Dental Management: The Value of Entrepreneurism

dental management entrepreneural opportunity Dentists are classic entrepreneurs — they seek to better themselves through education, and take economic risks (the cost of education, the cost of opening and managing a dental practice) in pursuit of a better life for themselves and their families.

According to American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks, “Earned success gives people a sense of meaning about their lives.”

Moreover, by succeeding as entrepreneurs, Dentists keep alive the American Dream that others may likewise create a better life for themselves, if they too elect to take advantage of the opportunities that exist.

The recent marriage of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, child of two employees-turned-entrepreneurs, broke tradition in Great Britain and brought attention to the value of entrepreneurism.

“The Middletons symbolize the opportunity that exists in a free-market system for those who take advantage of it. It is worth noting that they founded (their business) during the Thatcher era, when the Conservative government focused on lifting barriers to entrepreneurs through lower taxation, less regulation , and privatization,” writes John Berlau, a director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C.

The idea of ordinary people building successful businesses — a concept often called the ‘American Dream’ — is now realized in certain British TV programs.

One study of thousands of British employees revealed that the workers’ perception of happiness actually rose as their demographic group’s average income increases relative to their own. It was the opportunity to advance that mattered.

When William and Kate said ‘I do,’ the royal family of Britain “officially wed the dreams and aspirations of millions of entrepreneurs in the UK, the U.S., and throughout the world” . . . and maybe some dentists too.

For more on this story see: The Entrepreneurs’ Princess

Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative Review

Dental Marketing Gone Bad: Dentist Threatens Lawsuit for Negative ReviewThe most costly dental marketing mistake could be threatening to sue your dental patients.  And once again, a dentist is making front-page news with her challenge against a negative dental review on Yelp.

ABC News is reporting that Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, threatened to sue dental patient Robert Allen Lee for posting critical comments about Dr. Makhnevich on Yelp and DoctorBase.

According to ABC News the problem began in 2010, when Robert Lee went into Dr. Makhnevich’s office for a scheduled dentist’s appointment. Lee claims he was in excruciating pain when he was told he had to sign a Mutual Agreement to Maintain Privacy form, before being treated. The privacy form required that Lee agree not to publish any commentary or write anything disparaging about his experience online.

Lee further states that although he was hesitant to sign this form, he was desperate to receive treatment and gave in to agreeing to sign the form.

Lee became unhappy when there was a mishap with billing his insurance company and he couldn’t get Dr. Makhnevich’s office to rectify the situation to his satisfaction, Lee wrote negative reviews about Dr. Makhnevich and her practice on Yelp and DoctorBase.

Both ABC News and Public Citizen are reporting that Makhnevich sent a letter to Lee demanding that he delete the negative posts, warning him that he violated the agreement he signed and threatened to sue him for breach of contract. Dr. Makhnevich also contacted the review sites and asked for Lee’s negative comments to be removed.

Both Yelp.com and DoctorBase refused to take down the negative reviews, but Makhneich reportedly claimed that a copyright clause gave her ownership of the negative comments. She then went on to send Lee an invoice for $100 for each day the negative remarks remained online.

Lee has now taken legal action against the doctor by filing a lawsuit in the US District Court of the Southern District of New York, accusing Stacy Makhnevich, DDS, of violating his rights as a patient by threatening him with a lawsuit for posting negative comments online.

As we have reported here on The Wealthy Dentist in the past, dentists have not been successful in court when suing patients directly for their negative online reviews. Recently in California a dentist who sued a patient now has to pay $80,000 in legal fees, not just to the patient who posted the review, but also to Yelp itself.

In the article, Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews, The Wealthy Dentist has offered dentists advice on how to handle a negative online review — and threatening to sue the patient was not listed as a viable dental marketing option.

What are your thoughts on negative online reviews and the sites that allow them?

For more on this story see: Dentist Threatens to Sue Patient for Negative Yelp Review and Doc Sued Over Attempts to Prohibit Patients From Writing Online Reviews.

