Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Allen.
Jill, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My name is Jill Allen, and I am the owner of Jill Allen & Associates, a national orthodontic consulting based out of Golden, Colorado. I have been in the orthodontic industry for the last 28 years and started my business in 2006. I am the only orthodontic consulting firm that specializes in helping orthodontists start-up their practices as well as working with doctors and team members who have been in practice eight years or less. I also focus on the other shoulder of our industry, which is doctors and teams who are about eight years to retirement, helping them get their practice up to date with systems so they can sell when they are ready to retire.
I actually started my career right here in Lakewood, Colorado, and had the privilege of being exposed to the industry through some very progressive orthodontists in Colorado. When I started, I started in the most entry-level position you can be in an office, and that was a sterilization assistant. That was the perfect position for me to get a behind the scenes look at how the backside of a practice works, and I loved it! I quickly worked my way up through the ranks and was able to train to work on patients, eventually becoming a lead trainer myself, but that was just beginning. I loved the industry and could not get enough of it, that was when I started writing journals and keeping records of what worked in offices and what did not. Once I learned as much as I could as an assistant, I moved to a front of house role and pushed myself to learn all I could about how an orthodontic ran, again keeping journals and taking as many educational courses as allowed by the then Sages of the industry. That was what sparked my desire to become a consultant. I knew I wanted to teach others what I learned and help them be successful business owners and productive team members.
That is what prompted me to take a leap of faith and start my business 13 years ago, focusing on start-up doctors and training new team members.
Has it been a smooth road?
The journey over the past 13 years has been anything but easy; it was hard and pushed me to my limits. But I continually told myself failure is not an option. I just need to see my way past the barrier that is in front of me. When I started my business, I did not have any financial backers except what my husband and I had in savings, less than 10k. But I did give grit and determination and always believed that if this dream of mine were meant to be then, God would open the right doors at the right time. But I also had a strong feeling that if at any point this was not where I was meant to be the door would be closed, and I would be ok because what was the worst that could happen, I chased my dream and gave it my all; at least I pursued my dream. I quit my very stable job, with no clients and not a lot of direction but a whole lot of determination and started my business. I use to go through the yellow pages (yes, that was still a thing then) and look up all the orthodontists in Colorado. Then I would hold mini-seminars for $50 for a half-day course, write all my materials, make fliers on my computer and print them myself, address the envelopes, and follow up by phone.
A total grassroots effort, but it worked. I would put on a seminar once a quarter, and slowly, I started getting people to show up like what they heard and hire me to come in and help their practices. Then 2008 hit, and it was a scary time for our industry with the economic downturn, but doctors needed help, and I was there and inexpensive compared to the big consultants out there. Luckily, I was able to hold on and scrape through. I use to say to my husband well it looks like the doors are closing, I just don’t see how I keep going, then boom I would get a client that wanted to pay in full, and I was alive and floating for another few months. Over time, I was able to grow my clientele and extend beyond the Colorado market and start to focus on start-ups. The scariest thing is trying to convince someone to take a chance with their lively hood on you when you do not have anything but your word and hard work to back you up. But it worked, and I have now been able to grow to a national company with six employees and have become a national speaker on stage with the Sages I use to admire. Anything is possible with grit and hard work and some pivots along the way!
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I specialize in working with orthodontists (the group that does braces and aligners). My focus that is different than any other consultant in my industry is I am the only one that focuses on helping doctors start-up their practices. I actually help doctors find locations, design their offices, get funding for their practices, marketing plan, and growth plans, and hire their first employees. Then I help them get all their fundamental business practices in place and help them be a success in their early years of business.
I focus on helping new doctors that have purchased a practice from a retiring doctor, helping them understand how to run a business and many times breath life back into a slower practice. We also help new team members in an orthodontic practice, training them on their jobs and how to be successful in an orthodontic practice. Finally, we have just added a pediatric side to our business, where essentially, I am working with pediatric dentists to help them start their businesses and be successful at running them in their first years just like orthodontists.
I am most proud of the fact that I saw a need in our industry that no other consultant wanted to tackle or work with and over the years have been able to make it my own niche and help many orthodontists become leaders within their peer groups and become very, very successful orthodontists.
Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
I do, I think there are so many opportunities for women in business. I feel what really helps us is the fact that most of us just want to help each other out, and now more than ever, we have platforms for us to speak on an be heard. I love where social media is right now, you can put out material on so many social media platforms with just a slight change in tone or material and get in front of a whole new audience, and the best part is you don’t have to leave your house to build your campaign. If a woman has a passion and wants to start a business, there is an audience waiting to listen. She can have a shot at success if she is willing to put in the work, do the research, and keep pushing her ideas out there.
- Address: 601 16th St Suite C #277, Golden, CO 80401
- Website: www.practiceresults.com
- Phone: 303-988-4455
- Email: Info@practiceresults.com
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Jill Allen & Associates