Although dentistry may appear to be different than other types of businesses, in reality it is a business. And although this article is written from a dentist's perspective on developing a successful practice, the principles can be used in virtually any business.
I have been in the dental industry for over 20 years and can proudly say I do have a highly successful business, also known as a practice. Over the years, I have learned many things that work in running a business and even more that do not. It is with this in mind that I share the following 7 keys to running a successful business. Regardless of your industry they can apply.
1. Have a vision
One of the most important aspects of running any business is to have a clear vision of what you want that business to be like. What do you want to be known for in the marketplace? What kind of clients do you desire? What level of service do you want to provide? Do you want to be "one among many" or do you want to be considered a leader in your industry?
By answering these and many other similar type questions, you will gain insight into the direction you can, and should, take your business.
2. Develop a plan that ties into the vision
Once you gain clarity on your vision, you must be willing to develop a plan. Far too often people have an idea of where they want their organization to be, but they fail to put together a usable plan. Take time to map out what needs to be done to achieve your outcomes.
3. Know your market
One of the most important aspects of running any type of business is to know whom your market is. You can't be all things to all people. Contrary to what some would like to believe, not everyone is his or her market. There is a very astute saying in marketing, "If everyone is your market, then no one is your market."
The clearer you are on who you are targeting the easier it will be to focus your efforts on reaching those individuals and/or companies.
4. Gain visibility within your market
Take a very focused approach to reaching your market. Just because you have determined who your market it, doesn't mean you are done. You must now be willing to have a very focused approach to targeting your market. Whether that be through direct mail, advertising, newsletters, informational seminars or any number of methods, you have to be willing to keep your name in front of your market.
5. Get your team on board
This is probably one of the most crucial and yet, often most overlooked aspects of running a business. You have to make sure your team knows what is going on. Holding regular staff meetings as a means to keep people informed is a great way to gain the buy in of your team. Additionally, be open to ideas that may come from your team members.
It will be very difficult to achieve your long-term goals if your team members either don't understand your vision or haven't bought into it. When you hire people, make sure they understand what you are trying to achieve. Whether you are dealing with new members of the team or seasoned folks, everyone must be willing to be a part of the plan. When they are, you will have a much greater chance for success.
6. Be consistent
Running and marketing a business is an ongoing process. The greatest mistake people make in virtually any industry is they try something once and expect instant results. You must be in this for the long haul. Sure, with some of your marketing strategies you will get instant, or direct, response. However, with most approaches, it is more like the tortoise and the heir. In the short-term it looks like the heir is in the lead, but the reality is he is burning himself out and ends up losing to the tortoise who had a consistent and long-term vision.
7. Realize - you change lives
One of the things I most love about dentistry is I know I change lives. I recognize this beyond a shadow of a doubt. When my patients are able to obtain the smile they once only dreamed of because of what I did for them, I know I am doing my life's work.
With most people, regardless of the industry you are in, in some way you do change lives. If you know that, your job is very rewarding.
Think about the end user of your product or service. What is it about what you provide that makes a difference for them? If you don't know, ask your customers. You may be pleasantly surprised. It is in the answers you can become clearer and clearer as to your vision and the benefits you bring to others through the services you provide.
Copyright: Š 2004 by Dr. Scott Kiser
Publishing Guidelines: You may publish my article in your newsletter, on your web site, or in your print publication provided you include the resource box at the end. Notification would be appreciated but is not required.
About The Author
Dr. Scott Kiser has been practicing general dentistry in Salt Lake City, Utah for over 20 years. Dr. Kiser has used only mercury-free substances in his treatments since the mid 90's and concentrates his practice in the areas of sedation dentistry and complete smile makeovers. Consumer Research Council of America selected him as Utah's Top Cosmetic Dentist of 2003 - 04. Visit www.greatsmilesutah.com" target="_new">www.greatsmilesutah.com to sign up for a FREE monthly online newsletter or for more information on Dr. Kiser and all of his services.
Family of Julie and Jessica Richards from Brisbane are âunited in griefâ after receiving confirmation from New Zealand police
The press conferences have finished up. We will provide a summary of the new information shortly.
Watson says 22 of the 30 patients in hospital still need airway support. The nature of the burns suffered is complicated by the gases and chemicals in the eruption. This has necessitated more rapid treatment than is normally the case for thermal-only burns, he says.
