Do you have a plan for 2017?

It is very clear what will happen in the future if you earn your fees, predominantly from the NHS (and you don’t grow the patient list or provide more private treatments) – your income will go down!  Dentistry in NI actually receives a higher % of the NHS budget than other regions.  Inevitably there will be continued efforts to restrict any growth in the cost of providing NHS dentistry.

The message is clear, Practice owners and dentists need to be honest with themselves about what they want for the future.  Deciding to do nothing is an option, but be clear what this will do to your Practice income.  ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there?’  Many people can steadily grow their business from a basic plan kept in their head.  Others might need to write it down and perhaps have a financial forecast.

However you plan, it’s right if it works for you.

Here are 10 tactics for growth in 2017:

  • Fix your outdoor advertising.  Is it clean and illuminated and clearly reflects what you offer? (probably the cheapest marketing you can do)
  • Ensure you have a monthly report (quickly at the end of the month) and then make sure key staff see it and use it. Reception staff can get really motivated when they see how many new patients came in – and you praise them!
  • From the monthly report, review with Associates their progress, every month. Providing all treatment options, irrelevant of cost is the ethical approach
  • Do 3 things really well, rather than 10 things badly. Focus and properly implement
  • Complete effective staff appraisals just once in the year. Staff love that you take the time to give them feedback (as long as it is fair and constructive)
  • Don’t fight the digital revolution! Decide what’s next:  digital photography, Cerec & milling, waiting room video made for the Practice.  Think investment not cost
  • Ask yourself hard questions about which of your marketing works and then do something with the answers
  • Sort out the Practice office so that everything is archived (that can be) and it looks (and feels) like an efficient operation
  • Remember that Donald Trump uses positive thinking – look where that got him (even if you can’t stand the guy!) So perhaps try it yourself
  • Schedule the date now for the 2017 ‘Kick off’ meeting with all your team. If you don’t engage, enthuse and tell the staff where you plan to get to ….. it probably won’t happen
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