates income and how do they improve their clinical skills? And so the academy really is going to encompass that, which is to teach people those things. And yeah, that’s really pretty much it. Because we’ve got such now a big, good clinical team, a lot of the clinicians who have their own specialities also want to start teaching what they are very good at.

Dr James: 

Amazing. So would you say that it sounds like it came back to having a very strong why in the first instance? Because it wasn’t really about, hey, how can we triple down in terms of practice and make way more money or anything along those lines. It’s more something along the lines of OK, actually we’ve got this amazing God-given ability to help people and really, if we want to magnify that opportunity as much as possible and have as much impact on the world, then this is very much the vehicle.

Amit: 

Yeah, so we I think it was 2017 when we did the Colin Campbell business course and the first module of that was the homework that we had to take home was to create our own why. What is our why? Yeah, well, I sat down and took it really seriously and we put a why together, which we put on the website as well now, and we’ve always remained that, and the why was kind of segregated into three sections. The third one is what we want as individuals, me and my wife, and that was to ultimately make our family and friends proud of what we’ve achieved. That was our kind of why. And then it was for our patients what we wanted to offer our patients, that we wanted to blow them away with all the services and treatments. And then the third one was the team and the staff. We wanted our staff to feel that they’ve got somewhere really proud that they want to work at. So you know, in all the practices, as much as we make a nice waiting room and a nice surgery, we also really ensure that the staff facilities are just as high end as everything else. Whereas you’ve been to loads of practices, haven’t you? Everyone has a nice waiting room, and then they have the smallest, tiniest little staff room with no facilities whatsoever. As is the opposite, we’ve got facilities for all of those things.

Dr James: 

Amazing man. So investing your team and looking after them is a big MO of what you do. Okay, amazing, okay cool. So let’s go back to, obviously, that transition, because we want to just really, really, really home in on moving from single practice to multiple practice, given that that is the title of this Podcast and off this Facebook live. So I’m curious, from a technical perspective, what things did you notice were different? Did you, for example, find it easier because you already had a lot of the know-how of how to run a dental practice, or was it really hard because it required a different skill set, given that you had to become, well, what we were referring to earlier? Maybe you had to master the art of delegation Even more so, or take it to the next level. What did you notice about that journey?

Amit: 

Maybe more from a technical standpoint, from a technical perspective, it’s the the knowledge of building work, planning, permission and advertising. All of these things were kind of new to me and each building had its own problems, had its own structural issues. So you almost become knowledgeable in the building trade and you also start forming really good links with the building trade, because you can’t build a practice without good builders. And so building a dental surgery, and okay, you’ve got a vision for a building and how that building, because three of the buildings were, you know, old houses. So converting an old house into a dental practice, and then these were all old buildings, so two of them are 18th century buildings. To convert them and to comply planning rules and you have to have a lot of knowledge. So you know, we had project managers that helped us with it. We had good planning on well, planning was always difficult, so as much as like. So I think the this to the buildings took us about two years just to get planning and ultimately we wanted to Buy the building and open the practice within six months. But if you you can’t just do that, as much as you might have the building team ready to do it. Yeah, you need to get planning permission and we had big hurdles with planning permission. So learning all of those things, really. But I think as each project went along and Like the latest one that we opened, it becomes easier and easier. You start trusting your building team, start delegating that to them, and the last building, I mean, I think I was on site once a month. I was already there because the the team that we work with just know what I want and they know how to deliver it. So it wasn’t like I was on site every day seeing what’s going on. So it does become easier. Yeah, you trust. You gotta learn to trust those that you work with.

Dr James: 

That’s reassuring here, because it’s almost like a skill, almost in itself Understand exactly what the other person wants, and one of the main things that forms a skill is Repetition. It just so happens that this is a very highly leveraged skill. This is building down a practice, so there’s a great wisdom in Starting and just getting the ball rolling and understanding that’s part of the process, would you say.

Amit: 

Yeah, and knowing that that budget that you think you have you’ve got is gonna be blown out the water, have contingencies in place in terms of finances to make sure you’ve got funding plus extra funding just in case. And Then having a strategy for each practice on how you’re gonna fill up that, that book and those surgeries, because it’s all good and well Building a five surgery practice or a three surgery practice, but you know, to fill up three surgeries were for patients just from the onset. It’s not an easy, you know it’s not an easy process. So you gotta you gotta be good at knowing what patients want. You gotta be good at your marketing. Everything that you Not been taught a dental school. The business side you got to get good at and you’ve got to learn it all.

