“Time is money.” Nowhere is that statement more true than in the world of business. As a dentist, your time is incredibly valuable. The more time you spend seeing patients, the more money your practice can make. This isn’t rocket science—and yet, many dentists find themselves spending hours each day on non-essential tasks that simply don’t generate money for the practice. Why? Because in many cases, dentists haven’t discovered the power of delegation. The concept is simple—as a dentist, you possess specialized knowledge and skill. You have the ability to see patients and generate income for your practice. Nobody else on your team has that ability. Therefore, your time should be spent doing what you alone are qualified for—rather than clerical or administrative work that anyone on your team could handle. Below are tips to help you begin to delegate effectively:
1) Identify areas of specialization for you and your team. As a dentist, your time is spent most efficiently treating patients. How can the rest of your team spend their time efficiently? Your bookkeeper should spend his or her time keeping the books, not answering the phones or performing other administrative work. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team member and do your best to ensure that they spend time utilizing their strengths.
2) Make delegation a habit. It’s important, as a dentist, to adopt a mindset of delegation. A situation may arise where you have the opportunity to help out a team member by doing their job. For instance, the phone may ring while you have a free moment. And while your impulse may be to “pitch in” and answer the phone, doing so only breaks down your system of delegation. You do your job, and your staff does theirs—no exceptions!
3) Make sure that your team understands their roles and responsibilities. It’s not enough to trust your staff to figure out what needs to be done. If you fail to assign specific responsibilities to each team member, you increase the likelihood that certain jobs just won’t get done—and when that happens, who usually ends up doing it? Does this problem sound familiar? I know plenty of dentists who end up staying at the office for an extra hour to clean up all the loose ends left behind by their staff. That’s not a good use of your time. Don’t leave anything to chance—make sure that each member of your team clearly understands their responsibilities.
You’re in business to make money. And the key to making money is to use your time efficiently. You didn’t spend years in school so that you would have the ability to create invoices or answer the phone—you spent years studying so that you could take care of patients. Don’t waste your time. Take care of your patients… and delegate the rest. If you would like help creating efficient management systems, please feel free to get in touch!