03 Sep Why did you set up your business?
It’s an interesting question to ask any business owner and I have heard a variety of answers over the years. However, rarely does the initial answer actually answer the question, certainly not at the level that I am aiming it at. Some will provide a cliched ‘elevator pitch’, some will simply talk about what the business does and most will bring money into the answer at some point. And, I am OK with all of that, even the money bit (although as Simon Sinek reminds us, making money is a result, it’s never the business purpose). Everybody will tell you about the exciting journey, the buzz of winning that first contract, seeing that first customer or in the case of a dental practice, the first patient or an event that triggered a bigger chain of events.
I think its useful therefore to differentiate between why you might choose to set up your own practice and the big WHY that Sinek refers to. Sinek is not first to market with this, remember that Covey talks about ‘character ethics’ and if we go right back to Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) there are similar fundamental messages about values and purpose. Another way to look at this is to think what it is that you can do for your patients, both consistently, profitably and in a way that is grounded by your values. If there is demand for what you can do both consistently and profitably and it is delivered in a way that is grounded by both your values and those shared with your customers or patients, then you will have found what I refer to as ‘the common ground’.
Over time, the common ground is where businesses remain consistently successful and right now there is an emerging movement of customers and businesses that recognise this. So for example, there is demand to have access to water and drinks whilst on the move and there are plenty of businesses that can meet this demand both consistently and profitably. However, there is increasing recognition that ‘plastic’ is finally being recognised as a thing and consumers are starting to talk about this (particularly on Social Media)….so even though the product has not changed at all, consumers might start to question the values of a business that still on the face of it disregards concerns about plastic. There might therefore be a massive opportunity for somebody to start delivering bottled water in an alternative way that is driven by the shared values of of those consumers that are concerned about plastic. Similarly, there were always shops that didn’t sell their goods in plastic bags (values – caring for the environment) and those that only stopped giving them away when legislation stepped in (values – we do it because we have to!).
One of the fundamental challenges for a dental practice therefore in its marketing and in its behaviours is to communicate a WHY and a PURPOSE that connects with the people that you want to serve. Increasingly you will begin to see that connecting with customers though a clear WHY and a PURPOSE will speak louder than any ‘money grabbing dentists’ headline in the media.
If you think that now is a good time to sit back and take some time out to really think about your WHY, your business and it’s future then we are here to help. We offer a range of services that have been careful created to help dental practice owners lead more successful businesses.