Business Reources

Booms, Busts and Business Survival

The end of the year is a time for relaxation and reflection. Amongst the many topics of contemplation one major area should be how well our businesses have performed and if there is anything we should be doing to improve our situations. An event that now seems to be left happily behind in the far distant past is the economic recession of 2007-2011. Most businesses seem to have regenerated themselves with newfound leases of life. However, there has been much to learn from that economic downturn and to dismiss and forget those events entirely could spell disaster, especially if you were to fall back into complacent patterns.

Lessons from the past

So here are a few tips and strategies that could help you to re-focus on the important elements of your business for the coming year:

  • Reassess your goals and priorities on a regular basis. You may find that what was once important now no longer is. Using up your resources in trying to meeting redundant objectives can slow down progress and increase costs unnecessarily.
  • Regular Team meetings. Regrouping with your team on a regular basis can help to refocus and redirect your most expensive overhead in the correct way. This can help you to emerge in a better and stronger position than before.
  • Encourage Creativity. If you are ever faced with limited resources (including limited cash flow) then fostering creativity within your team can help to seek out new and better ways of achieving the same objectives. This is especially evident in marketing activities where occasionally unconventional methods can help to attract attention from potential customers.
  • Make sure you have all the business fundamentals in place. One thing I have learnt from working with so many dentists is that it often doesn’t matter how much you focus on any one area of the practice; if you don’t have the fundamentals systems and strategies in place in all the core elements of business then things almost inevitably will go wrong. There are 7 core fundamentals in total: Vision, Clinical Skills, Team, Marketing, Gaining Case Acceptances, Systems and your Financial Model.
  • Don’t fear making mistakes. As long as you have analysed your risks and weighed up your options after detailed due diligence, don’t fear taking the next step because you might make mistakes. You will only grow from whatever outcome you obtain.
  • However do learn from your mistakes. It is not making the mistake that actually hinders your progress as much as not learning from them. Having said this, take a moment to check all the activities you are doing and make sure that you are not repeating any past mistakes which could become very costly to you.
  • Get help. Sometimes it is better to gain momentum and speed of success by simply taking advantage of someone else’s experience. Get yourself a business mentor or coach to help achieve your success faster. They will often have experienced your situation to varying extents and will facilitate progress in a much easier and bearable fashion.
  • Develop clear focused Strategy for success. This helps you to manage your daily outcomes as well as keep one eye firmly on your future goals. It amazes me to see how many dental business owners keep their heads buried deep in the day-to-day problems with no thought for where they will be in six months time. Strategy helps you to re-invent your business. Positive change in this way keeps business fresh and up to date.

These are a few essentials to think about when planning for 2015. So this Christmas break you may want to consider how you would like to change your practice for the better unleashing new life into creating business success. Create your own luck in achieving your vision and a boom in your business. Meanwhile, let me wish you a very happy and successful New Year!

Don’t miss next month’s blog when I will be providing tips on how to make cash “king” and how to make your own luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thriving Amid Uncertainty

Globalisation, technology and innovations are rapidly changing the way dentistry is perceived, performed and understood. Of course this opens doorways to better and more enhanced ways of doing things but it also creates a more complex world with uncertainty and confusion.

We are generating and dealing with more information than ever before. There are now so many choices available for the principal dentist as to how business should be conducted that it often leads to stagnation or ineffective decision-making. This further fuels frustrations and inefficiency.

So, how do you survive and thrive amid this complexity? How do you sort signals from noise and focus on the opportunities that matter most?

In my experience as a business coach I have noticed how many dentists have stumbled and struggled. In response to a changing world they create an overabundance of processes, layers, key performance indicators and other internal mechanisms. This organizational mishmash fails to address the complexity they face or the fundamental elements of core business strategy.Just because the world is becoming more complex, organizational structures and processes do not need to follow suit.

Developing creative solutions to complex challenges

In my opinion, there is really only one possible answer that can address this problem and that is through Entrepreneurial Leadership (EL). This is where there is structure but no fixed priority. The Entrepreneurial Leader will always have his or her eye on the main objective at task but will also develop the flexibility to foster creative solutions to these complex challenges in everyday practice.

There are 3 key areas to re-focus on during uncertain times:

  1. Vision.

This is how you see your future for both entry and exit from your business. This is the “dream” that you want to achieve. The questions to ask are – Are you on track? Does the change facilitate or hinder your progress? How can you convert it creatively into an opportunity?

  1. Financial Model.

This is where you establish clear metrics that you can track, record and evaluate to achieve your goals and ultimately, your Vision. As long as your solutions are keeping you in line with your estimated financial goals you should be ok. If they are not then you need to re-evaluate where the holes in your business operations need to be plugged in.

  1. Leadership.

There are two aspects to consider when understanding Leadership:

  1. How to work “on” your Team – This is where you establish leadership skills to inspire and motivate your Team to follow you in achieving your Vision. It is the art of getting others to do the things you need them to do because they want to do it.
  1. How to work “in” your Team – This is where you establish protocols for improvements within your Team. This can include management systems, practice team agreements, increasing skills and training and meetings for proper business function. It helps to create true Teamwork – a committed group of individuals working cohesively towards a common set of goals. However, the key here is to establish the correct priorities to make the creative solutions occur. This means that decision-making from the EL needs to become more fluid than restrictive.

What we want…

We want our practice to be operating at optimal strength. We want our Team to possess a deep and intuitive understanding of the strategy, common objectives, and vision of our practice. Thus enabling each individual to know what to do and where to focus. Managers spend their time doing and leading rather than sitting in meetings. The Team are excited about coming to work because their leaders encourage experimentation, initiative, innovation and completion.

In short, rather than commanding and controlling, a leader favours fluid-decision making. Rather than setting detailed strategies and goals, they impart a dynamic directional vision for their employees to follow. Rather than leading from the top through hierarchy, they institutionalise leadership throughout their practice thus thriving amidst uncertainty.

 

The Real Job

At some point in your dental career you realized that you want to do more dentistry, better dentistry and more full complete dentistry. You realize that you want to make a difference to someone’s life? You want to make that positive impact in the way a person see’s life.

You know that you can achieve this significance with the comprehensive and complete dentistry that turns an ordinary unhealthy mouth into a functional healthy and aesthetically beautiful mouth. However, you also know that gaining an acceptance for simple single teeth dentistry is very different to gaining acceptances for a fuller comprehensive treatment plan. A fuller comprehensive treatment plan is often more complex and requires more consideration and time in planning and execution of the plan.

Read More

Are your eggs all in one basket?

A Happy Easter to you all.

Having been overwhelmed with many chocolate Easter Eggs this year (not complaining), it made me think about how we compromise ourselves in business. Are we compromising ourselves by putting all our eggs in one basket? Are we over burdening our managers or ourselves?

You see Managers and business owners can often be swamped with too much to do and too little time to do it in. Even if they were to prioritize and use all the basic time management tools things can still end up being left on the backburner. This can cause undue stress to the manager and practice principal. However, it also has a greater detrimental affect directly to the business growth which becomes stagnated. When this happens the business slowly begins to decline. Read More

DWB working in close association with The Perfect Smile Advanced Training Institute