”Can you believe the year is almost over?”
This is the question we always ask ourselves as we make our way to the final weeks of the year. And, of course, we wonder what the next year will have in store for us.
Economically, we can certainly expect a bumpy ride. With total GDP falling 1.1% in the third quarter, we may not officially be in a recession, but we are certainly not out of the woods on that front.
For many of you, your New Year’s resolution may be more focused on saving money as opposed to investing in growth for your practice. While I certainly would understand such a reaction, I do have to concede that I have never been a fan of New Year’s resolutions! Trying to truly improve ourselves is not something we can expect if we try to cram all of those efforts into one brief period of the year.
Don’t get me wrong – I am a believer in self-improvement. I simply believe that it will only happen if we apply ourselves to such a goal continuously, all year long. That way, we give ourselves time to make smaller, gradual changes in our lives.
When it come to applying this philosophy of improvement to your practice, it is imperative that you look to yourself first. Before asking “What can my team do better?”, you need to ask yourself “What can I do better?”
It is not easy to turn the mirror on ourselves. However, the reality is the greatest impediment to growth for most small businesses, and that includes dental practices, is the owner…not the team!
I am not suggesting you may need more from your team to get through this rocky period. They may need to be more diligent in making sure patients are not falling through the cracks with their treatment plans. But we often find that the team does better when the owner puts them in position where they are more likely to achieve greater success. That may mean entrusting them with more tasks, rather than doing them all yourself.
And this act of “letting go,” of entrusting your team to do more, is not easy! However, it is the difference between the mindset of small business owner and the mindset of a true Dental CEO.
Entrusting your team may require an investment in training. And investing in training in these rocky economic times may seem like a scary idea. Holding on to every penny may seem like the safe option right now. But is it the wiser option?
To answer that question, you need to know your financial situation – as a Dental CEO would. That means knowing your production, expenses, cash flow, you name it. Maybe cash flow is a critical issue for you at this time and any additional expenses are simply not something you can take on.
But you need to know those numbers. And you need to understand that growth can be achieved even in challenging economic times, if you go about it the right way.
So just because the economic news makes you shiver, do not automatically retreat into a shell of scarcity. That can be a very hard shell to break out of!
Now is the time to start by looking inward and asking if you are the Dental CEO you dream you can be. If not, don’t make it a New Year’s Resolution to become better at this. Make it a long term goal to be engaged in constant improvement, one that still reminds yourself it is okay to be less than perfect. But you still look to be better.
In the meantime, let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family the best of the Holiday Season!