Category: Articles

Protect Yourself from Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a serious problem that continues to grow in the dental industry. Depending on the surveys that have been done by multiple sources, the average amount ranges from $20K -$900K. Highs into the millions have been reported. Here are some examples of how it can happen and suggestions to prevent a loss.

How it can Happen:
1. Payroll checks – hours not worked, vacation & sick days, salary increase, and/or “ghost” employee.
2. Adjustments – with payments received and/or expense items.
3. Expense reimbursement – Non-legitimate expenses
4. Patient Payments – adjusted or not entered, and checks being cashed.
5. Practice “Dummy” Account – part of checks to deposit going to a second unauthorized checking account. There are thousands of ways this can be done.
6. Cash payments – reduce the charge amount in the patient’s record but charge the accurate amount.
7. Write offs – post the charges, but keep cash.
8. Refunds – written to “fake” or “test” patients.
9. Computer – payments backdated and/or deleted.
10. Vendor/Supplier Payments – pay vendor twice and then use refund.

Suggestions:
1.  Be the Boss and owner of your practice. No one that is directly involved with your practice on a daily basis is immune to this problem. As an owner, the more involvement you have and strategic systems that are in place prohibit embezzlement.
2.  Know your practice software. Reach out to a practice consulting company to show you how to engage in specific reports to ensure proper handling of adjustments, payments and credits.
3.  Perform audits. Audits should be routinely done and can be password protected in the practice management software to ensure no tampering. Front office team members should not be able to run these reports.
4.  Cross train employees. Make sure all front desk duties are able to be done by all of your office team.
5.  Disperse duties to more than one person. Don’t let the office manger or one specific person open the mail, make the deposits, or hold petty cash.
6.  All adjustments should be authorized daily by you, the owner. A report should be reviewed by the owner daily.
7.  Make sure embezzlement is covered clearly in your employee handbook. If you do not have an employee handbook reach out to a consulting company right away.
8.  DO NOT SHARE ADMINISTRATIVE PASSWORDS!
9.  Do not have the idea or thoughts that it couldn’t happen to you. Remember over 50% of dentist are embezzled and many that were embezzled thought it would never happen to them.
10.  Surround yourself with dental professionals. If you do not have a thorough monitoring system in place, talk to a consulting company to implement a monitoring system.

Disclaimer: Materials that you will read were prepared for general information purposes and are not intended as legal, tax or accounting advice or as recommendations to engage in any specific transaction. Please consult your own counsel, accountant or other advisor regarding your specific situation.

Are You A Leader?

Effective Leadership Is Essential to Every Practice.

You Don’t Have to Be Born with Leadership Skill – With Training, you Can Become a Great Leader.

Here Are Some Questions to ASK YOURSELF….

  1. Do I Lead by Example?

    Leadership Starts From the “Top Down” – Leading by Example Is the Earmark of a Strong Leader.

  2. Do I Encourage Open Communication?

    Having an Open-Door Policy Encourages Feedback. Feedback Is Critical for What Is Working in The Practice – What Is Not Working in The Practice and What Are the Solutions

  3. Do I Give KUDOS for Improvement?

    Team Members Yearn for Complements. Catch Your Team “Doing Something Right” They may surprise you and will continue that behavior

  4. Do I Support Safe Failure?

    Mistakes Can Be an Opportunity for A Team Member to Grow or A Whip to Beat the Self -Respect Out of An Individual. It Is Up to The Leader to Create an Environment for Greater Self- Esteem and Growth.

  5. Do I Have a Clear Vision for My Team to Follow?

    Team Members Need to Know What the Drs Vision Is for Direction of The Practice

  6. Do I Have Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities?

    Specific Roles and Responsibilities Are Essential for A Team to Work Together in a Synergetic Environment.

