THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Exciting times

Yesterday was a red letter day – even for me. I’m privileged to lead a life that many would find exhausting (including me!) and it certainly takes its toll in the body, mind and spirit department. But let me share with you if you will:

  1. Breakfast at the amazing Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane with a Canadian entrepreneur and friend who is considering the creation of a CDN$100m private equity fund to acquire private dental practices on both sides of the Atlantic (yes – I said 100 million dollars)

  2. Attending the first proper Board meeting of Centre for Dentistry (CfD) – the company that will roll out the next phase of supermarket dental practices with Sainsbury’s – and listening to the plans for the next 12 months and beyond

Those who read my October ezine will know that I predict both troubled times ahead and golden opportunities. It really is up to you to decide which of these experiences you endure or enjoy. The OFT predict growth in private dentistry from £5bn to £8.5bn in the next few years. I predict a reduction in the number of independent practices from 10,000 to 2,000 in the next 10 years. That’s a lot of business to be shared by a few Principals and private/mixed retailers and corporates. My Canadian friend and I are in a conversation that could easily take 6 months to mature – but we have an idea that existing independent practice owners may be interested in joining forces and floating a public company. CfD are looking for independent dentists who want to partner in their Sainsbury stores – either existing Principals who want to create a spoke(s) to match their hub – or ambitious associates who are interested in the first step on the ownership ladder with an experienced management services company and the collaboration of one of Britain’s biggest supermarkets. Ask me how. Along the way, I’m involved with my friend Andy Lane in creating Britain’s first PrivateVT training system, helping mini-corporates in dentistry and the lab world to grow and even partnering with a small group of clinicians and techs who are busy building a new application that will revolutionise patient recall systems in 2012 and will be launched at next year’s Dentistry Show. And today – back to reality. Earning a living: Working at Aberdeen Dental Education Centre with a small group of local NHS team members – on Leadership and Teamwork. Then three days up here in Scotland, working with independent private and mixed practice clients on business development. Whatever happens – I will never lose sight of my favourite days – working with teams and individuals in practices that gross £500,000 to £2m and who want a bigger future. I dare say that I’ve never been so busy, so excited and so optimistic about the future for my clients…

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