Before we jump on any horses, no I don’t want you to sell your business and this is not what this blog is about! It is about evaluating your business and bringing it together so that it can operate independently and profitably. It is a great notion, a romantic one, that a business can’t function without you; but would you really want that for your practice? That it ends the moment you decide you no longer want to work for it or retire?
Nobody wants that for their business; they want it to become an entity of its own, while you be an integral (read: selfishly indispensable) part of it. However, this notion is neither healthy for you nor profitable for your business. Your business needs to be able to stand independently, and you need to get it there.
Once your business is built to sell, it will help you and your team to grow with it. And this is exactly what I cover today. Methods to help build a successful, independent business entity that flourishes with the help of a competent team, led by you of course!
Train Your People to Be Independently Amazing
Ever heard of the story where the cat teaches the lion all tricks of the trade except for how to climb a tree? She was thinking about her own survival. In the business world, its survival depends on the ability and contribution of all the team members. And if you keep the tricks of trade a secret, undertrain them for fear they might leave, you are just breeding liabilities that will not do your business any good.
As you know I have been lucky enough to have studied with business mogul Richard Branson and he says, “Train your people so well they can work anywhere and treat them so well they will never leave.” And if Richard Branson believes you need to train your team well, then you’ve got to train your team extremely well!
And by treating them right, heeding to their concerns and respecting their space and goals, you can make sure that they continue to excel within your organisation.
Make it Turn-Key with Systems and Processes
Have you ever considered purchasing a franchise? As a dentist you probably have not, maybe when you were 15 and you wanted all-day access to Subway? Well, their process is extremely simple and turnkey. You don’t need to know much about building lamb and salad rolls to run a successful Subway business.
Can you say the same for your business? Is it really turnkey that anyone can run it without much knowledge of dentistry or even medicine for that matter? About time you started thinking about it from that perspective. Have easy to understand systems and processes that all team members are on board with. Having a process enables the business to run smoothly without much effort, because everyone knows everything that needs to be done. And when everybody is paddling away, the business will sail even when the captain stops by to smell the lotuses.
Work on your Patient Base
Without a great patient base, nobody would even want to purchase your business. Okay that sounds a bit harsh; but your success directly correlates with the quality of your data base. How many of your patients are active (been in to see you in the last 18 months)? How many have been with you over 3 years? What is your rebooking rate per dentist? Do you see the patients extended family or just them? Do you have an effective plan – as in working well – for managing incomplete treatment?
Be very conscious and aware of your patient base and invest time and effort into understanding the patient metrics and nourishing the database into the future. Be conscious of, and make your team alert to the goal of wanting to keep every patient well into the future.
Make Time to Plan
Time is of crucial importance when it comes to success. Sadly, nobody has the trick to create more time, but there are tactics to make more time. Take that time to get things in order. As a dentist running your own practice, it could be cruel to even ask to make some time for yourself and your business, but it is something that needs to be done in order to succeed long term!
Invest at least a few hours each week in the act of deep thinking. Sit down and plan your business. Because without a plan, nobody knows where they are headed and whether that road really leads to where you want to be a few years down the track. The time you take out to plan is one of the greatest investments you can make in your business and your personal life.
You should jot down your expectations of the business and what you need to do to get there; but the real trick is to continue reviewing that plan from time to time. A five year plan you made seven years ago isn’t going to do you or your business any good! Keep smaller milestones and check up on them to assess progress. Did you reach that milestone? If not, what stopped you from it? What can you do differently to achieve your milestones in the future? This assessment and reflection is of paramount importance and value in terms of long term success.
Talk to Your Team
So you do have a great plan at hand! Awesome! But do your team members know about it? Do they know what they come to work for every day? Do your plans work towards your team’s growth too? How would they know they are on the right track? You need to speak to the team about how they can contribute to the business more efficiently. Expectations without explanations can be lethal and detriment to the health of a business. You may lose a very competent team member because both of you weren’t on the same page of what needed to be done!
Evaluate Your Goals
As you and your business grow, your priorities are bound to change. A little self-reflection will really help reassess your goals. Things you might have considered oh-so important only a year ago might not seem just as much today. But it is important, and is a part of growth. There will be setbacks and milestones that could not be met. Upgrades you couldn’t afford at the time frame you had given yourself, but it is alright. Things will move on and will eventually get back on track. You have another day to work on it. So do sit back, relax and give yourself a pat on the shoulder, because you are doing absolutely great!
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