449: Dr. Timothy Doolin | Angel Fire Family Dentistry

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This Episode is Sponsored by: Dandy | The Fully Digital, US-based Dental Lab

For a completely FREE 3Shape Trios 3 scanner & $250 in lab credit click here:
https://www.meetdandy.com/affiliate/tdm !

Guest: Timothy Doolin

Practice Name: Angel Fire Family Dentistry

Check out Tim's Media:

Website: http://www.angelfirefamilydentistry.com/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-tim-doolin?trk=pulse-article_social-details_comment_actor-image&original_referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F

Email: angelfiredental@gmail.com

Other Mentions and Links:


Dr. Hang

Wells Fargo

DDS Match


Ozone Water




Host: Michael Arias

Website: The Dental Marketer

Join my newsletter: https://thedentalmarketer.lpages.co/newsletter/

Join this podcast's Facebook Group: The Dental Marketer Society

My Key Takeaways:

  • Location is a big consideration in purchasing a practice! If hobbies such as surfing or skiing are important to you, keep this in mind.
  • Demographic research is a big part of who you'll be serving, and honing in on the type of patients you want!
  • Always keep an eye on the finances of the practice and bank records. Sometimes cash flow can feel good, but doesn't actually match up!
  • If you're entering a practice as a new grad, don't try to change everything right away. You'll need to build trust with team members along the way.
  • Your dental assistant is the real marketer of the practice! They handle a lot of patient communication and helping them feel at home.

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This Episode is Sponsored by: Dandy | The Fully Digital, US-based Dental Lab

For a completely FREE 3Shape Trios 3 scanner & $250 in lab credit click here:
https://www.meetdandy.com/affiliate/tdm !

Thank you for supporting the podcast by checking out our sponsors!

Episode Transcript (Auto-Generated - Please Excuse Errors)

Michael: Tim, how's it going?

Tim: It's going well. How are you doing? I'm doing

Michael: pretty good, man. Thanks for asking. If you can break it down for us, tell us a little bit about your past, your present, how'd you get to where

Tim: you are today? Yeah, so, I grew up in Southern California Newport Beach.

I went to school out in Chicago and I spent 10 years. Out there for first undergrad, masters, then dental school. And the day I graduated, I decided I wanted to own a practice and I had already prepared for the last took me about three years. So the day I graduated, I purchased my practice. I think I graduated May 20, 26th, and June 1st was my first day.

And then the bank required that I did two month transition, and so the other dentist stayed on as an associate for two months, and we went from there. Basically I, I decided, I di I had decided while I was assisting another dentist during my master's program, that I wanted to own a practice. Mm-hmm.

And that I probably wouldn't be the best dentist to work as an associate. just cuz I don't like following the rules, I like doing my own thing. I don't like listening to other people. So I wanted to do it my own way. And so I uh, I talked with him about owning his practice. He was basically my mentor throughout my master's and then through dental school.

I worked for him as an assistant for six years, and uh, I prepared a business plan my second year. I had contacted the bank by my third year and figured out exactly what loan I qualified for and how I would qualify. So there's only one bank that will provide a. To a new grad. Mm-hmm. And they only provide, I think it was 375,000, so not nearly enough to purchase practice.

So I needed to find a dentist that was willing to sell or finance half of it, at least for, I think I needed one year. Mm-hmm. Before I could get the bank to give me the rest. And so I started looking at Dennis in certain demographics. So I figured out what demographics actually. The patients that would spend the most and care the most about their teeth.

And so I, I broke down everything based on demographics and figured out, okay, here's the neighborhoods where I want to be around the nation. Here's everything I fit that. There was some website that I could type it all into and, and, Breakdown demographics into exactly what neighborhoods and zip codes.

So then I uh, figured out with my wife what our lifestyle should look like. And I, my big thing was I needed to be a half hour from skiing or a half hour from surfing. Yeah. Her big thing was she wanted mild weather and, and then we also both wanted to be a little bit more rural and away from a city. But ideally we wanted to be within an hour of a Costco, and that was how we started figuring everything out.

And so I figured out all these different locations. I, I found a, company that would help me find the practice and broker the practice for. And then we ended up getting it down to three practices and one didn't quite fit everything. Mm-hmm. And that was this one. Uh, It wasn't that close to a Costco.

So we are two hours from the nearest Costco or big box store. Really? Anything at all. Uh, Wow. So we are an hour from the nearest town of, I think it's only 30,000, and then it's two hours to the nearest city. And that's Santa Fe. And then it's three hours to Colorado Springs and three hours to Albuquerque.

And so we ended up settling down in Angel Fire. It's a, a ski resort, a golf resort, and that's about it.

Michael: Okay, man. So those were outta the three practices. And so what happened then after that, you decided to purchase it? Yeah. Yeah.

Tim: So we came and visited this practice and the practice itself. Pretty incredible.

Um, My view out every window is mountains and so my patient's view is 360 mountain views. It's just incredible. Or 180, I guess behind them is me. But yeah, we've got these crazy windows that just look out into the mountains and it was really hard to say no. And the practice was doing okay, but I could tell it was underperforming cuz the dentist just, his heart really wasn't.

