Anyone who has thumbed through the shelves looking for a good read on succeeding in business or ever considered enrolment in an entrepreneurial program will recognise Verne Harnish as a giant in the world of business strategy. He is a true empire builder – the true Master of Scale. In this blog I share Verne’s insights on entrepreneurship. His success as Founder of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation and Gazelle’s Growth Institute led him to writing some of the globe’s most well know business books – Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Scaling Up and The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time.
His wisdom has grown from his many years in the hotseat: building a ground breaking business – losing everything – rebuilding from scratch and then scaling his enterprises to achieve global recognition. He works daily to help thousands of others scale their businesses, manoeuvre through the economic challenges, tackle their competition and win. His strategies will help align your goals with real time execution. Let’s unpack some of Verne’s tips.
Tip 1: Cash is King
Cash is king. Bill Gates had a rule. That was to have a year’s worth of operating expenses available in cash in the bank at any one time. It’s a great way of insulating yourself against any of life’s possible traumas, be they personal illness, mishaps, or downturns in your business.
When you have cash to lean on you are no longer focused on getting through the month. You can invest your energy at a higher level – do the critical thinking that will drive you towards success. You will have a clear head and sleep a whole lot better. Both of these things are good for entrepreneurs.
Tip 2: Pay your Wife First
As business owners we all know the importance of paying ourselves first. But driven business people are focused on achieving a dream and that dream may come at a cost. It can result in a lack of financial management, cost control and or planning, financially, for their retirement. Verne Harnish identifies that the partners and families of entrepreneurs often see money come in and go out quickly, as their partner treads the rough and tumble path of entrepreneurship.
Partners and wives are very good at seeing what the busy tycoon doesn’t. Verne recommends you “pay your wife first”. It is important to make sure you are providing the peace of mind your family needs to reduce the inherent stress that comes with loving those who are working like mad to push the boundaries of business.
Tip 3: Get your People Right
Verne Harnish is spot on when he says …You hire the right people and your life is easy. You hire the wrong people and your life is miserable.
It is important to get your people right. Put your energy into knowing who you need and exactly what you want them to achieve. Give them the tools and resources they need, and just as importantly, make sure they know how to get the maximum results from the resources they have.
Tip 4: Know your three-brand promise – and nail it
Do you know what your three brand promises are? You can’t satisfy all people all of the time so it is critical to know what you can promise and what you can successfully deliver. Take the time to decide on your strategy and nail it. Be willing to surround yourself with people smarter than you – and be willing to listen to them. Get a good handle on what you want your patients to experience – what you can promise and drive your team’s performance to make sure that a fabulous patient experience is executed – and executed very well.
Tip 5: Execute
Execution is everything. Getting the basics right is really important. So you need to ask yourself and your team. “Hey guys…Here is our goal. So how are we going to make this happen. What do we need to do – day in – day out. How will we execute to make sure our phones are answered, our patient’s comeback to us, their experience is pain free…etc etc”. You need to make communication a focal point – communication with your team will improve their communication with patients.
Tip 6: You must have Daily Huddles
A fabulous huddle should be a number one priority in any professional service business. This should be a stand-up meeting with a very tight agenda. Key topics should be Who is coming in today, What can we do to make their experience exceptional, What troubles are we having? As leader your job is to make the life of your team members easier. Give the team the resources and tools to get the job done. The huddle provides a great opportunity for leaders to reinforce strategy – provide support to team – give direction that keeps the team focused on delivering that fabulous patient experience.
Tip 7: Make everyone an educator – a sales agent
No one likes to be sold – but we all like to be educated. It is important to teach everyone in your team to be an educator. They must know how to respond to patient inquiries with honesty, skill and confidence. Everyone – including the receptionist – must know how to educate patients and upsell when it is appropriate.
Tip 8: Have a one-page plan – know where you are going
It is important to have a one-page strategic plan – a one-page business plan and a one-page personal plan. We all know that our business life and our personal lives are intermingled. So it is important to ensure you take into account the impacts of those opportunities and challenges, and what consequences may roll over from one area of your life to the other. These one page plans can be used to guide you when making decisions by acting to reinforce your priorities and goals and to help filter your responses. Hop across to scaling up.com and grab some resources that support Verne’s top tips.
P.S. Whenever you’re ready …. here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:
1. Grab a free chapter from my book “Retention – How to Plug the #1 Profit Leak in Your Dental Practice”
The book is the definitive guide to patient retention and how to use internal marketing to grow your practice – Click Here
2. Join the Savvy Dentist community and connect with dentists who are scaling their practice too
It’s our Facebook group where clever dentists learn to become commercially smart so that they have more patients, more profit and less stress. – Click Here
3. Attend a Practice Max Intensive live event
Our 2 day immersive events provide access to the latest entrepreneurial thinking and actionable strategies to drive your practice forward. You’ll leave with a game plan to take your results to the next level. If you’d like to join us, just send me a message with the word “Event and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here
4. Work with me and my team privately
If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures …. just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your practice and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here