I’d been working as an associate at a dental practice when, after two years, the owner decided he’d rather have a tenant than an associate and asked me to pay rent. My attitude was that if I had to pay rent, I’d rather pay it on my own office, so I left to open my first practice from scratch. Thankfully, my husband had a small salary as a surgical resident or else I would have starved in the initial years. Like most dentists, I was taught nothing about managing a business in school.
As the years passed, my practice did better and better but my expenses were obscene. I had mortgaged my home to build out a beautiful new midtown Manhattan office and was still paying on the mortgage, plus had two kids to send to college. Profitability-wise, I wasn’t where I wanted to be. When I had to replace my long-time front desk manager, I decided it was time to become a better administrator. That would start me off on the right foot with my new front desk and increase my production. I reached out to Sterling and became a client.
All I can say is the Sterling program is magic. I started with two weeks of management training at their offices. When I returned home, a Sterling consultant visited my practice to hold week-long informal classes for the staff. That very month, my production went through the roof, surpassing our previous best-ever month by 60%. In only six weeks, Sterling was already making me more profitable.
For me, the magic was learning how to manage my practice using statistics. I’m a numbers person, but I wasn’t regularly tracking my own income or production. Sterling made me aware of how much money was coming in and going out; I was back in control. My consultant recommended I put the staff on a bonus system based on achieving practice-wide goals. Once I did, they began to track our numbers, too and get excited.
We grew so much due to Sterling’s influence. For example, we went from collecting roughly 90% all the way up to 98% of what we billed and I am 100% fee-for-service. The success of the Sterling program culminated in my practice sale last year. Negotiations went smoothly and I received full asking price plus the best transition deal I’d ever heard of. I now work happily as an employee at the practice. Next year, when I retire, I’ll get to do the other things I love; seeing my grandchildren, quilting, jewelry-making, and volunteering in the community.
Sterling gave me the tools to analyze the management aspect of my business and how to comfortably handle it. I not only became much more profitable, but I was also thrilled with the sales price of my practice. As I say, the Sterling program is truly magic.
Cheryl Kantor-Goldenberg, DDS