Is Your Orthodontic Practice Ready to Grow in 2023?

You need the best vantage point for 2023. Gaidge's Executive Membership raises your altitude.

As a lackluster year in the orthodontic industry officially ends, it's important that your practice has a strategy so it can grow in 2023. If you own an orthodontic practice, you own a business—and, all too often, business owners do not plan thoroughly enough to execute their goals. If you are not already preparing your marketing and expense strategies for 2023, it's time to start running numbers and familiarizing yourself with your office's financial standing.

You don't have to let your practice stumble into the drop. There's a way to move past it; as a current Gaidge user, you've already got your foot in the door. Gaidge's Executive Membership provides unparalleled access to a comprehensive business management mechanism. All on one platform, the Executive Memberships offers the same efficiency and transparency you would typically only encounter during a quarterly one-hour review with your accountant. Consequently, it's an exceptional tool for your annual business planning.

To better understand how you can benefit from this upgrade, here are four ways you can use the Executive Membership's Practice Projections™ and Overhead Expense Tracker™ tools to make 2023 a better year.

1. Create Goals and Visualize Them with Practice Projections™

First and foremost, if you're planning for 2023, you must outline aspirational goals for your practice. We recommend monitoring five key performance indicators (KPIs): net production, net collection, new patient calls, exams, and starts. These metrics offer meaningful insight into your practice's health; without knowing them, you risk missing areas where improvement is necessary.

As you look at your KPIs, do you notice anywhere your practice fell short this year? Maybe you want to streamline your scheduling process, develop a marketing strategy, or decrease your repair rate. Or, given the -7.5% decrease in total starts in 2022, you may want to increase the number of people who accept treatment with your practice in 2023.

In your early steps towards strategizing for the new year, it's helpful to use the Practice Projections™ feature, which allows you to set goals and identify the starts needed month over month to reach them. Practice Projections™ shows you how you can achieve targets by enabling you to:

  • Increase both the percentages and dollars of where you would like to see improvement
  • View a breakdown of how your office can achieve your goals based on the previous year's data
  • Visualize how starts affect metrics like Net Production, Net Collection, New Patients Added, and Total Exams
  • Identify an increase in production and collections by a treatment fee increase if everything else stays the same YOY
  • Know what improvements you can make by increasing your call to exam conversion and exam to start
  • See the benefit of plugging your leaky buckets so you can be more efficient with patients and prospects in your new patient pipeline

After analyzing your projections, you'll then be able to formulate an accurate budgeting strategy to help you reach your objectives while maximizing your ROI.

2. Hit Each Goal with the Overhead Expense Tracker™

Now that you have outlined your goals, you can use the Overhead Expense Tracker™ to closely monitor the budget that makes it happen. This tool allows you to quickly analyze your business's financial performance by pulling accounting data from Quickbooks® Online, Quickbooks® Desktop, and Xero accounting software. Plus, these options are not definitive. If you'd prefer another platform that is not integrated (or you'd rather not connect through automation), then you, your bookkeeper, or your accountant can easily plug in monthly data.

It's also important to note that building any business requires a blueprint for effective budgeting. The Expense Tracker™ is a valuable tool that allows you to:

  • Increase your marketing budget so you can invest in areas like digital marketing or a marketing agency

  • Reduce your overhead by cutting down on costs, such as lab or staff expenses

  • Expand treatment offerings, like 3D planning software

The Expense Tracker is also useful for a quick overview of your finances. It allows you to glance at an initial summary of all your expenses by date and category to see how your current performance relates to previous periods. Ultimately, this tool lets you know if your goals align with your budget and where you need to adjust.

3. Aim for Each Target with a Detailed Operating Budget

Once you have reviewed your projections, monitored your expenses, and identified the goals you want to achieve, you should start creating a detailed operating budget, wherein spending accounts for 57% or less of your projected revenue.

The Overhead Expense Tracker's Budget dashboard gives you critical access to every expense for the most accurate measurement of your overhead. As you plan your budget, remember that your costs will vary widely, so you'll need to be prepared for all of them. Make a note of expenses such as:

  • Payroll, which accounts for a significant portion of your budget
  • Supplies that can range from tissue paper to lab equipment
  • Lab work, as it's an integral part of your practice's operations
  • Building costs, such as rent, upkeep, taxes, and insurance
  • Marketing costs for continued growth and brand recognition
  • Miscellaneous expenses that may catch you by surprise if you aren't prepared

Since budgeting is vital to your business's sustainability, it requires a tactical approach. With Gaidge's Overhead Budget dashboard, you can view your practice's expenses to prepare for both short and long-term goals.

4. Monitor Your Reports to Make Precise Differences

Finally, once you've set your goals and crafted your budget, you can reference the Overhead Expense Tracker's Reports dashboard to monitor your practice's progress. Your goals will automatically transfer to this dashboard, and you will find interactive charts and comparisons that help to plan expenses and prioritize marketing costs.

This dashboard is useful for putting your finger on your practice's pulse, as it allows you to:

  • Spot trends in spending, such as irregularities and areas where you can cut costs to minimize overhead
  • View a variety of expense types, such as clinic, equipment, staff, marketing, administration, and compensation
  • Analyze Daily, Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly data to see if you're hitting all your marks

Another benefit is that you can set your goals by location if you have more than one practice. Whether you want to watch an individual location's progress or see the progress of all your locations, you can finetune the feature's settings to access the information you need.

How Your Practice Should Approach the New Year

Let's face it: The orthodontic industry has ups and downs like any other field. Yet, it remains relatively resilient because practices consistently adapt to their obstacles (like 2020's pandemic) by leveraging their data. This year's findings are no exception. They underline the need for orthodontic practices to establish a mechanism to help them achieve growth and sustainability in the coming year.

Planning for long-term success involves a 360-degree perspective that allows you to thoroughly analyze your practice's performance to determine your next move. Automating Gaidge's dashboards—from its five KPIs to its Executive Membership features—can help you hit every target. It provides you with all the necessary tools to track critical data, plan your goals, pivot where needed, and celebrate your successes going into the new year and beyond.


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