460: Dr. Sundar Jagadeesan | Dentiq

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Today we're going to introduce a game changer in the dental practice management software world...


This is an innovative, all-in-one, cloud-based practice management software, and it offers an array of powerful features that are custom built for dentists by dentists ready to revolutionize the way you work.

If you are a start-up and decide to sign up with Oryx, they will NOT charge you a single dime, until you reached 200 active patients!⁠

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Guest: Sundar Jagadeesan

Practice Name: Dentiq

Check out Sundar's Media:

Website: https://www.dentiq.nz/

Email: sj@dentiq.nz

Other Mentions and Links:

Kois Center




The Thriving Dentist Show with Gary Tackacs

Ekwa Marketing

Google Ads


Scheduling Institute

Dr. John Kois

The Psychology of Money - Morgan Housel

For more helpful tips, strategies, ideas, and marketing advice:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thedentalmarketer/

The Newsletter: https://thedentalmarketer.lpages.co/newsletter/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2031814726927041

My Key Takeaways:

  • Do you best to stick with your practice philosophy and communicate that to your team! The details become easier when values are understood.
  • If you're a comprehensive service, the extra time taken in patient onboarding is worth it!
  • Don't overload patients with all the ins and outs of procedure details. Keep their health as top priority, but simplify your treatment planning so it's understandable.
  • Cashflow is the underlying issue from most problems in business. Once this is in order, you free up bandwidth to serve more patients!
  • Using a non-scripted approach to patient calls and asking lots of questions can be a great way to add a personal touch and show interest.
  • Sometimes it's better to lock down just the big picture strategy and then brainstorm the implementation with your team.

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Episode Transcript (Auto-Generated - Please Excuse Errors)

Michael: Alright, it's time to talk with our featured guest, Dr. Sundar Jaen. Sundar, how's it

Sundar: going? I'm good. It's quite cold down in New Zealand here. I know, I think,

Michael: I believe we have quite a bit of listeners in New Zealand, but I, we've never had an actual practice owner from New Zealand, but, We're excited to dive into your practice.

Sundar: I've been actually following your podcast for a while now, and I've been listening to you for a while, so it's quite awesome for me to be on the show. I

Michael: appreciate that, man. Thank you so much. Yeah I'll Venmo, PayPal, you ze use after this. We'll be like, thank you for the shout out, Zender. I appreciate you, ed.

Thank you for the support, but could you briefly introduce your dental practice and the demographic you primarily serve?

Sundar: So basically we are a general dental practice fully catering to family dentistry from fillings hygiene work to rehab. Full mouth rehab, fully restorative implants. We place our own implants and I do a bit of microscopic endodontics as well.

So it's a fairly good mix of general dentistry and a wee bit of advanced restorative dentistry, as I would like to call it. The demographics here in Napier is basically, a middle to upper middle class group. And we are the fruit bowl of New Zealand. Like, it's quite a horticulturally, quite a big space in New Zealand and we export a lot of citrus fruits, stone fruits and the economies mainly agriculture based.


Michael: Okay, wait, real quick. What's the currency over there?

Sundar: New Zealand dollars. Oh okay. Yeah. Interesting. Around and dollar and a half compared to the US dollars. Okay. Okay. So buys one and a half New Zealand dollars. Yeah.

Michael: Gotcha. And that's the main thing over there at the agriculture, like the citrus fruits.

You guys export that,

Sundar: In this region, yes. But in general, New Zealand has the main industry here is dairy farming. And so we are quite an agrarian society. Gotcha. Yeah. Yeah.

Michael: Interesting. Good, good lesson for us. Awesome. So then that's the primarily the demographic you serve. In which category would you place your practice?

Would it be, DS o, private practice? Solo doc? Do you have multiple doctors or general.

Sundar: So we are fully small boutique practice. I started the practice in 2018 by myself and then in 2021 I had my first full-time associate joined me. And then she worked with us for 2020 and the whole of 2022.

