Every dental entrepreneur is juggling multiple priorities. Patient care, business finances, operational and team challenges.

However, amongst the melee, there is an underlying drive to make a bigger impact. We’re looking to make an impact that goes beyond our daily business and leave a legacy that endures. But how is that done? It’s difficult when so much of our energy and effort is focused on the here and now.

Not surprisingly, there is no fast track to making an impact. It takes deliberate, consistent actions, directed by a clear vision.

Want to know more? Check out these bite-sized tips for making big impacts as a dental entrepreneur.

Have a Clear Vision

Creating a big impact through our clinical and community work and dental business means having a clear vision. The clearer the vision, the easier it is to execute on.

In my book Retention I dedicated a chapter to defining your “why” for being in business. Without out a why – your why – it is very hard to distill your purpose and drive into a well-articulated vision.

Want to have a bigger impact? Define a clear vision and pursue it relentlessly.

Expect and Accept Bumps

No dental entrepreneur success journey would be complete without a few bumps along the way. Actually, it’s through these bumps our resilience is forged. They are necessary for personal and business growth.

Instead of lamenting you’ve hit a hurdle, or perhaps made a slight detour, expect bumps will occur from time to time. Being in a place of acceptance often opens the door to solutions. Before you know it, you’re back on track again and moving forward towards your vision.

Be a Unique Dental Entrepreneur

As a general rule, dentists and other dental professionals are more comfortable blending in. But let’s look at what being unique really means.

For me, more than anything, uniqueness can be boiled down to one simple concept: being yourself. There’s a wonderful expression Be yourself. Everybody else is taken. If we just applied this one idea to the practice and business of dentistry , we’d never be in competition with anyone ever again.

Our business’ uniqueness allows us to create rewarding patient experiences and inspire communities. It also means there is an authenticity to our business. This has an appeal of its own, enabling us to have a bigger impact.

Think and Act ‘Next Level’ to Be a Dental Entrepreneur

Dental entrepreneurship demands we think and act next level. It means we’re always looking for ways to grow and improve. Doing this will position us ideally for creating a bigger impact.

If we’re not thinking next level, we’ll never consider ways to enrich our patients’ experience, integrate new services and treatments, find more meaningful ways to connect with our community.

This action alone has the power to multiply the impact of any dental business.

Create ‘Surprise and Delight’ Patient Experiences

Dental entrepreneurs look for opportunities to create ‘surprise and delight’ patient experiences.

These experiences are not limited to the treatment room. They can be delivered over multiple touchpoints. Try a handwritten birthday card, a heartfelt referral thank you, and a ‘just because’ acknowledgement. Gestures like this are all ways that go beyond the traditional, clinical dental visit. A little creativity is all that’s needed.

Surprise and delight a patient and they will talk about you long after the impact of the original experience.

Build a Referral Culture

Wouldn’t it be great if the majority of new patients came through referrals from existing patients?

Love the idea? Great. Then it’s time to build a referral culture for your dental business.

Developing a referral culture means identifying who your ideal referrer is. What are they like, what’s important to them, what’s their biggest challenge, and how do you solve it? Answer these questions and follow the steps to having a bigger impact with less effort.

Work Towards Financial Freedom

As a general rule, dentists are a pretty smart bunch. We’re all over the technical stuff. Occasionally though, we need to sharpen the sword with our financial skills.

This approach is relevant in both the personal and business realm. A dental entrepreneur can enjoy an even greater impact if their financial house is in order.

Clients I coach through Savvy Dentist know this is a big focus area for development. It’s hugely satisfying to see the dental entrepreneurs in our community work on, and enjoy, the financial – other freedoms, which have come through education and implementation.

With this freedom comes the ability to make choices that lead to bigger impacts.

Give Up Trying to Do Everything

A bigger impact is simply not possible if we try to do everything ourselves. On the contrary, it’s more a recipe for disaster, burnout and resentment than anything else.

For every task, there is a tipping point at which it makes sense to delegate and bring in support. Look for that point and act decisively.

Doing this means giving up the need for perfection and control. It doesn’t mean accepting less than ideal performance.

Use standard operating procedures for tasks, and position descriptions and key performance indicators for roles as mechanisms for monitoring performance. Regular formal and informal check ins with your team are also vital for managing the process by which you can have a bigger impact.

Start With the End in Mind (but don’t expect to know every step of the way)

Okay, that’s kind of a long tip, but that’s essentially what needs to be said.

Our professional education prepares us well for the clinical aspects of our dentistry. We’re trained to look for, and deliver, perfection – or as close as is humanly possible to it. We learn that while there are no guarantees, there is an element of predictability.

On the other hand, growing a business is less clear cut. Ditto for having a bigger impact. Sometimes, you just have to start with the end in mind and not know what any of the steps along the way will be.

In many instances, it takes a leap of faith. And often it’s this leap, courageously taken, that lights up the next step along the pathway. At these points, it is your vision that will carry you through.

Final Words…

If you’re a dental entrepreneur hoping to have a bigger impact, it won’t happen without a clear vision and a lot of action.

Align to your vision consistently. Back it up with targeted efforts and watch your impact grow.