Table of Contents

In your dental practice, do you have one over-arching goal that unifies and drives your organizational growth? If not, keep reading. You have a successful practice; your team is aligned with your success; your goal is to assist and propel the health and well-being of your patients. Is that enough?  

No.  

What is a ‘Vision’ for your Dental Practice?

As a dentist, your focus is, of course, on your patients and their health and healing. However, as a dental entrepreneur, responsible for, not just your patients, but the overall health and stability of your organization, you need to focus on the overarching goal of economic success to keep doing what you’re doing for your patients and your teams. And Unfortunately, it’s not enough to “get butts in seats” to drive that economic success.

As with many entrepreneurs, economic success entails an overall vision for your business, not just your practice. You need a vision that guides and aligns your business decisions and that vision is different from the one you had for becoming a dentist.  

Working On your Dental Practice, Not Just In It

You are a dentist, but you are also a dental entrepreneur. You show up at the start of your day, get in the dentist’s chair and work in your practice. While you’re doing that, who is working on your business? Well, if you want to oversee your future and your legacy, you must be the one to show up and work on your business, not just in it. Meaning, you’ve got your overall vision as a dentist, but if you own your practice, you must have an overall vision for your business.  

How do I know this? Because I was once right where you are: a dentist with no clear idea of how to run a business. In fact, I learned the hard way how to run my business, but that’s a story fanother post. Let’s dig into the importance of a vision for your business. The following is an excerpt from my book, Extraction: The Surprising New Formula to Systemize, Scale and Sell your Practice. In this excerpt, I describe how my vision for my first practice became a reality.

Extraction by Dr. Jack Bayramyan - Dental Practice

Why Do You Need a Vision for your Dental Practice?  

Excerpt: Chapter 3: Creating Your Vision

THE POWER OF VISION  

While I was an associate dentist in the early 2000’s, holding onto the vision of owning my own patient-centered practice opened my mind to exploring opportunities for purchasing my first dental office. A year after successfully buying that office and establishing our practice, I envisioned how we could expand our business model to serve additional under-served communities.  

In 2005, as I started to explore possible communities, I had a flash- back of my dental school days. I remembered my daily drive back from USC. There was a stop light across from MacArthur Park that would take me 15 to 20 minutes to cross due to the volume of pedestrian traffic.

As annoying as it was trying to get home to my family after a long day of school, this red light, forcing me to stay in one place and observe the public life around me, ended up being an opportunity to scope that exact location for our first start-up practice. The intersection of 6th and Alvarado was, and probably still is, one of the busiest intersections in L.A., serving a high number of residents with minimal access to transportation who must walk for their daily needs.  

I spent months scoping out that community. I had a vision of where I would like the practice to be. It had to be visible, accessible and welcoming to walk-in patients. Finally, after six months of searching with no results, I noticed an empty location. I walked into the building which had only a church sign on the front door and some chairs inside. I never saw anyone inside during the day nor did the building have a For Lease sign.  

The following day I went back with my dental assistant who could translate Spanish and spoke with some of the tenants trying to find out if the storefront was available for rent. They informed us that the place was occupied for nightly gatherings, and they gave us the prop- erty manager’s contact information.

If I could have the tenant agree to relocate to another location, the property manager would consider giving me a lease. I went back out for several nights with my dental assistant to catch them during their gathering and present an offer. The first night there was no one there. This is not a location you want to be past nightfall when the city turns from families running er- rands and shopping into a gang and drug epicenter.  

The second night, we had luck and were able to speak with the pastor who preached in the storefront regularly. We shared our vision with him of opening a dental practice for kids in the community. We told him how important it was to be in that location and how we needed to obtain permits and have visibility for walk-ins. The pastor agreed to relocate if we paid for their move.  

Once the location had finally been leased to us, we had to create a strategic plan of sourcing the contractor, drawing up plans, speaking with lenders, and understanding credentialing requirements from the state insurance office.  

As soon as the construction started, we needed to build a team as well as a marketing strategy to bring in new patients. We invested capital to hire and train staff at our existing location to ensure that we had a competent and experienced team when we opened our doors. I knew that we had only one chance to make an outstanding first impression with our patients. We also built a robust outreach patient education marketing strategy and hired a team made up of dental assistants who could educate and guide the parents in our community on the importance of establishing a dental home for their children.  

Finally, the opening day came, and we had to execute. It was the sweetest feeling to see the smiles and to feel the gratitude and appreciation from our partners and the children we were going to serve in our new community. I remember to this day, one of the moms telling my assistant that in all her life she had never felt so loved by any doctor.  

Within three months of opening, our practice was organically growing with new patients and financially profitable. This growth is my most memorable and rewarding experience of creation, from vision to execution. That first vision was the foundation of our ability to expand and scale that, to this day, has blessed us with the privilege and responsibility of serving close to a million under-served children across the country. The extraction process was at the heart of this experience. It started as a vivid clarity of vision for growth, expansion and value creation.  

End excerpt.

Creating Your Vision for your Dental Practice 

Every successful business grows with a clearly and consciously crafted vision. So, how do you create a vision for your business?

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to seek out and participate in masterminds, conferences, coaching and round tables that have given me access to talent and resources that propelled my success. One of my coaches was Cameron Herold. And his book, Vivid Vision: A Remarkable Tool for Aligning your Business Around a Shared Vision of the Future really defined for me what a vision aligned with my values could do for my business.

The work I did using Cameron’s Vivid Vision® process helped me craft a vision that was aligned with my core values; it wasn’t only about the growth of my business but how I wanted my future to be aligned with that vision and my values.

About the time I met Cameron Herold, I started attending a conference aimed at entrepreneurs looking to build, scale and protect their businesses and legacies. Dan Sullivan‘s Strategic Coach offers entrepreneurs the opportunities to find their voice, create stability within their organizations and build lasting success. Another incredible coach I worked with was Julia Waller. She along with her sister, wrote another book that helped me immensely during my vision creation process, Unique Ability 2.0 Discovery: Define Your Best Self.

The Second Best Tool for Mapping Successful Growth in your Dental Practice

Designing a sustainable vision based on your values will almost ensure economic success and creating a legacy that will last. If you are to embark on this life-changing adventure like I did, you will want one more tool in your toolkit. It’s called a mastermind. What is a mastermind? A mastermind is a group of peers that come together on a regular basis to work out their biggest challenges, share resources and build community. It is the single most effective tool that an entrepreneur has in the entrepreneurial toolkit.

Every Dentist Needs a Community

And you’re in luck! My partner and CEO on OPS, Josh Gwinn, runs a regular mastermind exclusively for dentists. We get together regularly to discuss the biggest obstacles to growth that they’re facing in real time; share stories of inspiration; share resources and celebrate each other’s wins. It’s a wonderful community and we want you to be a part of our movement. If you are a dentist and would like to know more about this exclusive dentists-only experience that moves the needle of your practice, click the button below to learn more.