And so I thought, you know, if I really try here, what would it look like and how could the numbers look? And I found after the first year, I had increased everything about 20 to 30%. And that was my first year outta a dental school. I was able to do that. Fortunately, most patients didn't think I was a new grad.

And I didn't really make it known to anyone. I don't think anyone still knows. So it was, and the way that they introduced me was that I was an experienced dentist who graduated top of his class and was ready to take on taking care of everyone. Then I created a, a really good relationship with uh, some of the local doctors. One doctor in specific who owns a medical clinic down the road. And we started building a, a relationship based on whole body care. And so the practice turned from being a drill and fill practice to now we are comprehensive care of what's going on, how can we help you for the future, and what can I do to make sure.

We're really taking care of you. and not only are you seeing me, but we're making sure that you're seeing a, whatever practitioner you need to be seeing to get the proper care.

Michael: Okay, man. And that's what you're doing right now

Tim: as of today? Yes. Yeah. So that's what I currently do. And because of that, I, I mean, I'm pretty rural, the nearest specialist is two hours, so I do every specialty, uh, as well as whatever dentistry I need to do.

Mm-hmm. And then we, on top of all of that, make sure that we're taking care of. Whole health. So every patient is educated on their diet, they're educated on what might be going on with their breathing, what might be going on underneath the surface, why their blood pressure is out of control what I can do from a oral perspective, or even sometimes nasal perspective, what might be causing everything here to be out of whack.


Michael: Gotcha man. Okay. So then how long have you been a practice owner?

Tim: This is my fourth year now. Okay.

Michael: Okay. So rewind a little bit real quick. You were, yeah. You grew up in Newport? Yeah. Newport be like, where? Where?

Tim: In Newport. So I, I grew up, actually the smallest house on the beach in all of Newport was my house.

We were, we were one house off the beach. It was a family of five and it was about 750 square feet and we were not allowed inside ever. We could sleep and that was about it cuz it was. I think when we purchased it, it was a one bedroom and my dad turned the garage into a master suite and then um, he turned, there was like a little breakfast nook area into another bedroom kind of thing.

Yeah. So he, when I was 10, I got to move into the breakfast nook area. And I mean, it was a tiny house, but we didn't care at all cuz we were on the beach. Yeah. Or right off the beach. So you grew up surfing or No. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. Okay.

Michael: Yeah. Cause you're like, we gotta surf or ski, and I was like, okay.

Tim: Yeah, absolutely. So there was many days in high school where it was I would go surfing in the morning and go skiing in the afternoon or vice versa.

Michael: Yeah. Nice dude. Okay, so then you eventually prepared to own your own practice. When did you. When was it where you're like, I don't think I'm gonna be an associate for like in dental school.

Did you figure that out or before dental school? Like when was the

Tim: moment? It was probably first year of dental school. I started looking at the numbers of what an associate makes versus what my loans were gonna look like. I knew that going into dental school, having $600,000 of student debt was pretty standard at this point.

Mm-hmm. My parents unfortunately weren't able to help me much with school, and I knew that it was going to be an investment for my future, and so I decided what is it going to look like to pay those loans off? And I could be an associate and make a certain. Or I could own my practice and if my practice is successful, I'll be able to pay it off way easier.

And, and that's what I figured out cuz first year they kind of go through all the numbers with you. You have all those classes that are talking to you about, here's what your loans are gonna look like, here's what the average dentist makes graduating school. Here's what the average associate makes versus the average owner, and then here's what rural versus not rural makes.

Mm-hmm. And so I broke all that down. I figured out where the dentist. Are that are making the most money. Um, And I figured out what I wanted to do and what I wanted all to look like, and by the end of first year, I knew exactly where I wanted to go with it. Gotcha.

Michael: Okay. So then how did you know what to put in this plan?

What was actually in it? What do you wish you would've put in it now, things like that.

Tim: Yeah, so basically what I started with was a mission statement and a vision statement. So my mission was that I wanted to provide care that was different than the standard dentist. And I, I broke down a few different things.

I didn't really think of a holistic or whole body approach to anything. It was more of I want my patients to be educated and I didn't want to be ever selling anything to a. And that was kind of the whole moral of everything that I had talked about with the banks was my practice will never be about selling.

It'll never be about marketing myself. I will use patients to market, and I will make sure that when I present a treatment plan, a patient is fully educated and they're making the decision that they feel is best for themselves. Now, that in itself is a sales technique. And I had worked in sales throughout school doing different things and whatever it might have been.

But I, I wanted to make sure that I was different in that way. Cause I never wanted to feel like the, the mechanic who, you know, you go in for the oil change and all of a sudden you've got all these issues. I didn't want to be that dentist too. You go in for your cleaning and all of a sudden you've got issues.

Yes. That's how we find your issues is you go in for a cleaning, but it should never feel like you're trying to be sold something. I wanted to always educate and so everything was based around technology. There's so much technology for us to be able to educate a patient with, and if we show everyone.

Everything that's going on in their mouth, there's no reason that we should have to sell them on something. And so that's what it was based on. So that was kind of the mission. And yeah, I broke it down all in too. I think it was. Two sentences, and then the vision statement had a few different points to it on how I was gonna become a top 10% dentist in the state of New Mexico.

