Why Your Practice Should Run Like a Movie Studio
Movie studios make their money in two ways: First there are those big numbers we read about when a major new film opens, where one true blockbuster can earn enough in ticket sales during its “first run” to make a studio’s whole year. Then there is what has come to be known as “the long tail”: the foreign markets, the DVD sales, the TV and downloading rights— smaller, but ongoing, revenue streams that continue to flow in year after year after a movie’s release. That “long tail” plays a big part in financing the production of the next blockbuster.
There is an analogy here to the revenue flow of a dental practice. You invest time and money, staffing and outfitting a practice, as well as developing your own clinical skills, so that you are able to perform the significant—and significantly rewarding—cases you were meant to do. But of course you also depend on patients coming back for hygiene and routine dentistry year after year. That’s the lifeblood that sustains the practice and helps finance your ability to do the major cases.
I have seen many practices that master the art of retention and day to day dentistry but never seem to take it to the next level of really pursuing comprehensive opportunities. On the other hand, I’ve seen dentists who are almost entirely focused on finding the next big cases and as a result, they end up leaving a lot of valuable revenue from “routine care” untapped.
If you want to experience ideal results, take a page from Hollywood. Be bold about pursuing the next blockbuster, but always have respect for the value in the long tail. The ideally-optimized dental practice is always working to increase the flow of both these revenue streams.