I started my practice from scratch one year out of dental school. I opened in July 1989, in a small town in rural Georgia. After fifteen years of solo practice, I began to be uneasy about the future of my practice. For the past three years, monthly collections had stalled at about 30K on average. Profitability was decreasing due to rising overhead and I was getting increasingly frustrated. I knew my practice was becoming stagnant and possibly declining. Furthermore, I knew we were doing quality service for competitive fees but something was still wrong. I felt certain I needed to take action but I was at a loss as to what to do. I felt strongly that my problems were due to a lack of business management knowledge so I began to look for help.
One day I got a flyer in the mail from Sterling and for some reason, I began to read it instead of “filing” with the usual stack of solicitations. There were stories in the flyer written by real people who had genuine success turning their businesses around. Intrigued, I called Sterling and talked with them, and also several of their clients as references. I began to believe they could supply the answers I needed, so I purchased a consulting package. I felt that if I could get 20% real growth it would be well worth it. In June 2005 I spent some time at the Sterling facility doing a very intensive course of study. When I finished the course, I felt like I had completed an MBA. I was assigned to a capable consultant who was very knowledgeable in my field. She worked out a plan of action specific to my situation. In July 2005, I began to slowly implement this plan armed with my new knowledge.
To make a long story short, it worked. Things actually began to improve rather quickly. For 2006 our average monthly gross was 44K a month. Even with some small fee hikes, that’s still about 40% real growth. So my results with Sterling have greatly exceeded my expectations. I am glad I made the call. All areas of my practice have improved; my staff and their attitudes are great. I enjoy my work more than ever. My profitability is back and our patients are happy.
We had 369 new patients in 2006 versus 196 in 2005. I love time off to spend with my family and friends. Making the needed changes really didn’t require a lot of extra time. If I can succeed with Sterling’s help I believe anyone who sincerely tries will be successful as well. I recommend that you consider Sterling’s services if you are experiencing management problems with your business.
Trent G. Connor, DMD