She's back in California at the moment. And we've just started another dent associate dentist who started with us early this year. And we had a bit of a three month changeover. So there's two of us with one hygienist. It's a fairly small practice.

Michael: Okay, nice. So then how did you know you were ready to bring on the associate full-time?

Sundar: So when I set out the set out at the practice, my goal was to get a hygienist at eight months. So, but at six months we did bring her in at a kind of couple of months early. And I told myself like, the day when my new patient booking goes past three weeks point, I'll get an associated.

So that, that's what it took me that length of time. We didn't plan it to be in two years or three years. whenever organically the practice grew we were going to do it. But 2020 after Covid hit, we went into this big lockdown and when we came back there was a huge influx of.

Patients coming in after the lockdown and I couldn't handle it. And that's when we said we'll get an associate three week point was my cutoff.

Michael: That was it. You're like, at three weeks we gotta, and immediately she jumped on us full-time. Or was it part-time and then

Sundar: full-time? No, straightaway. Full-time. Ah, straightaway.

Full-time. Yeah. I didn't wanna start an associate part-time for a reason because. My practice philosophy is very comprehensive dentistry boutique. You are, you are, You are looking at a patient. You are trying to understand it's more personalized. It's not like a DSO where you are just going through the numbers, kind of.

focusing on a very limited number of new patients a month. So I wanted a person to come in full-time who would absorb into my philosophy first. And then go in, like, if I had a part-time, then the dentist has to work in a different practice with a different philosophy and half the philosophy in my place so that there will be a clash in their mindset.

So that was my reasoning behind us asking someone come in, you come in full-time. Yeah. And you've been with me.

Michael: Yeah. Gotcha. Okay. Was it easy finding an associate.

Sundar: It is actually fairly difficult to get experienced associates in New Zealand at the moment. So I'm actually interviewing another dentist from Colorado and he's quite keen.

Looks like our philosophies are kind of coming together. And then hopefully in 2024, we'll try and be a three dentist practice. Oh, wow.

Michael: I thought you were interviewing associates in New Zealand, but sounds like you're interviewing associates everywhere, right?

Sundar: Every anywhere in the world, to be honest. Mm-hmm. in New Zealand at the moment there's a shortage of experience, dentists.

So my practice is at a stage where unfortunately I'm not able to mentor a young graduate, come in and. And kind of take them through the learning curve. We've reached a space where we have to kind of hit the ground running And also in New Zealand, because of after covid, especially the, there are a lot of people who expatriates who came back into New Zealand. When the lockdowns happened the rest of the world and they've all gone back out, back to Australia, us, uk, and all these countries. So, so there's a real shortage of experience to clinicians.

There are, there's a good pool of new graduates coming through. Obviously new graduates they leave. Two or three years to warm their feet up and kind of get into the rhythm of doing dentistry at an advanced level. So that's where we are a bit stuck. And I think the government migration policy is a bit they're opening it up as well post covid.

And so, so at the moment it's a bit easier to get a dentist from overseas, experienced dentist, I mean,

Michael: Okay. Makes sense. Makes sense. So you're growing pretty quick. So what has been your experience with, different marketing companies and which strategies have proved to be most

Sundar: effective? So originally when we started we were focusing on Ground marketing quite a lot, like newspaper ads, radio ads, print ads.

Like, like put inserts into the local newspaper. Deliveries. We did get a good uh, group of, patients from that, but not enough to sustain a full startup full-time practice. It was like kind of half and half. And that's when I started researching and learning about s e o, and digital marketing.

And the previous website I had wasn't good enough. one of my cousins he worked in the IT industry in the uk, so I asked him, can he review my website and tell me. From a non-dental point of view, from a patient point of view, do you think it's informative enough to do it?

And he gave me a big list of corrections to be done on the website. And so it kind of built up into this whole situation. This was around just before the lockdown, just before Covid. We knew that Just ground marketing is not gonna work for us. so we decided, okay, we are gonna go into digital marketing if we are gonna expose ourselves in the region and also just across the region.

