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Cash flow up, Stress down? Thank Pareto!

In 1906, the Italian economist Pareto astutely observed 20 per cent of the people owned 80 per cent of the country’s wealth.  The principle that 20 per cent of something is always responsible for 80 per cent of results is known as the Pareto Principle, or the 80/20 rule, and can be used as a daily reminder to focus on the 20 per cent that matters.

By applying the Pareto Principle when running your dental practice you can:

  • Drop the high-maintenance, low-revenue patients. These patients are never satisfied and tend to suck the energy out of you and your staff.
  • Focus on the 20 per cent of dental procedures that produce 80 per cent of practice income.  Practice volume permitting, this may mean adding an associate to handle the less profitable work.
  • Pamper your best patients with small gifts, lots of extra attention, preferred appointments, etc.
  • Delegate. Before you start any task, ask yourself whether or not another staff member could do it.
  • Stop spending valuable time on bringing a weak staff member up to speed. There is a management theory based on the Pareto Principle, called Superstar Management, which claims that 20 per cent of employees produce 80 per cent of results. You should therefore focus your time on nurturing the good so as to become excellent. Follow the management credo of Netflix “Hire the best and get out of the way!”
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