Dental Marketing: Free Beer and Wine! What next – Topless Hygiene?

dental marketing with alcohol

Is serving free beer and wine the next big trend in dental marketing?

ABCNews reports that dentist Clint Herzog of Dallas, Texas, likes to serve beer and wine to dental patients in the waiting room at his “Floss Now” dentistry.

For years hair salons have been offering coffee, tea or wine as part of the whole ‘spa’ experience. Is this part of the fad towards ‘spa dentistry‘ – but with a Texas spin?

“I really got tired of people not liking to go to the dentist saying, ‘Hey I don’t like to go to the dentist no offense! ‘ Well it’s kind of an offense because it’s what we do all day,” explains Herzog.

So he created Floss Dental and began sending out a mailer offering “free spirits with a cleaning” to encourage nervous dental patients into calling and making an appointment with his dentist office.

Some dentists have an espresso machine in the reception area. But do you really want someone jacked up on caffeine in your dental chair? How does he like working on patients with beer breath?

Is there a two drink limit? Or a minimum treatment fee? Is this a new kind of sedation dentistry? How does this mix with nitrous oxide (laughing gas)? Or even triazolam?

Dr. Herzog shares more of this dental marketing story in the following video –

What do you think about this type of dental marketing?

Would you serve alcohol to some of your best dental patients?

For more on this story see: Texas Dentist Serves Cocktails With Cleanings

Dental Marketing: 7 Ways To Turn Your Dental Office Into a Hot Marketing Machine

Dental marketing is more than just a geo-targeted, search engine optimized dental website and an effective email newsletter marketing plan. It also involves branding and an effective dental office display, which should begin before patients step inside your waiting room.

marina pacific heights dental signage Great dental office signage offers you the ability to speak to those potential patients when your practice is closed.

The Wealthy Dentist went on a search for a dental practice that exemplifies great dental office display — one that effectively markets new patients on its own.

We found a perfect example in San Francisco at Marina Pacific Heights Dental Care.

This dental practice maximizes every opportunity to reinforce their brand so patients have no doubt what this dentist offers.

They also get their dental marketing right from the start with their geo-targeted dental practice name: Marina Pacific Heights Dental Care. There are over one hundred neighborhoods in San Francisco, with the Marina and Pacific Heights neighborhoods being two of the most well-known.

Are you curious how this dental office signage is considered a hot marketing machine that (very) effectively attracts new patients?

7 Ways To Turn Your Dental Office Into a Hot Marketing Machine

1. Effective outdoor marketing starts with the appearance of the office front.
The front of your dental practice is the first impression a client may have of your business. It is important to portray an appearance of professionalism with fresh paint, clean windows and an entrance that is inviting to a new patient.

In this case, Marina Pacific Heights Dental Care chose marine blue as the color to their building front to most likely match the Marina branding, plus the color blue is often associated with depth and stability. The large, bright windows give the practice a welcoming feeling, thus inviting dental patients to walk up and take a peek inside.

2. Dental signage that is easy to read from a distance.
When deciding on a dental office sign, it’s important to consider optimal letter size, fonts that are easy to see along with plenty of negative space for readability at various distances. These considerations help make sure that passers-by can read your message.

Notice how big, how bright and how tastefully done the Marina Pacific Heights Dental Care sign is. It provides high visibility on what appears to be a heavily trafficked street in San Francisco.

3. The use of the office phone number in branding.
A domain name made up of the business phone number sends the message, “Please call us. We answer the phone!”

Not only is Marina Pacific Heights Dental Care phone number easy to read for drive-by traffic, but it also is cleverly used as a web address. If you visit www.415-922-3220.com, it automatically redirects you to their actual site: www.drbrattesani.com. Dr. Brattesani takes advantage of not only his name in his marketing efforts, but also his office phone number.

4. Effective window advertising displays.
As a dentist you need to make it very clear what your dental practice offers. Dental treatment advertising can enhance your appeal while prospecting for patients.

