We recently got a chance to speak with Dr. Bruce Baird about “Surfing the Tsunami”, the implications of the Covid19 pandemic and what dentist can do in the next 90 days. This amazing podcast episode reveals valuable tips for leading a dental practice during difficult times.
You can listen to the full Global Impact podcast here or take a few minutes to get insights from their discussion.
JW: Hi, this is JW Oliver with Global Impact. We’re so glad to have you back to discuss things that can impact, change, free up some time in your life and be more effective. I’ve got an opportunity to be with Bruce Baird today.
Bruce Graduated from UT Health Science Dental School in San Antonio, spent four years serving his country in the US Army in both Korea and Fort. Sam Houston. After leaving the army, he built a scratch dental practice in the town of Granberry, Texas. Over 36 years, He grew the practice into a million-dollar business with revenues in 2019 of over five million dollars. Very impressive.
Dr Baird has lectured across the US and internationally for 30 years. His topics include cosmetic dentistry, dental implants communication skills and the business of dentistry. He taught at Implant Preceptorship in San Antonio and to the seniors at Baylor Dental School. He founded productive Dentist Academy 16 years ago, which has grown to a world-class organization with Dr’s in over 50 states and 19 countries attending the seminars, with his partner (I call her Queen) Victoria Peterson. They have grown the company to over 42 employees providing seminars, coaching, and marketing to thousands across North America.
In 2011, Dr. Baird founded Comprehensive Finance Inc, a company that helps doctor’s across the US through their own financing. They have grown to over 23 employees today and that helped originate over three hundred million dollars in financing, rapidly becoming the largest financial tech company in healthcare.
JW: Dr. Baird. Good to have you.
Dr. Baird: Thanks J. W. It’s good to be on. I’m loving it.
JW: We were just talking about it. I got the pleasure to really meet Dr. Baird. I’ve known him for about him or who he was for about 25 years. We were related, in distant kind of a way for a bit but we didn’t know, through some marriages and Dr. Baird still lives right there in Cranberry.
We got to go to Africa back in October or late September.
Tell us about that, it was a great time wasn’t it?
Dr. Bruce: That was a life-changing trip. It really was. I mean it’s been on my bucket list for my whole life and then, but giving to go and obviously you spent a lot of time over there so having somebody that knew the ropes and being able to go and do the things that we did and see the help that you guys are doing for people in Harare in and really all over Zimbabwe and just getting to see the struggles folks in different parts of the world it just you know we go down to Dominican. We’ve been down to Central America and done stuff but I always knew that Africa had a lot of need.
The people there were just so loving. You know big smiles on their face even through adversity and that’s always life-changing whenever you get in a situation like that always changes the way you think about things, it changes the way you look at life and I know that I’ll never be the same after going and coming back home.
JW: Yeah it was fun.
I mean we got to see not only the office there in Harare. Meet a lot of good people and see some of the ministry you’re doing there with the Epworth where we went to the people with the disabled children.
We also got to see Botswana, Namibia and the Victoria Falls. We had a great time.
It was a fun trip, we got to go with you and your beautiful wife and spend time with “Queen” Victoria as well as uncle Pete as I call him. We had a really good time. I can’t believe it’s been 6 months since we did that but we’ll have to do a reunion tour at some point.
Dr. Baird: I think so as soon as this whole Covid19 is over with, I’m going to be ready to go somewhere.
JW: Yeah me and you both travel a lot and as we as we’ve talked about not having a focus on what our next trip is a little bit depressing because I’m always ready to go.
Dr. Baird: It’s disconcerting, when I look at my American Airlines when I go on the web and usually, I’ve got like eleven trips planned and now I’m down to zero trips. I don’t even know what’s happening, but you know it’s also given us time to spent some time at home with my daughter and my wife and really we’re getting out and I’m communicating with some of my old friends just on the phone because now I actually have the time to call people and I have been doing webinars. Almost every single day doing webinars for dentists around the country just got off on a little while ago head over 750 dentists on it.
So it’s just been kind of calming time, everyday tends to run into itself like we were talking about earlier, it’s like going to church. I just turn on the computer and watch it. It’s a little different.
JW: Well there’s nothing that delineates one day from the other it’s a little bit I guess you’d say Groundhog Day from Bill Murry’s movie, Deja vu all over again, If you will.
We’ll Bruce, I think when we’re in these situations, I don’t talk to as many dentists as you do, but in my business, we get to talk to a number and I even spoke to a few today. You really have to live your life whether you’re in the dental business or whether you’re a dentist or whether you’re in any business and this is an opportunity to really plan, think ahead and you may be retooling your marketing plan. You may be retooling you’re business plan.
