Sometimes business success is simply about predicting and creating strategy, and then following through on those well laid out growth plans. In my opinion this is the fundamental of creating your own luck. And I might add it has served me well so far as long as my processes were supplemented with action. But how can we do this satisfactorily without impinging too much on our limited resources? And how do we ensure success?
Creating your own luck.
In order to create your own luck you must first understand what luck is. I believe Luck is simply when the preparation you do on yourself or your business aligns with the right opportunities. This preparation can be gaining knowledge, skills, resources or strategy. Alternatively, it can be as simple as enhancing the systems within your practice so that you are functioning as well as can be expected. Without this preparation you will not be able to highlight the opportunities and thus will not be able to see them. It always amazes me whenever I am called upon to consult for dental practices how many opportunities have gone amiss.
Therefore preparing your practice with optimal strategies can help you to create the opportunities you need to become successful.
The 20:80 rule
Those of you who have run your business for some time will know that it is simply impossible to control and do everything, and make everything go right for you all the time. It’s just not possible, in good times or bad. This is especially true for dentists. We are not just selling a “product” manufactured by another company like retailers do. As dentists we are the manufacturer, the retailer and the customer relations people of all that we service. Therefore since our jobs are multifactorial in nature things can get on top of you and start to become overwhelming.
The bad news is that we can’t change this fact immediately without implementing customized strategies.
The good news is that it doesn’t matter. If you follow the Pareto Principal 20:80 rule you will understand why.
This rules states that 20% of everything you do in, on and for your business produces 80% of the results. What is also true is that 80% of all that you have to do also produces only 20% of the results.
You need to have a very careful look at everything you are doing in your business that is a revenue generator. Then prioritize these activities and then allow time in your day/week for the top 20% and you can delegate the rest.
Trying to undertake everything is business suicide.
Sometimes it feels as if no one can do certain tasks in your business as well as you can. However, an effective and profitable leader learns to do only the very essential and ultra-important – the top 20% and let everyone else do the rest. You might even be pleasantly surprised by the skills you have within your own team!
Therefore, if you can discover what the 20% actual consists of, that is bringing about 80% of the results, then you can make sure your manage your time and resources more efficiently. This means that you can make sure you get the 20% of critical activities done first. This technique helps to manage your business more efficiently.
Cash is king
Another aspect of your practice that can help to create a boom is cash flow. Maintaining your cash reserve is important at all times, but it is particularly so for small businesses. These reserves help to cushion you against unexpected overheads. Looking after your cash flow will allow you to operate from a position of strength and give you the confidence to take advantage of any opportunities that will be able to give you a multifold return.
Your success is dependent on many things; but if you are able to prepare yourself well by gaining the adequate knowledge/skills, then draw up some simple but effective plans of action and follow through on the 20% essentials, you might surprise yourself and find that success is yours. Some might call that being “lucky”.
So, Good Luck!
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.
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:
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?
- 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.
There are two aspects to consider when understanding Leadership:
- 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.
- 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.
Last year went speeding by and now we are already into 2014. So many people wait until the New Year to get their focus back and re-align their businesses with new goals and new objectives that sometimes the most important priorities never get done during the year. This actually applies to both their professional and personal lives. Most often this is because the actions that actually give you the amazing growth spurts in your business are often the most difficult to do. They get considered at the beginning of the year but then are easily forgotten as we go deeper into the year. However, delay is the greatest form of denial. And consequently, the success remains hindered. Read More
When it comes to success most people don’t plan to fail. However, many just simply fail to plan their success and rely on “luck”. I believe that when it comes to business in order to stay ahead a certain level of planning and strategy is required to prevent undesired outcomes. Read More
DWB working in close association with The Perfect Smile Advanced Training Institute