To truly be successful with your practice, if you haven’t already, you’re going to need to start thinking and acting like an investor.

Throughout this process you need to remember that every kind of investment has what is called an “opportunity cost.” It will always cost something to initially invest in anything. Some of the people I’ve worked with haven’t been smart investors – they’ve wanted the returns, or the benefits, involved with building a successful practice but they didn’t want to make the investments required to produce those results. Unfortunately, this behavior will get you nowhere.

So, how do you become a better, smarter investor?

Rule #1: Smart investors are patient.

You have to learn that there is a time element associated with every investment. Of course we would all love to wake up every morning having doubled our money overnight – and that’s the problem. We’re all too antsy about our returns. A smart investor can see the value created over a necessary period of time. Don’t jump ship too soon; good investments are well worth the wait.

Rule #2: Smart investors understand the difference between expenses & investments.

You need to start looking at investments as investments, and not as expenses. Of course there is an initial cost to any investment but you have to look ahead at the results they will produce over time. Keep in mind the value of each New Patient, the value of a goal-oriented team focused on your vision, and the value of a great location and new equipment. These are not expenses – they are profitable investments that will literally drive the growth of your practice.

Rule #3: Smart investors track the results

You need to start tracking the results of your investments, and you need to be consistent in this process in order to make the best financial decisions. As an example for marketing, Call Tracker is a great tracking tool. It literally hands you data that tells you which of your marketing pieces are most successful. Take that data, look at what’s working, and increase investments in the most profitable areas.

Make it a goal of yours to become a smarter, better investor this year by understanding investment value, being patient with the process and by tracking the results to mark your progress.