Start-Up Tips

By Chris Green, DMD

November 7, 2023

Many of you are looking at doing a start-up or expansion right now. Inevitably, there comes a question of, “How do we build a break room that’s comfortable, but not obnoxiously large?”

Truthfully, this is an area of opportunity to save money on construction costs. With careful planning you can maximize resources and still make sure it is a comfortable place for the team to take a breather during the course of a busy and often stressful clinical day.

However, even in a small space, there are simple upgrades we can make to show our teams we care about providing them with a great work experience (it doesn’t require fancy sinks, faucets or cabinetry). Providing snacks (like Dr. Addison Killeen has talked about) or going a little further and buying a massage chair for the break room (like our buddy, Dr. Taher Dhoon did) can actually make a difference.

During any build out or renovation/expansion there is always a slow steady creep of additional expenses we didn’t plan for. I see too many dentists take the amount the bank approved them and mistaken this for their budget. When decision fatigue sets in during a construction project there are a couple common & costly narratives we might tell ourselves including: “It’s fine. I just have to get to opening day and I’ll figure out paying off the debt later.”

This is common in the dentist that is busy working as an associate trying to do a startup at the same time. They start to get overwhelmed with all the questions from the equipment rep, architect, contractor. They start making concessions to small addons that they “don’t have time to think about.” $1,900 here, $6,000 extra there, $900 somewhere else and before you know it they’ve conceded tens of thousands of dollars.

That quote above quickly becomes: “I should have taken some time to do a little more research and save a few more bucks along the way — I knew better, but I was too busy to pay attention”

As my buddy Dr. Mark Costes says, “Watch out for that dental tax my friends: IT ALL ADDS UP.”

Don’t let yourself become the doctor that is too busy to watch the costs.