Canadian RDTs are well primed to carry out the technical aspects of their profession. It’s taking care of business that seems the higher hurdle. With competition elbowing in and clients demanding ever more value for less money, and escalating costs for raw materials and equipment, and the price of continuing education increasing, it’s tough to stay on top and keep a dental lab growing and on the cutting edge.
Taking care of business and being a good RDT can put you on a relentless treadmill that takes the fun out of working. You might wonder why you didn’t take a business degree after your professional training.
If you feel this way, you’re not alone! I’ve conducted in depth studies of 3,500 healthcare professionals’ practices over the past 25 years. And although people and situations vary greatly, there is one common theme: RDTs (like other healthcare professionals) have put a lot of time and money into getting trained in their technology, but relatively little into other important aspects of their businesses. Perhaps like many of your colleagues, you feel much more comfortable being the RDT professional than being the business professional.
THE BOSS AND ….?
Running a business means wearing a dizzying number of hats. You must be the CEO, the day-to-day boss, human resources department, salesman, financial wizard and marketing expert all on top of being a good RDT! The key to a successful business is getting trained to manage all of these jobs so that they become as rewarding as the clinical work. Making all aspects of your business work for you will bring you many rewards, including the financial reward of more net income.
(1) Leadership Skills: Consider this … What kind of a boss are you? Are you a good leader and an effective executive? Do you think you are too nice or too tough in your management of staff? Do you find yourself doing things you know you should have delegated? Do you hold staff meetings that generate increased productivity?
(2) Personnel management skills: Are you hiring the right staff for the job? (Studies show it costs an average of $11,000 of your net income when you hire and train the wrong person.) Do your reception staff greet clients warmly and courteously? Do they know how to handle the “shoppers” who call to inquire about your services. (Studies also show that every time someone calls in but doesn’t become a new client, you lose an average of $10,000 potential income.)
(3) Sales Skills: How good are you at sales? Do you have trouble getting clients to accept your recommendations for the best results? Do you find yourself giving discounts or deals that you wish you hadn’t?
(4) Marketing Skills: How often do you get referrals from your clients? Have you built yourself a series of referral sources and do you maintain this network? How many new clients are you attracting each month? Is there room for more? How about a client newsletter and a marketing plan designed to cultivate goodwill and feed your business?
(5) CEO Skills: What about the financial side of the operation? Do bills run up out of control? Is your accounts receivable balance higher than it should be? How high is your overhead in relation to your income? Are you making enough take home profit?
YOUR BOTTOM LINE
Any of these questions can have as much impact on your bottom line as the technical service you provide to your clients.
Having successfully helped over 1,400 health professionals and business owners grow their businesses, reduce their stress levels, decrease their hours and have more fun, we have learned that all of the above criteria are fundamental to an ideal business with a great profit.
Making your business work FOR you is all about taking control of the above points, step-by-step. Make a plan and work it out. (Or call us for a free business analysis and to find out how we can help you.)
KEEP IT FUN!
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