How I was going to make sure that I was providing nonprofit work, how I was going to integrate the, all of their care. So make sure that I was communicating with their doctor their chiropractor. P t o t, whatever they might be involved in, so that way we can come up with comprehensive plans. I know there was four points and I can't remember the fourth one, but it started with those two and then I outlined every way that I would possibly do it.

I outlined all the equipment that I would need to do it. I, I showed my certifications and what certifications I would be getting, so like lasers and, and certifications in different types of lasers and how I would introduce those into the practice to make sure that I was providing different level of care.

And then, um, I talked about C B C T and the importance of C B C T. Yes, the cost of C B C T, but how it can benefit a patient. Intraoral scanning, same thing. And then I broke down point by point, the finances of the practice. I broke down how I would treat every patient. I, I mean, it was 40 pages of right.

Every single thing that I could possibly do. And so that was any free time I had second year of dental school. That's what I was doing, was making sure that I had a perfect business plan. Okay,

Michael: ma did, has any of that changed or evolved or grown or anything like that, or

Tim: no? Yeah, so I mean, the biggest thing that's evolved from.

I wouldn't say anything's ever been eliminated. It's more of evolved now with Covid, I did have to change the nonprofit work. I'm not allowed. So we aren't allowed to go to Haiti anymore. And that's where I was doing a lot of my nonprofit work. And so I've been contacting a few different companies now that countries are starting to open up of where I'll go, start working again.

Mm-hmm. But I've always done nonprofit work. And then as part of that I started bringing Medicaid patients into the practice and I've opened up the practice to be, well now I'm probably the largest Medicaid provider in Northern New Mexico. I do over a million dollars in Medicaid every year.

But you know, that's just my way, that I'm in the middle of nowhere. I, I need to be able to take care of these patients and I've seen the work that comes from. The other providers, and it's unfortunate. They don't have the time, they don't have the resources to, to truly take care of these patients.

I don't know if they don't have the education as well, but unfortunately there's a lot of stuff that's missed and the patients come to me with them trying to have things fixed, and so I try to put it all back together. And a lot of the time you can't get paid cuz Medicaid will only pay for something every few years.

And so after a patient's already had it done, you basically have to eat the cost. And so I started a nonprofit where I can eat that cost and count it as a donation. And then another big part that has evolved is the whole body care. Mm-hmm. Where now I am involving breathing into the office and a lot of sleep type medicine.

A lot of facial focus and, and focus on posture and different things that are going on with the, the facial development and, and children. In adults, what might have gone wrong with their facial development? I've taken some classes and now done the, the certification for orthotropics with Dr. Hang and then I've also done the homeo block and all the d n A appliance type stuff to try and correct some of the issues that have been created from our diets and, and gone through like the western price type stuff as well.

And so there's a lot of underlying stuff that I never imagined myself getting into.

Michael: Yeah, no man. That's a lot. Yeah. And we'll dive into that right now, but um, rewind a little bit. And you said you went with a bank. There's only one bank you said that would require

Tim: you get loan. When I was doing it, what bank was that?

Wells. yeah, so Wells Fargo offered 375,000 and it was pretty good rate too. Um, I wanna say it was only like 3.5%, so it was a decent loan, especially for a new grad, but, That was the absolute max that they would cover. And so you had to get everything else financed some other way. Mm-hmm. And so I was able to get the rest of the practice seller financed and then he also threw in the building as a seller financed, and then I got it all refinanced about a year and a half later.

Hmm. Okay.

Michael: Gotcha. And then you said there was a company that helped you find or broker the practice and find the practice, right? Yeah. Like what company was.

Tim: Yeah, so I used d d S match and they were incredible, especially as a a port student. They didn't charge. Buyer anything. And so they were incredible in finding all these different practices.

And I basically listed out everything for the broker of, here's what I'm looking for, here's all of my stuff. And then he would send me the numbers for different practices in the area that were going up for sale. And this one actually wasn't for sale. He was looking for an associate at the. And after talking with me and, and working together for a little bit, he decided, you know what?

Let's sell and, and that's gonna be the best way to go.

Michael: So you were already working there and before thinking about buying it, or you're like,

Tim: Hey on. No, no, no, no. I, I had never even, I, I've been. Twice since buy or before buying it. I visited just the one time during my spring break and one time during Christmas break actually.

So I decided instead of flying home that I would drive home to California from Chicago. And we would stop by New Mexico as a, a halfway point. So me and my wife drove the whole distance and figured, all right, we'll, we'll take a look and, and see how it goes. And she actually was the one that made the final decision on here instead of the, the other location that we were looking at at the very end.

Yeah. Yeah.

Michael: Happy wife. Happy life, man. You're right. Yeah. So then how did you increase everything from 20 to 30% when you acquire?

Tim: Yeah. So big things that he was doing was he was very focused on trying to sell things. And like I said, that was never my focus. And because of that, I think that, I think as soon as you're trying to sell things, people notice.

Mm-hmm. And people feel like you're trying, they're trying to be sold on a product or whatever it might be, as well as he didn't offer patients that he didn't think could afford things. The other options, And. I mean, people pull out straight cash if they really want it. Yes. We've got a lot of ranchers around here who you'd never, you'd never think we have as much cash as they do under their mattress.

