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To Hire or Not to Hire a Consultant/Coach for your Dental Practice?


Every year, dental schools turn out thousands of dentists, highly trained as clinicians, with very little idea of how to run a business. Same goes for lawyers, MDs, veterinarians, even CPAs who although they at least learn how to interpret a profit and loss statement, have no idea how to hire, manage staff, market their practices, etc. But why use a management consultant to help bridge this gap in training? Why not figure it out for yourself? Speed, of course is the major factor here. Every week, month, and year that goes by that your profits are less than what they could be, mounts up to a serious sum of lost income– way more money than a dentist could ever save, by careful spending habits. 

If the CEOs of phenomenally successful companies – like Google, think it’s a smart idea to seek outside input, then maybe there is something to be said for it. In an interview in 2010, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google said “I have a coach who has proved to be very good for Google. Every famous athlete/performer has a coach. There is nothing like that outside perspective a coach gives you, to spot, good or bad, what we can’t see in ourselves!”

The top 3 benefits of having a consultant/coach, no matter what the industry or goals are:

1. Perspective – most of us have blind spots that impede our success – a good coach knows what these are and how to provide the right guidance to overcome them, without any judgement;

2. Accountability – with no one to keep you accountable, it’s easy to let things slide, that you know won’t help you to succeed;

3. Focus – with all the distractions in life, it’s very easy to lose focus. A business coach is a great way of ensuring that you stay on track.

The smart practice owner has his own business adviser, and as a result, achieves way more in practice, than he would otherwise do.

Typically, a dentist will seek outside input with some or all of the following:

1. creating his/her vision:

2. how to communicate that vision effectively to staff, and get them also working towards it;

3. How to attract ideal/quality patients and keep them coming back

4. how to hire & motivate staff

5. how to ensure staff are maximally productive;

6. How to keep team morale high

Of course, the biggest objection to using a consultant, is cost – and that is understandable. The benefits of re-investing in their practice is well understood by dentists and they are well known for constantly investing in new technology to provide better and better services. The same principle applies to investing in staff development and marketing – the financial return is indisputable, provided of course, the consultant knows how to get results, and is a good fit for the practice’s particular needs.

But why do some dentists rocket their practices with the help of a consultant while for others, the alliance proves to be less than successful. The trick of course is to hire the right fit for you, your goals and the current phase of growth your practice is in.

If you have sizeable goals for your practice and already know it makes sense to hire a consultant, but a) are not sure how to choose the best fit; or b) how to best utilize their services, then email me at

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