Dental practices usually grow from a tiny team, sometimes even a lone principal who has to do everything on their own. It can be hard to stop once you start — as the Roman poet Ovid wrote, nothing is more powerful than custom or habit.
There’s a cost attached to doing everything yourself and I’ve been working with a few practices to try and mitigate it by helping staff take on new roles.
Bookkeeping is now cloud based and user friendly, so if you have a staff member who is keen to progress I can train them to use it. A receptionist I’m training had no experience with finance yet she’s taken to it brilliantly.
Her employer had outsourced the bookkeeping function because it was too much for him and so the business hadn’t been engaging with its own financial data. Now the receptionist has fixed the broken link and the information is more readily available, and both she and her employer work with us to interpret it.
I find that opportunities like this aren’t being realised so often in dental practices. They tend to be overstaffed and have the labour capacity to handle things in house yet they typically outsource finance and supplier payment functions. Perhaps it’s a hang up from the days of being understaffed and overwhelmed.
There’s an obvious cost incentive to upskill your staff because it saves you paying an outsourced contractor, but there’s another benefit: your staff member is more engaged and can go on to take ownership of the finance department.
Why wouldn’t you want that? I remember years ago when new people joined my team I’d feel threatened in case they were better than me at something. I felt defensive and wanted to be the best in all areas. As my career developed I’ve specialised in certain areas and now I manage a team too. It feels different now: if it takes someone else less time to do something I welcome it because it frees up my time to focus on what I’m good at. I don’t feel threatened any more.
When you develop people you get exponential benefits. They bring a new perspective to the table, and when you give them responsibility and access to information you begin to learn from them because the way they interpret situations and data is different to you.
Diversity of thought in your management is a huge asset — which is why the Hive business model is based on it. We’re a multi-disciplinary team of specialists who collaborate, and if you’re a new client you can expect to speak to a few different people depending on what you need, for example if it’s business modelling it’ll be me, if it’s tax it’ll be Simon, and so on.
We encourage our clients to put this multi-disciplinary structure into their own businesses because we know it works. It will improve the way your business handles data and speed up the decision making process so you’re more agile, able to react to threats and take advantage of opportunities.
It’s no good us delivering you the right information unless you have someone in your practice who’s engaging with that information and making timely decisions off the back of it.
Be honest, are you ever going to be that person or are you too busy? And is your financial services supplier going to be able to take decisions from inside your business? Then maybe it’s time to let go and give one of your team members the chance to prove themselves. Call us on 01872 300232 01872 300232 or email us at [email protected].