THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Spotting the trend

One of the privileges of the travelling lifestyle (and the huge virtual community) is that I get to spot trends. Here’s the latest trend, articulated by two clients this morning which echoing the sentiments of many others: “How can I better time manage myself? I think a lot of my frustration comes from doing too much and having a really poor work/life balance. 60 hour weeks are not productive but I need help in planning my week as to when I do management, when I do clinical reading and treatment planning, how much clinical chair-side time I devote – if i don’t earn then the practice loses money. For the first time in years I dread going to work and would get out if I could.” and the next one….. “I am now wondering about the merit of me aiming to gross such a high figure every month, as I feel it has taken its toll in lots of different ways. After slogging away last month – we start again – but this time with a 25% monthly pay cut to me, now reviewing further cutting down my personal expenses – beginning to wonder about all of these insurance policies. Perhaps it is time to have a bit of a rethink about why I am slogging away so hard – insanity – time to do something different to get a different result.” Trending: • Owners taking pay cuts • Owners ploughing their own savings back into the business • Owners taking fewer, less expensive holidays • Owners working longer hours • Owners waking up at 04:00 • Owners drowning in work or their sorrows • Owners managing the financial demands of their families, their suppliers and their teams • Owners having to solve every problem for everybody else – and then getting it in the neck for not being home enough Solutions: • Consider downsizing your business, so that you get a life • If associates, hygienists and therapists are not profitable – they are performance managed • If team members are not world class – they are performance managed • If suppliers are not supportive – they are performance managed • If patients are not polite, respectful and appreciative, they are performance managed • If your family are not supportive – they are performance managed • Apply a zero-tolerance rule to ANYONE who does not conform I am still working with clients on a daily basis who are breaking their own previous records on sales and growing businesses – but there is still no room for anything less than excellent in all departments. My story I personally lost a business back in 1993 because I took it upon myself to be top salesman in my own company and managing director, finance director, marketing director and every other bloomin’ director. I worked 70 hours a week for 2 years to keep the staff paid, the sales team happy and my family with a roof over their head. But the recession of the early 90s was bigger then my brains and my brawn. Eventually even I went bust and had to give my house back to the bank. I’m not going to watch any of my clients do the same.

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