Of course not every practice needs an associate, but if your practice is growing there will come a time when this will need to be considered. Below are just a few things to consider regarding the cost of not have an associate.

Cost of your time – As a practicing Dentist your time is probably worth some where between $150 to $350 an hour. At an average of $225 an hour it would cost $18,000 if you personally invested 80 hours in a search. Considering your chances of success, most find this is neither time nor money well spent.

Lost Opportunity Cost – Most successful practices are booked up for at least three or four months. Think how much new patient/referral revenue is lost everyday from not being able to readily accommodate new patients. What would it mean to you to bring on an associate six months sooner. (Example: $1000 Net collections per Associate per day – Less $350-$400 for Associate Pay = $625 x 104 days (4 days a week for 26 weeks) = $65,000.

Cost of Not Being Open Five or Six Days a Week – What would it mean to your practice if you could stay open one or two additional days a week? One would expect your net collections to increase any where from 10% to 40%. Most of this money would go directly to your bottom line since your fixed cost would remain relatively stable. (Example: Your Current Weekly Net Collections x (10% to 40%) = $???,???.

Cost of Your Vacation Time – What would it mean to your practice if you could keep it open when you take a vacation. One Dentist told us it costs him at least $30,000 for him to take a one-week vacation. How much does it cost you? ??,???.

Carl Guthrie is a Account Executive for ETS Dental. ETS Dental is an excutive recruiting firm specializing in finding and placing dentists, dental specialists, and dental staff across the United States. www.etsdental.com.

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