And as well as, you know, we work out trades with patients. I have a patient who painted my whole house, painted the whole hot office because he wanted to get implants under his dentures. And so we traded for implants and he painted everything for me. And so I've been able to work out a lot of deals with like that actually I just did a, a huge bridge and crown work case on a patient who just decorated my office with his photos.

And so he's a very well known photographer in the area, and his photos are, Pretty good Penny. And yeah, he, he traded me a few of his photos for some implant or for some crown and bridgework. Oh, nice. And so, yeah, we find ways to do things that. I don't think the other dentist really ever thought would exist up here.

Mm-hmm. Um, Or he never thought that these people would be willing to pay for things. And as soon as you educate them on the importance of it, and you show them what things can really look like and you find unique ways of showing them through all the technology that we have, I mean, it's incredible what people want.

And, and that's really what it is. And he, he wasn't really at that point, I think he was in his mind, on his way out, but he had never really gotten to where this practice is right now. because I don't think he had the right personality for it and he just didn't have the right outlook.


Michael: Oh, interesting. And then how did you create great relationships with the doctors in, in your

Tim: area? Yeah, so, The one, she actually, when I moved to the practice, she initially left the practice because she found out that I was young and she was like, I don't want this fresh dentist working on me. And now we're like best friends.

And, and so I decided that my child was gonna go to that office cuz I didn't know that she had left. Uh, I found this out way later now that we're friends. And so she uh, started seeing my child and my wife. We started talking about the different things uh, that we look at and how I look at dentistry.

And, and that was where the relationship started. And then as I started developing new products and getting into new things in dentistry. Most people don't know about the different sleep appliances and homeo, block, orthotropics, that type of stuff. Then I would go and teach at the office. And so I would go to the office and, and do a lunch and learn, bring lunch for everyone and, and teach them about Orthotropics or the homeo block, show them what it all looks like, show them before and after photos on patients that have been through it.

And we just started creating that relationship. And then we started working together on specific cases and it's gone from there. Now she's introduced me to her network of doctors with different specialists. So I refer often to an E N T. First stuff that I'll find on A C B C T. If I find nasal polyps or deviated septums severe tonsils stuff I'll refer over to him and we've created this awesome relationship between, between the few of us doctors.

Tim Doolin DRAFT: Dude,

Michael: that's awesome, man. So then let's, if I could dive into your business a little bit more. Yeah. What's production and collections looking like for.

Tim: Yeah, so, so with Medicaid, Medicaid's a rough one. Mm-hmm. Um, my production in Medicaid is about 1.8 million, and on that 1.8 million, I collect about 800,000.

after all of that, I also collect an additional 600,000. that's yearly. Yeah. And so yearly we're, last year was a little bit worse. We had an issue with our office manager and she wasn't collecting where we didn't realize she wasn't collecting. And so now when I was looking at the end of year numbers, things were a little bit sadder.

And next year will be severely inflated because we're backdating everything and, and figuring it all out with the insurance companies. Because Medicaid just has a lot of hoops for you to jump through, and you, if you don't do it in the proper order, you don't get paid. And so that's what she had kind of skipped out on.

And so there was a lot that we didn't collect. And so, I think our number, our final numbers were 1.3 last year. Okay. Oh,

Michael: so wait, real quick. Your office manager didn't collect, or was she taken home? Or what was, what was going on?

Tim: So she just wasn't properly submitting things. And then she would write off the patient like it was being collected because she knew exactly the numbers that should have been collected.

But then when I started checking the bank accounts, I could see that the checks weren't matching up. And

Tim Doolin DRAFT: what

Michael: was your initial thought? What were you like, how did this conversation go down?

Tim: Um, It was, well, what the hell's going on? Yeah, I, I wanted to kill her,

Michael: but, so you, you confronted her, or obviously you did, but like, how did this go down?

So, so

Tim: she had actually left. Oh. And so she just ghosted us. One day d just did not show up and that's when I started really digging in deep to, okay, what was going on here? And it had gone on for the last, like two and a half months, and I had just had an infant daughter, so I wasn't paying as close of attention as I had been before in the past.

And, and that's what allowed for it is I just wasn't as present as I normally had been. My, I didn't really care about getting the numbers daily or the graphs and all of that and checking the accounts, and it was a really unfortunate mistake. But I mean, we we're. It seems like we're able to catch up on 90% of it and collect most of it.

It's just there was a lot that was missed. Looking back,

Michael: what were the signs where you're like, oh, man, if somebody were to tell you like, Hey, my office manager's doing this too, you're like, dude, she's gonna ghost you, her, or what would, what are the

Tim: Yeah. Um, She started not being as present. Not wanting to report things to us.

Cuz my o my wife is also part of the office mm-hmm. And, and does most of the HR type work. And so she's the one who will get the reports daily. And I mean, my wife was no sleep for months, so she wasn't. Caring if there wasn't a report sent, and then she would also be the one that would check the numbers.

You know, even just like cash. If we get cash, we will verify the cash with the patient with the transaction and make sure that it all matches up. And we don't do it for everyone, but we make sure that we do it. We do spot checks so that it all, so there is no issues. Mm-hmm. And yeah, she just started not being present with us.