Like New Zealand's quite a small country. We are in the north island of New Zealand, four hours drive south of us is Wellington the capital of New Zealand. so we said, okay we are going to concentrate on the region more. And then we went into digital marketing quite a lot, so, And at that stage I was listening a lot to Gary aka mm-hmm. the Thriving Dentist Show. And I came to know about Equa marketing. And then we signed up with them. And we are going on with them for three years now.

Michael: Okay. So Echo marketing. Marketing. Yeah. Okay. And so the most effective thing, do you know currently what they are doing for you digital marketing wise?

Sundar: Yes. So they manage our website the content in the website, and they manage all our social media handles. They pretty much manage the whole online presence. they keep working on the website quite a lot. Like they keep doing all my, content review.

And pretty much every month there's new content being written and updated into the website. I do a bit of writing myself as well. And they proofread it and correct my blogs and they include that into the website and More of educational pieces for patients. So we do that a lot and they, they manage the whole lot of that.

Google marketing what is it? Like Google Ads. So they do all that part and then they manage that as well.

Michael: Okay. Okay. Interesting. So then how much budget do you typically allocate for your marketing activities?

Sundar: for the first two years I decided I'm gonna allocate 5% of my, gross profit.

So we did that. And then since we moved into ewa, it's a set fee. I think they charge around 1200 US dollars a month for the whole thing. And that has locked in my. Budget with them 12, $15,000 a year. And then we put another 5,000 US aside for, we still do a bit of print marketing and newspaper marketing and all those things.

We just use a wee bit of that kind of a mix. Radio, primetime radio. Drive time, radio. Newspapers and all those things. We mix it up a VB bed. But I think mainly our patients are coming. Like I did review the reports on oryx last night and it was pretty much search engine for, since 8% of my patients are coming from search engine, from

Michael: seo, from like their, the search engine, Google or Bing or something like that.

Yeah. Gotcha. Okay. Interesting. And how many new patients are you currently getting

Sundar: a month? So average we are averaging at 50 patients a month, 50 new patients a month. And for the first two years, obviously, because every patient is a new patient. Mm-hmm. we were, first year we had it good, to be honest.

We were averaging close to 1 20, 1 50 a month. Uhhuh. There was a bit too much to start with, to be honest. I didn't have the time to concentrate on the personalized care I wanted to develop in this practice, but then it worked out like not all of them were looking for a comprehensive dentist at that stage.

Yeah. Some of them were like, oh, it's a new practice. We'll check 'em out. Kind of people coming in as well. Yeah. And local social media influencers coming in to check me out as well. And there was bit of that happening as well. And it did, we did manage well in the first two years. But digital marketing is where we settled into the.


Michael: Okay. So it was like about 120 at the beginning, but then you realized that was too much in the sense of the quality that you wanted to provide. 50 right now is a sweet spot.

Sundar: 50 is the perfect spot for me. we are back at the stage where with 50, we are with two dentists.

We are back at that three week mark. So need another one. We decided, we said we'll go for another associate. Yeah. So that's how we are progressing. Okay.

Michael: Yeah. Okay. That's interesting. And then how equipped would you say is your team in converting calls into actual patients?

Sundar: We did have fairly decent front desk group in the last four years, but I think we have finally nailed it with the two.

Ruth and Detroit will come into our clinic now, in New Zealand. First time we have a, probably not the first time, but very rare occasion we have a male front desk person they have got onto the concept quite well and they understood the philosophy and they do a lot of I wouldn't say.

A hundred percent. Like they're not filtering people, but they do a fair bit of pre-screening in the phone and then they bring patients on board. I think FrontDesk, as long as they understand the philosophy of the practice and they believe in the philosophy, they'll be able to convert a phone call to a person on the chair.

And we spent a lot of time in the last 18 months to train them in the philosophy, and then that has rolled over into good conversion rates as well for us.

Michael: What do you do if you can break it down for us to like, and remind us again real quick what the philosophy is, but at the same time, let us know like, in these 18 months, this is the system that we need to start believing in.

