Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

This is the title of  a terrific cooking book by Jennifer Reese.   She has done all sorts of research to basically see which makes sense for all different types of cooking, doing it yourself or letting someone better do it. (Hence the title.)  I think it’s a great principle to apply to any business.  With all the systems and processes in your practice, ask yourself, what are you doing that you shouldn’t be doing yourself, and what are you not doing yourself that you should be?

For example, do you sign your own checks?  Or can someone else pay bills and charge things without your approval.  Embezzlement only happens when you don’t have knowledge and control of your money.  I know businesses doing $40 million a year where the owners still sign the checks, except for payroll, and require two signatures for anything over $3,000.  Do it yourself.

How about your website?  Doing it yourself, when you get around to it?  Search engine optimization is the most rapidly changing aspect of the advertising world.  Web design is 10% art and 90% results-testing. How could you possibly keep up with it?  Outsource it.

Your lab.  Should you send all your crowns out, or should you get on the CEREC train?  Well, more than 10% of practices now use CAD/CAM, and it’s saving them money, and getting their patients out of the office in one visit instead of two.  That’s a pretty good consumer benefit.  And it gets even better when you stop doing composites and use porcelain for inlays and onlays as well as for crowns.  DIY, I say.  Anteriors? Maybe not yet.

Are you writing your own advertising? Where did that skill come from?  Outsource it.    Have someone do your keyword buying too, if you’re doing that yourself.  It’s trickier than Google says it is.

Social media. Are you letting some outside service do your posts for you?  Nothing is more obvious–and unappealing–to a Facebook reader.  Someone in your office should be doing the Facebook posts, commenting, and tracking your reputation online.

The list goes on: insurance billing, reactivation calls, payroll, supply purchases–take a few minutes with your office manager or your whole team and ask the question.  You may be wasting time, or not getting something done the way it should be, or not protecting yourself.  Question everything.

That way you can concentrate on making more bread.

(Feel free to comment on this blog with what you would change.)


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