Although dentistry may appear to be different than other types of businesses, in reality it is a business. And although this article is written from a dentist's perspective on developing a successful practice, the principles can be used in virtually any business.
I have been in the dental industry for over 20 years and can proudly say I do have a highly successful business, also known as a practice. Over the years, I have learned many things that work in running a business and even more that do not. It is with this in mind that I share the following 7 keys to running a successful business. Regardless of your industry they can apply.
1. Have a vision
One of the most important aspects of running any business is to have a clear vision of what you want that business to be like. What do you want to be known for in the marketplace? What kind of clients do you desire? What level of service do you want to provide? Do you want to be "one among many" or do you want to be considered a leader in your industry?
By answering these and many other similar type questions, you will gain insight into the direction you can, and should, take your business.
2. Develop a plan that ties into the vision
Once you gain clarity on your vision, you must be willing to develop a plan. Far too often people have an idea of where they want their organization to be, but they fail to put together a usable plan. Take time to map out what needs to be done to achieve your outcomes.
3. Know your market
One of the most important aspects of running any type of business is to know whom your market is. You can't be all things to all people. Contrary to what some would like to believe, not everyone is his or her market. There is a very astute saying in marketing, "If everyone is your market, then no one is your market."
The clearer you are on who you are targeting the easier it will be to focus your efforts on reaching those individuals and/or companies.
4. Gain visibility within your market
Take a very focused approach to reaching your market. Just because you have determined who your market it, doesn't mean you are done. You must now be willing to have a very focused approach to targeting your market. Whether that be through direct mail, advertising, newsletters, informational seminars or any number of methods, you have to be willing to keep your name in front of your market.
5. Get your team on board
This is probably one of the most crucial and yet, often most overlooked aspects of running a business. You have to make sure your team knows what is going on. Holding regular staff meetings as a means to keep people informed is a great way to gain the buy in of your team. Additionally, be open to ideas that may come from your team members.
It will be very difficult to achieve your long-term goals if your team members either don't understand your vision or haven't bought into it. When you hire people, make sure they understand what you are trying to achieve. Whether you are dealing with new members of the team or seasoned folks, everyone must be willing to be a part of the plan. When they are, you will have a much greater chance for success.
6. Be consistent
Running and marketing a business is an ongoing process. The greatest mistake people make in virtually any industry is they try something once and expect instant results. You must be in this for the long haul. Sure, with some of your marketing strategies you will get instant, or direct, response. However, with most approaches, it is more like the tortoise and the heir. In the short-term it looks like the heir is in the lead, but the reality is he is burning himself out and ends up losing to the tortoise who had a consistent and long-term vision.
7. Realize - you change lives
One of the things I most love about dentistry is I know I change lives. I recognize this beyond a shadow of a doubt. When my patients are able to obtain the smile they once only dreamed of because of what I did for them, I know I am doing my life's work.
With most people, regardless of the industry you are in, in some way you do change lives. If you know that, your job is very rewarding.
Think about the end user of your product or service. What is it about what you provide that makes a difference for them? If you don't know, ask your customers. You may be pleasantly surprised. It is in the answers you can become clearer and clearer as to your vision and the benefits you bring to others through the services you provide.
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About The Author
Dr. Scott Kiser has been practicing general dentistry in Salt Lake City, Utah for over 20 years. Dr. Kiser has used only mercury-free substances in his treatments since the mid 90's and concentrates his practice in the areas of sedation dentistry and complete smile makeovers. Consumer Research Council of America selected him as Utah's Top Cosmetic Dentist of 2003 - 04. Visit www.greatsmilesutah.com" target="_new">www.greatsmilesutah.com to sign up for a FREE monthly online newsletter or for more information on Dr. Kiser and all of his services.
Lawyers for Epstein‚Äôs victims say they were ‚Äėalmost completely ignored‚Äô in interview
Prince Andrew is facing a transatlantic backlash over his extraordinary defence of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein after lawyers who represent 10 of the billionaire predator‚Äôs victims branded the royal unrepentant and implausible and demanded that he speak to the FBI.
