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Popular practice resolutions

February 06, 2017

By Stacie Crozier

The New Year is traditionally a time for new beginnings, fresh starts and resolutions that might be too broad or too vague to define — like lose weight, exercise more, be a better person. That is likely why only a small percentage of people are still actively working on or keeping their resolutions by June 1.

Business experts say that successful entrepreneurs have a greater chance of meeting a goal when it is clear, compelling, has a defined result and inspires the team to work together to meet the challenge.

A couple of months ago, more than 80 percent of readers who participated in a Dental Practice Success survey said they were considering making New Year's practice resolutions for 2017. Some of the most popular goals included invigorating their clinical skills with continuing education (52.9 percent), increasing their patient base with new marketing initiatives (49.4 percent), investing in new equipment (37.9 percent) and focusing on work/life balance (33.3 percent). A quarter of them (25.3 percent) plan to buy or build a new practice this year. And 23 percent will reduce student loan and practice debt.

More than a fifth of participants (22.5 percent) are new dentists in practice for 10 years or less. More than a quarter (26.2 percent) have practiced from 10-25 years and over half (51.2 percent) have practiced for more than 25 years.

Many respondents are in the midst of practice transitions, like buying or building their first practice, adding associates to their practice, and transitioning into part time dentistry or retirement. Most are considering a wide variety of strategies to make their practice more profitable, such as learning new skills and offering new services, reducing student or practice debt, increasing their patient base, focusing on team development and increasing referrals.

Many also emphasized that their personal well-being is just as important as their practice health, and want to focus on having more balance, better health, less stress, more family time and taking care of themselves first so they can serve their patients better.

This article appears in the Winter 2017 issue of Dental Practice Success, a quarterly digital publication ADA Publishing produces in cooperation with the ADA Center for Professional Success. Each issue offers advice from experts on practice management issues, personal and professional development, work-life balance and more. Read the entire issue at