By Ross Martin, Accountancy Director at Hive Business.
Among our clients in private practice the average revenue growth last year was 13%. In fact this number was atypical, with most clustering at 0 to 3% and 15 to 20% growth. Many plateaued, keen to get ahead but hamstrung by a sense that if they weren’t growing they couldn’t afford to invest in speculative growth strategies.
Some practices grew by 20%+, run by people who think about things the other way round. They liked doing things to try to harness the obvious growth in the sector, always hoping to be an active rather than a passive agent of the furious pace of change in the market.
The UK dental sector is nearly 14% bigger than it was in 2013. Compound growth in the dental implants market is 9.7% a year and in the ortho supplies market it’s 6.9%. And while the number of Brits undergoing cosmetic surgery fell in 2016 to the lowest number in a decade, non-surgical cosmetic treatments continue to rise. Happily, regular horror stories in the press mean people increasingly want a dentist in a sterile clinic, not a home visit beautician in their kitchen.
All of which seems providential. Don’t take it for granted that public demand for the services you provide is always going to rise. Accept the happy chance of things as they are and know that for the time being you should be able to do well. The sun is shining, so make hay. If you can’t, the problem is fixable.
You simply have to throw your hat into the ring. If you stand back in times like these and watch everyone else learning new ways to make hay while you keep at it with that trusty old scythe it can only end one way: your business will suffocate slowly, but surely. That’s the funny thing about low oxygen levels — it’s not obvious until it’s critical.
I think the figures above show something about the role of choice in wealth generation. The average revenue growth rate may be 13% a year, but you are an individual: you can choose to plateau (and gently lose market share) or you can choose 20% growth.
The structural opportunities are there if you want to grow, which isn’t the case in a lot of other industries. The opportunities won’t be there forever. Now is the time to plug yourself into your sector’s growth and find a good toehold so you can stand up to the corporates when they hit full swing.
If you’re planning to exit, growing now makes all the more sense. If you’re at an earlier stage in your career, think of what you could do with 13% growth per annum between now and the day you exit. Sorry, that’s a false proposition: think of what you could do with 15 to 20% growth per annum. I wouldn’t worry too much if it’s going to be 0 to 3% growth per annum, you’ll be lucky to see the next decade…
If you want a financial analysis to identify low, or critical, oxygen levels, or want help achieving 20% growth, then please call us on 01872 300232 or email us at [email protected].