So not sending those things. We had a consultant and she wasn't really reporting any of the stuff to the consultant, which is always sketchy. But you know, we figured, okay, she's got all this stuff going on. Maybe, maybe she's just busy or she doesn't wanna bother us cuz we've got an infant daughter at home.

and really we just didn't care as much as we should have been. You know, it's something that if it was a year earlier, there's no chance it would've gone more than a week with me. Um, Normally I make sure that I have weekly reports, monthly reports and sometimes even daily reports depending on what it is.

so she'll post the, normally my office manager will post daily numbers for a collection, production, new patient scene and total patient scene, and they'll post it into my Excel sheet and it'll all start adding up. And then she has to give me the monthly report at the end of the month. That shows all of the numbers based on my previous numbers and based on, all of that, I have these algorithms that figure.

What should it all have looked like? I basically created it all myself just because I don't like a lot of the systems that I was given by consultants and, the different practice managers or practice management groups that I had talked to. Mm-hmm. And so I created my own Excel sheets and then my own algorithms, and that's how we would always figure it out.

But yeah, for the two and a half months after my daughter's birth, Kinda let it all go. Yeah.

Michael: Hey, why didn't you like, what the real quick rewind. You said you hired a consultant, right? Yeah. What, who

Tim: was it? So, oh man. Who was the group? We didn't get along with them. I'll, I'll leave it at that. Um, We didn't do very well with them because this all happened under their nose, you know, we, oh, really?

We hired them because we were going through a big transition, not with having a baby. Not only with having a baby, but also with the fact that um, we had these two sisters that were working with, That were pretty much in charge of the office before they made all the decisions. They, they helped with everything.

And as I started changing more and more of the office from the old culture, they started not being okay with a lot of it. And I told them, well, you know what? Let's just plan a civil way out and go from there. And so that's what we did. I hired a consultant. They were supposed to help us with the transition, hire this other.

And they had told us, you know, we'll work with you for this period of time. So they were still working with us. It was towards the end of the time that they were working with us. And so those girls had left. Now it's been two and a half years. Mm-hmm. And so it was like 18 months into, this happened at the beginning of last year, and so 18 months into everything.

this lady was starting to not listen to anyone and they didn't say anything. They didn't stop anything. They just kind of went their way. I think may mostly because we weren't communicating as much with them because of the baby. And us being kind of distracted, but yeah, it didn't go very well.


Michael: why did you go with.

Tim: Um, I went with them cuz they had a good presentation to start. Okay. You know, they had good reviews from a lot of other dentists. And the biggest thing was I was, I was considering taking on a, on an associate cuz I see way too many patients. today I only had a half day and I saw 40 patients.

Wow. And it, it's, it's a lot. Yeah. And so I have debated taking on an associate. I just don't really have enough chairs and so I'd have to build out to do that. There's this girl that's interned with us the last three summers, who's gonna be in dental school next year. And I've talked to her about potentially being an associate because it's also hard to convince someone to move to the middle of nowhere where we're at.

They have to enjoy the lifestyle up here and yeah, it's an awesome lifestyle, but you also have to be okay not seeing people very often. Yeah. Costco. And, and so yeah, it just wasn't right for us, but they were, they were highly recommended by everyone. Okay. So

Michael: then what was the systems you created right now where you're like, this is it, this is my own algorithm that you can kind of share with us where if we're not happy, You know what I mean? Oh my God. This is the system. Is this the only thing that exists out there? I guess so kind of thing, you know, in

Tim: terms of my numbers? Yeah. The numbers that I use in my dashboard. Yeah. So, um, I, I created a few different numbers that will basically take into account how many days are worked. How many patients are seen and the, the collection itself, because so often you'll see that the algorithms from the companies will just be based on, okay, here's the collections for this day and it doesn't really take anything else into account.

And then they'll break down collections per day's worked, but that's about. And so I'll u I'll make a number that's based on patient scene, that's based on day's worked. Um, It's based on the collections and then it's also based on the new patients, oh, and then hygiene. And so I take all of those things into account on my Excel sheet, and I have a algorithm that I created that includes all of those numbers to create a true collection.

And I don't even remember what I call it. I think I call it adjusted collections. Mm-hmm. And so my adjusted collections, my ADU adjusted production, I should see trend lines from that. And then my trend lines are all based on the last three months and the average of the last three months and where they should go.

And so I should know, you know, based on how many days I worked, here's where the numbers should be at, or here's where they should be for the next three months. And then that's also where I'll create goals for my team. And then we reward substantially if the goals are reached. And so we create games based on that.

And it's all based on my adjusted numbers. So what things should be not based on. Not based on straight numbers, but based on criteria that go into those numbers. Um, Because a lot of the times that just isn't taken into account and up here, you know, like today I had a half day because we have, we've gotten so much snow since 10:00 AM this morning that all my patients sh canceled.

Yeah. that's a normal thing. So, you know, if I wasn't talking to you, I probably would've gone skiing instead today.

Michael: Got you, man. What do you, how do you reward. What rewards do you give them? Straight cash. Okay. Nice. Steve. And is it like, what's the cash looking like here?

Tim: So like last month they got a reward.

The hygienist I think got 550 each. The assistants got two 50 each and the front desk were like 300. It was somewhere like that. What is

Michael: the goals for the front?

Tim: so everyone's goal is still the same. Everything is based on collections. And then I will I'll give them more of a reward or less of a reward based on their specific categories.

