THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Pause for thought

The last night in Birmingham on Wednesday was packed with people and lots of fun – something about the sense of humour in the Midlands has always attracted me. About 50 people in the room and, once again, new friends and potential new clients. I was also delighted to see one of my first ever dental clients, Chris Lee from Adams and Lee in Coventry, from 9 years ago, who travelled over with his nurse for the evening. My first year coaching dentists was as a complete unknown and the clients who hired me were pioneers – so I owe them a special debt of gratitude. Yesterday I drove over to Loughborough and visited with Des Creighton at 3M Unitek, largest UK suppliers of orthodontic materials. Following a recommendation from Viren Patel of The Orthodontic Centre in Cardiff, I discussed with Des a marketing alliance to bring Chris Barrow and a new Orthodontic Business School to the market in 2007. As would be expected, Des wants to tread carefully and test me out – so we have agreed to broadcast a couple of one-day “specials” in March 2007 and see how we go from there. There is much pain and suffering in the UK ortho market, with an estimated 75% of the 600 specialist practices unable to meet their Government targets due to reduced funding – so many of them are now looking seriously at providing private treatment to adults and children. They need to know how to market themselves, how to get people in the door, how to “sell” private options – and that’s where Team CB come in – we know how to help them. I’m excited by this new marketing venture – and, as always, frustrated that these things take so much time. After my meeting – a surprise visit to my clients Shrik and Lina Kotecha in Leicester – only 15 minutes away, so I couldn’t resist. They and the Merrident team looked as if they were going to faint when I walked through the door and announced a “blu-tak” check. We enjoyed a quick cuppa and they agreed to sign up for my 2007 Mastermind Group. Then a 7-hour drive back to Cornwall (with stops for food, drink and phone calls on the way). I’ll be meeting with Bonnie today for a mini-management meeting before packing for Canada tomorrow! Never a dull moment.

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