Short-term success in a simple business is usually fairly, well, simple. Generate enough cash to cover the overhead and reasonable owner compensation. Think of a landscaping business. The barrier of entry is low (one weed eater, one lawn mower, one blower). The odds of success are nearly 100% dependent upon the solo guy. He does it all. It’s simple and fairly straightforward. Didn’t say it was necessarily easy. Just simple.*
If the solo landscaper has a desire to grow owner comp and create long-term success for his business, everything changes. No matter how simple or easy the business might be. Adding employees, new services, etc. adds additional layers of complexity. In exchange, his opportunity grows and his income, ideally, increases, too.
Now, if long-term success is more important than just a “job,” these skills coupled with outcomes (and others) become crucial for long-term success:
- Accountable Marketing (New and returning patients is mandatory.)
- Having the right employees in the right places (Nothing under a ‘9’ on a 1-10 scale with an ABR approach – always be recruiting.)
- Physical space to support established goals (One example: Until you add an extra operatory and see what happens, you have no clue how stressful and frustrating not having that extra chair really is.)
- Managing by numbers, not gut/feelings (This is perhaps the toughest skill for most to adapt. Run your dental office by its numbers.)
- Having a “reason why” you’re doing what you’re doing.
- And, much more.
But the cool thing is, handling and understanding how to influence these challenges gives you the opportunity to grow at the rate you desire.
Whether you want 10%/year (what I would consider a minimum amount for a small business), 20%/year, even 100-200%/year (acquisition makes this possible) growth, it’s possible if there is someone on your team (you or a trusted manager/COO-type, preferably) dedicated to doing what it takes to create a company that remains adaptable to new local market conditions and changing industry conditions.
You shouldn’t nor should you do it all.
Sticking to Your Knittin’ & A Word of CAUTION…
There are two traps you’ve gotta be wary of, should your desire be to grow your practice (if you’re not growing, you’re shrinking):
- Boredom – staying engaged
- Beware shiny objects – staying focused
Since I’m an expert, having been seduced in both of these areas – I can tell you firsthand, by stickin’ to what you know – your knittin’, what you do – you’ll avoid the temptations of distractions, essentially, anything in business that’s non-dental business-related.
I’ve done the distraction thing. And, I can tell you, it’s not advisable.
Because, if done right, your dental practice empire can provide you with every financial goal you have, and much, much more.
It’s got you this far, right?