Sundar: The philosophy of the practice is we are looking for patients who are seeking comprehensive care. say for example, they have a toothache, they come in, emergency patient, that's the limited examination. They're coming, they coming in for an loe, they get them out of pay. But then we explain to them about a comprehensive dentistry like we do a full coe full panel.

Full set x-rays, full set photographs and get to treat the whole mouth. And any dental pathology we see in the mouth, we want to treat it and get them back to good health. So this is the one line of the philosophy and I told my friend desk that we are almost like dental evangelists in this part of the world.

To me, the patients coming into my practice, we are pretty much our, their last chance for dental redemption. they have to hear what they have to hear. So we need the time and resources to spend time with them, explain what's happening in their mouth in more detail. What I find is people with they don't have the patience to listen to what all is happening in their mouth.

They have a toothache or a problem, one single problem, and they want to just get that fixed and they wanna move on to the next part of their life. But challenge for us. Or for the front desk is to convert that single person from that mindset of pain, attendance or pain relief dentistry to a comprehensive patient like once we move them, or at least so the seed that you can be a bit more healthier.

You don't have to lose a tooth every two years and you're still paying money for an extraction. At the end of the day, you don't have a tooth to show for the money you spent. And that's something I tell my patients all the time. And if unfortunately you lose this tool, We don't wanna lose another one.

And that's the starting point. And then we took the time to kind of do clinical retreat days management retreat days, practice retreat days, with the whole team. And we would sit down and thrash out and we'll take randomly uh, a few concepts out of what is available out there. And then we sit and discuss, okay, this is what we want to do.

How we are gonna do it. I'm kind of a big picture guy. I get, get the gist of what I want to do and then I roll the idea to my team and ask them how you want to do it. And when they decide, okay, this is how we are gonna do it, this is how we are going to speak to the patients, and all those things.

And then it's their concept. It's, they believe in it and they know how to do it. It's because it's not trained or it's not out of shield for them. For me to come back and say, this is the word b hg gotta use, yes, we do discuss verbiage, but then it's not scripted, it's out of coming out of their core belief.

That they want to see good, healthy smiles. And they kind of explain that. And we do these retreats often. And once we do these retreats, often they, over a period of time, they get to understand my thoughts and what I wanna achieve for the patient. And once they believe that, then the phone call conversion happens a bit better.

that's what has worked for me.

Michael: So there's no specific script that you guys follow? Like, oh, if the person says How much is it for, you know what I mean? Like a implant or do you take my insurance? There's no specific like, oh, we're gonna wanna

Sundar: say this. No. My biggest thing for my team or front desk instruction is ask them more questions to understand them.

Each call will be different. There's no scripted questions to us. And all they do is just try and question them more. Like, okay, if you are asking for how much it is, why do you ask them? Have you, do you have another call? Or do you have what kind of treatment are you looking for? Say for example, how much is an extraction?

Then the next question would be, Is it a front tooth or a back tooth? Oh, it's a back tooth. Oh, how broken down it is? Oh, it's quite painful. I think, you know what may, so the conversation kind of drags on from there, but the main thing for the front desk is to express or impress on the patient's mind that unless a dentist sees the mouth, you're not gonna get an answer precisely.

So that's where they're driving and then the conversion happens and they come and sit down, have a chat, and once they're in the chat, then it's up to the dentist to express my philosophy of teach them, educate about having this whole concept of comprehensive dentistry. but we don't have a totally set script.

We don't have that. No.

Michael: It sounds like you take a lot of time investing in the onboarding, right. Of your team members. You're not just like, guys, throughout this time we're gonna be learning quick systems. Follow what the office managers telling you that it's not like that. It's like we gotta onboard.

And a lot of that time, more than 60% is like, It really internalizing the philosophy so you can care a whole lot. Yes, exactly. About the patient.

Sundar: Yeah.

