Sometimes you just have to take action

I’ve called an extraordinary management meeting today – pulled Team CB off the road and we are all going to meet at Bonnie’s house.
Because I monitor my cash flow like a hawk, using an Excel spreadsheet that we call the “MOAS” (mother of all spreadsheets).
The MOAS is created during my annual retreat in August each year – and then updated and monitored on a weekly basis throughout the year.
As income exceeds or falls short of budget, as expenses rise or arrive unexpectedly, we alter the numbers.
This year I am reinvesting heavily in the Team and the business – and I’m also seeing some unexpected expenses both professionally and personally.
Bonnie and I looked at the numbers last week and saw that we are shooting almost £45,000 over budget by 31st December.
That’s cash that I don’t have in the business and do not want to introduce from outside the business – we have to take action NOW.

  1. Increase prices – I don’t want to do that because I don’t believe the market is ready;
  2. Increase targets for client acquisition in our core programme at The Dental Business School – I don’t want to do that because I feel that all of my Team would lose their belief that the targets are realistic and achievable;
  3. Increase variety of product and service offerings – more payable steps in the marketing funnel – that’s a good idea;
  4. Reduce costs – we have already decided to shelve some big reinvestment projects for the balance of the year and I am also consolidating some short term debt to reduce our repayments;

So the focus for today’s meeting will be “how do we increase our product and service offerings in a way that:

  • will be of great value to the clients
  • will generate an additional £45,000 of revenue before the year end and
  • will NOT exhaust me – we have to look carefully at ways of leveraging my time and energy – just adding more “gigging” days to my calendar is not a workable solution.”

Should be a good meeting – my head was already spinning with ideas on this morning’s run.
I consider the MOAS to be my most important business management system – at least we can identify a cash flow problem 5 months in advance and do something about it. I also pride myself on being a great customer – we have no long-term trade creditors in the business – we pay our bills on time, every time.
Strong and well-monitored cash flow is the single most important source of professional peace of mind.


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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.