Has anything really changed in 17 years?

On Tuesday I had a trip down memory lane, presenting a half-day workshop on “Growing your dental practice – an action plan” at The Hilton Watford.
Back in the mid-90’s I delivered the first ever Dental Business School workshops in the same room – what fun we had.
This time – I ask a few simple questions of the 50 delegates:

  • “Who has a written business plan?” – 6
  • “Who has a written mission statement?” – 3
  • “Who keeps regular and accurate financial monitoring systems?” – 6
  • “Who invests 5% of sales in marketing?” – 0
  • “Who takes more than 8 weeks vacation a year?” – 4
  • “Who monitors associate profitability?” – 2
  • “Who has a clear exit strategy?” – 0

and it went on in much the same way.
Lovely people – don’t get me wrong.
Clearly there is much future work for business coaches and consultants.
Yet again – during the breaks and after the show I am approached by those who have existing practices and want help and those who are considering future ownership and are blatantly clueless as to what running a dental business will involve.
When, when, when are dental students, graduates and trainees going to be given some basic business skills training?
And by whom?


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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.