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Norge Dental Center Blog

US Weekly, Business Interview with Dr. Timothy Johnston, Founder at Norge Dental Center

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.

Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding a talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.

Below is our interview with Dr. Timothy Johnston, Founder of Norge Dental Center:

What does your company do?

We change lives. We help people get that new job or start a new relationship. Through our work, we improve self-confidence and embolden people to smile at that class reunion. In short, we change lives by changing smiles. We are more than a dental office. While we do some regular maintenance like clean teeth and fill cavities, for many others we fix years of neglect or genetic misfortune. We provide cosmetic, reconstructive solutions for the first thing people notice when they meet you: your smile.

What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?

I wear two hats: dentist and manager/owner. As the owner of the practice, I focus on providing excellent customer service, educating and retaining our employees and staying profitable. My favorite role, however, is to work one-on-one with my patients to help them achieve the smile they have always wanted. Sometimes that is just a pain-free bowl of ice-cream. But for others, it is a total smile makeover or a return to the smile of their youth. Today’s dental technology makes that all possible.

What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?

The ever-widening chasm of how much it costs for dentists to provide a high-quality level of care and competence vs. what insurance companies are willing to pay for our services is a growing challenge. Dental offices have a very high overhead rate compared to the medical industry, but insurance companies are attempting to squeeze dental reimbursements down to the level of medical coverage. This isn’t sustainable, and for the first time in history, there is a growing number of dental office bankruptcies.

If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?

I would encourage my younger self to stay out of the insurance arena. Independent doctors can take care of their patients without interference from some paper pushing, cost-containment clerk at the insurance company. I’d also draw on the advice of high-quality advisers much earlier in my career. The school of hard knocks is a little easier to navigate with the advice of those who have been there before. Finally, I’d warn my younger self not to put too much faith in industry norms as they can keep you playing “average” for a lifetime. Stretching beyond “normal” and average is what creates a truly great business.

Interview Here:
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