In Dr. Brattesani’s case, he utilizes his windows to tell patients what dental treatments his practice offers, along with images of happy, smiling patients. It also demonstrates that while he does “Cosmetic Dentistry” he does not limit his practice.

great dental front door signage

5. Prominent front door signage.
The front door of your dental practice should clearly display crucial information for dental patients, delivery people and street traffic. It should display important information such as your practice doctors, operating hours, contact details and dental treatments.

Marina Pacific Dental does this effectively on their door which is clearly visible to people as they walk down the street. Take special note of the “Big Smiling Lips” and the inclusion of the Hygienist’s name on the door – classy touch.

6. The use of key visuals with pop-art sculpture.

Humans remember key visual images better than they remember words. Effective dental visuals can capture attention instantly, and communicate what your business does quickly.

This dental practice captures immediate attention with their toothbrush and mouth mirror sculptures. There is no question to passers-by that a dental practice occupies this location. These pop-art sculptures could be especially effective in San Francisco where people might be tempted to stop and have their photos taken next to one of these eye-catching icons, then post it on Facebook, or other social networking sites for their friends to see.

Plus the scupture send the message that this dentist office is fun.

7. Utilizing the entrance space as an advertising platform.
Adding something special to your entrance way with a custom welcome mat, engraved tiles or painted pavement can do wonders for inviting your patients into your practice before they open your front door. An attractive entrance adds to the ambiance of your building, both by the way it looks and by the impression it gives to street traffic and patients.

Dr. Brattesani does this effectively by literally painting the street the same marine blue color and creating a “Welcome to a new smile” floor mat at the entry to their practice.

welcome mat signage

All in all, The Wealthy Dentist gives Marina Pacific Heights Dental Care high marks for turning their dentist office front into a hot marketing machine.

It is important to leave a lasting impression in the minds of your patients. The more your people who know your name, where you are located and what treatments you have to offer, the better patient-ambassadors they can be.

It all starts right at your front door.

For more help on great dental signs see our $1,000,000 Sign Tutorial

*photos courtesy of Matt Huber

Dentistry Gone Wild! Can a Dentist Talk to Zoo Animals at Night?

Dentistry Gone Wild! Can a Dentist Talk to Zoo Animals at Night?Does scaling a fence at the zoo relieve stress for dentists?

Maybe one dentist thought so before getting into hot water over a nighttime wall-climbing stunt.

Louisiana dentist Dr. Matt Sanderson is being investigated by the Monroe Police Department for entering the Louisiana Purchase Zoo by scaling the fence after hours.

The dentist told the Star News that he picked up his 14-year-old daughter and six of her friends from the movie theater  after seeing the movie “Man on a Ledge” and decided to take them on an adventure.

“One of the girls said something about seeing a movie about a zoo, so I said, ‘Well, let’s go to the zoo.’ We got there about 8 p.m. The fence was not very tall so we climbed it and went inside and took some pictures,” Sanderson said.

Upon leaving the zoo, the dentist was approached and questioned by the police, but not arrested.

Monroe Police Chief Quentin Holmes confirmed that Dr. Sanderson has not been charged with trespassing, but said the investigation is expected to conclude next week.

Dentist Sanderson spoke with zoo officials the next day and apologized. He also ended up apologizing to the girls’ parents. He claims only one mother was upset because she believed he took her daughter into an unsafe area.

Once the story hit the news Sanderson confessed to The Star that, “Right now, sitting here in the light of day, it wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve done a lot of fun adventures, but I agree it went too far.”

He’s one lucky dentist, many of us here in California remember what happened to the youths who entered the San Francisco Zoo at night and were mauled by a tiger.

I actually think this doctor handled the potential blow-back on this escapade fairly well. Just about everyone has done something that ” in the light of day, it wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.”  That doesn’t make right but by apologizing publicly and profusely he has mitigated the incident as best as possible under the circumstances.

Next time he might want to take the girls to an indoor rock-climbing facility instead.

For more: Dentist Says Climbing Zoo’s Fence After Hours Was Mistake

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