One of my favourite things to do in an airport, besides people watching, is writing blogs! In an airport you are a captive audience to time, often in hurry up and wait mode. And being somewhat on the anal retentive side, I am nearly always way earlier than I need to be. No matter….there is always a good blog topic that comes to mind. On my way to the San Diego Dental Convention, fundamentals are front and centre.
My presentation for San Diego “Would You Like Floss With That?” (aka McDental) is all about fundamentals. Business fundamentals. My premise is that without a keen understanding of the very basic elements of business, success is an unlikely proposition. Yet so many dentists fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to the business of running their practices. Bear in mind, my definition of success in this case, means steady growth; satisfied, loyal patients who readily accept treatment and refer friends and family; a motivated, high performing team; and considered control over costs and cash flow, among other things.
Fundamentals of business, as in anything, are core mechanics and principles. Think of sports. If you have ever played a sport, you know that you have to master the mechanics and strategy of your sport and only then can you play by feel and achieve a high level of performance. One of my favourite stories regarding fundamentals is about Vince Lombardi, one of the greatest football coaches in history. He was all about fundamentals! When his team, the Green-bay Packers, did not play well, they knew what they were in for; two weeks of going back to the basics! Lombardi would haul them into the locker-room, and start at the beginning. “Gentleman”, he would say, holding up a pigskin, “this is a football”.
The presentation I am about to give teaches dentists and their teams five universal fundamentals that apply to all business, dental and otherwise. If all a dentist ever did was master these five, the long term success of a practice would be realized. The five are Customer Service, Consistency, Systems, Staff Management, and Profit by Design. Neglecting any one of these core five cripples a practice and makes running it stressful, difficult and frustrating.
Sometimes we can see things more clearly when we look outside our own backyard. To that end, I will be guiding my listeners on a tour into the fast food franchise, where these fundamentals are raw, exposed and hard at work every day (a franchise is one of the simplest and most efficient business models in existence). We will get an amazingly clear visual of what these fundamentals do, and how to make them work just as hard in a dental practice!
FIND the fundamentals (identify them), FOCUS on them (master them) and then…….FORGETABOUTIT (do it by feel). You were right, Mr. Lombardi!