When you finally emerge from the lockdown, there are some excellent strategies that you can use to turn around your business. Inevitably some might say, we are going to be experiencing a downturn in the economy. Hence, in order to survive the upcoming economic decline your most important considerations and focus will either make you succeed, or you will find getting back to normality highly frustrating.
I have made a personal prediction on how things are going to be and have a few suggestions on preventing the worst.
The best way to look at our businesses is in 3 phases:
Phase 1: Managing pent up demand
This will occur in the first 3 months of opening. You will need to expect this to be a crazy time. No one really knows how things are going to be.
So, I have two tips:
- One way of making it a little bearable will be to booking patients into the appointment diary in a strategic and planned manner. We call this Diary Engineering. Plan where and when you need to book certain types of patient so that you can have enough time for surgery turnaround or donning/doffing procedures of PPE.
- I would suggest that you have team training with everyone before you plan to open so that you can organise and role-play out exactly how you will all work together. There is nothing more stressful than having to think up what to do on the spot, when you could have given it some thought beforehand.
Phase 2: Gradual decline in Production
This will occur over the course of the next 8 months.
It is characterised by a decrease in demand since you will then have completed most of the treatments associated with the pent up demand.
There may be some patients that are still not convinced that it may be safe to have a dental visit; this together with diminishing affordability due to those financially affected by the pandemic, can cause a gradual decline in the numbers of new patients.
Another reason for a slow down in productivity may be if you have not focused on Growth Strategies, previous to lockdown and continued with them throughout the pandemic.
Also, as patients begin to ease into “normality” of living with the coronavirus they may not see dentistry as an urgent need. As this occurs you may see a drop in revenue if you are not able to market for new patients. This is the critical stage at which a renewed intensity of focus on Leadership, Marketing and Sales is going to be vital in maintaining productivity. This will only occur with ongoing efforts in establishing updated growth systems.
Having said this I would suggest that intense focus be made on marketing before Phase 2.
Phase 3: Recovery
This will occur by end of 2021 going forward into 2022.
This is when most systems in your practice will begin to normalise. By this stage you will have established a new way of doing things.
Those practices that will have worked hard continuously from lockdown, on a commitment to motivational leadership, cost-effective marketing strategies and establishment of new updated post-covid sales protocols will now be reaping the rewards.
Forward Thinking in the Post Covid Era
Strategic business focus and planning is the only way of battling your way out. It is going to also take creativity, innovation and thinking outside the box. Another important consideration is understanding how to introduce Change Initiatives in a positive and productive way so as not to build resistance against them.
This is what I am currently working on with my coaching clients.
“I have taken it on as a personal responsibility to make sure that my coaching clients not only survive this Covid Pandemic but that they are taking advantage of all the opportunities along the way to end up thriving in business.”
The Covid pandemic has opened up a new way of looking at things. We have a great opportunity to get rid of things that no longer serve us and introduce fresher perspectives that are forward thinking and more efficient in producing results. As frightening as it may have been, the corona virus may well have just propelled us into a new age of dentistry!