User’s Guide to… KPIs

If you think measuring numbers is a hassle, think again, because we have proof that what you measure, improves! What are KPIs? Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a specific measure of your practice’s performance in some areas of your business. 

Why use KPIs? You can’t improve on something if you can’t measure it. And you can’t measure something if you don’t have a ruler! Running a business without KPIs is a bit like driving a car without a dashboard – imagine not being able to gauge your speed, or worse, know if you’re about to run out of fuel!

What should I be measuring?

1. Principal ADY Good old ‘average daily yield’ – you can’t beat it as a yardstick, and you must focus on it.

2. Associate ADY No hiding here, simply the bigger the better.

3. Hygienist ADY Ditto.

4. Wages as a percentage of gross fees We are talking about non-fee earners here. Often this can be the practice’s single biggest overhead.

5. Fixed costs per surgery This has been phenomenally revealing in the current climate.

6. New patients This is new patient registrations. The life blood of any practice.

7. Source of new patient enquiries Why invest in an expensive marketing campaign or a flash new website if you can’t measure where your leads are coming from?

8. New patient conversions The acid test for selling skills, they may enquire, but do they want to buy?

9. Number of surgery hours available Where 60 hours in a week is the base line (of course, we are not competing against Tesco’s here, they are open many more hours, including lunchtimes I understand!) multiplied by the number of surgeries.

10. Net Profit After drawings or owner’s salary.

11. Net Profit as a percentage of Principals income This one is a real belter, and the one that many dentists realise that everyone in the building is earning more than they are!!

The proof of the pudding is in the eating – measuring things means you focus on them, and invariably they improve. However, all the measuring in the world doesn’t mean anything unless figures are acted on. Using the fuel analogy, if you know you’re running out, would you a) ignore the warning light, or b) head for the garage quick smart? And the figures will mean even less when only certain practice staff know about them! 

Sitting with a group of dentists recently, we found the average increase in turnover to be a staggering 34% in the last year. Now that is sexy…


Simon Hocken Director of Marketing, Breathe Business


For more information about how KPIs can help drive your practice in the right direction, get in touch with the Breathe Team on 0845 299 7209

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