Key Factors for Business Success

By admin-tmfd on 1 May 17 Dales Blog

Success ……are there common factors shared by successful practices?  Absolutely! Based on twenty eight years of consulting experience I can state this with great certainty.  I recognize that success is a very personal statement and as such have geared this article to the principles of success in business.

For decades our consultants have enjoyed coaching business owners to achieve success. The overwhelming majority of clients have told us that delivering dentistry creates the least amount of stress compared to managing the business.

Given that there as many different approaches to business as there are business leaders, I have isolated six general factors contributing to a successful business.  It is entirely possible to have a sensational business without having all these in your roster. As you read on I suggest jotting down specific areas requiring attention in your business.


  • Business owners with a clearly defined vision and direction are generally more successful
  • Ability to communicate vision and direction to management and/or team
  • Management structure in place to implement the leader’s vision and inspire and motivate team
  • Agility to adapt the implementation strategy if necessary
  • Tenacity to stay the course
  • Willingness to provide the appropriate resource

Financial Performance

  • Financial resources to implement the business development plan
  • Sufficient profit for business building and contingency plans
  • Owner awareness of financial status and performance
  • Knowledgeable advisors working in concert – such as bankers, accountants, wealth planners, consultants
  • Owner who reviews the business operating budget on a regular basis
  • Owner who meets with management on a regular basis to evaluate the implementation process


  • Attainable goals with realistic time lines
  • Monthly financial monitors to measure business performance
  • Monthly management meetings to evaluate the implementation of the business plan and results
  • Resources deployed to improve the ability to attain goals
  • Communication with the team to share progress and detail next initiatives
  • Method to acknowledge personnel when goals are met or exceeded

Growth Strategies

  • Every business requires effective growth strategies
  • Detailed internal customer service plans to boost business
  • Effective external marketing plans to drive new business
  • Social media marketing
  • Method to trend and monitor business growth
  • Utilize software to assess business growth and attrition  rates
  • Utilize accurate market and socioeconomic demographic data

Human Resource Management

  • Successful businesses continuously recruit to seek out highly qualified team
  • Documented human resource protocols
  • Human resource manager
  • Job descriptions with performance targets
  • Training manuals and training plans for new hires
  • Employee performance reviews
  • Effective communication

Customer Feedback Mechanisms

  • Methods are in place to “hear” from customers
  • Customer service surveys and regular customer feedback updates
  • Team training to handle customer dissatisfaction
  • System to document positive customer feedback
  • Reward programs to encourage business and recognize customer loyalty

Warning Signs

In dental practices there are many subtle warning signs that creep up on the owner who is not monitoring
the practice monthly. Here are some of the common warning signs;

  • Decline in financial performance and profit
  • Insufficient profit to reinvest in the facility, equipment, continuing education, team or growth strategies
  • In GP offices hygiene hours that do not increase year over year
  • Low new client flow
  • Patient attrition  rates greater than new patient numbers
  • Less than 70% patient acceptance to comprehensive care
  • Referral based practices who experience a drop in the top 10 referral sources
  • Lack of a defined marketing strategy and budget
  • GP offices with more than 10% downtime in hygiene
  • GP offices with more than 5% downtime in the doctor’s schedule
  • Low lab expenses in a GP office (less that 10% if the dentist has been in practice for more than 2 years)
  • Team turn over or poor team performance
  • Team meetings with little or no energy or flow of good ideas
  • Management that is in the “maintenance” rather than growth mode

There are other symptoms aside from the common warning signs above, however they are all indicative of a leader who has lost business focus.  I encourage you to read the list of warning signs again and write down a yes or no beside each of the points.  For those of you who are willing to be brutally honest with yourself, I suggest also recording the length of time these warning signs have been present.

The simple act of writing down a yes, no and length of time the symptom has been present will no doubt produce some level of discomfort.  If so, you have a wonderful opportunity to take action!

Ah yes! You see I failed to point this out earlier….business leaders and visionaries take action.  This basic step truly has the most significant impact on business success.  Step Up to Success.

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