Is the summer bad for business?

The sun comes out, Murray wins Wimbledon and the BBQ smoke wafts over Britain.
In spite of Alex Salmond’s slam-dunk as pillock of the year, the nation is as euphoric as 12 months ago.

Time now for open air rock, classical and revival concerts, lighter evenings, kids home and holidays!
But where does that leave dentistry?
Arguably not the best time to be thinking about our teeth and gums, about needles and drills, about being told that we are not brushing properly?
The dangerous self-fulfilling prophecy would be to tell yourself that nobody will be buying dentistry for the next 8 weeks, until September bursts on the scene and we notice the nights drawing in, the leaves turning brown and the temperature dropping.
(I know – 8 weeks – better make the most of it).
Is “the summer” just another excuse for not asking people to do business with you?
I have plenty of clients who enjoy record months in July and August.
Because they adapt to whatever occasion presents itself.
Why not:
  • launch a summer campaign NOW for patients to have their teeth whitened before they go on holiday – hand out a free branded sun-hat for their future sunbathing
  • offer children’s days during the holiday season – close the practice to adults for a day, have a themed fancy dress for the team (Cliff Richards – Summer Holiday), invite a children’s entertainer, put X-boxes in the lounge – give a free bucket and spade to all the little darlings while handing out cosmetic dental offers to their parents
  • hold a BBQ for your longest serving patients (as a thank you for their loyalty) at your home and ask them to bring a friend or family member, play the soundtrack of Mamma Mia! all evening
  • close the practice for the day and take the team on a day out to recognise their hard work, get outdoors and have a picnic – take an hour in the day for a CPD training session
  • arrange some open evenings on short-term ortho, in a Spanish bar, complete with Sangria and tapas
  • organise an over 65’s evening in a local country pub to present on denture stabilisation, complete with beer and skittles
  • broadcast a few “ladies who lunch” events in a local restaurant and invite some of your best “ladies” to bring a friend, complete with a glass of champers and some strawberries and ice cream
  • hire a canal boat for an evening and invite all your 25-35 year old patients to a jazz evening, complete with information on smile design
and, of course:
  • rent a room at the local tennis club and hold an Andy Murray celebration party, invite all your best smile design patients from the last 12 months to talk about their experiences over cream tea
In other words – get your brain in gear and do something DIFFERENT!

Published by

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.