He gives a breakdown of the number of patients at each hospital:
Jubilation at result but region faces long process ahead before it can become worldâs newest nation
The autonomous region of Bougainville has voted overwhelmingly in favour of becoming independent from Papua New Guinea, paving the way for the group of islands to become the worldâs newest nation.
More than 180,000 people in Bougainville, a collection ofislands flung 700km off the coast of Papua New Guinea in the Solomon Sea, participated in a referendum over the last few weeks that has been nearly 20 years in the making.
Democratic congressional leaders have unveiled articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, a historic move set in motion by a whistleblower complaint warning the president was using the power of his office to solicit foreign interference in a US election.
A medical secretary has claimed that her Facebook account was hacked after it was used to post false information claiming that a photograph of an ill boy on the floor at Leeds General Infirmary was staged for political purposes.
The woman denied posting the allegation that four-year-old Jack Williment-Barrâs mother placed him on the floor specifically to take the picture which became symbolic of the NHSâs troubles after it appeared on the front page of Mondayâs Daily Mirror.
Panel recruited to ensure objectivity cite failure to agree formal process with police complaints commission
A panel of foreign experts overseeing an investigation into allegations of excessive force used by the Hong Kong police force has said it is stepping down, further calling into question the probe.
For months anti-government protesters have been demanding an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality in response to the demonstrations. The government has repeatedly said an independent inquiry is unnecessary and that the existing police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC), should complete its review first.
Scale and speed of loss much higher than predicted, threatening inundation for hundreds of millions of people
Greenlandâs ice sheet is melting much faster than previously thought, threatening hundreds of millions of people with inundation and bringing some of the irreversible impacts of the climate emergency much closer.
Ice is being lost from Greenland seven times faster than it was in the 1990s, and the scale and speed of ice loss is much higher than was predicted in the comprehensive studies of global climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, according to data.
Genaro GarcĂa Luna, who ran Mexicoâs federal police for six years, charged with accepting briefcases of cash to protect Sinaloa cartel
A former minister who was considered an architect of Mexicoâs war on drugs has been arrested on charges that he allowed the Sinaloa cartel to operate with impunity in exchange for briefcases stuffed with cash.
Genaro GarcĂa Luna, who oversaw the creation of Mexicoâs federal police, was arrested in Texas on Monday.
â˘ âBereaved families should receive the justice they deserveâ â˘ Liverpool make statement before flying to Club World Cup
Liverpool have supported calls by human rights groups for thorough investigations into the deaths of migrant workers in Qatar, before the club flies to the Gulf country next week to play in Fifaâs Club World Cup.
The Liverpool chief executive, Peter Moore, has also sought assurances from the Qatar âsupreme committeeâ, which is organising the tournament and the 2022 World Cup, about the progress of investigations into the deaths of two men who had been working on the construction of football stadiums.
The literature laureateship, presented to Handke and 2018 laureate Olga Tokarczuk on Tuesday afternoon, faces boycotts and widespread protest
As Turkey joins Albania and Kosovo in boycotting Tuesdayâs Nobel prize ceremony for Peter Handke over his support for Slobodan Milosevicâs genocidal regime, war correspondents from Christiane Amanpour to Jeremy Bowen are protesting his win by sharing their harrowing stories from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia.
The Austrian writer, whose stance on the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and attendance at Milosevicâs funeral have been widely criticised, is due to receive his Nobel medal in Stockholm, where a large protest demonstration is expected.
Decision grounds more than 300 military aviation students
Three US military members were killed in shooting Friday
The Pentagon announced on Tuesday it was halting operational training of all Saudi Arabian military personnel in the United States until further notice in the wake of the deadly shooting by a Saudi air force officer.
The decision will have far-reaching impacts, including grounding more than 300 Saudi Arabian military aviation students.
The Union Carbide factory explosion remains the worldâs worst industrial accident â but as its dreadful legacy becomes increasingly apparent, victims are still waiting for justice
The residents of JP Nagar have no way to escape their ghosts. This ramshackle neighbourhood, on the outskirts of the Indian city of Bhopal, stands just metres away from the chemical factory which exploded just after midnight on 2 December 1984 and seeped poison into their lives forever. The blackened ruins of the Union Carbide plant still loom untouched behind the factory walls.
