The best way to create your future is to plan it

Are your leadership skills up to CQC standards?

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A big orange fish leads the pack - Learn how to be a leader with dental business coachAndy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning

Learn how to be a leader with dental business coach Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning

Leadership is now a key component for CQC inspections of dental practices. Is your dental team well supported? Do you and your management team work well with all members of staff? Do you and your managers show respect for staff at every level?

Dental business mentor, Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning has announced the dates and details of his next leadership course at the BDA headquarters in London.

The course will take place on Friday July 3, 2020 and, as there are limited numbers, dental business leaders are encouraged to book early. The course is suitable for dental practice managers, principal dentists and those in charge of the dental business.

Learning objectives

  1. Understand the different leadership styles and become aware of your own
  2. Have a thorough grounding in the principles of leadership
  3. Understand the difference between leadership and management
  4. Be aware of what followers expect from leaders
  5. Understand culture and how to unlock a high-performing team

The course provides 6 1/2 hours CPD and meets the educational criteria set by the GDC for verifiable CPD and is certified by the British Dental Association.

Feedback from recent attendees

“I enjoyed listening to a total expert share his knowledge in a very engaging way.”

“Practical tips to implement in practice immediately rather than just theory focused.”

“The lecture and the quality were really high standards.”

Andy McDougal said: “The success or failure of your leadership skills will become clearly visible in your results. The only way to achieve your strategic goals is to harness the whole team in pursuit of your vision. A culture that fails to galvanise the entire team
risks a radically negative impact on results.”

Click here to find out more

How can I maximise my dental practice’s profitability?

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Dental business coach Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning

Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning.

‘How do I increase profits and ensure my business is reaching its full financial potential?’, is a question most dental practice owners will have asked themselves. For dental business coach Andy McDougall, owner of Spot On Business Planning, the answer is already in front of you…you just need to dig into your accounts to find it.

Not only can the information you find in your accounts help you to increase your profits, Andy says it can actually help you to double them in just three years. Below, he explains how.

Just looking at your accounts at the end of the financial year is not enough to help you analyse what those numbers are telling you, and use them to make the next set of results even better.

There are two aspects of your accounts that are particularly worth digging into – profit by treatment, and profit by clinician. And, while many dental practice owners know whether a treatment or clinician gives a gross profit, they don’t necessarily know whether it gives a net profit. To figure that out, we use a technique that looks at a specific treatment or clinician and allocates all the fixed and variable costs it has, in order to work out whether they are profitable or not.

It’s an efficiency-led methodology that allows you to examine the ratios between costs, such as labs, materials and associates, and sales. By refining the ratios between those costs in relation to sales we find that practices don’t need to get the same level of sales in order to achieve the same level of profit.

Doing that financial analysis is stage one of the process, but we also look at other aspects such as competitor analysis and mystery shopping. With all of that information you can create a strategic plan to figure out how to get to where you want to be as a business.

The hardest part of this process is implementing the changes needed to get you from where you are to where you want to be. You can fix nearly any business as long as you’re prepared to deliver the change, otherwise all you will have is a pretty spreadsheet that tells you how life could be.

“It’s a big claim to say you’ll double someone’s net profits every three years but we have hundreds of clients who can give testimony to that. The key is change management: embracing the changes and following through on decisions is key, invariably anyone prepared to make the change(s) required will get the results that we’ve specified.”

If you did want to start thinking about how you can do this on a relatively basic level, a good place to begin is to ask yourself about the very simple metrics, for example how much you are spending on marketing and working out whether it’s actually giving you a good return. You can also begin trying to figure out the profitability of your treatments or associates.

And if they’re not, what are you going to do about it? Having the information is one thing, the art is in knowing what to do with it, and that can be where expert support is most helpful.

Free analysis of your dental business

Learn a lot about your own dental business with a free consultation with dental business consultant Andy McDougall. Send us your last 3 years of financial accounts, Andy will analyse them and explain the strengths and weaknesses he reads in your numbers. Contact us today.

 

“’It’s all about the quarters and halves’ is Andy’s classic phrase and it’s absolutely true”

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Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 12.42.27Many thanks to Jon Swarbrigg from Farsley Dental Practice in Leeds for his brilliant testimonial, which details his experience of working with dental business mentor Andy McDougall and his team at Spot On Business Planning.

We started working with Andy McDougall and the Spot On Business Planning team in the summer of 2016 following a recommendation from Tony Gedge at the Marketing Pirates of Dentistry.

For us, the reasons for seeking out the services of Spot On Business Planning were to do with restructuring, working with our practice manager, Vicki, and preparing our exit strategy.