After the royal‚Äôs defiant Newsnight interview on Saturday triggered a disbelieving reaction from the public and the media, the prince was under growing pressure from critics in the UK and US on Sunday who demanded an apology for his conduct and said that his defence of his actions was simply not credible.
House speaker pushes back against president‚Äôs accusations that process is stacked against him as Schumer echoes her suggestion
Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi has invited PDonald Trump to testify in front of investigators in the House impeachment inquiry ahead of a week that will see several key witnesses appear publicly.
Pushing back against accusations from the president that the process has been stacked against him, Pelosi said Trump is welcome to appear or answer questions in writing, if he chooses.
Even the prime minister has chopped the vegetable out of her official menu after monsoon caused Indian crop failure
Bangladesh has been forced to import planeloads of onions as the price of the cooking staple soared to record highs, an official said, with even the prime minister chopping the bulb from her menu.
The price of onions ‚Äď a sensitive subject in south Asia where shortages can trigger widespread discontent with political ramifications ‚Äď has climbed to eye-watering levels in Bangladesh since neighbouring India banned exports in late September after heavy monsoon rains reduced the crop.
The Conservative party‚Äôs record on tackling the climate crisis was condemned by leading scientists and former government advisers on Sunday, as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned that the forthcoming election was the last chance to halt the escalating emergency.
Experts accused the Conservatives of copying rightwing politicians in the US by deliberately weakening environmental protections. Meanwhile, new analysis by Labour reveals that environmental policies put forward since 2017 and opposed by the Tories would have led to emissions reductions of over 70m tonnes a year by 2030 ‚Äď more than the annual emissions of Portugal.
US president says potential Democratic rival is ‚Äėsomewhat better than that‚Äô and urges North Korean leader to agree nuclear deal
Donald Trump has come to the defence of one of his potential rivals for the presidency, telling North Korea its recent description of Joe Biden as a ‚Äúrabid dog‚ÄĚ that should be ‚Äúbeaten to death‚ÄĚ was a little unfair.
Trump‚Äôs criticism of Pyongyang ‚Äď albeit via a half-hearted endorsement of Biden‚Äôs character ‚Äď came amid attempts to resurrect stalled nuclear talks, with Trump imploring North Korea‚Äôs leader, Kim Jong-un, to ‚Äúget the deal done‚ÄĚ, and the US and South Korea agreeing to postpone an annual air force drill the North routinely condemns as a rehearsal for an invasion.
Dan McGarry of the Daily Post told at Brisbane airport the Vanuatu immigration service had barred him from flying back to the island country
The media director of a Vanuatu newspaper whose visa renewal was refused this month has been barred from flying home to Vanuatu from Brisbane with his partner.
Dan McGarry, who has lived in Vanuatu for 16 years, applied to have his work permit renewed earlier this year but it was rejected. McGarry believes his visa was refused due to articles he had published about China‚Äôs influence in Vanuatu.
‚ÄėI‚Äôm not tearing down the system,‚Äô Bernie Sanders says in response to former president‚Äôs message
Democratic 2020 presidential candidates have rejected criticism from former president Barack Obama, after he warned the field of White House hopefuls not to veer too far to the left because it would alienate voters.
Though Obama did not mention anyone by name, the message he delivered before a room of Democratic donors in Washington on Friday was a clear word of caution about the candidacies of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who are seen as two of the top-tier candidates in the crowded field.
Former Wallabies player‚Äôs comments in sermon follow controversy over his sacking for social media posts
Scott Morrison has labelled comments by sacked rugby union star Israel Folau linking devastating bushfires to Australia passing laws to legalise abortion and same-sex marriage ‚Äúappallingly insensitive‚ÄĚ.
Although both the prime minister and the Labor leader Anthony Albanese defended Folau‚Äôs right to express the view, condemnation on Monday was swift and bipartisan.
Three decades after the Berlin Wall fell, the crossing is a mess of souvenir shops and fast-food restaurants ‚Äď and time is running out to change things
It was the most famous border crossing in the Berlin Wall, the official gateway for allied diplomats, military personnel and foreigners to enter communist East Berlin by road.
And in 1961, Checkpoint Charlie seized the world‚Äôs attention when a diplomatic spat about allied forces‚Äô freedom to travel in East Berlin quickly escalated and saw Soviet and American tanks squaring up to one another. The world watched aghast, fearful of a third world war, as a formidable flock of superpower tanks rolled towards the border, standing just 100 yards apart.
