Acquisitions, Blog, Dental groups

Scale your dental group now. What are you waiting for?

What are you waiting for?  Scale your dental group now.  Maybe you have three practices and would like ten, or ten practices and would like thirty.  You talk about scaling, but it’s not happening.  Why?

In our experience of speaking to many group owners it’s a combination of knowing how to develop a strategy for growth, whilst balancing risk and knowing how to go about securing finance. But it starts with what may sound very obvious – what do you actually want?

There's more to life than speed

In this blog:

  • What do you actually want? Get this right and the journey ahead is much smoother.
  • Your business goal and opportunity:  Clarity will secure investment sooner.
  • Plan for tomorrow:  With a growing business you need to anticipate the skills needed to avoid a plateau or decline.
  • What holds you back?  There are solutions to what is causing you to hesitate.
  • You have a choice – make it happen:  What are you waiting for? Scale your dental group now.

What do you actually want?

This is an essential step, often taken for granted and not articulated fully.  And yet, if you skip this it either holds you back from scaling your dental group now, or it creates heartache later.  It may even answer the question of why you haven’t done it yet – maybe it’s not really what you want?  Consider:

  • Are your thoughts and feelings aligned?
  • Why do you want to scale your dental group?
  • Is it about personal success and status?
  • Wanting to reach a position of influence and impact?
  • Wealth?
  • Creating a secure future for yourself and your family?
  • Proving someone right.  Or proving someone wrong?
  • Do you have a passion for making a difference?
  • Is it the opportunity to make your mark and utilise skills you have developed to date?
  • Is it about utilising your personal potential?
  • How important is autonomy to you?
  • What balance do you want in your life and what decisions might you need to make to ensure you keep that balance?
  • What about other ‘stakeholders’ in your life – your husband/wife, other dependants, business partners etc., are they aligned with what you actually want?

When you are an entrepreneur inevitably life and business overlap.  Make sure your business goal to scale your dental group is in line with your personal values. This means relationships with ‘stakeholders’ remain strong and decisions are easier.

Your business goal and opportunity

Articulate your goal for scaling your dental group; do you want ten practices with a plan to exit at that point? Or, do you see yourself running that business for 10 years and then putting in place a reliable manager, so you can enjoy the income?

Or, maybe you want to scale your dental group to 50 or 100 practices with a view to maximising your multiple at the point of selling onto an investor, or large corporate. (More here on how to maximise multiple in your dental group).

To secure finance, or investment your goal and the opportunity need to be articulated further:

  • What impact will you make?
  • What are your growth projections?
  • How do you stand out from everyone else out there looking for investment?
  • How can you illustrate the Return On Investment you will achieve?
  • Be prepared to answer the question – why should I invest in you and what am I getting in return?

How will you ensure a return on investment for scaling your dental group and how will you increase value in your business?

Growth through acquisitions will maximise your multiple – more here.  What practices are you targeting; mix, location, demographic, treatment type, potential for growth etc.

How will you achieve organic growth; ie. expanding revenue opportunities through extended hours, adding surgeries, broadening treatments, targeting a specific product etc.

Who will be implementing the growth plan; who is part of your team/who do you need on your team?  What are their credentials for achieving growth?

What infrastructure will you develop to implement your plan;  create a strategy map, like this one.

Do you have capacity and capability to realise the future?

Plan for tomorrow

Those early days of business start up can be heady and frantic, exciting and creative.  However, running a mature business is a very different role to running a business in its early stages of growth.  Knowing where you are in that business cycle and anticipating the next will mean a much smoother journey.

Where you are in your business cycle is visible in the behaviours you observe around you.  Start-up is frenetic and high-energy, the second phase feels good, income is healthy, teams are happy.  However, without attention the business stops growing at the same rate, despite lots of hard work and with more people comes more day to day challenges.  This results in frustration and stress.

This is where many people remain – they plateau or decline.

Unless an investment is made – in skills.

  • Are you running everything in the business?
  • How well are you delegating?
  • Do you have people whose capability you trust to carry out actions in line with strategy and values etc.?
  • Do you do it yourself because it’s ‘quicker’ and you can be sure you get the result you want?

The capability of your leadership team is fundamental to achieving the next phase of growth.  It’s also part of your succession planning – a business which is too reliant upon you as Founder has less value than one with a skilled, strong management team.  More here in a government backed report on the importance investors place in perceptions of the management team.

Build this skill set now – before you reach the frustration which leads to a plateau or decline.

The risk of comfortable inaction

What holds you back?

Better to be upfront with yourself about what holds you back now, so you can decide how to address.  Here are a few common fears:

I don’t want to lose autonomy if an investor is involved.  I’ve built my business to this point alone, why would I want someone else telling me what to do?

This is about the deal you negotiate with investors.

I haven’t worked at this level before, I fear feeling that my lack of experience and skills will be exposed.

Work with a coach or consultant like evolveyou dental who will guide you through the process.  Find the right investors, so they will provide advice and guidance.  Appoint a credible and experienced Chairperson.

What if I lose my personal investment?  I’ve worked so hard to get this far.

You wouldn’t be considering scaling your dental group if you weren’t aware of risks in business, but taking it to the next level can be daunting.  Having a sound strategy, plus a good team of people working with you to implement it and adapt to changes if necessary will eliminate some of this risk.

You have a choice – make it happen

One of the biggest challenges to starting or continuing the journey of scaling your dental group is time.  It’s likely you will already have a dental business, working clinically too, whilst finding the capacity to consider strategy.  Implementing the steps to create accelerated change and growth is very challenging.

This is a question of choice.

Choosing where to invest your time, which may mean stepping back from clinical work for a while.

Or, if you’re not working clinically finding a way to distance yourself from day to day trouble-shooting.  For example, appointing an Operations Manager who is able to work autonomously whilst representing your values and ways of working.

Invest in support to gain the clarity you need to progress efficiently and scale your dental group.

If you want to scale, but you haven’t done it yet, what is holding you back?

What are you waiting for?  Scale your dental group now.

Talk to us about how we support dental businesses to develop their growth strategies.