I took over as principal back in the late 90s and in the early days what you earned was what you kept. With the increasing costs of overheads, such as CQC, extra staffing costs, associate pay at 50:50 etc, I found that I was working extra hours and we seemed to be busy but our profit margins were going down. I could see that we needed to manage things differently and look forward financially, rather than at the year that had just passed.

Like most principals I was guilty of doing everything and never delegating. As such, my team had no real idea of the costs of running a dental practice: all they saw was the money coming in. Through working Andy, as well as working more closely with Vicki, I soon learned that success has to be a team effort. If your team understand the implications they are more likely to buy into your plans.

By being more open and sharing financial information, my team now understands why the targets are set as they are and what they need to do to cover our costs. The more you share, the more you build trust. They also understand that profit is not a dirty word.

We used to discount at will and would run special offers without understanding the implications. ‘It’s all about the quarters and halves’ is Andy’s classic phrase and it’s absolutely true. The staff get a set wage and the overhead costs don’t change but the owner gets paid last, so it’s effectively your money you’re giving away.

The data gathering required at the beginning of the process with Spot On Business Planning can be difficult. I delegated this task to my team and as such we progressed quickly. Our culture of sharing information meant this hasn’t been a problem for us. I see the different parts of my team as mini profit centres – and they do too, so they understand that the targets we set are realistic and necessary.

What do I most like about working with Spot In Business Planning? It’s the detail – I do like detail! It feels good to be in control and not be retrospective when it comes to our numbers. Back in the 90s you could turn a profit without much difficulty; now you have to be much more mindful. The important cog in the wheel is knowing your numbers. This is what I say to people when I recommend Spot On Business Planning.

“Spot On Business Planning really care about what they do and the people they work with – they are fab and I’m really grateful for their support”

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Lodon Smiling by Dr Uchenna logoDr Uchenna, the official dentist of Channel 4’s 10 Years Younger has been a client of Andy McDougall’s for a few years now. She kindly sent us a testimonial about her experience of working with Spot On Business Planning. Thanks Uchenna!

We had a lack of understanding of the financial aspects of our business and planning for the future and decided we really had to do something! A conversation with fellow dentist Andrew Chandrapal from Bourne End Dental led us to Andy McDougall at Spot On Business Planning.

Andy carried out a free analysis of my dental practice and looked at the last 3 years of our financial accounts, which he analysed and then explained the strengths and weaknesses he read in our numbers.

The process I have been undergoing since 2016 with SOBP is excellent, very comprehensive and thorough. One of the first exercises we did was to input all the costings of products and materials and this gave me a real insight to my running costs – and that made a huge difference.

The whole process means I now understand the financial implications of the decisions I make, for example equipment purchases, as well as any aspects of dentistry that we take for granted, such as the implications of discounts.

I now have a much better understanding of the impact of the numbers when making planning decisions and this means I can be more strategic.

What I really like about working with SOBP is their attention to detail and their passion. They really care about what they do and the people they work with – they are fab and I am really grateful for their support. I would absolutely recommend their services.

“Deciding to work with Spot On Business Planning has been, without doubt, the best business decision we have made during 20 years of owning our own practice”

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http://www.clarendonhousedentalcentre.co.uk/Dental business coach Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning would like to thank Chris French from Clarendon House Dental Centre in Leamington, Warwickshire for his testimonial. We are always so grateful when we receive positive reviews – if you would like to speak to one of our clients in more depth, please email us or call us on 01949 851723 for more information.

We have worked with Spot On Business Planning since 2011 and right from the start we were impressed with their experienced team and the systems and strategies they use.

Initially, the goals and projections that Andy McDougall set for us seemed unrealistic and unachievable but we committed fully to the process and began to meet and exceed those targets year on year.

In the early stages, SOBP were always on hand to guide us through the changes we were making but nowadays as we don’t need such close support, I have a Zoom video conference with Andy every month. This involves commentary and feedback about the monthly figures. We can both see the same spreadsheets on the screen at the same time so it’s a useful way of catching up without needing to travel to a meeting. I look forward to these meetings for the reassurance they give me.

I have found that having Spot On Business Planning on board has taken away a lot of the stress associated with running a practice because I feel more in control and well supported. SOBP has an excellent extended family of other professionals including financial advisers, accountants and tax planners who have helped us through changes, including incorporation, and will help us restructure further in the future as we plan our exit.

Deciding to work with Spot On Business Planning has been, without doubt, the best business decision we have made during 20 years of owning our own practice. I would not hesitate to recommend Andy and the team at SOBP to anyone looking to get to grips with their business and their profit.

 

“Since working with Spot On Business Planning my profits have increased and the business has become much more streamlined.”