  7. Do I Encourage Self-Sufficiency or Do I Micro Manage?

    Leader Who Fosters Independence, Fosters Their Teams “Ownership Mentality”
    The Team Member May Not Have Their Name Imprinted on the Door, However They Feel “Your Practice Is Their Practice”

  8. Do I Consider Myself a Fully Engaged Listener?

    A Skillful Leader Is Totally Focused on The Conversation at Hand. Giving His/ Or Her Full Attention to The Speaker andRefrainsfromInterrupting. ActiveListeningIsanEssentialCharacteristicforGreatLeadership.

  9. Do I Consider Myself a Decisive Leader?

    A Leader is Willing to Make an Informed Decision and not Delay or Postpone

10. Do I Say “Thank You” To My Team?

Appreciating the Teams Efforts Is Essential for A Positive Working Environment. I Encourage My Drs To Be Generous with The Words “Job Well Done”

By Deb Cohen @ Klas-Blk- www.klassolutions.com

Commercial Property Insurance Tax-Deductions: Everything You Need to Know

By Stephen Robert Morse

As the actress Helen Mirren said, “I don’t believe that if you do good, good things will happen. Everything is completely accidental and random. Sometimes bad things happen to very good people and sometimes good things happen to bad people.”

Whether you’re a good person or not, bad things can potentially happen to you… and to your commercial property. For example, you may wake up in the morning to discover there was a fire at your commercial property in the middle of the night. You may be away on vacation when you learn the eye of a hurricane is heading straight toward your business. Or you may sit down to dinner when you hear that a vehicle was stolen from your property’s parking lot.

Even while there is great reward in being a commercial property owner, these are the inherent risks of property ownership. Due of the risks involved, many businesses prefer to rent their space rather than own it. This means that, for those who are willing to bear the risk of owning property, renting out commercial property can reap serious benefits.

Economic and Tax Implications of Commercial Property Insurance
One way to mitigate the risk of commercial property ownership is to procure commercial property insurance. Fire, theft and natural disasters have the potential to quickly wipe out gains made by your business. Commercial property insurance can provide you with more than just piece of mind; it can help you retain your hard-earned rental income rather than having to pay it out in lawsuits or rebuilding fees.
Protections Offered by Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance protects you when you rent your property for use by a third party. While your tenants are allowed to legally inhabit your property, you as the owner are still liable in many situations if and when things go wrong.

Though at times overlooked by commercial landlords, commercial property insurance is necessary. Why? Very few contracts with tenants explicitly say that the owner isn’t liable in the event of a problem. Below are specific protections offered:

Indemnity period. This is the amount of time you would be able to claim back lost rent in the event that a fire or natural disaster makes your property uninhabitable by your tenants.
Damage from natural disasters. In the event that your property falls in line with the path of a hurricane or tornado, you as the property owner are typically responsible for such expenses as debris removal, building demolition, and even rebuilding costs. Few people think such situations will happen to them, but you needn’t look much farther than the major storms that have hit the U.S. in recent years causing massive amounts of property loss to understand that this threat is real: 2005’s Hurricane Katrina caused an inflation-adjusted economic loss of $119 billion and 2012’s Hurricane Sandy cost an inflation-adjusted economic loss of $77.3 billion.
Tenant law suits. Commercial property insurance may also offer protection if you need to sue a tenant who has not paid rent or has destroyed your property with malicious intent.
Injury liability. Such insurance can also cover if, for instance, a visitor slips on ice in your parking lot, requires expensive surgery and subsequently sues you.
Break-ins. If someone forcibly enters your building, causing damage and stealing property, you’ll want to have a commercial property insurance policy on your side.
Additional Benefits: Greetings, Tax Man!
More good news: commercial property insurance is tax deductible. Yes, you read that correctly. By protecting yourself and your property, you can write this expense off to save on taxes.

