The Dental Guys Podcast Supplemental Reading
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Tax Planning Adjustments – November 2018
Instead of waiting until April, take some time to do most of your tax planning or your year-end tax adjustments between now and December 31st. Go ahead and update your financial records and estimate your income and expenses. Then, meet with your CPA and your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ to see what tax adjustments you can make while you’re in the calendar year. Remember, once you roll past December 31st, you lose the ability to make some tax adjustments.
For more information about Tax Planning.
Group Retirement Plans – November 2018
It’s time for you practice owners to do an assessment on your group retirement plan. If you have a SEP, a Simple, or a 401(k), now’s the time to see if you need to make any adjustments – maybe change a plan or add provisions to maximize tax reduction strategies for the current year. You have to have the amendments in place, typically by the end of the year, for these to be effective.
Learn more about Group Retirement Plans.
S.W.O.T. Analysis – December 2018
The first week of December is the time to do a S.W.O.T. analysis on your practice. S.W.O.T. stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This assessment covers what’s transpired this past calendar year, letting you know where your successes and failures were. That way, as you go into January and begin to update your business plan, you know what adjustments you need to be made for 2018.
It’s Tax Crunch Time – December 2018
Now that your year’s coming to an end and you can see definitively what your practice’s total income and total expenses are likely to be, have a last-minute conversation with your CPA and your CFP®. Find out if there’s anything advantageous you can accomplish in the last week of the year to help minimize your tax liabilities. That way there are no surprises in April.
For more information about Tax Planning.
Strategic Planning for the New Year – January 2019
It’s time to start on your strategic plan. In January, you want to be crystal clear about what you want to achieve this year. Ideally, you want to have three different goals: one is a financial goal. One needs to be a strategic goal, and lastly one has to be a long-term personal goal. These goals will help drive your practice’s business throughout 2018.
For more information about Strategic Planning.
Marketing Your Practice – January 2019
Early in the year is the time to work on the promotion of your business. In January, you want to earmark money and actually start building out your annual marketing plan. If your practice is in a growth mode, your marketing budget should be about 10% of gross revenue. If you’re in a stabilization mode, plan on spending between 3-5% of your gross revenue.
If you are already marketing at these levels, it’s the perfect time to find out how it’s going with an ROI assessment.
Click for more information about assessing your Marketing.
Getting Buy-in of Your Practice’s Strategy –February 2019
By now, you should have your strategic plan completed. So, it’s time to share it with your team. Cast your vision making sure everyone sees your goals for the upcoming year and next 3 to 5 years. This vision will show them a path to success… not just the company’s success but each individuals’ success too. Will there be pay increases, job title adjustments, more responsibility? No matter the methods, everyone needs to be on your path.
For more information about Strategic Planning.
Bringing in a New Associate to Your Practice – February 2019
A lot of dentists who have been in practice for some time start seeing the advantages of having another associate. But before you bring someone in, you need to make sure: Number 1: you have enough cash to weather any potential economic down-turns. And Number 2: you have enough new clientele so you don’t have to reduce YOUR personal production. Ramp up your marketing and bring in some new patients so that everyone stays busy.
For more information about Hiring the Best.
Dealing with a Cash Windfall – March 2019
If you have come into some extra money, should you apply that cash to debt or invest it? The decision goes back to your personal planning goals. On the investing side, if markets are down and there’s a strategic opportunity to buy something that’s limited to you, like the building your practice is in, then maybe now’s the time to invest. If the interest rates are low on your loans, investing can be considered. On the other hand, if you want to pay down debts, check with your CFP® or CPA for the tax benefits. Just remember that if you eliminate debt, you will need to do some additional tax planning.
Learn more about picking which debts to pay off as a business owner is better: Paying Student Loans, or Paying off Mortgages.
Profit Sharing? – March 2019
Now’s a time to consider profit sharing to the 401(k) plan. If you have a 401(k) with profit sharing capabilities, then utilizing this feature can help reduce your personal taxes and add monetary benefit to your team. In a properly designed 401(k) plan, profit sharing can often leave you with a proportionally higher percentage of the profit shares. So you may want to consider profit sharing if you’ve had a great year or are making some extra cash. However, talk with your CPA and your CFP to determine if this tip is right for you.
Learn more about Retirement Plans for Small Business.
Taxes – April 2019
By now, you may have already filed your income taxes and if so, awesome. Regardless, I want to draw your attention to the line labeled “total tax” on your 1040. If the total tax amount is higher than you like now’s a time for tax reduction planning for this calendar year, you can begin minimizing your taxes from this point forward. Now’s the time to meet with your CFP and your CPA.
Learn more helpful tax tips, visit our business tax category.
Increasing Value – April 2019
As you may be aware, many dental practices sell for 70 to 100% of the rolling 12-month collections or three to four times EBITDA. So why are some practices selling higher than others? One simple answer systems: CRMs, POS, Marketing, Management, recare, and so on. By focusing on your operational systems, you can increase the value of your practice.
