Growth will be back – and you can give it purpose

24 August, 2020 / management
 Richard Pearce  

Never have practice owners, clinicians, regulators and public bodies
needed to look more radically at the nature of service provision

The current extreme uncertainty is obviously unsettling for most parts of the population. But, as always it helps to have a view on how macro events will unfold and a basic plan about how to navigate your own way through.

The initial shock of lockdown and the impact of the pandemic has diminished and we are moving into the recovery phase. This recession will be the deepest on record (in April ’21 we will know we’ve been in a depression i.e. four quarters of negative growth) but it was coming – our economy is cyclical and always has been. The decisions taken now will ensure that you are ready to benefit from the boom, following the bust, that will inevitably come. Growth will come back again in late 2021 (look at the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-20 and the subsequent growth through the 20s).

Recessions create innovation and new businesses are born (Microsoft, Airbnb, Fedex, Disney to name but a few, were all started in a recession). Never have practice owners, clinicians, regulators and public bodies needed to look more radically at the nature of service provision, than now.

Our patients now think very differently in the 21st century to how they did in the 20th century. The 20th century finished having seen the growth of sales led branding and positioning. At the start of the 21st century and the beginning of the digital revolution we’ve seen ‘influencers’ come to the fore and brands looking to make emotional connections. Digital has brought personalisation and personal connections. This has been fed by a technology boom which is only going to accelerate as the 4th Industrial Revolution takes hold (5G, AI, VR, machine learning etc).

Against the relentless growth in technology pervasiveness, consumers want to connect with enterprises that have purpose. The pandemic is causing swathes of the population to reconsider their lives and how they want it to develop, for them and their families and indeed, society. Practices now have a fantastic opportunity to innovate and grow, with PURPOSE.

But before we consider how a Practice can grow with PURPOSE, let’s consider what practice owners have had a chance to think about during the enforced break – what do we want out of Practice ownership? What somebody considers is necessary to make them ‘wealthy’ may get a number of answers. For simplicity, I would suggest the following equation:

Wealth = Holidays (weeks per year) + income (monthly cash) + equity (sale consideration).

For holidays you could also read ‘high-quality time with family’. Hopefully, lockdown has reinforced that ultimately, the very wealthy are actually those that have the cash to enjoy significant quality time with their loved ones.

Dentistry now has a unique opportunity to aim to integrate into the evolving societal wellbeing model. The pandemic has put health and wellbeing at the centre of daily discourse. Just yesterday, the news could only talk of government initiatives to attempt to tackle the obesity crisis in the UK (due to its demonstrated links to increased rates of mortality of covid patients).

How much easier to galvanise staff and clinicians and so patients behind a purpose to improve the nation’s physical health and also mental health by achieving a great smile. One such route, available to Practices now, is to provide patient health screening from Enhanced Life Dental Solutions. With approximately half the population attending a practice at least once per year (unique patient access compared to all other health providers), there is a unique opportunity to provide a simple health screening to complement a check-up and hygiene visit. But a health screening can take place without any dentistry or hygienist services being provided (currently the case with many practices). GP visits tend to be less preventative than reactive in nature and so a simple health screening in practice could help to flag up issues and signpost to further investigation.

Without innovation, many practices will struggle to rebuild and be ready for the next period of significant economic growth. Without purpose, they will struggle to effectively connect with their patients and an effective ‘pull’ message that will resonate now, more than ever. For more information on providing simple patient health screening in your Practice(s) go to and sign up for an initial chat.

About the author

Richard Pearce

Richard Pearce lives In Northern Ireland. Following a business career in various sectors and an MBA, he joined his dentist wife in dentistry. Richard combines his wide commercial experience with being attuned to what it’s like for an associate dentist, a practice owner and a practice manager. His unique perspective ensures he can assist a practice owner with every area of the practice to create a more profitable practice and to achieve their smart objectives.

Tags: 2020 / Business / depression / Growth

Categories: Magazine / Management

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