It’s what you want, right?
Business success, that is.
I know you’re in dentistry to make a difference and to help people. You’re here because you care.
You want to help your patients by looking after them and providing the best dental treatment you can.
That’s what got you into dentistry in the first place.
But dentistry is a high-risk business with high overheads.
So, to keep looking after people, you need a successful business.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself in an unsustainable position. Possibly even out of business.
Despite how much you care.
Caring is important, as is being a good dentist. But it’s not enough.
These days you also need to be a savvy business person too, and that’s hard. It’s complicated and time-consuming.
Learning how to run a successful business can be a full-time job that can take years. And you don’t have time for that.
So here’s something you do have time for – my Minimalist Guide to Business Success.
1. Master Fundamentals
Things might be easy to learn, but mastery takes time and effort. Invest time and effort to become a master at what you do.
Be as meticulous with these fundamentals as you are with your dentistry.
This is the same as ensuring your car is ready for a road trip. You fill up with petrol, maybe check the air pressure in the tyres or that you have enough oil.
You do the little things that can make the difference between getting there, and getting stranded on the side of the road.
It’s the same in your business.
Use your customer’s name and focus your complete attention on them when they visit. Make sure you Wow every customer, every time they visit.
Master the art of skyrocketing patient loyalty. Loyal patients are the foundation of a successful practice, so take the time to foster that loyalty.
Loyal patients are the foundation of a successful practice, so take the time to foster that loyalty.
2. Keep It Simple
No splitting the atom. Keep it as simple as possible – and no simpler.
Some of us fall into the trap of thinking that complex or complicated solutions are better. They’re not. But neither are overly simple solutions.
Let’s say we’re going to drive from Sydney to Brisbane.
It would be madness to stop at every town along the way. That would simply slow us down, as complicated solutions do.
But driving that far without a break would be dangerous. That would be overly simple.
The answer is come up with a reasonable number of stops that allow the driver to rest and revive. This makes the journey safer and more enjoyable.
It’s the same in business. You need to simplify as much as possible but no more.
The trick is to know the tipping point, and only you can ascertain that.
3. Think Critically
You’ve got to think about your business. It is not a paint by numbers exercise.
You need to plan your short, medium and long-term goals, and then take action to achieve those goals.
Nothing is going to happen without this critical thought.
It’s like the road trip we were planning earlier. You need to know where you are, and where you’re going.
You can’t just start driving and hope you’ll end up somewhere interesting.
You need to think critically about the best way to reach your destination. You need to consider your route, your breaks, and your journey.
You need to consider your route, your breaks, and your journey.
4. Know The Main Thing
Keep the main thing the main thing. Focus on what’s important.
Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked.
We all suffer at least a little from bright shining object syndrome. This is the phenomenon that convinces billions of people every day that they should be doing something different from what they are actually doing.
A new idea captures your imagination and attention in such a way that you get distracted from the bigger picture and go off on a tangent. Instead of remaining focused on the goal.
Using our road trip analogy, this is like taking too many unscheduled stops along the way. We see a sign to some attraction, and off we go.
Before we know it we’re way behind schedule – or have forgotten where we’re going in the first place.
To run a successful business, you need to make sure you know what’s important. Figure out the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and focus on them.
5. Understand Accountability vs Responsibility
To be victorious, you need to think like a champion. That means exercising ownership, accountability, and responsibility.
If you think like a victim and practice blame, make excuses and go into denial, you’ll never get anywhere.
It’s also critical to understand the difference between being responsible and being accountable. The main difference is that responsibility can be shared, whereas accountability cannot.
Going back to our road trip, let’s say we decide to share the driving with our team. Whoever is driving is responsible for keeping the vehicle moving safely in the right direction.
However, if you receive a speeding ticket during the trip you’re accountable for it (unless you can prove someone else was driving at the time). Because it’s your vehicle.
As a business owner, you can share a range of responsibilities with your staff. But you’re ultimately accountable for the financial success of your business.
6. Have Fun
Being in business has to be about having fun. You have to enjoy it.
This goes beyond enjoying your work and your workplace. Your sense of fun can affect your dental practice.
It can help you find and retain great staff, increase patient loyalty, and differentiate you from your competitors.
People love hanging out with positive people. So having a strong sense of fun attracts people – including patients – to you.
That’s why you’ll often see our new hashtag: #hfgsd, which stands for Have Fun Getting Stuff Done (off course, the ‘s’ could stand for something else …).
Because we believe in practising what you preach – and we like to have fun too!
It’s Not Rocket Science
Many people find it too hard to create a thriving practice. They give up.
Or they create a business that’s “good enough”. But why would you settle for that?
Why settle for “good enough” when you can be great? As Jimmy Johnson said,
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”
And you can create something extraordinary.
Because business success isn’t rocket science. It’s just a matter of mastering the fundamentals, keeping things simple and staying focused.
You can do that.
You can establish priorities, think like a champion and have fun while you do it.
That’s right. You can have fun while you build your extraordinary business.
So what are you waiting for?
You can sit there, continuing to struggle, or you can have the time – and business – of your life.
So go. Have fun. Be extraordinary.