Photographer Judah Passow has documented those were affected by the Bhopal disaster 35 years ago, which killed an estimated 25,000 people ad has left more than 150,000 suffering from chronic medical conditions
Judah Passow has waived his fee for this work. Contributions to the Bhopal Medical Appeal can be made at www.bhopal.org
Exclusive: With heatwaves predicted to worsen dramatically over the next 30 years, many big US cities are failing to fully plan to protect those most vulnerable to extreme heat
When heatwaves hammered US cities this summer, one of the hottest in recorded history, some city governments had plans in place to protecttheir most at-risk residents.
Philadelphiaâs plan sent homeless outreach teams to distribute water and bring people to cooling centers. Austinâs plan suspended electricity shutoffs for low-income or fixed-income customers. Chicagoâs plan dispatched building inspectors to monitor shelters and other buildings without air conditioning.
A mile east of the LuĂs I Bridge in the middle of a residential neighbourhood in Porto, Portugalâs second city, sits a bleak and decaying building.
Initially a three-storey car park, then a thriving shopping centre, the building has more recently suffered from years of neglect. Its walls are sprayed with graffiti and plastered with stickers, and the windows are blacked out.
The mood may be one of despair, but this election is critical to the countryâs future. The best hope lies with Labour, despite its flaws
Britain has not faced a more critical election in decades than the one it faces on Thursday. The countryâs future direction, its place in the world and even its territorial integrity are all at stake, primarily because this is a decisive election for Brexit. The choice is stark. The next prime minister is going to be either Boris Johnson, who is focused on âgetting Brexit doneâ whatever the consequences, or Jeremy Corbyn, who with a Labour-led government will try to remodel society with a programme of nationalisation and public spending.
Alexander Gabyshev says he wants to rid Russia of the âdemonâ president
A Siberian shaman who says he wants to rid Russia of the âdemonâ Vladimir Putin has been detained by authorities after making a new attempt to trek across the country, rights activists have said.
Accompanied by two companions and four dogs, self-styled shaman Alexander Gabyshev set out from his native Yakutia in Russiaâs north on Sunday after his first journey was cut short in September. He was detained by police on a highway on Tuesday, according to the human rights advocacy group Pravozashchita Otkrytki, which has been tracking his case.
Repentance, reparation and remedy for the terrible damage done to the people of Bayelsa state in Nigeria is long overdue
â˘ John Sentamu is the archbishop of York
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights begins: âAll human beings âŚ should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.â It is now widely acknowledged that human rights cannot be enjoyed without a safe, clean and healthy environment. The right to a healthy environment is enshrined in more than 100 constitutions all over the world because human and environmental rights are intertwined.
Executive order could redefine Judaism as a race or nationality, which critics argue is itself antisemitic
Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order on Wednesday targeting antisemitism on college campuses.
First reported by the New York Times, the policy would broaden the federal definition of antisemitism, according to administration officials who spoke to various news outlets on condition of anonymity. By expanding protections granted by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act to people subjected to antisemitism, the order could also redefine Judaism as a race or nationality.
NSW government to ignore most recommendations from inquest into drug deaths at music festivals
The New South Wales government will ignore the bulk of the recommendations from a landmark inquest into drug deaths at music festivals, with the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, saying she is âclosing the doorâ on pill testing.
On Wednesday, the government announced its response to the findings of deputy state coroner Harriet Grahameâs inquest into six drug-related deaths of young people at music festivals in the state.
Premier League leaders urged to join fight for better working conditions as they prepare for Fifa Club World Cup match
As Liverpool fans stream into Qatar to watch the Fifa Club World Cup next week, it will be easy to forget the thousands of workers from the poorest countries in the region who have toiled for years to construct its glittering buildings.
When they take their seats at the Khalifa International Stadium, where Liverpool will play their semi-final match, they may not realise that scores of workers who refurbished the stadium were housed in filthy, overcrowded accommodation with an ever-present stench of raw sewage.
The devastating disease canât be stopped unless more protection is provided for patients and health workers
Entering the city of Goma as night fell, I saw the red lava glowing atop nearby Mount Nyiragongo â an ominous reminder of the insecurity hovering over the Democratic Republic of the Congoâs volatile east.
