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a blog by Chris Barrow

A quick riff on corporate sales

After two consecutive workshop days I’m en route to Dublin for a client meeting today and then a further workshop on Friday.

That’s the last series of workshop days before the end of the calendar year and, although I’ll still be working closely with the clients until the finish line in December, it has been lovely to listen to the progress they have made so far this year.

There is common feedback that there “is just so much material” in The Extreme Workshop Programme, that it takes a year to absorb and then another year to implement – some choose to do that alone, others stay a second year as coaching clients, so that I can help their managers and teams to implement the knowledge.

There’s no doubt that running a dental business in 2019 is a far more complex responsibility than it was when I started coaching dentists in 1997.

On a separate note, I’m delighted that my August newsletter musings on “alternatives to selling to a corporate” has made it mainstream as a featured article in this month’s issue of Private Dentistry magazine (along with the constructive feedback and corrections from dental accountant Alan Suggett). Watch out for that and I suspect it will create a ripple of feedback.

The paradox is that my biggest UK client, Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry (SCED), the Glasgow-based specialist referral clinic owned by Arshad Ali and Scot Muir has, this week, become the latest member of the Portman Dental family and I’ve been closely involved in the decisions and negotiations around that for many months.

My point being “horses for courses” – there are certainly circumstances in which a corporate sale is the correct strategy to secure the future of a business (and the security of tenure for team, associates and patients alike). Equally, I’ve had a number of conversations with clients this year, the conclusion of which has been that selling isn’t the correct option and that we have to create “The Self-Managing Dental Business” – allowing the owner/clinician to slow down and focus energy on creating a management team that can run the business and fee-earners who can generate the revenues.

  1. I have a sneaking suspicion that this latter activity is going to become a big part of what I’m doing in the next few years.

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