THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Study Clubs, Team Training, Conferences, Patient Finance and Awards – it’s that time of

It’s that time of year when dental conferences and dinners seem to flow thick and fast, as well as evening Study Club meetings and the like.

My “season” was off to a flying start last week with a Tuesday evening GDP Study Club at Crossbank Dental Care in Kendal, Cumbria, where Neil Cooper and the team worked hard to ensure a very good turn out. What fascinated me was that, as well as inviting referring GDPs, they also asked some patients along who ran their own small businesses, given that the content of my marketing presentation was easily transferable. Inviting business-owner patients was an innovative idea that I haven’t come across before.

On Wednesday I spent the afternoon with the front desk, TCO and management team at Scottish Centre for Excellence in Dentistry (Glasgow). On Thursday an afternoon with the full team at Helens Bay Dental in Northern Ireland. Both sessions were dedicated to deconstructing the patient experience and looking for the marginal gains that can always be identified.

Friday brought me to the British Orthodontic Society annual conference (back in Glasgow again). I’ve mentioned on social media how impressed I was with the S.E.C. as a venue and also at the overall layout and organisation of the conference itself.

Before getting into the body of the conference I had a very interesting conversation with Richard Scarborough of Medenta patient finance. I was already aware of their record-breaking low charges for interest-free finance but what really impressed me was their online application process and the e-learning facility that sits alongside it – so that team members can be in no doubt as to the procedure but also have access to FAQ answers and other supporting patient journey material. It’s a very impressive online platform and well worth a look. Typical of the Wesleyan Group (including, of course, Practice Plan) who focus on adding value to their products with business support.

Into the conference itself, I thoroughly enjoyed catching the back half of an excellent presentation by orthodontist Claire Nightingale from Queens Gate Orthodontics (great web site) in South London, who gave a superbly transparent and honest account of the high and lows of her business life. I genuinely wish I had seen all of it.

Soon after it was my turn to try and cram everything I know about marketing into 30 minutes. In the event, I ran 10 minutes over time and still could only scratch the surface – I’m hoping the conference organisers will forgive me and perhaps give me more time at some future event.

A final shout out (before the week begins) to Indra Rampersad and the team at Berwick Smile Dental Care who have just picked up Dental Practice of the Year at The North East Beauty Industry Awards 2019.

It’s that time of year!

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