Restaurants offering fixed-price three-course men√ļs have been a cornerstone of the country‚Äôs urban life for decades, but tourism, shorter lunch breaks and gentrification have put them under threat. What will it take to fight back?
Food is at the heart of Spanish culture. From social life to business deals, everything revolves around food ‚Äď above all, lunch. How did Mariano Rajoy, then prime minister, react last year when faced with an unprecedented vote of no confidence? He went to lunch. For eight hours.
The three-course men√ļ del d√≠a has been the cornerstone of Spanish cuisine and social life for generations. Consequently, the restaurants serving these men√ļs ‚Äď generally low on aesthetics and high on value for money ‚Äď have been a feature of the urban landscape. Now, though, their existence is threatened by a combination of rising rents, changing tastes and working hours, tourism and gentrification.
While hi-tech cosmopolitan centres like Milan flourish financially and culturally, former industrial towns continue to decline
Night-time haunts go in and out of fashion, but the Bar Basso in Milan, which opened in 1967, remains one of the city‚Äôs most venerable social institutions. Embodying a very Milanese combination of stylish prosperity and tasteful design, it is a favourite destination for the area‚Äôs creative elite and the discreetly wealthy.
Tucked away in a corner, Pierluigi Dialuce is explaining why, if a political nightmare unfolds in the rest of Italy, the city he has made his home will be able to cope.
Appearance was secured after six months of negotiations and royal‚Äôs team referred decision upwards
As television interviews go, it was one of the most excruciating ‚Äď and most sought-after ‚Äď in British history. But when Prince Andrew‚Äôs painstakingly negotiated head-to-head with Emily Maitlis in Buckingham Palace finished, the royal appeared oblivious to the damage that had been done. In fact, he was so pleased with how things had gone that he gave the Newsnight team a tour of the palace afterwards.
On Sunday, as the prince‚Äôs team picked up the pieces from an interview widely perceived to have been disastrous for his reputation, the remarkable story of how it came about emerged ‚Äď from the departure of a key aide to drawn-out discussions and a last-minute message to the Queen.
The country‚Äôs traditional powerhouses on the centre-left and the centre-right face a moment of reckoning
Postwar German politics has a reputation for being moderate, consensual and a touch on the dull side. But there have been moments of high drama. In November 1959, for example, the Social Democratic party (SPD) abandoned its historic ambition to replace capitalism with socialism, dropped the Marxist account of class struggle and began to pitch itself as a broad-based Volkspartei (people‚Äôs party). History vindicated the decision. For the next 50 years or so, the SPD vied for power with the country‚Äôs other great political force, the CDU (and its CSU Bavarian ally), as both parties regularly achieved a vote share of over 40%.
Famed for their practice of big-tent politics, what the CDU and SPD would give for such numbers now. The agonies of Brexit and the rise of rightwing populism have claimed the political limelight around Europe. But those looking for clues to the continent‚Äôs future would do well to watch Germany closely over the coming weeks.
Illegal fishing by Chinese-owned trawlers is costing the country millions ‚Äď and one of the officials trying to stop it has now been missing for months
In his cramped living room in an Accra backstreet, Bernard Essien pulls out a sheet of paper ‚Äď a statement signed by his elder brother Emmanuel and addressed to the Ghanaian police. Two weeks before 28-year-old Emmanuel vanished at sea, his handwritten account and accompanying video footage alleged illegal fishing by a trawler he had been working on. If the allegation was proved true, the ship‚Äôs captain faced a minimum fine of $1m.
Emmanuel Essien was a fishing observer, one of Ghana‚Äôs frontline defenders against an overfishing crisis that is among the worst in west Africa. Illegal and destructive practices by foreign-owned trawlers are draining the Ghanaian economy of an estimated ¬£50m a year. Along its 350-mile coastline, overfishing has driven small pelagic species known as ‚Äúpeople‚Äôs fish‚ÄĚ, the staple diet, to the verge of collapse.