Michael: I like that. I like that a lot. Yeah, because you almost feel, they say that's like a thing in, in selling, almost like they say when you sell, if they say no, you want to feel bad, that they're like, this thing that I have for you is gonna help you out so much.

I feel bad that you're saying no. Exactly. Kind of thing. Okay. Interesting. I like that. I like that a lot. Your philosophy.

Sundar: It does take time though. The downside to the concept of the way I do it, it does take time, for a person and I, yes. I have had staff members who come in and they themselves are a bit impatient to get rolling So the whole process gets, sometimes it's a bit, too slow for them and they pull out, but I said like, that's fine. Like you, you might as well go now. So that has happened as well.

Michael: Yeah. No, but it's good. It's good that you are, you know, you're sticking to your guns kind of thing. Yes. And making sure not adapting to them.

Interesting. Okay. So then, Right now, throughout this process, what have been some of the best companies you've worked with and some of the worst companies you've worked with that it just didn't work out for you?

Sundar: one of the companies which did not work out for us was Scheduling Institute. So we did some time, like we spent almost like six, seven months with them. But they were really nice people. The concepts, I liked them. call it cultural difference between the two countries. I don't know, but I felt or my staff felt as well, they were a bit more aggressive or a bit more scripted.

And that's where I got my concept of I don't want it to be scripted. I wanted to be organic. I want the patient to feel, be part of like walking into a friend's house, And that's the organic feeling I wanted in my practice. So we said no we will stop scheduling Stuart, we'll come out of that.

So Shelling Institute something which did not work out for us, but two people who influenced a lot in my. Two people, two companies, so to speak, one is Dr. John Coce from the Coy Center in Seattle. He taught me the philosophy and the treatment concept and how to do higher value dentistry.

at the same time, John also teaches you how to grow yourself as a person. And it kind of, The whole tribe is about being, doing better for yourself, doing better for your patients, doing better for your team, doing better for your family. it's this whole concept of working towards excellence.

I learned that from John. And then the other person is Gary Tagus with the Thriving Dentist Show. what I learned from him was the whole concept of co-discovery being honest with the patient. If you don't know something, you don't know something, if you wanna wait and watch, you wait and watch.

and if you are not desperate about making that sale, it happens. there's also like, like a subtle element of. Being detached to the sale. You want the health for the person, it's not a sale kind of target driven agenda there.

I learned that from Gary ERs and it was an organic move from him to Equa as well.

Michael: Yeah, that's true. I feel like if you don't have that monetary value all the time, you more have the, I need to help this person value.

Sundar: Yeah. Yeah. Because there's a conflict of interest, right?

Like you, we get paid. For the help we do to people. Whereas an NGO for that matter, they don't get paid for it. And then there is a concept of gratification. Like they, they're doing it for the sheer fan of doing it, the sheer satisfaction of doing it. And when we change the practice or the whole practice model, do that part, that's when it becomes easier for me to speak to the patient and say, You know what, you have all these problems, but it's great.

Like it's, I'm getting excited. I could do this for you. I could change this for you. If you want to go. If you are ready when you are ready, I'm happy to do it. Yeah, and I did a presentation as last night and I was super excited. I was so buzzed out. The last two hours before the presentation I was just waiting to go into that case presentation and it worked out right?

Like she enjoyed it and that's where it is. She wants to go ahead, but she still has to make the commitment financially and all those things. I understand that, especially with this whole new recession happening and the cost of living crisis and all those things. We understand people in where they are in their life and we give them the space they give back, into the practice.

another company which has really worked with the comprehensive care, what we are trying to do is, oryx the dental software. Because I feel the software itself should support a clinician to make better decisions. And it should be intuitive and interactive to your workflow.

A software should not be just a recording medium. Software should be part of your workflow, and that's what I like about Orx. from the time the patient, the phone call comes in, the interaction new, the welcome. Email, which goes out, the new patient forms, which goes out.

