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a blog by Chris Barrow

Secret Sauce? - a guest post from Lisa Bainham

I recently had a conversation with a friend who works in marketing.

We were discussing the patient journey, and how it has changed throughout the pandemic.

I had explained that despite having to change how we work, and the vast amount of new SOP’s, I felt that overall, our patients were very happy with the practice, and if anything felt even more secure in the knowledge that we will continue to care for them, no matter what the world is throwing at us.

From a patients view, my friend’s opinion was that there must be something special about us, as we all know that COVID has made many people less tolerant, anxious and quite frankly stroppy over the smallest of things.

From a team view, we discussed that despite many practices experiencing a recruitment crisis, we were inundated with high quality support staff who want to join our team.

I’ve concluded that there aren’t any specific reasons why we have fared better than most, but the most obvious reasons are that we don’t take shortcuts, either with patient care, high standards or when it comes to recruiting and retaining the best team possible.

There are also no shortcuts when it comes to:

Team- upskilling, providing a happy workplace and culture, great pay, other benefits and just being very decent, kind and supportive to those we work with;

Marketing – using specialised experts who know which patients we want to attract, where we can attract them and how to do it…. then producing the results, we want;

Compliance – you are either compliant or you aren’t. Again, use a specific company that specialises in Health and Safety, all aspects of compliance and have the confidence that you are doing the right things at the right time (that’s an actual quote I use from Pat Langley, from Apolline, who provide excellent compliance support);

Finances! – most practices use an accountancy firm, but do they use the right ones? Are they familiar with the dental landscape? Do they understand what your financial position is and advise where it could or should be?

Coaching - Working with a dental specific business coach/adviser can be a huge eye opener, allowing you to run and grow your business successfully and profitably;

HR – Employment law is constantly changing and unless you are also a trained lawyer, how can you possibly be sure that you are up to date with guidance and law?

All the above are just a few ingredients to building a successful, healthy practice, with a great team and a solid, loyal patient list.

The days of getting your PM to go onto Facebook forum to scratch around and beg for templates, advice and tips are long gone, especially if you want your practice to be special.

In conclusion I told my friend that there is no secret sauce, it's just common sense, doing the right thing, not trying to cut corners and then complain when you hit dead ends time and time again.

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