So the front desk is going to be appointments kept appointments canceled. No shows. No shows is a big one in New Mexico. I don't know how it has been in the rest of the world, but. We joke about it being the land of manana. It is, people do not show up to things here. And so it, that was a severe problem when I got here.

It was very normal to see in one day, six to seven people just not show up to their appointment at all for no reason. outside of, yeah, I just didn't feel like coming. And so that's a big part of the front desk. Then like my assistants is I'll tell them it's treatment plan acceptance, because they're a big part of making sure that everything is accepted.

They're a big part of making sure that the culture of the office is awesome. And so it's also how many new patients, because they are. They're basically my marketing team. The assistants are the marketing team and making sure that someone from the second they walk in the door to the second they leave.

They feel like they're part of our family, they feel awesome, and it should feel like a different experience. You know, the assistant's getting 'em a warm towel at the end of their appointment to make everything feel a little bit more like a spa, getting them. We have like ozone water that we'll use in different procedures and we make the ozone in the office so the assistant can talk to them.

Yeah, here's what ozone water is and why it helps. And so the assistants are part of that education. And part of that marketing because when someone hears all this stuff, they're, they get excited about it and they go tell their friends like, Hey, guess what I experienced at the dentist? Mm-hmm. This was really different.

and that's what we get all the time. I would say that's at least half of our new patients are because of an assistant said something and, and then we hear. Nice.

Michael: Okay man. So then like that's how you can kind of, do you ever get an assistant where, or have you ever gotten one where they're like, that's not my job.

I'm here to just assist you, kind of thing. Or maybe their conduct or attitude kind of showed that and you're like,

Tim: yeah, they don't work for me anymore.

Michael: How do you, how do you um, my guests give them, Or have you ever had to talk to one and be like, this is how it is here, kind of thing, right? Yeah. This is the office culture.

And then they did work and then it happened.

Tim: Yeah, Yeah, so actually one of my best assistants right now she started as a very quiet girl. She didn't wanna talk to the patients. She was really good at assisting. And so that was what kept me trying to work with. She didn't really want to have communication with the patient.

She was afraid of talking and being wrong about something and, and so I had to coach her a lot on, Hey, this is exciting. It's cool to teach someone this stuff. And, and when you start educating them on all the, the benefits, The different things that we provide and start teaching them what really can be awesome about taking care of teeth.

They get excited about it. And so she started just talking about things as if, you know, she knew everything there was to talk about. Yeah. And now she's become friends with a lot of the patients. Uh, A lot of the patients will stop her on the street throughout town because yes, we are a small town here, but she doesn't actually even live here.

She commutes uh, 45 minutes from the town over, and that town is 30,000. So, I see her in the plaza and she's hanging out with patients now and it's really cool to see. And then my other assistant, it was no issue because she was already that type of person. And when we hired her, we knew right away that she was gonna be perfect for it.

She had always kind of been in customer service jobs. But never had a career type job. It was always like, okay, I'm gonna work in retail here, or front desk there. And she just hopped around and she's been with us now two years and she's doing incredible, dude.

Michael: That's nice, man. That's really, really good.

So then let's talk about that severe problem no shows. Yeah, because I always think like, man, if you can figure a way to eliminate that, you'd be like a bajillionaire. So how did you, how did you start

Tim: minimizing. I mean, the biggest one was we started charging for it. Really? Yeah. So it's a hundred dollars no show fee.

And do you actually

Michael: charge, or are you kind of like, we're gonna waive it this one time? I understand. We have only

Tim: charged it, I think since, so we started implementing it about six months ago. I think we've only charged it three times. But what we did is we added it into the. To tooth places, so mm-hmm.

In the new patient the phone call, that script, it's in there now. And so when the, our front desk talks to a new patient, she brings it up. It's also in there for a patient who hasn't been with us for a while, and then we put it on a um, there's a contract that they sign when they come into the office.

Fortunately, we also changed our software. And so it became an excuse to have them refill out all their paperwork. And in the paperwork it set, there's one whole sheet that talks about our no-show and our late fee. And if you are, if you no-show on us, it's a hundred dollars fee. If you are late, we have the right to give your appointment to someone else.

and so we just started changing the culture. We were blessed with a, a front desk lady who's just incredible at mm-hmm. Being very straightforward with people. She has no problem talking about the NoHo fee with every patient. She'll take credit cards from a new patient. So if a new patient is setting up their appointment, she'll take a credit card from them and say, yeah, well we're gonna charge you if you don't show up to this appointment.

So you need to be here. Yeah. And it, it absolutely has changed things. I mean, we've had people during snowstorms say, no, I have to come because I have a hundred dollars fee if I don't show up. And they've got no car that can make it. And they're calling us frantically trying to figure out how they can get there.

Yeah. And so it's really been a, a, the easiest way to try and make sure it works, but we haven't really had to charge it. The only times where I've charged people is there's the occasional patient and it's usually a a state insurance person who says, no, my, my insurance will pay for that. Yeah, no, your insurance is not gonna pay for that. And you're gonna learn that you need to be more responsible. What do they get upset? Yeah, they absolutely do, but I'm also the only provider in the area for Medicaid, so. Oh, that's true. They can either not take care of it or they can pay that fee.