Uh, Cause of my time with the Coy Center, this is fully embedded with the coy philosophy, the forms and everything. And that kind of speaks to the patient from the word go. That I've come to a place which is different. I've come to a place where they take care of me as a whole person, Not as a single tooth or a as a number. So Oryx gives me that platform to speak to the patient it's a soft, subtle message which goes to the patient that I am comprehensive, I'm looking to treat you comprehensively, and that's what our excuse is.

And the moment the patient walks into the clinic, the way we take them into the room and settle in and we do the whole charting process. They could see the screen and we go through radio. Like the structured exam process. Dr. Coy teaches like radiographic exam TMJ tool structure, head and neck lesions morphological lesions, orthotic classifications, periodontal dfa, airway.

I don't think any software, as far as I've seen, is so extensive and patient care centered, health centered, person centered I don't think any other software facilitates this kind of care. At least I've not seen it. Yeah.

Michael: No. It's, that's fantastic. How did it take your team?

Because you say there's a lot, right, that Orix offers and there's a lot of things and I feel like when it comes to softwares that have a lot, sometimes it either we tend to say like there's too many bells and whistles, or we tend to the team. It takes a lot for the team to get on board to know it, to understand it, you know what I mean?

Did that happen with you or no?

Sundar: It did not, to be honest, it did not because. I made a very conscious decision to hire people who were non-dental people. From the, so all my staff, a first time into dental industry, except for my first practice manager who started the clinic with me, she had 20 years of clinical experience, like as a practice administrator.

But. Her time was done in the first two, three years, and then we made a conscious station to hire people who did not have any dental experience. So they came in with no baggages. They were not exposed to different softwares. They were not exposed to different philosophies. All they had exposure to was their own dental care themselves.

Met a dentist, had a filling, had an extraction done, or whatever treatment they've done and that's about it. And another personal project we have as a family like me and my wife, is to encourage younger dental assistants who come to us. We encourage them to go on to a hygiene school or even dental school.

So we motivate them to go on and do that. I see. So we kind of get people in from the homeschooling group. From high school dropouts and all those things. They come in, they get a bit of a grounding with us, and then they go back into schools. So we get people who are non-dental all the time.

Michael: So it's easier to train them, especially with a oric real quick. Yeah. How much do you, if you don't mind me asking, how much does Orix cost? How much are you paying

Sundar: for Orix? I'm paying. hundred and thirty $5 a month. Okay.

Michael: Us. Us. Okay. And that's with everything at the very end. If you can tell me two things, what is it that your team, or three things, what is it that your team really loves about Oryx?

The patients? What do they love about Oryx

Sundar: and you, the team likes about Rx is. It's very easy for them to manage the scheduling. Mm-hmm. And the exam part. And then the treatment part, treatment planning part, I mean. So everything is segmented and everything is, is on a dropdown menu. So it's very easy to use.

And that's what the team has told me that's the easiest part. from a patient point of view, all patient communication, is pretty much on a click of a button. Like, for example, one of the smallest things, but I love that feature is save the date, appointment. As soon as we book the patient in the room, we just click a button, it sends them out a text.

I've asked this at my. Medical doctors, clinic. Can you send me a text so I don't forget it? I don't have to note it down. I don't have to write it down. They say, oh, we'll send one the day before, but to me, that's too late. So it's instant. And things like that, like small things like that, it's easy.

And another thing patient from a patient point of view is, or ex, as soon as you get all your exam data very correctly and put it in then it gives you Dr. Coys diagnostic opinion automatically and it gives you the risk assessment, printout automatically. So that's a big thing for me.

Making the patient understand, you know what this is what is happening in your mouth. And it's very easy for us to explain to the patient, especially in a comprehensive setting, you have to look at the whole thing. You have to look at the gums, you have to look at the teeth, you have to look at your, your aesthetics and all those things like it's organic, the whole thing.

And patients like that. Patients like that because everyone wants to speak about themselves, right? Like everyone wants to, hear others speak about them. And when I give this report and they read it, and it's like, oh, that's me. Oh, is this what's happening? Oh, is this what's happening?

