Is a Dental Consultant Worth It?

Larry Guzzardo joins Alex Nottingham for this podcast, where they discuss the question: Is a dental consultant worth it? Larry explained how dental consulting involves working with someone who is qualified and experienced in the area they are consulting in. The consultant will think strategically and help the dentist decide what kind of practice they want to have. The consultant can also help with marketing strategies, technology guidance, staff training, and other administrative tasks. Finally, the consultant can provide long-term advice and help the dentist make decisions that will benefit their practice in the long term.

Highlights – Dental Consultant

[00:12]  The Value of Dental Consulting
[01:57]  Setting Up a Successful Practice
[03:30]  Achieving Profitability and Lifestyle Goals
[09:23]  Increasing Productivity and Profitability
[11:10]  The Benefits of Working with an Independent Consultant
[12:30] The Benefits of Customized Consulting Services
[14:12] The Benefits of Consulting

Resources

About Larry Guzzardo

All-Star’s Head Instructor, Consultant. Larry is a highly sought after dental practice consultant and international speaker. His skill and talent is offering practical, common sense solutions to improve dental practice productivity. He is also a faculty member at the Dawson Academy. Larry has delivered countless presentations including, “Winning Patient Acceptance of Fine Dentistry,” “Working with You is Tearing Us Apart,” and “The Leadership Challenge.”

About Alex Nottingham JD MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript – Dental Consultant

Transcription performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.

00:12 – 00:36
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Welcome to Dental Allstars. The title of this podcast is Is A Dental Consultant Worth It? Our guest is Larry Guzzardo. Larry is the head instructor and lead consultant at All Star Dental Academy. He is also a faculty member at the Dawson Academy. He frequently speaks nationally and internationally to prestigious dental institutions, including the Hinman Dental Society, Chicago, Winter Yankee and many more.

00:37 – 00:38
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Please welcome Larry Guzzardo.

39:01 – 50:21
Larry Guzzardo
How are you? I think those are almost fighting words. So I think I think this is going to be a very, very interesting little meeting here. This podcast game already got me worked up, so.

00:51 – 01:18
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
It was interesting. Before we began, we were kind of tussling with the title and you wanted to be a little bit more normalized and benign. I’m like, let’s go right at it. And I know this is what you’ve done for over 30 years. You’re a very successful dental consultant. You also have been supportive of the ADMA, which is an organization that supports consultants and you’ve given a lot back.

01:18 – 01:35
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
You helped a lot of people, you’ve helped All Star help to build and create All Star. So you’ve done a lot for dentistry and my apologies for being so provocative with the title, but let’s just start with this. Some definitions again, you have over 30 years in dental consulting. What is dental consulting?

01:36 – 01:56
Larry Guzzardo
Well, dental consulting is going to be working with a person who’s qualified and experienced in that in the area that they’re there consulting. But a dental consultant is going to think more strategic. They’re going to think over the long haul. A consultant is going to help you decide, you know, what kind of practice do you want to have?

01:57 – 02:14
Larry Guzzardo
What kind of staff do you want to be around? You know, what kind of patients do you want to have in your practice? What way do you like to practice? What types of procedures you’re naming? So they’re going to think over the long haul. How can we set things up in your office so that you can do this for your whole career?

02:15 – 02:33
Larry Guzzardo
You know, because I wouldn’t want a client thinking about I can’t wait one more day and then I can retire and another day and I don’t have that much closer to retirement. So I think of a dental consultant as somebody who’s like your business partner, who’s working with you to help you run your business the way you want to run it.

02:33 – 02:52
Larry Guzzardo
Not like the neighbor does it or the guy down the street or what you might hear about in the news or whatever. So a dental consultant is going to look at a wide variety of issues. A consultant is going to take any consideration, you know, your staff and how much staffing do you need and are they trained correctly?

02:53 – 03:11
Larry Guzzardo
They’re going to look at your patient base. You know, do you have enough capacity in your schedule to handle those patients? Are they the right kind of patients? I know that makes me sound cruel, but I think people know who are listening to what I’m talking about are these patients who are interested in what problems you can solve for them.