I mean, that's a lot of the time what it is, but. We fortunately, really haven't had to charge it. Yeah. So

Michael: Interesting. Okay, man. You said you changed software system

Tim: to Yeah, so we changed from um, what was the old one? He was using a really old system and I kept it around again. I had the, the old team that I inherited, and so I wanted to change things really slow when I bought the office.

Mm-hmm. And so I kept the old system. I can't even remember what was Soft Dent. That's what it was. Mm. And it was the old version of Soft Dent and it was the downloaded version, so it wasn't ever truly updated, like their new version is, and they have like their cloud version that they use. And we changed to Eaglesoft now.

Michael: Okay, cool man. Cool. Eaglesoft. So then let's fast forward now. Now what you're doing, you have a bigger vision, right? You wanna do. Do you want, what do you wanna do, Tim? Do you wanna just like be there, be this pr or what

Tim: is your vision here? Yeah, so, my next goal is to build a new clinic. So I would like to build a clinic that is different from every other clinic that I have ever been to.

And it's going to be an integrative care center where you go to and we provide, Whole health care in a way that is very technology savvy. So you go in and we use every piece of technology we can to basically give you a tour of your body and the dentist and the doctor don't even need to be there for the tour, but we're gonna give you a tour based on blood work, based on different scans.

Cuz I mean they've got all sorts of body scans they can do now that are super easy, super fast. I mean my scale now tells me. What percentage of my fat is located in water weight versus, you know, actual fat versus bone density. Mm-hmm. And it, all, it is, is a scale, you know, and that's a, a minimal one.

And they've got all these crazy things that they can do now. And so the doctor that I'm working with at, we were, we want to build a clinic that integrates all of that technology along with blood draw and the dental scans that we can do between a C B C T and a 3D scan and go through a PA with a patient, every single thing that we can in their body and where the form and function is going wrong, and we can relate.

Okay. Your face isn't developed in this way. You've got a posture and balance going like this. Your bite is also in balance because your posture is misaligned now you aren't breathing right, and, and we talk about it all and then correlate how we can change function at home and what they're doing at home to make it all better and, and basically make a new specialty out of it.

So then

Michael: this is planning to

Tim: launch. We haven't decided. So we're actually uh, me and her are working with, some people out of the country and we are, there's some other places out of the country that are doing similar things. Now the people that we're working with are all billionaires and that's who we're providing this care to.

And we want to make it a, a standard office experience because where this care is being provided in other places, it's at beautiful resorts that, you know, we get invited to and we build this care facility as a, just a makeshift facility that looks awesome and works really well, just with a couple pieces of equip.

Because most of the stuff can travel and then her expertise can travel very easily and my expertise can travel very easily as well. So they just bring us in a couple pieces of equipment and we can set up a, he a healthcare facility and provide what we can just through educating people. And then we would like to though bring that to the us.

We would like to make it a, a standard way that people can get healthcare. So

Michael: you're doing this already in, you're doing

Tim: it like you're going out there. And so My problem is I haven't been able to get licensed in the other country yet. Uhhuh, I have to take their board exam in September. And so I am hopefully gonna be taking all that and, and then providing all the care over there.

What's the other country, but Maldives.

Michael: Oh, oh yeah. Okay. Yeah, yeah. Billionaire. Yeah. Okay, man. It's nice though. It's nice. Yeah. So you're going to do that

Tim: here? So the, yeah, that's, that would be my goal is to bring. Bring that type of care here where we can teach people how to take care of themselves in a better way, without medications, without, and, and that's, that's really the issue.

And what we have to figure out and what we haven't yet figured out is how do you bill all of this? Because it's difficult to bill knowledge and it's difficult to bill education through insurance. Mm-hmm. And so, That's where we are currently at a roadblock and, and trying to figure out, you know, how can we code this and, and what can we do for it?

And maybe we end up coding it as family practice and, and standard care like that. I'm not entirely sure yet, but yeah, we've already picked out a few different locations that we have considered. And hopefully, we'll, we'll get something started pretty soon in terms of, getting at least the dental and medical portion built.

But I want a chiropractor involved. I want to have uh, PT and OT involved in as well, and, and really get as many doctors on board as I can.

Michael: Man, that's gonna be exciting, man. That's gonna be really, really exciting.

Tim: I hope it, it turns into something. It's just, we don't really know what it's all gonna look like yet.

Let me

Michael: know when you open up the investors round. I have like my savings, which is five bucks. I'll, I'll put it in your van, I'll throw you, but no, that's gonna be exciting. Throughout this process, Tim, I guess from the moment that you decided to do your business plan for your practice till today, what's been some of your biggest struggles or, or pitfalls or fails?

Tim: Biggest struggles and pitfalls. I mean, really a, a big portion of its time. Building the business plan takes a long time. Getting financing was a ton of hoops. Banks do not trust a, a new grad, that is not a thing anymore. That used to be a thing. a lot of dentists who were graduating 20 years ago, That was normal to build a practice and not become an associate right away.

