Steve Mascarin was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. His childhood dream was to be a dentist to help more people have healthy, beautiful smiles. That dream came true in 1990 when he graduated from Western University in London, Ontario, with his Doctor of Dental Surgery. After 23 years of learning, training, and a very active practice, he felt that he could have a more profound impact on the profession and help more people by applying his unique brand of leadership, management, and service to others in the profession.
He has extensive knowledge on how to meet the needs of dental guests and help them feel comfortable during their dental visit. Today he focuses more on the business side of dentistry. He works closely with several different dentists to help them optimize the accessibility and approachability of their service through practices like hiring and training team members in line with the mission and core values of the office. Only then can successful strategies be implemented, like : being open 7 days a week from 6am to 10pm, $99 cleanings for the uninsured, direct billing with all insurance companies for easy payments, systemizing every step of the customer touch point to exceed expectations with every visit, guaranteed same day service, and a unique onboarding process for all team members.
Steve Mascarin buys and holds commercial properties in fast growing communities and develops them with his own unique style and brand of dental service, which as has become a very successful business for him. He is experienced at building up the customer base rapidly and then retaining it with a high level of success. He has partnered with a large dental service corporation where he retains the commercial property in its portfolio. He is currently managing three offices right now and will be adding two more this year.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
I was inspired by a couple of colleagues of mine in California and Texas that I have known over the years that have done something similar. I saw that a business model like this had not ever been done in the Toronto area of Canada. It was an opportunity to help a lot of people and make dental service more approachable to them.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I typically get up at 6 am to prepare for my day. I get my kids up with my wife and drive them to school. I also go to the gym three or four times a week before going to one of my locations or back to the home office. I like to be there early because I prefer to work remotely. I handle a lot of phone calls and meetings each day as I meet with dentists to interview them and so that I am readily available to my management team. I also have contact with dental supply companies. I am not a micromanager; I have key people that do the hands-on management for me and this helps me stay productive. I focus more on planning and providing vision.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I do a lot of reading. I listen to a lot of audio books. I talk to a lot of people. Bringing ideas to life takes vision and goals of what you want your business to look like. You need to have confidence that you are going to be successful and the dedication to make it happen. You need to remember to stay focused on the goal! “If a plan doesn’t work, change the plan not the goal”.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I see a huge opportunity in increasing the level of service to dental patients. I would like it to be a Starbucks level of service where every interaction is very personal, very special, and memorable.
The first office I opened with this vision, I had a few really intense team workshops. I really thought about every single patient/customer touchpoint, from when they first call to when they come to the door for the first time and sit down. I thought of every single step in the journey and how to make it really memorable and how to systematize it so it is the same every time and they know what to expect.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
If it has to be one thing, it’s hitting the gym regularly! Next would be sleep, eating clean, and meeting and socializing with a lot of interesting people.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would say take more risks while you are younger and follow your dreams. I think I would have been happier in my career had I had things the way I am doing them now even earlier. However, it would have been more of a risk for me while my family was younger. The best time to take risks is before the daunting personal and financial responsibility of having a family.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
One of the things I have disagreements with people on is that I really truly believe that when you are on your deathbed, if you were allowed to do things over in a different way, you would always do things the exact same. You would live your life the same way, with the same end results. Your decisions make you the person that you are – the mistakes and the successes.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Write your goals down every single morning.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
When you are opening a new business or a new location, the strategy that has been super successful for me has been opening it with a full staff, a full team of dentists, with open and available hours, and operating like you have been there forever. Be ready to operate and serve people at full capacity right away. You plan ahead of your growth. You are always ahead and always adding capacity. Don’t fall for the idea that you can start slow and “grow” into your dental operation. Capacity in staff and immediate availability to your potential patients must always be ahead of the demand. If you can’t take care of your patients “now” they will go elsewhere. This takes constant planning and investment.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I did have a failure when I took on a partner in one of my dental offices. It did not work out very well and after a year we dissolved the partnership. I would not take on a partner again if we did not have a similar management style and shared core values.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A great business idea is being the Amazon of dental supplies. It is a multibillion-dollar industry in North America. There are three big companies that control all of the supplies and there is so much profit margin. Nobody has figured out a way to create the Amazon of dental supplies with the guaranteed lowest prices and the fastest delivery.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Recently, when one of my dental offices recently hit their “stretch goals”, we surprised every one of the 50 team members with a highly personalized gift worth about $100 each. The laughter, bonding, and smiles were priceless.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Google AdWords and constant work on Google organic rankings to be at the top of a search are worth every penny. People today are overly stimulated with ads, social media, etc. that when they are ready for your service, they may not remember your name and definitely not your contact information. You need to be at the top of every search to cue their memories and click through immediately!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I recommend How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
What is your favorite quote?
“If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.”
• Write your goals down.
• Stick to your core values.
• Get plenty of sleep and go to the gym.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.