I know from my dental equipment company. We’re even looking at how do we want to operate differently ahead and this is just an unbelievable time to plan, so when you think about what PDA (Productive Dentist Academy) is doing in business. You are very innovative and offer some really cool things for coaching in the dental spectrum.
You were a dentist for 36 years and you understand the dilemmas faced.
What do you think is the first 90 days as not just dentists but businesses?
You’re an entrepreneur, you’ve got businesses as well. What does this next 90 days look like and what do you do right now? For when the country really gets kicking.
Dr. Baird: Well this is the time to think about your business when you were going to open it, maybe it was under construction or maybe they were doing finish out and you’re doing all these things to plan how that business was going to be, what systems you’re going to use, how you’re going to do everything.
It’s time to reevaluate all those things now because you have the time, you’re sitting at home.
It’s time to download stuff out of your dental software and do practice by procedure production reports. So that you can compare this year to last year. I always look at similar times and because there’s times when I just forget to diagnose certain things like graft when I extract the tooth, I will go back and look at 2 years ago when I did 200 grafts and then the next year I did 10, and there’s got to be a reason.
This is a time when you can look at those, production by procedure reports and it gets you clarity on what it is you need to do when you go forward. The other thing that I would say in productive dentists working with a lot of Dentists right now, we’ve always gone into offices with coaching and we’ve always done those things but we’re trying to, because it is a new norm right now, shift to a more powerful online community because people are getting used to getting this education now on Zoom meetings and everything.
I think there’s ways that we can maybe reduce risk over the next 90 days to 6 months. I know it’s going to be different until there is a vaccine for this but things are definitely going to be different.
So PDA is just trying to move more to that communication platform through the Internet because we’re all kind of stuck at home and that’s kind of where we’re at.
JW: I think when you’re talking about PDA, you’re right initially correct me if I am wrong, was built around the coaching philosophy and still is. I read something the other day. Craig Rochelle’s leadership podcast that he does in Life Church and he said you know Communicate, communicate, communicate and that you have to be communicating with your patients with your customers with your clients or whatever business that you are in. Just continue to communicate and I think that’s where PDA really steps in and teaches you how to effectively communicate with your patients and letting them know where you’re at and what’s available, what procedures you’re putting place as well.
Dr. Baird: I believe so and something you and I have talked about but it’s about the next ninety days. I think the way we do things in our offices is going to be different and one thing that I think would be amazing marketing tool would be, how am I sterilizing my office differently that I used to because I have seen from ultraviolet light sterilization, steam sterilization, and Ozone sterilization because it differentiates my practice from anybody else.
I’ve actually been researching all these different things to come up with how could I turn a room in a short period of time but yet be assured that I’m taking the virus out of the air and cleaning all the surfaces. That may be a whole new business opportunity for dentistry.
JW: So yeah what are we going to do those next ninety days, that differentiates ourselves and builds that customer or patient trust?
Dr. Baird: There’s going to be a significant amount of demand, so when we open what I also tell people and this is what we teach at PDA is that be intentional when you’re setting your schedule. Meaning put people who need dentistry that have revenue associated with it. There’s no such thing as an emergency buckle pit or this person has one filling. You’re not going to want to get that patient in the first week or two. What you’re going to do is you’re load your practice with things. Because the average Dentist in the country produces about $425 an hour. What you’re going to want to intentionally produce, I’m just going use an example $900 to $1000 an hour.
Is it possible to do? Absolutely. because you’re getting to now start from scratch setting up your appointments exactly where you want them so that you can be productive those days.
You’ll still have time for emergencies and have time for those things but you really want to take care when you get started. I think the sterilization techniques will make it take longer for us to do appointments because of certain things we’re having to do between patients.
So it’s really imperative in that first 60 days that you start practicing again to make sure that your schedule is loaded with productive procedures and anything.
Set goals, set exactly where you want to be, where have you been and how do I want to set my new practice with my new production numbers because my goal in opening up reopening the practice would be by the end of December, I actually want to have the same productivity I had last year.
I’m not looking for 8% growth like we’ve gotten every year but I want to get back to where we were. I tell a story I lost an associate years ago and he took several employees and opened up down the street and I didn’t know anything about it and he was a good producer. He was probably producing a million a year on his own.
But within three months we actually covered all of his production and with 6 less employees plus less him and we were able to focus.
When stuff like Covid19 changes your focus, now is the time to refocus.
I only have two objectives. One is to take great care my patients. The other is to reach my goals. So now’s the time to set some goals that would put you at the end of the year. And you know maybe this stretches longer maybe that becomes not possible. But I’d much rather have it in my mind and have it set down on paper to know where I’m headed.
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