Learn more about all these systems that grow your practice’s value, click here.
Goal Assessment #1 – May 2019
Where are you with your goals? The first four months over. Are you on track? Why not? Do you need to make adjustments? Who is holding you accountable for working ON the business, rather than simply IN your business? Are you being as efficient as possible? How about this: is your net worth increasing at the rate you desire? Now might be the time to hire a business coach.
Learn more about mapping out actions and tactics in goal setting.
Should you Invest?– May 2019
More than likely your dental practice is your largest asset, however, is probably also the riskiest. Knowing how to diversify your net worth is vital. My simple advice is to be very boring with your non-business investments. Choose marketable securities like index funds in a tax-sensitive and boring asset allocation. You have enough risk in your largest asset. Keep the risk simple.
Learn why this is so important in our video discussing your Risk Tolerance in Investing.
Should you Hire an Investment Advisor? – June 2019
Dentists are naturally inquisitive and well-educated individuals. You’re smart and analytical. However, Google will only get you so far. I strongly advise you to hire people who are experts in their industries, especially when choosing an investment advisor. Make sure you’re hiring a fiduciary and make sure this fiduciary is a person who understands the dentist and provides comprehensive planning services.
Learn more about the importance of Fiduciaries in managing your wealth.
Taxes: 5500 Form – June 2019
If you have a 401(k) plan, it’s now time to file your 5500 form. The 5500 is basically a document recording the details of your 401(k) from the previous year. If you miss the filing deadline or have filed it inaccurately, you WILL face penalties.
Also, now’s the time to revisit the 401(k) design to determine if you need to make a plan-year adjustment.
To download a copy of the 5500 form, click here to go to the Dept. of Labor.
Goal Assessment #2 – July 2019
We are now six months into this year. It’s time to evaluate your personal and professional goals. Don’t many make excuses. Remember, everything rises and falls on leadership. If you are not on track or feel you could have performed better, you need to hire a business or financial coach that can help you. Even Michael Phelps, Elon Musk, Michael Jordan have had coaches.
Learn more about setting goals.
Tax Withholdings – July 2019
Make sure you withholding or saving enough for your taxes. Are you having a banner business year? Remember, the more you earn means the more taxes are due, now’s the time to increase your (tax) savings or develop a tax plan to reduce your taxes.
Click to visit the Financially Simple business tax tips.
Take Time to Reflect – August 2019
Making money and building wealth is great. But remember, you can’t take it with you. Faith, family, and friends are vitally important. Now’s the time to take a long, refreshing vacation. Just make sure to see if you can couple the vacation with a CE class for the potential tax deductions.
Visit our article on the importance of personal sustainability for business owners.
D0 You Need More Insurance? – August 2019
Review your home, your auto, your disability, your life, your health, your general liability, your malpractice, your business overhead insurances. If you’re working with a planner, they will probably do it on your behalf. If you’re not working with the planner, reach out to your insurance agents for help. And this year make sure you have cybersecurity coverage.
For more articles about insurance click here.
Year-End Marketing – September 2019
Now as a time to do your year-end marketing plan. Meet with your business coach and your marketing team to determine the best course of action to end this particular year with the bang. Maybe it’s as easy as a social media blitz. Regardless, don’t wait until November to start this process. It will be way too late.
More information: Readdressing Your Marketing Campaigns.
How Much in Cash Reserves? – September 2019
I recently noticed a trend that advisors are telling dentists to hold very large amounts of cash to “balance” their investments. Yes, it’s important for us to have cash, but it’s even more important for you to have access to cash for many dentists. If you keep one month’s worth of operating expenses in your business checking account, one month’s worth of operating expenses in your business, savings account, and three months worth of your basic living expenses in your home checking or savings account, you’ll be fine. All of the cash should be invested for maximum long-term benefit.
Related article: Exactly How Much of a Cash Reserve Does My Business Need?
Should you be an Insurance Provider? – October 2019
“Should I provide dental insurance?” This is the age-old question that just about every dentist asks. If you are approaching 10 years from your targeted retirement date, then limit yourself on being a provider. Accepting insurances as a provider will affect your business’s sales value – cash-based businesses sell for a higher multiple.
Learn more about Multiples in the Value of a Practice.
What is Your Branding Saying About You? – October 2019
Many dentists come out of school thinking you’re going to solve the world’s problems with skilled techniques. However, the business of dentistry is not about dentistry – it’s about marketing. Remember, Apple spends $1.6 billion, that’s a B, in marketing and currently as the largest company in the world. If your goal is to build your business, market your company. If your goal is to build a personal empire, market yourself.
Learn more about what needs to go into marketing and branding for new practices.
For more Dental-related content, check out our Dental Business section of Financially Simple.