Oh, that photo looks horrible. That x-ray looks horrible. They don't read x-rays, but. As soon as they see it on a piece of paper, physically on their hand, that makes a difference and Orx makes that possible from my point of view. For all these reasons, it makes my life easy. the biggest thing is when I first did the COI Center curriculum, my biggest challenge was how am I gonna implement this?

I'm half the world away. I don't have the same kind of support system as a dentist in US has, like, they have local COIST members, easy support system. But I'm here. But then to me, ORX becomes my link back to the coy Center on an everyday level. It's a reminder for me, like, you go through this checklist, you not missing anything.

Exam, you go through cavities watching existing illustrations. It's pretty much like what Dr. Coy speaks about. The checklist manifesto the book. Quite big on that in the first couple of sessions. He speaks about it like and how he trains us to, he says, you should not have cognitive overload.

You should be thinking how you can make the patient better, but you shouldn't be thinking, have I noted this down? Have I noted this down? Have I, am I looking at this correctly? That's cognitive overload. I don't have that cognitive overload anymore. My energy is spent to interact with the patient, understand the patient, and present a comprehensive plan to the patient rather than, oh, have I noted how, what is the mobility?

Have I noted? What is the periodontal pocket depth? Have I noted cavities? It's all there. It's a checklist. You just go through the list. Your exam is done. it's very systematic. You don't have to think it. Think about it. Dr. Coys one of the things he says about not to have to think about things is apparently when he goes to the SeaTac airport, he parks his car at the same place.

when he comes back from the trip, he's like, I'm not thinking, where did I park my car? And all those things. He just goes to that spot straight away. He says, as dentists, we should preserve our brain and cognitive energy to serve the patient. Not to think about, oh, have done this, haven't done this.

I've done. And that is, that small concept has changed my life as well. In personal life. Now I go from home to clinic. It's the same route, same speed, same things. Like it becomes a routine and it's actually quite liberating. To do that.

Michael: Yeah. No, I like that. I like that a lot. So then it makes it a lot easier.

Everything, right? Everything. Awesome. Okay, so then switching gears here a little bit, have you ever faced a situation where the promise results were not achieved with the expected timeframe within your marketing or marketing company or previous marketing company

Sundar: that has been there? Sometimes that has been there with equa as well. But I've come to a stage where I kind of let it happen. Sometimes I feel I take a more philosophical back step and say, I'd let this go. I'd wait and see how it pans out. It does put a cashflow pressure when things doesn't happen a bit faster.

From a business point of view, it does put you on the spot sometimes, but, if we manage cashflow better as a business owner, like allocation. And that's another thing which has happened with us is since Covid. I looked at the profit for system. So the profit for system as such that from the cashflow point of view, has helped me a lot.

Some months are big, some months are slow. But then there's no consistency. We kind of get frustrated about, oh, the marketing is not working, conversion's not happening. Front desk is not doing their job. Or the DA hasn't followed up with the treatment plan presentation, or the, these frustrations a reflection of your problem.

On the behind is your cashflow. As soon as the money part is clear and slow and seamless. And as a clinician, as a business owner, my mind is clear to concentrate on the thing. So the frustrations on a day-to-day life from a marketing point of view or from a, staff performance point of view, I've got to a stage where, I'm not going to force and make it happen.

sometimes we do. I, I'll admit, sometimes it does get to me sometimes, but mostly, once we manage the cash flow a bit better, then we have the systems in place. We trust the process and just go through that hurdle and then just move on to the next one. So that's how I've been doing it in the last three years.


Michael: Do you ever approach them and say like, guys, what's going on, or what's happening or, anything like


Sundar: that has happened? We do have a bit of a heated huddle sometimes in the morning. That has happened. Like, like we, it happened recently last week. We came off a long weekend, first day back.

Couple of them were sick. And I was impressed. I wasn't happy. I did tell them, I did tell them the Tu Tuesday we were, and on the Wednesday morning when they were back, I did tell them, this is not on, you have to preserve yourself through the weekend so that you could turn up to work and be at your best.

