In previous articles we have talked about the downsides of being at full capacity. We have talked about how capacity blockages inhibit growth and how to remove them. This is built on the assumption that practices naturally will grow and that they want to as well. Today, we’ll discuss the two different ways practices choose to plateau and the results that follow.
The “Sweet Spot”
Whenever you run into capacity, whatever your capacity is, I call that a ‘sweet spot’. People like to stay in sweet spots because the profit per effort at sweet spots is high. Also it usually requires an investment to get beyond this sweet spot. So people tend to like to stay in a sweet spot.
There’s nothing wrong with saying: “I’m enjoying what I am doing. Right here is good enough.” This is one perspective but more frequently, I find practices that are capacity blocked and try to eke a little bit more out of what they’ve got. These practices would do so much better if they just broke out and did one thing to eliminate a capacity blockage.
As the expression goes, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Either you can be satisfied with your practice as it is or you need to make the necessary investments to grow. Eking out minor improvements will not get you the results you desire.
Weeding Out Dentistry
As practices get nearer and nearer their capacity, some get very good at weeding out less productive dentistry. They end up focusing more on the higher productivity in dentistry.
But that’s not what usually happens. Usually what happens is that you get mired in busyness and you are not as productive. Decreasing demand because you don’t have enough capacity isn’t a great strategy.
As I said before, practices will naturally grow until something stops them from growing and what usually stops the growth is something that we’re doing. So choose to be happy where you are (assuming this is an option financially) or make the investments to grow. Any other move will not give you the results you wish to achieve.