Prominent activists express skepticism after ex-New York mayor apologizes for program that disproportionately affected minorities
Potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg has apologized for his longstanding support of the controversial ‚Äústop-and-frisk‚ÄĚ police strategy, a practice that he embraced as New York‚Äôs mayor and continued to defend despite its disproportionate impact on people of color.
The apology, however, was received skeptically by many prominent activists who noted that it was made as he is taking steps to enter the presidential race ahead of the 2020 US election.
Campaigners hail Alberto Fern√°ndez‚Äôs pledge to oversee U-turn in official policy
Argentina‚Äôs president-elect, Alberto Fern√°ndez, has promised he will move to legalise abortion after taking office on 10 December.
He will send a bill to congress which, if approved, would make Argentina the first major Latin American nation with legalised abortion. The ruling in the 45 million-strong country would follow decisions by its much smaller neighbour Uruguay, which legalised the practice in 2012, and Cuba, in 1965.
Australia can‚Äôt go on downplaying the largest economic shift in world history. Read the former PM‚Äôs speech in full
Taking some longer view of the strategic scenery, I have come to some key beliefs about the changes that are taking place globally.
The international system is fundamentally anarchic in structure. Two world wars in a century and Vietnam, Iraq, Syria gives the evidence of that. We should not confuse the relative peace of the last 30 years with the anarchy which lies latent.
Discrimination against girls is still entrenched in the laws of many African countries. Shocking examples are easy to find
I love my job, but it can be pretty depressing. I‚Äôve spent the past year researching and writing the first-ever continental report of the routine, blatant discrimination suffered by African girls.
The fact that girls and women are treated as inferior citizens is hardly news, except that this report reveals the extent to which gender discrimination is frequently state-sanctioned ‚Äď embedded into the laws, policies and practices of many African nations. We‚Äôre talking about legal, institutional discrimination with its roots in a deeply gendered and patriarchal society. We are also talking about the denial of respect for the dignity of the African girl.
Study of chicken egg samples reveals presence of dangerous chemical compounds around areas where waste is dumped
Plastic waste exports to south-east Asia have been implicated in extreme levels of toxins entering the human food chain in Indonesia.
A new study that sampled chicken eggs around sites in the country where plastic waste accumulates identified alarming levels of dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls long recognised as extremely injurious to human health.
Campaigners urge global action on reproductive rights as US comments embolden anti-choice groups at Nairobi summit
The US will only support family planning programmes that offer alternatives to abortions, a senior policy adviser has told a conference in Nairobi.
In a statement that has emboldened anti-choice groups in the city, Valerie Huber, the US special representative for global women‚Äôs health, also told a summit on population and development that her country sought to combat gender-based violence by investing in programmes that respected the rights of women and girls, but didn‚Äôt compromise ‚Äúthe inherent value of every human life ‚Äď born and unborn‚ÄĚ.
Easy to catch but hard to diagnose, TB is almost as deadly today as it was 150 years ago. Better, cheaper drugs are a priority
Tuberculosis has killed more people than any other disease in history. Last year, 1.5 million people died from TB and 10 million more acquired it. A shocking one-quarter of the world‚Äôs population is infected. That‚Äôs not much better than 1993, when one-third of the world was infected and the World Health Organization declared TB a global emergency. We are losing the battle.
Earlier this month, experts gathered in Hyderabad for the 50th Union World Conference on fighting the disease. When the first such gathering was held in 1867, TB was the leading cause of death in industrialised nations. Today, it still ranks in the top 10 worldwide. Why, despite all the progress in medicine and public health over the past 150 years, is TB still the most common and lethal of all infectious diseases?
Toppling of Bolivian president reignites movement to remove leftist ally Nicol√°s Maduro
Venezuela‚Äôs flagging opposition movement has hit the streets for its first major protests in months, as leaders sought to reignite their campaign to force Nicol√°s Maduro from power after his leftist ally Evo Morales was toppled in Bolivia.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday morning in towns and cities across the crisis-stricken south American country, hoping the dramatic sea change in Bolivian politics might portend similar change in Venezuela.