No matter where you live or where your property is located, you can take advantage of many federal tax deductions available to commercial property owners across the U.S. For example, you can deduct the premiums you pay for nearly every insurance option for your commercial rental activity, including:

Fire, theft and flood insurance
Landlord liability insurance.
The cost of health and workers’ compensation plans for any employees who work on premises.
A major benefit of commercial property insurance is that it allows you to combine the many types of insurance covered into a single, cost-effective plan that can help you get far better deals than if you purchased your insurance plans needed for your property a piecemeal manner.

Furthermore, in the event that your commercial property is adversely affected by a rare weather event like a flood, you can obtain a tax deduction for all or part of your loss. These losses are typically called casualty losses, so it is unlikely that you will bear a substantial burden when all is said and done.

Next Steps
If you already own commercial property, double check that have ample insurance to cover you if a hazardous event occurs. And if you already have commercial property insurance, consider rolling multiple insurance vehicles into one plan so you can save money and receive more comprehensive offerings.

Contact me and I can help!

4+ Content Marketing Metrics You Simply Must Be Tracking

by Andy Beohar — Published in Marketing & Brands, On a Roll on Oct 18, 2016

One of the greatest benefits of marketing in the digital age is that you have a wealth of data at your fingertips to help you make smarter marketing decisions that bring in more leads and grow your business. Unfortunately, many marketers aren’t using this valuable data to improve their campaigns.

A survey on content marketing trends in North America found that only about 30% of content marketers find their current marketing efforts to be effective. Clearly, there’s a lot of room for improvement. With all the evidence showing how effective content marketing can be, what are these marketers doing wrong? Where’s the disconnect between the results you should be seeing and those you actually are?

The answer is simple: data.

To achieve your business marketing goals, it’s essential that you monitor content marketing metrics and make changes based on your findings. Data can be daunting with the number of metrics available, but it’s not impossible. Let’s chat about the top content marketing metrics you should monitor and how to make content decisions based on them.

1. Time Spent on Page

One of the best ways to determine if your visitors are spending time actually reading your content is to look at their browsing time. Rather than analyzing their total average site time, consider how much time visitors spend on individual content pages. This will give you a better idea of which content pieces or topics are most effective.

For example, if you estimate that the average read time for the majority of your content is three to five minutes, but visitors aren’t spending that much time on each page, you should revisit these individual pages to discover problem areas.

You may find that visitors spend more time with specific content pieces. If this is the case, revisit this content to figure out why it’s so effective and how you can replicate its success. You should also take a look at poor-performing content and look for areas that need to be improved.

Go beyond just examining the topics – consider titles, calls-to-action, visual content, and backing research or links. If you see a trend across all of your content that shows readers aren’t engaging as long as they should be, this could be a sign that the tone or style of your content doesn’t resonate well with your target audience.

When evaluating the tone and style of your content, you’ll need to be a bit harsh with yourself. This means that, sometimes, you’re going to have to kill your darlings. Take a step back and consider whether or not you’re producing content that appeals to your demographic. For instance, just because witty listicles work for Buzzfeed, that doesn’t mean you should use them to promote an accounting firm.

Start by evaluating content that performed well. Does your audience respond best to short videos? Long-form blog content? Images? Use your findings to plan your future content. Furthermore, if you can’t repurpose your low-performing content, get rid of it. Hanging onto fruitless content does nothing for you — in fact, it can actually harm your search value.

2. Percentage of Returning Visitors

The purpose of marketing content is to provide value to readers and establish and nurture customer relationships. If you achieve this purpose, people will return to your site. That’s why it’s helpful to monitor what percentage of your visitors are return visitors. The more value that your content provides, the more likely it is that they’ll return. If you notice a drop in return visitors, you should review your content to find out why they aren’t coming back.

returning visitors ga

If your content isn’t engaging, visitors will be less likely to return to your website. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this. One common issue is that the content doesn’t provide anything unique or interesting to the reader. Another problem could be that the types of content or topics just don’t resonate with your target audience.

To address this, you need to first make sure that you understand the wants and needs of your target audience. One way to do this is to create buyer personas from the real audience data you collect.

