Content Dam Diq Online Articles 2017 07 Cookout 1

Beware the summer doldrums in your dental practice

July 24, 2017
It's easy to put your dental practice on the back burner when your mind turns to vacations in the summer. But it's important to stay engaged, and maybe even liven up the practice. Here's how to do that.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

It's easy to put your dental practice on the back burner when your mind turns to vacations in the summer. But it's important to stay engaged, and maybe even liven up the practice. Here's how to do that.

This article originally appeared in the Principles of Practice Management e-newsletter. Subscribe to this informative twice monthly practice management ENL here.

It’s the end of July, and we’ve all got summer on the brain– weekends at the beach, cookouts, pool parties, and sitting out on the deck as the sun sets and enjoying a favorite adult beverage. Ahh, good times!

At this point in the year, work is seemingly the last thing on anyone’s mind. We’re all trying to squeeze as much summer fun into the remaining four or five weeks before Labor Day, which is fast approaching like an asteroid traveling at light speed.

Despite all the nice weather, there’s this little thing called your dental practice, which is still open for business, which means there are patients to treat. There are still fees to collect, insurance claims to submit, and a host of other clinical and administrative activities that go with running a successful dental office.

How do you maintain your focus as the practice leader, and how do you keep your team motivated during this tricky time of year? Here are a few suggestions to help your practice survive the summer doldrums:

1. Host a patient appreciation event
Putting together a fun event for your patients is a good way to inspire everyone on the team. It doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate. You can hold it at the practice on an afternoon you close early, for example. Provide drinks, healthy snacks, and low-cost prizes, such as gift cards to local restaurants and shops. Work with nearby businesses for additional giveaways. Promote the event via social media, email, and in-practice flyers.

2. Ramp up your Refer-a-friend program
Summer puts nearly everyone in a good mood. It’s an excellent time to inform current patients that your practice is accepting new patients. Offer incentives, such as a discount on whitening, a gift card for coffee, etc., for making a successful referral. If you don’t have a structured program, hold a short meeting and brainstorm ideas with the team. Act on the best suggestions and design your own program within the next month.

3. Invite your team over for a cookout
If your house isn’t a good choice, grill out at a nearby park or throw a celebration at a local restaurant. Having a fun get-together outside of work builds team spirit and cohesion. Summer will be gone before you know it. Why not find a way to enjoy a little more of the season with the people you work with?

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Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of Levin Group Inc., a leading dental consulting firm. A nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Levin presents practice management seminars throughout the country.