How poignant that Behrouz was freed from Australia‚Äôs grip and welcomed by Christchurch, a city that knows prejudice only too well
Today our world is a little freer, a little fairer, and a little more hopeful. Today, one less innocent man is incarcerated in Australia‚Äôs detention camp on Manus Island, guilty only of seeking refuge from persecution. Behrouz Boochani was no ordinary detainee. The Iranian Kurdish journalist and author became the voice of Manus detainees, and with it the persistent conscience of us all as we learned of the atrocities committed by the Australian government on its remote Pacific island detention camps.
How poignant that he was finally freed to visit Christchurch, a city that knows only too well the violence and suffering borne of prejudice. A city that wrapped its arms so warmly around its refugee community after a terror attack just seven months ago, to heal their wounds and stand for inclusion. Behrouz has said that Christchurch has taught the world about kindness this year. He is also quick to note that the prejudice that leads to violence against refugees is the same that underpins policies allowing cruel treatment of them by governments such as Australia‚Äôs. For him, the plight of refugees and displaced persons across the globe right now is connected to the fear-mongering politics of Donald Trump and Scott Morrison.
Beyond the tussle between Democrat Adam Schiff and Republican Devin Nunes is the big question ‚Äď will party interest reign supreme?
The battle for American hearts and minds in the unfolding impeachment drama is, at its core, a battle between two very different California congressmen.
In the red corner is Devin Nunes, a Republican former dairy farmer from the state‚Äôs agricultural Central Valley, who long ago threw his lot in with Fox News talking-point orthodoxy and has never hesitated to defend Donald Trump, no matter how much the rest of the political establishment ‚Äď and the factual record ‚Äď was arrayed against him.
The mosque attacks rocked New Zealand but good deeds and generosity will help keep us together
The day of 15 March 2019 will stay with me forever. I was working in my bedroom, listening to radio and drawing. The on-air chat and music was interrupted as news of a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch began to filter through. How could this possibly be happening in our quiet little island tucked away at the bottom of the world?
I brushed it off as some sort of mistake, until news of a shooting at a second mosque emerged minutes later. While witnesses and locals reported the horror that had just unfolded, I scrolled online looking for some sort of explanation, a way to make sense of it ‚Äď and found everyone was lost for words as I was.
Police deployed water cannon against protesters in Hong Kong on Sunday, in some cases using blue-dyed water laced with pepper spray. Teargas was also fired in an attempt to drive people away from the streets outside Polytechnic University. Protesters who occupied several university campuses last week have largely retreated, but hardliners have fortified themselves inside the campus and are refusing to leave
Chinese soldiers stationed in Hong Kong came out to clear streets on Saturday, which protesters had strewn with debris to slow down any police advances while they had been on the campus. People's Liberation Army soldiers joined the cleanup outside Hong Kong Baptist University, the site of clashes earlier in the week. They can only be deployed to help with disaster relief or to maintain public order if requested by the local government. The controversial move threatens to escalate already high tensions in the Chinese territory
The second day of impeachment hearings featured compelling testimony from Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine who was sacked by Trump. Yovanovitch evidence drew links between corrupt elements in Ukraine and the Trump administration's push to force her from her post. She said she was 'shocked and devastated' by Trump's personal attacks on her. As she spoke, Donald Trump attacked her on Twitter, prompting the Democrat chair of the hearing, Adam Schiff, to read the tweets to Yovanovitch in real time. 'The effect is intimidating,' she said, as Democrats accused the president of witness intimidation on a day of high political drama
The US president has denied that attacks directed at the former US ambassador to Ukraine, as she testified in the second day of impeachment hearings, amounted to witness intimidation. ‚ÄėEverywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,‚Äô Trump wrote in tweets which were dramatically read aloud to Yovanovitch at the hearing. Democrats immediately accused Trump of attempting to intimidate a witness.
Adam Schiff, the Democratic chairman of the House intelligence committee, read out a tweet by Donald Trump disparaging Marie Yovanovitch as the former US ambassador to Ukraine testified to the president's impeachment hearing. When Schiff asked whether she thought the tweet was intended to intimidate her, Yovanovitch replied: 'I can‚Äôt speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.'
Schiff replied: 'I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.'
At least two people have died and several more have been injured in a shooting at Saugus high school in Santa Clarita, California, on Thursday. Footage showed sheriff's deputies swarming the school and lines of students being escorted away
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