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Many thanks to Chig Amin at Epsom Dental Centre for his great testimonial

Q. What were the issues facing your practice that led you to seek help?

I felt that although the practice was doing well, I didn’t have my finger on the pulse on what elements were doing well and which could be improved. My financial data was at least a few months old before I was able to review it, so I needed help with getting that remedied.

 

Q. How did you hear about Spot On Business Planning?

 

At a marketing conference. Andy McDougall gave a talk and described how Spot On Business Planning could help and it seemed to tick all the boxes.

 

Q. What were your impressions of the process you underwent with SOBP?

 

I was impressed at the level of detail and the exactness that SOBP work to. Every element of my dental practice was scrutinised and evaluated to see where improvements could be made.

 

Q. Did it get results? What were they?

 

Yes, since working with Spot On Business Planning my profits have increased and the business has become much more streamlined.

 

What were the three specific strategies or analysis that SOBP determined that made a real difference?

 

  1. Looking at pricing

  2. Incentivising associates

  3. Marketing ROI

 

What do you like about working with SOBP?

 

They are a friendly, efficient and approachable bunch of people who are experts in their field.

 

Would you recommend our services?

 

Yes, certainly!

Dental business consultant offers leadership course in July

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Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning

Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning

Dental business mentor, Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning has announced the dates and details of his next course on leadership at the BDA headquarters in London.

The course, ‘Leading the dental team’ will take place on Friday July 5, 2019 and is ideal for dental practice owners and dental practice managers. Attendees will be able to gain 6 1/2 hours of verifiable CPD from this one-day course that costs DCPs £95, BDA members £150 and non-members £195. Click here for more information and to book.

Learned a lot. Very focused and entertaining as well as excellent content. Feeling inspired and invigorated (this quote was provided as delegate feedback from one of Andy McDougall’s previous leadership courses for the BDA)

As the head of your dental business there is an expectation that you will lead your team to success. Learn how to determine your strategy, goals and objectives and drive the performance of your dental business and your team.

As the pressure grows for businesses to increase their profitability year on year, dental business owners must determine the appropriate strategy and lead their teams to achieve it.

Andy McDougall said: “The success or failure of your leadership skills will become clearly visible in your results. The only way to achieve your strategic goals is to harness the whole team in pursuit of your vision. A culture that fails to galvanise the entire team
risks a radically negative impact on results.”

Learning objectives

  • Understand the different leadership styles and become aware of your own
  • Have a thorough grounding in the principles of leadership
  • Understand the difference between leadership and management
  • Be aware of what followers expect from leaders
  • Understand culture and how to unlock a high performing team.

To run your dental business differently you have to run your brain differently – and as a respected dental business mentor Andy will use his vast knowledge and skill set to help you become the power-force at the helm. With this newfound knowledge, you will have the passion and drive to overcome any inevitable obstacles by taking action, making decisions and being the agent for change.

Click here to book.

CPD

This training course meets the educational criteria set by the GDC for 6 1/2 hours of verifiable CPD and is certified by the British Dental Association.

“We hit our targets after the first year, in fact we exceeded them.”

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https://www.cleardentistry.co.uk/Many thanks to Chris Leech, from Clear Dentistry in Bishops Waltham, who sent us this briliant review recently.

What issues were your practice facing that led to you to seek help?

We were concerned that our management setup did not have our fixed and variable costs under control and there was a lack of understanding of how to run an efficient a practice in terms of it being an efficient business. We were looking for a retraining program or a redesign of our management setup.

How did you hear about Spot On Business Planning?

We attended a day session at the BDA headquarters and were impressed with the logic and proposed methods of implementation that were presented.

What were your impressions of the process you underwent with Spot On Business Planning?

Extremely thorough and precise. All aspects are analysed and the presentation is also very clear and easy to understand.

Did it get results? What were they?

We hit our targets after the first year, in fact we exceeded them.

What were the specific strategies or analysis that SOBP determined that made a real difference?

After our initial assessment it was recommended that we needed to look to overhaul our management setup, this was our first strategy. SOBP has been undertaking a training program with our new manager to ensure they are able to understand and provide what is expected of them. Looking at our associate model and pricing strategies were also key parts of our restructuring.

What do you like about working with Spot On Business Planning?

The detailed assessment of things that I want to know about but struggle to have the time to prepare all myself. They are approachable and effective.

Would you recommend our services?

Absolutely.

“If you find anything in here that resonates with your situation even a little I would recommend you get Andy and Spot On involved in your practice.”

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smilestylelogoA sincere thank you to Richard Howarth from Smile Style Dental Care Centre in Stafford for his glowing testimonial for dental business coach Andy McDougall and his team at Spot On Business Planning.

“I thought I was quite good with the practice numbers, we had a few KPIs and as the practice was growing from just me to an associate-led model supported by dental therapists, we were certainly grossing more.

