Tag: Coaching

9 Important Elements to Include in Your Employee Handbook

  1. Introduction to company & values
  2. Code of conduct
  3. Equal employment and nondiscrimination policy
  4. Computers and technology policy
  5. Compensation and benefits policy
  6. New hire and separation policy
  7. Leave policy
  8. Non-disclosure Agreement and Confidentiality policy
  9. Signature page

If you would like help creating or revising your employee handbook reach out to us at KLAS Solutions.

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Team Building – Collaboration

We have all been part of a team where there is one or two team members that seem to always take the lead.  The rest are made to feel as though their ideas are not welcome. And yet, something incredible happens when teamwork exists and everyone has a voice. Things change and success builds when everyone on the team is equally invested in the overall purpose and goal.  Here are some quotes to display.  Use them in your AM huddles or monthly meetings.

1.  “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

2.  “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan

3.  “Teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.” – Patrick Lencioni

4.  “It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napolean Hill

5.  “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.” – Booker T. Washington

6.  “None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” – Mother Teresa

#KLASSolutions #TeamLeadershipProgram  #team #AMhuddles #teambuilding #Teamwork

Increase Your Cash Flow in 10 Steps

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These 10 ways to improve cash flow can help you encourage incoming payments, delay outlays of cash and stay on top of everything in between–like payments, late fees, and billing cycles.

  1. Invoice immediately.Don’t wait untilnext week or next month. If you wait to invoice your patients, they may think they can wait, too.
  2. Use electronic billing.It’s fast, and younger patients are likely to respond more quickly when they can pay instantly. Your deposits can be deposited directly to your account and everyone saves on the cost of paper and stamps.
  3. Get it in writing. Set clear payment terms and expectations. Spell out your terms on every invoice.
  4. Include a specific due date.“Due upon receipt” can be ambiguous, while “payment due within 30 days of the bill date” clearly communicates your expectations.
  5. Institute late fees.Without them, your patients may put off payment until a time that’s convenient for them but not for you.
  6. Offer positive incentives for early payment.Give patients a good reason to pay sooner than they normally would. An example might be 1-2 whitening syringes for payments received within two weeks of the bill date.
  7. Slow down on bills.Hold off on paying bills until they’re due. If you’re presented with a worthwhile incentive for early payment, by all means, take advantage of it. Try to pay electronically, you can schedule in advance and with precision.
  8. Periodic payments. Take advantage of periodic payment programs that are fee-free. For instance, small businesses withworkers’ compensation coverage can pay their premiums every time their payroll is run. Payments are based on actual payroll, eliminating the need for a large down payment, and carry no installment charges.
  9. Monitor your cash flow status on a weekly basis.Check off what’s been paid, what’s coming due and what’s late. Send reminder notices as necessary, and don’t forget to tack on your late fee.Continually measure cash flow to your BEP.

10.Get a CPA that is dental specific. A CPA can help guide you toward your financial goals and offer corrective action should you begin to veer off course. Taxes, of course, are part of the equation and ever-changing, making the aid of a professional essential. A dental specific CPA can help ensure you’re taking best advantage of the deductions that can benefit your dental business and help improve your cash flow.

#KLASSolutions #Cashflow #CPA #Monitors #BreakEvenPoint #Workerscompensation #dental #dentist

Amalgam Seperation-Anterior Quest

Nate Koster – Anterior Quest

Nate Koster is with Anterior Quest, the only 100% amalgam containment system in the US. I talked with him about practices we are working with that are preparing to retire in 5-7 years. We recommend doctors should always look at this system, however what happens when they retire? This is a regulatory item registered in the doctors name. He found the information I was requesting. Here is his response to me.

