Building a successful orthodontic practice requires more than just exceptional clinical skills. You need to effectively manage the operations, finances, and staff to ensure that your practice is profitable and efficient. However, as the owner and clinician of your practice, your focus should be on patient care and clinical excellence. So, how can you manage these essential business aspects without compromising the quality of care that you provide? The answer lies in hiring a Chief Operating Officer (COO), or an integrator, who can help scale your practice and align your operations with your core values and DNA.

Who Should Be Your COO?

It’s essential to view your COO as your business partner. They should be able to bring your vision to life, not just take orders and follow instructions. Your COO should be able to challenge you when needed and offer suggestions to improve your business. They should have the same level of commitment and dedication as you have towards your company, and they should share your passion for growth. The role of a COO is critical to the success of your business, and it’s not a job for everyone. Your COO needs to have the right skills, experience, and personality to fit in with your team. They should be able to work behind the scenes and on the front deck, solving problems, organizing, and communicating effectively. It’s their job to ensure that your business is profitable, and they should have a clear understanding of your financials, so they can help you make informed decisions.

Promoting Internally or Hiring Externally: Which Path Is Right?

One of the biggest challenges that businesses face is deciding whether to promote from within their organization or hire externally to fill roles. While both options have their advantages and disadvantages, making the right choice is essential to ensure that your business has the right people in the right positions. When it comes to promoting from within, you have the benefit of having someone who already knows the ins and outs of your business. On the other hand, hiring externally can bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the table. But how do you make the right decision? Ultimately, the decision to promote from within or hire externally will depend on a variety of factors, including your business goals, the skills and experience required for the role, and the current workforce composition. The best approach is to evaluate each individual case on its merits and consider the specific needs of your business. If you already have someone in your organization who has the necessary skills and experience to excel in the role, promoting from within can be a great option. On the other hand, if you need to tap into a wider pool of talent or bring in fresh ideas to the business, hiring externally may be the better choice.

A Day in the Life of a COO

The role of a COO is multifaceted and critical to any organization’s success. They must balance the CEO’s vision with the practical realities of running the company on a daily basis. A good COO can bring your vision to life by developing a strategic plan, managing finances, people, technology, and relationships. While the CEO must relinquish some of the control to the COO, it is still essential to stay involved and ensure accountability. It’s also the COO’s responsibility to manage and ensure that messaging is consistent among team members, directing your leadership team to success. Additionally, clear messaging maintains organizational coherence, strengthens patient trust, and ensures consistency across all channels of communication.

In summary, a Chief Operating Officer’s role is a complex and challenging one that requires a diverse set of skills. They must manage staff, deal with emergencies, handle finances, and communicate effectively to ensure the practice runs smoothly. Like building Rome, a COO’s job requires teamwork and cooperation from the entire leadership team to accomplish the practice’s goals successfully. With the right COO in place and a supportive leadership team, a medical practice can navigate these daily challenges and thrive.

For full access to the book, you can email to receive a printed copy or access the audiobook here. Otherwise, stay tuned for each chapter to be released via the podcast every week!