Examine the specific industries, locations, and interests of your followers. Take a look at the other brands and content they enjoy. Keep in mind that bigger audiences aren’t always better — if your spectrum is too wide, you’ll end up wasting time and resources on people who aren’t interested in your services. Reevaluate your target audience and make sure you’ve narrowed it down to fit only those who match your buyer personas.

3. Lead Generation

The majority of the content you produce is meant for people who are interacting with your brand for the first time. It’s designed to capture the attention of your target audience and drive them further down the sales funnel to more in-depth content. To improve your content marketing strategy, you need to monitor how effectively traffic converts into leads, and leads into customers.

Not all content will perform the same. Find out what’s performing well, and review it to see what works best. You can use your findings to produce more successful content in the future. If an article has very high conversion rates, find a way to repurpose it. As for content that doesn’t perform well, find ways to optimize it and improve conversion rates.

Here are a few tips for content that converts and nurtures leads:

Use emotion and instill urgency.

You want to make sure that your content sounds appealing. This is especially important when it comes to crafting titles. Instead of just writing a generic title like Marketing Tips for Facebook, use language that will inspire people to click your post. Try using emotive and magnetic words. Including numbers can also help because it conveys that your content is quick and easily digestible.

For example, let’s change that last title to 7 Can’t Miss Tips for Revolutionizing Your Facebook Posts. With this kind of title, people will be afraid not to click on your article for fear that they’ll miss out on some awesome information.

Be genuine.

People respond well to brands they can trust. If you only produce content that comes across as a blatant sales pitch, people will see through you. Make sure to provide something of value to your audience. That doesn’t mean it won’t still sell your product or service in the end.

For example, say you sell workout clothes. If you primarily write blog posts that brag about how great your yoga pants are, you’ll lack credibility, and people will be unlikely to convert. A better tactic would be to provide articles on related topics that your audience will find interesting, such as Top 10 Exercises For Killer Calves. Since it’s less biased, this sort of article is much more likely to be shared and bring new visitors and leads to your site.

Keep them interested.

Even after you’ve converted a visitor into a customer (yay!), you should take steps to make sure they come back. Develop a workflow to ensure that your brand stays top of mind.

Send new blog posts and e-books you’ve published to visitors who have opted-in, use remarketing ads to bring visitors back to your site for a related piece of content, try offering unique content just for those who subscribe to your newsletter.

4. Social Media Metrics

Promoting content is an important part of your content marketing strategy, and social media is one of the best ways to do it. By looking at certain social media metrics, you can gauge which topics are most interesting to your readers.

Here are some of the best social media metrics that can help you make more data-driven content marketing decisions:

Engagement – Which posts or updates are generating the most comments on your social media accounts? Which pieces of shared content are people interacting with the most? Measuring social media engagement will help you better understand which pieces of content resonate best with your audience.
engagement data

Shares – The more your posts are shared, the wider your reach. Look at the posts that are shared most often to gain insight into what types of content your audience finds compelling.

Reach – How big is your audience? How many people are seeing the updates that you post? This gives you a better idea of which social media platforms you should be targeting to promote different types of content.

Sentiment – Browse the comment sections of your more popular posts to consider how your fans and followers feel about and respond to this content. What are they saying? What emotions do they express? Don’t just look at the positive feedback. Negative reactions can also help you improve your subsequent content strategies.

neil patel comment

Not only do these social media metrics give you insight into which types of content your audience responds to, they can also help you better understand which social media platforms are best for sharing different types of content and which platforms you should be focusing your time on.

Get Measuring

Now that you know which metrics to pay attention to, you can review your data to see which areas of your content marketing have the potential for improvement. Reviewing metrics and adjusting your strategy is an ongoing process to continuously improve your content marketing, meet your goals, and grow your business.

Remember, it’s not enough to just look at the metrics and find out what works. You need to use this information to make data-backed decisions about your strategy.