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a blog by Chris Barrow

How to increase your profits by 50% in one year – by slowing down

For once, I’m going to refrain from naming the client I’m referring to in this post, to respect their confidentiality.

However, I have to report my own feelings of exultation when they shared with me the results of their last 12 month’s performance.

Increase in sales – 10%.

Increase in net profit before tax – 50%.

Even I was surprised.

This wasn’t a case of starting from an exceptionally poor profitability – the business was already doing well.

After a moment of congratulation, my inquisitive mind immediately wanted to explore the “why?” – how had this happened?

What became evident as we ran through their list of achievements in 2016/2017 was that the focus was on qualitative and not quantitive gains.

They are not working harder – I know it’s a cliche – but bear with me – they are working smarter.

Every aspect of their business has been analysed and acted upon – there has been no hiding place as far as systems, protocols, performance and behaviour is concerned.

In terms of clinical care and customer service, they have drilled down into what exactly has to happen to provide 5-star and have then doggedly pursued the end result.

Digital dentistry has been embraced and the investment made in technology and training.

Business is booming and their new patients are arriving almost exclusively as a result of internal marketing – word of mouth and the maintenance of thriving social media channels.

There is very little spend on external marketing – all the investment has been in time with the team and time with patients.

The team are delivering a business class experience with (as the co-founder explained to me) “respect, warmth and humour”.

The increase in profitability has been achieved whilst remaining unhurried – nobody is running in this business, everyone is walking purposefully in the correct direction.

I’ve just finished reading Primal Endurance – a book by Paleo Nutrition expert Mark Sissons on how endurance athletes can excel in what they do, whilst staying on low-carb intake.

A significant message in the book is that gains are made when athletes are engaged in aerobic training as opposed to anaerobic training.

For the lay person, a simplistic explanation – aerobic is within a comfortable heart rate (180-age) and slowly burns the fat in the body over long time periods.

Anaerobic is over that heart rate, when the body starts to burn glucose – a limited supply.

That’s why, if you head off too fast, you “bonk” when the glucose runs out.

The marathon runner’s mantra is “pace not race” – that’s why I delivered my best 2017 marathon finishing time so far in Florence on Sunday – by slowing down, even though other runners were passing me and the temptation was to “go for it”.

My clients are doing the same – they are operating their business at an aerobic rate – pacing themselves, focusing on quality, not quantity – burning slow-release fat reserves and not fast-release sugar.

There is absolutely no reason why you cannot do the same.

Slow down and think about what you are doing.

Your business is a marathon, not a sprint and if you focus on the quality of everything that you do (and everyone that you hire – big point) then the rewards will flow.

I’m very proud to have been a catalyst in their journey.

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