Growing a dental practice can test a dentist’s patience.
We have a vision. We know what needs to happen next. Why can’t we be there already?
But here’s what I’ve found: steady, consistent action applying strategies that work is what yields the best results.
Deceptively simple, some strategies can be overlooked.
However, on deeper consideration and implemented well, they have the power send your dental practice into business overdrive.
Want to move from dentist to business owner faster?
Let’s look at three hot tips for making that happen.
Hot Tip #1 – Operate One Layer Back
A technique for accelerating business growth that I learned from my friend James Schramko is: operate one layer back.
What does that mean?
A traditional dental practice relied almost completely on the actions, effort and work of a single person: the dentist.
Notice I said traditional?
Contemporary practice of dentistry – at least if you want to transcend the owner/operator model – affords you no such luxury.
Instead, it requires that you move towards operating one layer back from the decision-making in your practice.
And no, it’s not an invitation to delegate all decision making.
Rather, operating one layer back means you’ve identified those decisions you can sensibly transfer to a trained and competent team member. In doing so, you free yourself up to do other more meaningful work that will grow your business.
Operating one layer back also means you’ll have appropriate checks and balances in place for accountability.
You can do this via regular meetings, performance measurement against key metrics and clear operating boundaries.
Operating one layer back is an essential step towards building leadership beyond you in your dental business.
What this means is you, as the leader, are no longer the bottleneck. In fact, if executed well, the bottleneck will have disappeared.
There are many benefits to operating one layer back, but the biggest is the opportunity it provides for business growth.
Hot Tip #2 – Build Depth In Your Team
In parallel to operating one layer back, it is wise to build depth in your team.
Building depth is not about hiring more people. No, it’s about more people knowing how to do more in your business. Think Noah’s ark and having two of everything.
That way, if someone gets sick, leaves or takes a holiday, your dental practice continues to grow and thrive regardless.
The best starting point for building depth is to review your organisational structure – as it is now and ‘the ideal’.
It also helps to review your current team and assess where the latent capacity and capability lies.
Is there a team member who shows initiative? Has someone shown an interest in helping out with tasks beyond their role?
If they have, consider how they might help you build depth in your team.
Underpinned by clear boundaries, performance metrics and accountabilities, building depth in your dental practice is another way to send your business into overdrive.
Hot Tip #3 – Upscale Your (Brain) Software
In a technology driven world, we’re regularly reminded about software updates for our various programs and apps.
When the little reminder comes up, we press ‘Update Now’ and move on.
If only updating our own software (i.e. our thinking) was that easy.
An essential for any owner/operator wanting to make the step change to business owner, updating our software through learning and development is a must.
Learning can take many forms – seminars, books, podcasts, online content, connection with like-minded others.
It really doesn’t matter what the source is. What’s more important is that you are learning and applying what you’ve learned.
Study like this is as pivotal to your dental business’ success as those compulsory professional development hours you rack up each year.
And remember, it’s not simply enough to learn for the sake of learning.
The rubber really hits the road when we apply what we’ve learned.
Generally, I recommend to my coaching clients to work to a 30:70 ratio when it comes to learning and application.
Too much learning, and we can become paralysed. Not enough learning, and there’s no growth.
I hold firm to the view the growth of a business will never outstrip the growth of the business’ leader.
This is incentive enough for me to keep learning – and applying what I’ve learned – to ensure my business continues to thrive.
What’s The Take-Away?
What’s the take-away here for you?
Yes, there are the three hot tips for putting your dental business into overdrive – operate one layer back, build depth in your team and upgrade your software.
But there is one other take-away here – and I don’t want you to miss it.
Taking action on any one of these fronts will make a difference to your dental business.
However, taking action in all three areas really will boost your business into overdrive.
Apply yourself, stick with it and watch things grow.
Looking to supercharge your 2018?
Why not join me and other dentists who are growing and scaling their practices at my next event, Masterplan 2018: Preparing to Win in Brisbane on 23-24 November 2017. We’d love to see you there.