They did something in the weekend, which didn't go well and they were tired of a bit sick to come back. And I do voice my frustration. I think as a business owner, it's also. Important for me to express how I feel for my team to know that I'm human. I have pressures of running a business, cashflow, paying them, paying suppliers.

There's a lot of financial pressures on running a business. And to me, it's about being honest and human, to your team. To the pressures of running a business and explaining it to them, like you guys have to sometimes start thinking like a business owner. If this doesn't work out, it's gonna put a big cashflow, press pressure on us, and on the clinical retreat days, another thing we discuss is the impact of today's sale in six months time.

That's what's going to translate as a pay rise to you. If that doesn't happen, if you are not helping me to do that today, please don't expect a pay rise to me from me down the line. in the pot. I can serve it to you. If it's not in the pot, I can't serve it to you. I'm not gonna pluck money out of thin air and give it to you.

Right. Like so. Yeah. Come on guys. We are a team. We have to settle down, get into the groove and do things so that we can serve people better, get paid better, and we share better. we do have those conversations now and then, in the clinical retreat days, we do explain it to them. Cause staff training days and things like that, we do discuss them team meetings.

Michael: Okay. That's good. That's good that you're able to open up about that, you know what I mean? But express it that way. today, if we don't make it the sale, what you do today? Is it gonna affect six months from now? Yeah, everybody's pay. Yeah. That's real good. Awesome. So then one the last questions I wanna ask you.

As a practice owner, what advice could you give our listeners who are new to this?

Sundar: I would say if you are starting a practice out, be clear in your value system, out of your value system, you deliver the vision for your practice. And once you get a concept of what vision, what philosophy you want your practice to be, and make it unique.

From what is offered around the area. Kind of backtrack it a bit, do a good area study, location study, be clear in your philosophy, and then stick to your guns and don't change the philosophy, at least within the first five years to see whether it's working or not. Do all your planning prior to that, before the day, first day you open the clinic, you go in and then you've done all your homework before that you're not there to change things.

You all you're doing is just to sit there and let it happen. one other thing I would do differently if I need to, if I'm gonna do a, another startup is. I'd get a fairly decent reserve cash flow, personal cash to protect the family or give the family a good year's living expenses.

One full year living expense before you go into it. Because one of the things we get carried away is, oh, we put everything into the new practice and we don't. Kind of keep reserves to take care of the family and cause the reality is, unless your family's happy, you're not able to concentrate on the new startup.

You need that freedom to concentrate on the new practice fully. So reserve cash is something I'm quite passionate about. I tell the other dentists here in New Zealand who are starting practices to at least have. Anything between me around at least a bare minimum of a $50,000 reserve, personal cash stashed away to take care of the family.

Yeah, and another thing I would say is look into Oryx as a software. I tell that to all my associates and all my dentists, all my friends, because the software itself should support your growth as a clinic. It should not be a recording medium, even for the associate who's gone back to California now.

I did suggest her to go with Orex, as a software for the new clinic. She's starting in, California. that's something I'm quite passionate about, having your systems in place. And then grow. And one more thing is, When you come to acute the practice, have the minimum to start with.

Don't over capitalize on the practice too early and be slow and adding things into it equipment wise, but have the real estate space ready for it from the word go. So that you don't have to, oh, I want to add another chair, but I can't fit it within this space. I have to move premises. So concentrate on your homework, getting the real estate right.

You don't have to put it out all in one go, and you could slowly work your way through. In the first five years.

Michael: Yeah. Awesome. Sundar, thank you so much for your time. We appreciate it. If anyone has any further questions or concerns, where can they find you?

Sundar: They can find me on my website.

dub do do ent.nz. Sj ENT nz is my email. I would love to hear from your audience. Yeah.

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

Sundar: My pleasure, Michael. It was an absolute honor to be part of your show also a shout out to my team and my family for supporting me to get where we are today.

Thank you so much.

Michael: Awesome. We'll talk to you soon. Thank you.