By Luc Wade, Marketing Director at Hive Business.
Good is the enemy of great wherever you look, and it’s true in the business of dentistry too. So many principals are either cruising, scared of rocking the boat or, worse, don’t have a handle on their business performance.
But if things are good — you’re paying the mortgage, maybe paying the school fees, having two or three decent holidays a year, and enjoying life – why would you change? Change is stressful, unsettling and painful. When we’re comfortable we don’t want to move, especially if there’s a risk we’ll make things worse, not better.
But for this kind of narrative to work we have to believe that things really are good. And that usually requires a secret pact with ourselves not to look too hard at our business, because somewhere in the back of our mind, perhaps just below our conscious awareness, we know what we will find: wasted potential, empty capacity, missed opportunities, opportunity cost; all the things that could have been and that could yet be.
That’s big, and scary. How do you approach it, where to start? And why, even, should you approach it if nothing is actually “going wrong” for you? You’re not in pain and, to drop a Tony Robbins (life coach) line on you, change only happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.
But there will, inevitably, be pain if we can bare to look honestly at the business. Every business on the planet, just like every human being, has capacity for growth and improvement. It is always possible to get better, but to do so we have to open our awareness and stop denying or distorting aspects of reality. Believing that things are good enough is a lie — because they never are.
Maybe it helps to know that your colleagues down the road are:
- Paying their associates 5% less
- Attracting twice as many web enquiries
- Doubling the value of their business
- Driving the newest Porsche
- Always seem to be on the golf course
So really, at heart, this is about awareness. We can either choose to continue living in ignorance, and remain in stasis, or we can start looking at the business with open eyes and courage. That alone will create change because the pain of staying the same can only grow with our awareness.
In business you’re either growing or dying, there’s no standing still. Private dentistry is seeing strong and consistent growth, and competition is evolving now at a rapid pace. In this context principals who think their business is good enough are often in reality paralysed with one of these three fears:
- Fear of failure. If you play it safe, stay conservative and take no risks, all will be fine.
- Fear of success. Some people are scared of how they will be seen if they make it. Thoughts like “I don’t want to be too greedy”, “I don’t need the money or the new car” or “I don’t need the attention” are really just excuses for not having a go.
- Fear of working too hard. This one is fairly common. But since when is success related to hours worked? Most individuals using this one are working too hard (and inefficiently) already.
Write off the past today and draw a line under it. Whatever opportunities you have missed, however cruisy you have been, you are in a great position now to seize your business’s true growth potential. Corporates and smaller groups are out there making some very tempting offers and valuations are healthy, and the best bit? Your past does not equal your future
If you’re considering taking your practice to the next level and need help considering smarter business objectives, we can help. To book your fixed-price Diagnostic Day get in touch on 01872 300232 or email us at [email protected].