03:11 – 03:30
Larry Guzzardo
You know, we can evaluate the facility. Is it adequate? Do you have to add on you know, there’s a lot of advertisements that make you think you have to, but maybe you don’t. Maybe you can get by. Maybe we can be productive in the space that we have, you know, and so we can take care of things. And of course, we’re always, always looking at the economics.

03:30 – 03:52
Larry Guzzardo
We can’t we can’t ignore that because the practice has to be profitable. And so and it’s got to be in a profitable way that’s ethical and moral, you know, to the owner of the business. And it’s got to be able to help them get the lifestyle financially that they’re looking for. I would want every client that I work with to be able to retire with dignity.

03:52 – 04:10
Larry Guzzardo
I want them to be able to do their job for their whole career. But I want them to be able to retire with dignity. I want them to be able to provide for their team, not only compensate them well, but provide a really good benefits package for them. So there’s a lot if I’m answering your question, Alex, there’s a lot that we look at.

04:10 – 04:36
Larry Guzzardo
We’re not just looking at what’s the hot problem right now, because when I think of when people call consultants or they hire people who pseudo dental consultants and in my opinion, their collections are bad or they’re having a problem with insurance claims. I mean, so it’s just this one little issue and they think, oh, if I just saw my air problem, you know, or my insurance problem, every other problem will go away.

04:37 – 05:02
Larry Guzzardo
And what they fail to realize is, yes, you probably could bring somebody in for one little issue, but what that will do is just expose something else, you know, that isn’t working. And unfortunately, that person’s probably not going to be qualified or have the experience like to do the phone conversions and do the phone training or maybe to do the scheduling that needs to be done right to allow you to do the procedures in the timeframe that you want to do it.

05:03 – 05:21
Larry Guzzardo
Help you with treatment, acceptance, if I’m making any sense. So sometimes you can get a trainer to come in and show you how to use the computer. But that person probably cannot train you on how to help make your exam flow better. That’s what, in my opinion, that’s what a consultant is going to do.

05:21 – 06:03
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
I like where you define trainer as different than a dental consultant. That’s a new terminology I heard of. And you also could have a dental consultant and know if I would use a word, but it’d be very specialized. So a dental consultant. So they do one activity or trainer like what is a trainer because to bring in someone that and this is what you’re saying, one of the concerns is you bring somebody in who maybe parades or has a banner dental consultant, but they’re very they’re more of a specialist and they’re not looking at the entire holistic because I know when you work clients, you look at their finances, you look at the whole totality of

06:03 – 06:21
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
very strategic, which is how do I build a great life and make good money in the process? Yeah. And you’re there to then build everything from that point and you might bring in other specialists or trainers the supplement it, but you’re like the, you’re like the general contractor, but it’s all in-house and you do a lot of it.

06:21 – 06:39
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Now what are just give me some ideas. What are some issues that you’ve helped? And again, when I say you, it’s not like an advertisement for you, but to have you be the avatar of other consultants. Like what are other things that you’ve done? Are consultants like you have helped practices over the years accomplish well ideas a what.

06:39 – 06:58
Larry Guzzardo
A lot of it is like the lifestyle that they want to live. And what I mean by that is some doctors want to work a lot, but most dentists are raising a family and so they want to have time with their kids and they want to have a business. So I always look at their business as the foundation to create that, that happy life.

06:59 – 07:23
Larry Guzzardo
You know, because if work works well, then almost everything else in their life is going to work well. So in my consulting and even what we do, it All Star is that we’re focused on productivity because we know you can get busy. We know that it doesn’t take much to make a practice busy, but we know that a busy practice is not productive and a busy practice.

07:23 – 07:54
Larry Guzzardo
We know this just from offices that participate heavily with insurance, that busyness isn’t necessarily profitable. And so we have to have profits in a dental practice so that we can renovate, buy new equipment, keep up with technology, provide better salaries and benefits for our team. We also need that profitability to invest in our own retirement. I said earlier, I would want you to retire with dignity so that means during your career you’ve got you have to have enough money to invest in yourself.

07:54 – 08:24
Larry Guzzardo
You know, part of what a dental consultant does is they also work with your other team around you because you probably have a CPA, you probably have a financial advisor. And so what the dental consultant is going to do is make sure that those people get the information that they need in a format that they can use so that they can help make decisions about your taxes, about your investments, you know, and so they can help you if they get the right information.