Dr James: 

Big time, and you know what that actually leads. Me. On to the next thing I was curious about. So when you open your very first practice, listen, I’m sure that there’ll be mentors, there’ll be people who guide you and what have you, and they can give you some sort of formula that you can use and apply to your dental practice. Now, that will be the formula that works for them, the formula that works for you and the next person. And the next person is going to be a slight variation on that. So, naturally, when you open your first practice, there’s a little bit of hidden hope, and then, with time, we refine that formula. What would you say the formula is for you and your experience, and what I mean by that is do this in this order, or put a lot of emphasis on this particular thing, be that your marketing, or really make sure you have a good team first of all, or maybe it’s really hard to distill. I know that that’s a difficult question. It’s really hard to distill it down to a few things, maybe just some high level pointers with regards to things that you find super important, super important is the building team knowing you can trust your project manager.

Amit: 

If you can trust your project manager, then you’re free from that part. Working with a team that no dental as well is critical. So, as much as you work and build, as you’ve got to know all the dental compliance so that again you don’t need to think about it, so that you’re free to sort out the funding to continue working and earning money to make sure the project can continue going forward and I’d probably say to, in the same time you’re spending time on the business in terms of knowing to start the marketing process and start starting all of that, because if you’ve got good builders and they’re sorting out everything, then at least you can start working on launching new practice. So as each practice is launched, we’ve got better and faster at filling up the surgeries.

Dr James: 

Man, man, that’s awesome. All right, listen. Thank you so much for your wisdom and I love to keep these lives about. The 20 minute mark is a find that that is the best for engagement purposes and making sure that everybody can absorb every single piece of wisdom that we have on offer, because they’re powerful, punchy and concise. Let’s imagine Amit the current version of Amit in 2024, was able to go back and speak to that Amit that was just about to open his second practice, put his hand on his shoulder and tell him a few things. What would you say those things would be? Would you say it’s the team? Would you say it’s the marketing or would it be anything over and above that? It’d be the team.

Amit: 

So making sure that any staff that is not on brand and not following your philosophy get rid of sooner rather than later, because then lingering on slows you down and puts doubts in your mind to think that you can’t. Difficult, though, right, it is difficult, but as you do more and more practices, you can quickly realize who’s on board and who’s not, and then being free from it. And then the second thing is just believe that it’s gonna work. If you believe it’s gonna work, then you will do everything you can in your power not to fail. So there’s been times when, financially, we’re really really struggling. As you launch each new practice, the cash flow, the money problems become worse and worse. But you’ve got to believe that there’s an end result and it’s gonna come back and you’re gonna churn it out. And you’re forced to, because each time you open up a new practice you’re always going backwards in terms of your capital that you’ve got. So you’ve got to believe that it’s gonna work and you’re gonna turn it around.

Dr James: 

Hell yeah, man Rocks only believes under the bonnet because it is far from plain smoothing all of the time in business.

Amit: 

Yeah, 100%.

Dr James: 

And it’s the wise as well. I always find, because if it’s not about the money and you know you’re wise it’s very easy to just the fuel that you need, the thing that you can lean on. It’s very easy just to think to yourself oh, I’m not gonna do this, who else is gonna do it? And then you’re all of a sudden you’re like actually, hell, yeah, let’s go. Something like that. That’s what goes on the side of my head, anyway, man, okay, cool, listen, amit. It’s been really amazing to benefit from.

Amit: 

No, thank you for having me on it was interesting.

Dr James: 

Oh, bro, always a pleasure, always pleasure, to get you back on soon. Amit, for the people who are listening to the podcast, how are the best getting in touch with you Should anything that you said today interest them, be that some guidance whenever it comes up in practice, or be that your implant courses, or however the heck that looks.

Amit: 

Yeah, so you can contact me on my Instagram, dr Amit Jilka, and message me instant message me and you can also go on our website and message the Academy as well. You know, in terms of the implant, how to grow your implant numbers, which was the last course we did, and a few weeks ago, we did a course on, with my smile, on how to increase your Invisalign conversions. So, yeah, just keep out for the Academy at Abbey House Dental.

Dr James: 

And where you do things a little differently, amit, is it’s not just the clinical aspect of implants, it’s also the business side of things too right, yeah, 100%.

Amit: 

I mean, the course that we did on a weekend was purely people that are placing implants but wanna grow their numbers, so it was purely business related rather than anything really clinical.

Dr James: 

Very, very, very cool. All right well, amit, as I say, thank you so much for your time Once again this Tuesday evening on the Dennis Inverse Group. We’re looking forward to having you back super little bit soon, Take care.