Phil, I was going through the amalgam rule today and came across this section… It just talks about the specifics of what to do when switching ownership of a dental practice. Thought it might be useful to you…

https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2017-12338/p-158

Anterior Quest and Nate Koster work hand in hand with the EPA. Their knowledge of amalgam separation is second to none. I give all of my clients this information when doing a Practice Assessment. KLAS Solutions strives to give you all the information needed for a successful practice. Contact me with any question at phil@klassolutions.com

#AnteriorQuest, #KLASSolutions, #amalgacontainment, #dentalpractice, #dentalconsulting, #PhilCole, #NateKoster –

PPO or Not to PPO….that is the question

After assessing numerous practices, one of the first questions I’m asked is “Should I stay in network with the insurance companies.” There is not a simple yes or no answer. There are three options. Fee for Service….no participation with any insurance company; In network with all insurance companies (PPO’s) or Partial enrollment. As some of the insurance companies are lowering their reimbursement which will affect your bottom line, it will be necessary to seriously consider your options. 

Fee for Service: Full fee and full payment. No write-offs and no negotiating. Patients come to see you, you diagnose, patients decide on treatment and you get paid 100% of fees charged. Sounds ideal but there are factors that must be taken into consideration. Your location, your competition, your patient base, patient demographics, timing, your fees and your vision for the practice,

PPO – sign up with every PPO….work twice as hard for half the money, use double the supplies and double the time in sterilization because you have to see double the patients just to meet your goals. Creates a chaotic atmosphere not to mention the lousy taste it leaves in your mouth. Pun intended. 

You can decide on ‘Partial participation’ with the insurance companies that have reasonable reimbursement. 

So how do you decide and where do you start? Know your numbers and know the demographics of your patient base. If you don’t know how to do it or what to assess, get someone to help you. I recently completed a ‘virtual assessment’ for a dentist who wants to drop a major insurance company that he felt “75% of my patients have”. 

After I completed his virtual assessment we were able to determine the true percentage of patients with the various insurance companies he was in network with. We also created a plan for when his practice can support dropping the major insurance company!! (who is once again lowering their reimbursement to the dentist!) Through the assessment, I determined there was major problems with their computer recare system, their TRUE active patient base along with other issues that would ‘kill’ their practice if he just dropped it. However, we were able to put a plan together to slowly drop the PPO’s over a certain amount of time so that it would not financially impact his practice or the patient base. This was a dream come true as he has not felt good about going to work for a long time…it wasn’t fun and he had lost his passion for dentistry. Teaching the administrative team effective scheduling techniques allowed the practice to limit the write-offs on a daily basis. Over time, this adds up to thousands of dollars. Through my assessment, I was able to look at the significant discounts, write-offs, freebies, family rates and adjustments given to the ‘fee for service’ patients that was also making a significant impact on the bottom line. 

Do your due diligence…know what you can do today to make an impact and have a plan to eliminate over time. 95% of the dental practices I work with complain about the write-offs, the PPO’s etc. but no one is doing anything to rectify the situation. It all starts with a plan. Stop complaining about all your write-offs and adjustments and take your practice back.

Nancy completes virtual and ‘on-site’ practice assessments to address your specific concerns about insurance participation, internal team stress, leadership concerns, incentives, policies, hygiene programs/liability, treatment coordinating, productive scheduling vs. a busy schedule, communication within the team and any other concerns you may have. You have to assess your patients in order to provide a short and long term treatment plan. Why aren’t you assessing your practice to have a short and long term business plan for the practice? Email us your concerns and do something about it. nancy@Klassolutions.com or info@klassolutions.com

#KLASSolutions #PPO #insurances #DeltaDental #Assessment #Dentist #dentalpractice #FeeforService

Loyalty…A Matter of Perspective

Twenty years of practicing dentistry and Dr. Smith was tired. Tired of managing a practice with $750,000 of annual production, and tired of all the other responsibilities of practice ownership. He was tired of working hard and not getting ahead financially. He saw no way out because, with his lifestyle, he was spending more than he was making and the longer he kept this up, the further behind he was getting.

He still enjoyed dentistry and he loved his patients, or at least most of them. He had to in order to do as much dentistry as he did, and he knew it. New patients were harder to get, and at his pace, he felt he would soon be running out of work to do on his current patient base. The stress of maintaining his rate of production, and his current lifestyle was beginning to take its toll, and his health was beginning to suffer.

