There will always be a demand for dentistry, but just because there is demand doesn't mean that every private practice is automatically entitled to it. Dr. Nate Jeal, a successful, multi-location, practice-flipping dentist, knows that the best.
Over the span of a few short years, Dr. Jeal, together with his wife Dr. Bao-Tran Nguyen, bought, grew, and sold multiple dental practices. Dr. Jeal’s choice to jump into the "deep end" inspired learning at a pace he never dreamed of.
As Dr. Jeal explains, "Dental practice is not as transparent as it should be, and there are many apparent differences. Of course, you'll want to be the best doctor you can be, but you'll also need to learn how to run a company, develop and market your practice, and enroll patients in your philosophy of treatment, all on the same day!"
Dr. Jeal entered the dental business full of energy and plans for a bright future. He thought that more was better, so he bought five practices in just two years. Instead of more, he got less of everything.
"Even though we spent more on marketing, hired more consultants, and tried hard to do more work, we got less in return," says Dr. Jeal. "Less engagement by our team, less predictability from patients, less profit inside the practice, and most importantly, less enjoyment of our chosen profession."
Dr. Nate Jeal sat down together with his wife, and they devised a new plan. Over the next five years, they transformed all five practices into highly profitable ones, each time taking careful notes on what worked and what didn't.
Dr. Jeal's experience is unprecedented, and he points out that the three most important things that can make anyone the most successful doctor in the area are building a unique identity, creating a culture of respect and growth, and increasing the value of time.
Build a Unique Identity
As Dr. Jeal points out, the most successful practices have strong identities, and prospective patients seek them out for solutions. "You've got to find ways to set yourself apart from the crowd with a unique identity that attracts the right patients, according to the type of dentistry you want to provide. One way to achieve that is to position yourself as a niche solution provider rather than a jack-of-all-trades generalist," says Dr. Jeal.
Create a Culture of Respect & Growth
"Result-oriented people with clear goals and the ability to communicate them will always thrive, no matter what," says Dr. Jeal. "When excellence is expected, and you have a team that can fulfill the expectation, you have a great foundation to build a practice focused on win-wins."
Increase the Value of Your Time
Time is relative, but those who want to succeed need to increase its relative value. According to Dr. Jeal, the solution for that is a bit of exclusivity. "A predictable and profitable practice is one that consistently provides dental solutions to lots of people," says Dr. Nate Jeal. "Still, if you want to be both well respected and well rewarded for your efforts, you need to control your schedule. You need to limit how and when people can demand your time."
Photography by: Dr. Nate Jeal