08:24 – 08:27
Larry Guzzardo
But the consultant can make sure that all that happens.

08:27 – 08:39
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
I’ve had I’ve heard before or I wonder in some scenarios, a dentist might say, wow, dental consulting can be expensive. Is it worth it?

08:39 – 08:57
Larry Guzzardo
It can be expensive like anything. If it doesn’t give you results, you know, you could spend a lot of money on a laser, but if you can’t charge more because of it or it doesn’t attract more patients into your practice because you have it, then that laser is going to be really expensive and probably not. Not worth it in the end.

08:58 – 09:23
Larry Guzzardo
And so when you get the results that you’re looking for, the lifestyle, the profitability, the right staff, the right patients, it makes it well worth it, I would say, if you want to get numbers to it, Alex, you know, I mean, I would think that that if you hired a consultant, you could fully, fully expect that your productivity would go up probably somewhere between 20 and 25%.

09:23 – 09:47
Larry Guzzardo
And you’ll start seeing that increase right away if things are done correctly. And it wouldn’t surprise me if that would add maybe six to even ten points to your profitability. It comes right down to the bottom line, you know, from that increase in productivity. So that that increase in productivity isn’t going to go to operating expenses, it’s going to go to net profit when it’s done correctly.

09:47 – 10:06
Larry Guzzardo
So I find given you know, given that perspective, if you want to look at it purely from a financial point of view, oh, it always pays for itself. I sound arrogant when I say that. But you don’t get to you don’t get to be in this business for as long as I have. If people don’t make the money that they think they should get.

10:06 – 10:11
Larry Guzzardo
So I love it when people tell me, you know, you’ve already paid for yourself. I’m like, thank you.

10:12 – 10:35
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
And now there’s only one Larry Guzzardo, but there’s a lot of wonderful consultants out there that teach or support a similar philosophy, a service based philosophy. And there are others that don’t. And there are some that are very expensive. When I say very expensive, we’re saying north of $100,000 a year and, you know, big commitments and so on.

10:35 – 10:43
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
And I have dentists that come to me kind of bruised and beat up with those experiences. What happened there? Well, what was that all about?

10:43 – 11:09
Larry Guzzardo
What I find is and I know lots of great people in consulting, so I don’t I don’t want any of them to be offended. But what I notice is I’m an independent, you know, pretty much solo consultant. I work with All Star, you know, I mean, we have our team, but I wouldn’t consider us this big conglomerate like franchise type operation, you know, where they have pockets of people all over the place.

11:10 – 11:31
Larry Guzzardo
And so a lot of the fee that you’re paying is really to support all those other people that you never see, that you never hear from, that never come to your office, that never talk to your team and that you never speak with either. But you got to pay for that big office. You know, you have to pay for that big team that that that’s out there.

11:32 – 11:53
Larry Guzzardo
And so, you know, with an independent group like ours, you’re just paying for us, you know, and we’re the ones who do the consulting in. I mean, there’s not other people that are involved. So the franchise is have I call them franchises, but they have layers of management. And the other issue with them is that they pretty much have one way to do things.

11:53 – 12:14
Larry Guzzardo
You know, as independent people like us, we can actually look independently and individually at every client. What do you want? You know, just the two of us, Alex, there’s nothing wrong with us, but my personality is definitely different than yours. It’s not a good or bad thing. But what works for me probably we will not work for you.

12:14 – 12:30
Larry Guzzardo
And what works for you probably won’t work for me. But if I’m a part of a franchise, I only have one way of telling you how to do it. And if you don’t do it that way because it doesn’t work for you, then that’s their out. They go, well, you don’t do it. We tell you to do it.

12:30 – 12:48
Larry Guzzardo
It’s like, Well, I don’t want to do that, you know, because I don’t want to work on weekends or I don’t want to work at night or I don’t want to see 500 patients and you know what I’m saying? And so they kind of have just one way of doing things. And it’s that proven method, you know, and there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

12:48 – 13:08
Larry Guzzardo
And so independently, we could really look at your own personality. We can look at what you’re trying to accomplish, what you want to be known for in your community, what kind of lifestyle do you want? And then we put everything together. So it’s not a one size fits all. I am, and I tell this to every client we take on that.

