When times are slow, understanding what to do to work on your business can be challenging. But when you find the right opportunities, you can create momentum to help you come back stronger than ever.
Three of the most important parts of our businesses we can strengthen during slow times are our practice vision, branding, and systems. Together, they define where we are going, the relationships we build to get us there, and the methods we will use to achieve our vision. Here’s how to improve each of those areas when times are tough.
1. Refine your vision.
If you don’t have a practice vision, it’s tough to make strategic decisions. That’s why it’s so important to have a practice vision. It guides you in making decisions that lead you closer to your vision. Slow times are prime opportunities to revisit and refine your vision.
Refining your vision can be as simple as asking yourself questions about where you want to go in your business or personal life. How many days do you want to work every week? What roles do you see as being most important in your practice? What do you want to be able to delegate to others? Would you rather focus on the business side of things and be a practice owner or would you like to have somebody else manage the business side of things so you can just do dentistry? What type of practice culture do you want? What do you want patients to feel when they walk in the door?
Write down your answers to these questions and start thinking about any changes you need to make to build a practice consistent with your vision.
2. Work on your branding.
What do you want patients and people in your community to say about your practice when you are not around? It doesn’t matter how nice your website is or how pretty your logo is, your brand is determined by your reputation among your patients and the community. If they think your practice is high quality and spa-like, that’s the brand you have. If they think your practice is behind the times, that’s the brand you have.
Take a look at how your practice is presenting itself to your patients and the community. What do you think those messages are causing people to say about your practice? Does it match what you want them to be saying? If so, great! Lean into that and think of ways to do even more when things pick up. If not, what do you need to change?
3. Improve your systems.
Your operations are a sum of the systems you have in place. Do your systems make your business run like a high-quality engine? Do your patients get a consistently WOW experience at your practice? Are your team members consistently performing? If consistency is a problem in your practice, better systems are your solutions.
For example, you can use this time to train your front desk team members to answer the phone masterfully. Make sure your team is on the same page so things stay organized even when things get crazy by having morning huddles every day. Systems can improve every area of our practices.
What are you doing to work on your business right now?
While the pandemic might make things feel hectic right now, this slow time offers a great opportunity to work on our businesses even if we can’t work in them in the moment. Eventually, this time will pass and we’ll all be back in the swing of things. Taking time to work behind the scenes will make our practices stronger than ever once everything turns around.
If you want more help improving your business, joining me and thousands of other practice leaders in my free Delivering WOW Facebook community!