The bit that was giving me some concern was what was left in the bank at the end of each month. We had ok months and better months but what was mine? Precisely how much was HMRC going to need? Should I spend some of the cash on new kit or would I need it for a rainy day? And what would be the effect of hiring an extra nurse, receptionist or another associate?

The problem was my simple KPIs at the time could not answer these questions, the maths was so much easier when it was just me. I did make those decisions and maybe it was my gritty determination or consistent hard work but most turned out ok in the end most of the time.

I have found that for me when I have needed help I seem to meet the advisors I require at that time. My belief is that I probably have been seeking them out consciously and subconsciously and it is not just a coincidence and that was the case with Andy. I was introduced to him at a dental meeting. I am glad I met Andy that day.

I had an accountant but as I now understand he is just a commentator, reporting on how Smile Style has done and usually shocking me with the tax I need to save. Andy introduced me to management accounting; a way of planning forward, setting goals and steering the practice through the turbulent waters with purpose rather than being at the mercy of the tide and wind.

It was a long process of firstly modelling the practice by gathering data about our numbers. A tricky process for Andy and especially Anne-Marie as Smile Style is unique and runs a therapy model around wellness. I am sure you could say that about your practice too because ultimately our practices resemble us, their leaders and each one is different.

This took the best part of 8 months and was a painful, hard process, checking and rechecking the figures, looking at the model and the fine tuning it until we had Smile Style distilled down to a few spreadsheets.

For the first time we could look at the future, change growth percentages, discuss how we were going to achieve the growth. I had choices; increase fees, more productivity, add another associate, be strategic with the fee increases not just a blanket 5%. We had a tool to keep a handle on expenses, materials labs, associates and team salaries.

With a few clicks or a chat to Andy and Anne-Marie we could have models to decide the wages rises and the effect that would have. What would happen if I reduced my clinical time to 2 days or add more therapy hours? I could now make informed decisions based on the models versus gut feeling.

If this was the only service Spot On provided for a busy dentist running an ever-increasing complex practice, it would be worth every penny. The systems they have helped me set up have been invaluable and yes we have grown, adding significant value to my EBITDA.

This is not just the service I have received. As any principal knows, when it is running smoothly you are waiting for the next calamity whether it’s a key person’s notice on your desk, client complaint, associates taking their foot of the gas, sickness/injury. To be honest nothing surprises me, I think I have seen it all in my 25 years as a principal. Andy has always made time to listen to me in a crisis. The vast majority of the time in verbalising my worries I have found a solution but I have also been able to feed on Andy’s vast experience and knowledge.

If you find anything in here that resonates with your situation even a little I would recommend you get Andy and Spot On involved in your practice. We get taught to do the practical side of dentistry but to be able to deliver our best we need help to run our dental practices so we can fully express our skills for the benefit of our clients, our team and ourselves.

Thank you Andy and all your team at Spot On.”

“Many professional friends and colleagues are now part of SOBP – all the feedback is the same as ours – excellent!”

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Bourne End logoWe would like to say a huge thanks to Andrew Chandrapal from Bourne End Dental in Bucks for this wonderful testimonial.

“Working in a partnership has many advantages, however, we all saw the financials in different ways. We saw a course advertised at the British Dental Association that was conducted by Spot On Business Planning that really made sense in terms of how a business should be viewed and run – by looking at the small details that make up the bigger picture.

We immediately sought a meeting and it went forwards from there. It now appears that many professional friends and colleagues are part of SOBP – all the feedback is the same as ours – excellent!

As with any process, it takes work and you need your team behind you or indeed obtain a team that does! It also means looking at yourself and your business with a very detailed and practical viewpoint so you are able be pragmatic and self reflect on what works and what does not.

Be prepared to take your accounting to the smallest level and only then do you have an accurate indicator of the true performance of your business. Once the hard work is done it is a case of maintaining things and keeping things going. The information obtained is frankly staggering and you learn a huge amount about your business. My view is that it has been indispensable.

The process was demanding but extremely rewarding. Looking back on it we would not have had anything like the type of analytical and recordable growth that we had. It was also a real education as none of this is explained or illustrated as a self employed trader or business owner.

We have now achieved year on year growth and whilst we have split our time as managing partners between clinical and management it has affected our work balance to a much more efficient level.

The three specific strategies or analysis that SOBP determined that made a real difference were comparing year on year trends, analysing trends with labs and materials compared with turnover, and profit by clinician.

What I most like about working with SOBP is their personalised approach to our business and its needs, continual commentary and individual/group trends every financial quarter.

I would most definitely recommend their services – if you are interested in getting the most out of your business, running it with efficiency whilst maintaining quality and don’t know where to start, then start with SOBP.”