13:09 – 13:25
Larry Guzzardo
I want to sit down with you after I’ve analyzed the practice of I’ll tell you what I see and I’ll tell you what I think, and then you’re going to tell me what you think of it, because there is more than one way to skin a cat. Anybody who’s been in dentistry more than about six months knows this.

13:26 – 13:47
Larry Guzzardo
My job is to find the way that’s most appropriate for you. And I’ll tell you why it’s not my intention to be somebody’s consultant for life. You know, you may need somebody to kind of hold your hand as time goes by, but a good consultant should be able to teach you and your team how things are done in the office.

13:48 – 14:12
Larry Guzzardo
And it should regenerate itself. They should be able to teach anybody else if it’s more complicated than that, then there’s something wrong with the system. And so and so a good consultant can teach you how to do it, and then you can carry the ball from there. And so that’s why I’m keen on picking. It’s a little bit harder as a consultant because you are constantly kind of changing this for you and changing you for that.

14:12 – 14:36
Larry Guzzardo
But my point is, is that if I come up with a process in the system that works for you, you’re going to do it. Because I know that people will do things when I’m looking over their shoulder. That’s not a good consultant or that’s not a good consulting profession. Sure, anybody would do it when somebody is looking over their shoulder, I want you to do it when I’m gone and when you can do it and feel comfortable with it.

14:36 – 14:55
Larry Guzzardo
Managing your staff, leading your team, communicating with your patients, you know, evaluating whether you should participate with insurance and your own profitability and all that when you could do that yourself, now you’re self-sufficient. To me, that’s a good consultation that that you’re up and you’re on your own and you can do it by yourself.

14:57 – 15:18
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
You read my mind. I love the quote you always use as we don’t throw logic out the window. You’ve got to be reasonable. Whereas there are some companies like this is the only way you can do it. They’re very monolithic and that becomes a problem for many practices. Tell me who is a good candidate for consulting and who’s not?

15:18 – 15:42
Larry Guzzardo
Well, obviously a good candidate for somebody’s consulting is somebody who wants to grow, somebody who wants to learn from another individual, somebody who definitely wants help and and somebody who also wants to be able to do it themselves. So they want to participate in the process. If somebody just wants you to I just come in here and fix this, like take care of this individual.

15:42 – 16:05
Larry Guzzardo
You know, that person doesn’t want to participate in the growth of the practice. They’re just hoping it happens. You know, they’re hoping that it happens, but it’s going to be very, very short lived. So so really the ideal candidate is somebody who maybe doesn’t have the lifestyle that they want, is getting too busy and they don’t understand why I’m so busy.

16:05 – 16:28
Larry Guzzardo
I can’t work anymore than I’m already working. You know, that’s a good candidate. Somebody who’s frustrated with, geez, I have these fantastic post-graduate training skills, but I don’t I don’t get to utilize them. I’ve got the wrong patient base, you know. And so but mostly I would say it’s somebody who wants help, somebody who wants to learn from somebody else and somebody who wants to participate in the process.

16:28 – 16:38
Larry Guzzardo
Because I feel like a good consultant is going to teach you how to do it and then you can carry the ball from there. That’s that’s a good consultation.

16:38 – 16:53
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
I love it. Larry Calzado. That’s why you’re our lead consultant and our head instructor. I’ll also leave a link to our coaching page slash consulting page if you like, learn more about our coaching and consulting support. And thank you, Larry.

16:53 – 16:57
Larry Guzzardo
For being program. Yeah, I want people to be independent. I want them to be on their own.

16:59 – 17:07
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
That’s wonderful. What is the the quote? If you feed a man, a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man a fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

17:07 – 17:08
Larry Guzzardo
A lifetime, yes.

17:09 – 17:21
Alex Nottingham JD MBA
Remember to follow us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube. You can get episodes as they are released. And please share the podcast with your friends. And until next time, go out there and be.

17:21 – 17:24
Larry Guzzardo
An all star.

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