That is no longer the case. Banks don't want to give you money, even though dental loans are proven to be one of the least risk loans that you can, that a bank can give out. Mm-hmm. But. They still don't. And so I talked to bank, after bank, after bank, trying to convince them based on my business plan, based on everything that I had, and even though I had put in all the work that I did, they still did not wanna give me the money.

that was really the hardest part. And then it was finding, finding the right team, because you know, you have to find an attorney, you have to find an account. And I was a student, I didn't have any money. Mm-hmm. And so a lot of these people had to work for me off of the, the fact that I was going to have that loan come through on whatever date and then I was going to pay them.

And so I had to work extremely hard to find people that would work for me, despite me not having money on hand. And basically they worked for the day, the contract was signed, here is what we get paid. And so I was very fortunate and I worked incredibly hard to find that team. And it was a lot of making connections, going to dental conventions, finding, finding the right people at the conventions.

And then one person would introduce me to another person would introduce me to another person, and, and we'd kind of go from there. And that was really the, the biggest advantage was in having that mentor that I had. He was able to introduce me to people that trusted him, and then because they already had trust in him, then they would trust me.

And then once we had a conversation and I would explain, here's everything that I can do, they would jump on board. But yeah, it was incredibly difficult building that team. And then when I bought the practice, Really the hardest thing was convincing a team of people who had been in the business for, I don't think there was anyone who had not been in dentistry for less than 10 years.

Mm-hmm. And I had to convince them to trust me who was, had graduated three days ago. And so I had to go from absolutely nothing to, okay, now these hygienists have to trust my treatment plan. that's where I did, I had to follow the old dentist and figure out exactly what he would do.

Uh, And so I actually. Had him send me 20 cases before I went over there of the x-rays and then the the treatment plan that he came up with from the x-rays, so that way I could figure out how he planned and what it all looked like. And then I figured out that it was also based on insurance, how he would plan.

And so I basically copied his treatment planning strategies for the first six months. Mm-hmm. And I try not to change anything at all. The only thing that I added in be were things that he never did. So he never did uh, Invisalign. And, uh, he did very, very few implants. And I went to a school where I was very fortunate to graduate with, I mean, I think I graduated finishing about 15 implants.

And I had done over 40 root canals, and so I, I was able to jump right in and, and do that stuff and, but I, again, I had to make sure the other team trusted me and there was, there was one point where I did a filling and I made the mistake of putting s d F under it, and these girls didn't know what s d.

Looked like. they knew what it looked like if it didn't have a filling over it. And so the filling had kind of grayed out and they took a picture and started sending it to each other and saying, what is this guy doing? Now it was on a kid and it was, it was a no drill. No shot filling.

Like I figured, okay, this is gonna be great. They're gonna love that. I didn't use shots and drills on a kid. Mm-hmm. And the kid loved it. But no, they were not sold. And, and that was really difficult to kind of move away from some of his techniques. Mm-hmm.

Michael: No, but that's smart man. That's smart to not like go in there and change everything immediately.

Cause then everybody's gonna be like, well, who's this guy? Right. Kind of thing.

Tim: Yeah. You're, I didn't have the credentials to do that, you know. If I had done that after working for 10 years, it's one thing, but after three days of after graduation, yeah. Um, It was a little difficult to try and change things.

Michael: Nice. Yeah. Okay. Good, good, good. And then one of the last questions I wanna ask you is marketing advertising. Yeah. What's been your best r o ROI and then one of your worst things where you're like, I'm never gonna do that again.

Tim: Yeah. So, up until like six months ago, I had never done an ounce of. I use patient-based marketing only.

Mm-hmm. My patients tell other patients and that's how I market. I have patients that drive over three hours to come see me, and I would say that's relatively normal. Mm-hmm. Um, it probably happens every other day. I'd say. I have a patient that drives over two hours, It's because they hear about me from someone else, and the distance just kind of keeps going.

I don't know what the true trick is, but you know, again, I just, I try to educate people. I try to make sure that they're always comfortable in the chair and. And make sure that I'm, I'm just honest and friendly with them. People should feel like they are part of my family and I'm treating them the same way that I would treat my family.

Mm-hmm. And because of that, I have been ex incredibly lucky to not have to do really any marketing at all. I mean, I guess if you look at my taxes, I do marketing through. Supporting the high school. Yeah. Or, the golf course. I'll, I'll support like the random fundraiser and they'll put a sign out. But I don't know if I actually get any patience from it.

There's nothing better than a person telling their friend that, Hey, this is a really good guy, and, and this is a really good office. I, I love the work they did for me and I really trust them for that. And then in the last six months I have started marketing um, on LinkedIn for more of my own personal.

Not so much for my practice, but trying to get my own name out there in, in different ways and because I'm gonna be starting something new. I want to get out something so that way when this new thing is coming up, people can look me up and, and know that there's a lot more information on my philosophies, what I do and, and why I do it.

Michael: Nice man. Awesome. Tim, thank you so much for being with us, man. It's been a pleasure. But before we say goodbye, can you tell our listeners where

Tim: they can. Yeah. So I'm on LinkedIn as uh, Dr. Tim Dolan. And then my practice is Angel Fire Family Dentistry. We are in Angel Fire, New Mexico. You can email me at angel fire dental gmail.com or feel free to call the office.

And we go from there.

Michael: Awesome. So guys, that's all gonna be in the show notes below. And Tim, thank you so much for being with us. It's been a pleasure and we'll hear from you soon. Yeah, thank.