How to Run a Successful Dental Practice – 1

How to Run a Successful Dental Practice, Part 1: How to Set Healthy Production Goals

Written By:  Tracy Civick

Prefer to watch the video?  Check it out:  How to set Healthy Production Goals

This article is the first in a three-part series titled “How to Run a Successful Dental Practice”.  The topic for this session is “How to Set Healthy Production Goals“. 

How to Set Healthy Production Goals

Many dentists spend years perfecting their skill in school and a few years later, realize their dream of owning a practice.  It doesn’t take long to realize that the skills it takes to provide excellent dentistry and the skills it takes to run a successful business are not related in any regard.  If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.  Managing a business is a skill that can be cultivated over time.  However, if you are going to be successful, you need a roadmap to follow.  Your roadmap starts with creating and focusing on strong production goals.

Let’s start with how to set goals.  First, decide what you would like to end the year in production dollars.  For this lesson, let’s keep the math easy and say that our year end production goal is $1Million.  Calculate how many days in the year you would like to work.  There are 365 days in a year.  Subtract weekends, holidays, vacations, CE training, etc.  The average dentist works 180 days per year.  Divide the annual goal by the number of working days and this number equals your daily production goal.  In this example, it would be $5,500/day. 

Production GoalsTo calculate your monthly goal, multiply your daily goal by the number of working days in that month. 

Annual Production Goal  ÷ Total Annual Working Days = Daily Goal

Daily Goal x Total Working Days in Month  =  Monthly Goal

Now that we know how to calculate our goals, it’s time to write them down and share with your team.  Begin by discussing the goals at your next staff meeting.  Talk about the “why” behind setting goals.  It’s not to monitor their performance rather it is to provide everyone with a roadmap of what success means to you.  Let the team know that these production goals will be used as the measuring stick for performance bonuses and other team incentives. 

Involve the entire team in an action plan to reach the production goals and then hold them accountable.  Have the production goals written and strategically placed around the office in an effort to cause each team member to focus on them every day.  For example, one of my clients will put written goals in the break room on the cork board and on her office mirror.  Designate someone to bring written goals as well as the production numbers for yesterday, today, and tomorrow every morning huddle.  Talk about open spots on the schedule and how to maximize that time to meet or exceed the goals. 

Schedule a team meeting in November of each year.  Talk about setting goals for the upcoming year.  Look at current year numbers and increase by a minimum of 10%.  Make sure that the staff has the tools to hit the numbers and listen to any concerns they may have.  Put a plan in place to exceed next year’s numbers early so that when January rolls around, you and your team are ready.  Don’t wait until half the year is over to realize that you need a plan in place to set your production goals.  Be proactive and lead your team to success. 

This can turn into a fun game and really create a culture of accountability and success.  Keep the team and yourself focused on the finish line!  Your future is counting on it! 

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week….

To learn more about how to set healthy production goals or for information on training your dental front office team, contact me today at or 214-755-0955.  For more information about our custom training solutions, visit

About the Author…

Tracy Civick is a nationally recognized speaker, coach, and author who focuses on motivating dental front office teams to grow practice revenue and get a better handle on the daily dental practice front office tasks.  Her memberships include The Academy of Dental Management Consultants and AADOM, Academy of Dental Office Managers.

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