But a manmade â not natural â terror is keeping health workers in DRC awake tonight.
Rights groups condemn hanging of Mooketsi Kgosibodiba and call on president to bring country into line with the rest of Africa
The new president of Botswana is facing pressure to abolish the countryâs death penalty after last weekâs surprise execution of a 44-year-old man for murder.
Mooketsi Kgosibodiba, a bricklayer, had been on death row since 2017 after strangling his employer in a row over stolen cement. Last week the government made the unexpected announcement that he had been hanged in Gaborone central prison.
From Israelâs hostility to Trumpâs withdrawal of US funding, the UNRWA faces unprecedented challenges. Timely financial and diplomatic support is key
Today, on the 70th anniversary of its founding, the UN Relief and Works Agency, the UNâs main refugee agency serving Palestinians, is facing unprecedented challenges.
It has become a key battleground in Donald Trumpâs war against multilateralism and his unilateral attempts to redefine the Middle East peace process along a track proposed by Israelâs prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
White Islandâs eruption is a reminder that we are not natureâs master, but at its whim
At 2.11pm yesterday, as the Whakaari eruption was happening, I was out mowing my lawns. From my home at Te Kaha, a tiny settlement on the North Islandâs east coast, you can make out the volcanoâs sunken crater. The 300-metre dust cliffs frame the northern and southern edges, and in the centre is an east-facing pit where ancient birders and old sulphur miners once did their work.
On Monday the only workers and visitors on island were tour operators and tourists, several whom never made it back from yesterdayâs destruction.
The tranche of documents show that in trying to paint the best pictures, those involved delivered the worst
During the Vietnam war, the daily US military briefings were known to journalists as the Five Oâ Clock Follies, described by one of the AP reporters who attended them as âthe longest-playing tragicomedy in south-east Asiaâs theatre of the absurdâ.
The Pentagon Papers, the Department of Defenseâs secret history of that war, leaked by Daniel Ellsberg in 1971, only underlined the level of that deception under subsequent US presidents.
Trumpâs neglect of the region has left a political vacuum that China is rushing to fill â and small nations such as the Solomon Islands are stuck in the middle
If anything demonstrates the interconnectedness of the 21st-century world, it is how a decision made in the Solomon Islands, population 650,000, in the remote South Pacific, can affect the behaviour of powerful countries on the other side of the globe. That, in a way, is exactly what happened last week when Nato leaders met in London. Top of their agenda was Donald Trumpâs demand that Europe pay more for its defence. But why is the US so exercised about so-called âburden-sharingâ? In part because, these days, it is looking west, not east.
The US has identified China, not Russia, as the biggest strategic, economic and potential military rival to its global leadership. Barack Obama, who was dubbed the âPacific presidentâ, formalised this shift with his 2011 âpivot to Asiaâ, which prioritised the region.
House Democrats have introduced two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump for high crimes and misdemeanours. At a press conference announcing the move, the House judiciary committee chair Jerry Nadler accused the president of betraying public trust and endangering US national security to benefit himself
The families of those missing after the White Island eruption in New Zealand say they are 'standing together' as they wait for information about their loved ones. Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister, said the scale of the disaster was 'devastating' and that reconnaissance flights had found no sign of life on the island. Police have launched an inquiry into the eruption after at least six people died and many more were injured
Houston's police chief Art Acevedo criticised politicians for not standing up to the National Rifle Association after the the fatal shooting of an officer. 'The NRA doesn't like the fact that we want to take firearms out of the hands of boyfriends that abuse their girlfriends. And who killed our sergeant? A boyfriend abusing his girlfriend,' Acevedo said
A protester, appearing on the side of President Donald Trump and against impeachment, shouted at committee chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, that he and the Democrats are committing 'treason' in their inquiry
New Zealandâs Whakaari/White Island volcano erupted on Monday at 2.11pm as 50 people were visiting the country's most active volcano. At least five people were killed and authorities confirmed some people were still waiting to be rescued hours after the eruption on the island, as experts explained it was unsafe for emergency services to return
Footage shows island in the Bay of Plenty coated with ash after volcano blew debris 12,000m into the air. The film also shows a downed helicopter and tourists stranded on the island waiting to be rescued by boat.
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