People and Profit

You can’t do it all by yourself.
At £600,000 in sales you need a full-time practice manager.
You handle:

  1. Overall business strategy
  2. Dentistry

Your practice manager handles:

  1. Finance
  2. Marketing
  3. The patient experience
  4. Treatment co-ordination and sales
  5. Operational issues
  6. Teamwork

At £1.2 million in sales you need a full-time business manager and a full-time clinic manager.
They split 1-6 above.
At £2.4 million in sales you need:

  • a part-time financial manager
  • a full-time marketing manager
  • a part-time social media manager
  • a full-time clinic manager

They split 1-6 above.
As a result, the bigger you get, the lower your profit margin – because “people” are your biggest expense.
“People” includes more payroll as well as more self-employed sub-contractors.
At £600,000, run it well and you will hit 30-35% net profit before tax (and before your drawings).
At £1.2 million, run it well and you will hit 25-30%.
At £2.4 million, run it well and you will hit 20-25%.
Above £3 million you will hit 15-20%.
Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better – sometimes it just means bigger.
Becoming bigger is only possible if you embrace two important skills into your armoury:

  • Leadership
  • Management

Understanding the difference between these two – and grasping the essentials of becoming a good leader to good managers – that’s a key skill that will differentiate the winners and losers.
If you are doing 1-6 (or any part of them) – you need a coach to help you recruit and train a great manager(s).
If you aren’t hitting those profit margins – you need a coach to help you get there.


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.