Who knew we would live to see a time like this! Covid 19 has now become a pandemic all over the world. This blog is all about how you can manage your dental business and your sanity. The most important thing that you need to understand is that ignoring the pandemic and what difficulties it brings along, is not going to help you at all. You can’t put your head in the sane hide in the sand and hope for things to return to normal. The aftershocks of COVID 19, according to experts, are going to be felt possibly for the next 18 months. This means that all businesses, along with your dental practise are going to suffer to some extent. How much you are able to manage the damage depends completely on you. Here are some things to keep in mind.
1. Don’t Let Stress Overtake Your Decisiveness
There is nothing more important than keeping all your logical faculties in control. Yes it is true that times like these are very trying and even the most level headed people are thrown into bouts of panic and anxiety. Yet these are the times when you need to remind yourself that the situation is not entirely out of your control. There are still many things you can do to insulate the impact on your business, your patient flow and your team. Hence the reason why retaining your decisiveness becomes integral. Keep calm and as organised as possible. This is the time to let the inner leader shine, by not simply helping your family remain sane, but by also making sure that people in your professional life, as well as your patients know that they can rely on you for your leadership.
2. Keep Fomites in Mind
Since the rapid spread of the virus, you all must have become mindful of washing your hands multiple times a day, sneezing or coughing in the crook of your arm, using hand sanitizers or keeping distance from people, not just in person but in the sense of social distancing. What most people don’t pay attention to though, is the lurking viruses on fomites.
Fomites are basically inanimate objects where the virus can survive for certain periods of time. These include everything from doorknobs to mobile screens, keypads to ATM machines and more.
All of these things are highly susceptible to contamination, which is why you have to pay special attention to what you touch and what you do afterwards. For example, it would be best to wash hands immediately once you have come from outside. If that is not going to happen for a while, then ensure that you sanitize your hands, wipe your phones with alcohol wipes and use gloves.
3. Stay in Business through Precaution
Risk mitigation strategies are what will save your medical practice and other business ventures. You will have to make sure that your patients feel 100% safe when they come to visit you. This can be done by ensuring that the number of patients in the waiting area is small. You can provide the patients with a mask and keep a sanitiser bottle on the reception desk. You can spread chairs so they are distanced well apart from each other in the waiting room and also suggest that patients wait in their cars and only come inside when you text them, when the clinician is ready to take them through to the surgery. Remember, the more secure your patients feel in your premises, the better. This is also the time to get some free customer recommendation as more and more patients will refer you when they see your safety measures against the COVID 19 outbreak.
4. Preserving Your Cash Flow
In these times, there is absolutely nothing more important than reducing unnecessary expenditure. Preserving cash flow refers to a variety of ways through which you can keep a lid on your expenses and managing all the aspects of life that require payments. From the Australian Tax Office to mortgage on your house, rent and any payments of bank loans. You should talk to the responsible personnel and ask them for access to the schemes allowing a cease in payments as being promoted in the media, or creating a reduced payment arrangement that does not leave you empty handed at the end of the month. When it comes to making purchases, buy things that are essential. Only opt for items that you simply cannot survive without. Otherwise defer from buying anything fancy. Cut costs where it can be done without creating any anxiety or problems. Remember you still have compliance issues to manage and that costs whatever it costs, so make sure you are trimming the right expenses and not the necessary tools to make running your business safe.
5. Take Care of Your Team
Keep in mind that this virus is not simply taking a toll on you and your practise. It is also going to impact your team. They too will suffer if things come to shutting down. Have a talk with your team immediately. Ask them for ideas and discuss with them about what the best course of action can be. If necessary, reduce work hours but keep everyone on, so that no one person has to lose their job. Take care not just of yourself, but all the people associated with you.
6. Take Care of Your Patients
Assure your patients that you are already run a practice with very strict infection control protocols and that when they come to the practice they will see additional layers of protection have been instigated to protect them and the team. Encourage patients to contact you and communicate with you whenever necessary. Try to work out a system where everyone can remain safe, yet resume business as usual. Tell them about the safety measures you are taking so they know you are concerned for their safety and share their heightened anxiety. Make sure your messaging to any cancelling patients is compassionate and reassuring. Let them know you are there to support them if they need to suddenly rebook an appointment. Remember, once this situation is over, people will remember how you made them feel, that you and your team were proactive, compassionate, caring and diligent. This will pass, as all crises do. The calm, sensible leadership you exhibit now will impact on your team and your patients way past the COVID19 pandemic.
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”
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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