Then he heard about Legacy Practice Transitions’ PreSale Retirement Funding Program, and he knew he’d found his answer. Up to this point and time, pension funding was a joke. He could barely keep ahead of his current expenditures and debt service, much less even think about retirement planning. Until Legacy Practice Transitions came along, he was certain that he would have to continue practicing dentistry until he either died at the chair or became disabled. Once he became aware of the benefits of the PreSale Program, he knew that this was his salvation.

The one major issue was his staff. He had a well-trained, but somewhat over-paid staff that had been with him for many years. He did not want to lose those staff members no matter what. “These people are loyal to me, and I feel a strong commitment to them. I don’t want them to lose their job as a result of this practice transition. I want them to be happy”.

I assured Dr. Smith that his staff’s ability and performance was enough to provide them with job security. Staff compensation would commensurate with performance. Any purchaser wants a good, highly-trained and motivated staff since that would allow the practice to be more productive. The important consideration, however, was that the staff had to support Dr. Smith’s decision to sell, and be willing to facilitate a successful practice transition. The seller could not expect the purchaser to continue to employ staff members who were not cooperative.

Dr. Smith felt confident that the staff, out of loyalty to him, would understand and fully support his selling the practice because it would improve his health, allow him to fund his pension plan, eliminate stress and allow him more time off.

The sale took place as planned, and the practice was relocated to the purchaser’s office. Now the test of staff loyalty was about to be tried. Making a move like this was critical, and adapting to a three-day work schedule required some coordination and cooperation by everyone involved. Here is what transpired.

The chairside assistants complained to Dr. Smith that when the purchaser’s staff used a treatment room, the instruments were not put back the way Dr. Smith’s staff liked them to be. The music was too loud, or too soft, or the wrong kind. They did not like coming in early to prepare the office for patients, they did not like the other doctor and staff. They complained that they did not like all the changes and that they were not happy. They threatened to leave because they did not like the changes.

Dr. Smith’s hygienists did not like the other doctor checking “their” patients, and they complained to Dr. Smith every day. They cried and whined and told him that his patients were “leaving in droves” (actually about 20 patients left in the first 6 months, mostly as a result of being annoyed at listening to the hygienist’s complaints). They said Dr. Smith’s patients only wanted him to check them when they came in for a hygiene appointment (instead of supporting the changes, the hygienist complained). Dr. Smith actually began to come into the office on his day off to check hygiene patients instead of enjoying his new, three-day workweek lifestyle.

Well, Dr. Smith discovered that his “loyal” staff did little to nothing to support his move. His most loyal office manager of 14 years quit before two months were up (so much for wanting to help Dr. Smith with the transition). It was obvious that she had started her new job search shortly after hearing about the sale (she has quit and moved to two other offices since that time). In fairness, one chairside assistant stayed with Dr. Smith throughout the transition, and she too was appalled by the disloyalty of the other staff.

The old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” really applied to his staff. Dr. Smith realized that his relationship with his staff had become too familiar over the years, and they forgot who was working for whom. The staff treated him more as an equal than a boss. If he did not do what they wanted him to do, then they treated him with contempt. So much for loyalty, thought Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith realized that, in most cases staff loyalty existed only as long as the staff got their way. As soon as they did not agree with him, they were gone in a flash. He was determined not to let his staff ruin his practice transition. As his staff left, Dr. Smith actually found it more enjoyable working with the new staff hired by the purchaser. They at least treated him with respect and did not complain day in and day out. They did their jobs with no complaints, and that was refreshing. Dr. Smith had gotten used to listening to his staff complain and accepted it as part of the price of running a practice. Now that they were gone, he actually found his practice days more enjoyable because he no longer had to listen to all those staff complaints. Life was good again.

NOTE: We appreciate and understand a seller’s concern about staff employment issues following a practice transition. However, you should understand that when a purchaser buys a practice, part of that practice value is having a well-trained staff ready to go to work. Purchasers don’t fire productive staff, and they don’t cut salaries for productive staff. We obviously cannot recommend keeping unproductive, lazy or discontented staff.

Job security comes from job performance, not from tenure in a practice. Your staff will have more than ample opportunity to prove their value to the purchaser. If they do so, job security is not an issue. If your staff really is loyal to you, they will cooperate and continue to work with you after the sale. If your staff leave because you sold, they were never loyal to you in the first place. You have lost nothing. Staff loyalty is just a matter of perception… that sometimes proves to be a misconception.

Business Cards 101

 5 Basic Design Tips for Killer Business Cards

Here’s the first thing you need to learn in Business Cards 101: You need them. The so-called freelance economy is on the rise, and with it, orders for business cards. As we can personally attest, the demand for business cards has grown in the past generation in step with the growth of small businesses. Recent studies on the humanizing and tactile aspect of print materials have been holding up, giving businesses of all sizes incentives to invest in them. Creative professionals have also pushed the boundaries of this humble medium beyond what was thought possible just a few generations ago, breathing excitement into the design of business cards.  

Here we compiled five tips for creating killer business cards for freelancers and small businesses, especially those that may have less knowledge about design. Creative professionals are free to chime in too. Check out the tips below and let us know what else should be added to this business cards 101 module in the comments below.

1.) Use color for emphasis.

You might not have a lot of space on your business cards, but you can certainly still say a lot if you use colors wisely. Colors are rich with symbolism and offer a way to communicate moods and ideas that simply aren’t possible with just black and white. If your competitors use plain old one-color business cards, having well-executed colors on yours can be a marked advantage. You can use colors to help your business cards stand out, or to highlight specific parts of your cards’ design, most likely your brand, contact info, or a call-to-action. Just be sure that any use of color is on-brand and well-considered. Using the wrong color combinations or colors inappropriate for your brand can have the opposite effect of repelling would-be customers.

2.) Design with a purpose.

This can be said about any print material used for promotions or marketing, but for business cards this is even more important. You don’t have a lot of space on most business cards, so you want to dedicate most of the real estate you do have toward the specific goal you have in mind for your design. Many business cards fail because they try to do a lot of things at once, and excel at none of them.

If your intent is to make your card a showcase for your brand, then it should be highly centered around that concept. If you want it to simply be something that contains your contact details, make sure that everything is clear and laid out well. When you want your card to have multiple goals, work with a designer who can help you meet all of them. Just understand that with such a limited space to work with, something has to give. This is why some customers order business cards with different designs, each design optimized for a specific purpose.

3.) Use appropriate images.

This is highly dependent on the context of where your business cards will be used. You don’t want to include images simply because you think they’re cute or attention-grabbing. Sometimes, it might be more appropriate to have no images at all. You won’t have a lot of space for images on a typical business card, so if you do choose to include any, you want to make them count. If you’re printing your logo, it’s best to use vectors or high-quality rasters to prevent fuzziness and pixelation.

4.) Don’t use clip art or obvious stock images.

It’s possible that a good designer can make either of those elements work. But however you cut it, you will always be left with a business card that has design elements other businesses have used. We know that stock images and clip art can save us a ton of time. But the end result is invariably a card that is not only generic, but often quite laughable as well. “Worst design” rundowns are rife with print materials that use stock images and clip art in hilarious ways. If your brand means anything at all to you, it is worth taking the time to build something unique. Something that anyone can identify as yours and yours alone.

5.) Know what a business card isn’t.

Business cards work best as a personal handout, not for simply building awareness or for closing a sale. They’re best used when you’re there to physically hand them out and explain a few things about your brand. Business cards are also great when you give them to people who have signaled interest, but aren’t necessarily ready to buy anything yet. They’re not necessarily the best choice if you want to build awareness with a large number of people at once. That would be better served by posters, billboards, and other mass-marketing tools. They’re not the thing you should be giving out for closing a sale either. In these cases, you might be better off giving a catalog or a brochure.

A business card isn’t a sales sheet, or a brochure. It’s not even a flyer. Sure, you can put basically whatever you want into the space you have, but you should ask yourself if that’s what you want to do. Your audience will have expectations when they receive a business card. Sure, it can be useful to surprise them with a unique card. But we should also understand the limits of the medium.