1377331 © Nancy Thiele | Dreamstime.com
2212 De Cmur P01

Don’t let the holidays slow down your business

Dec. 8, 2022
If you want to enjoy the holidays and maintain a strong business, you have significant work to do beforehand. The most successful people set their new year in motion long before January 1.

The end of each year is a trap for the unsuspecting optimist in all of us: the promise of a fresh start. When the holidays arrive, work often takes a backseat to festivities and celebration. You figure you’ll get your business back up to speed once the decorations are put away and the new year begins. This is what most people do, but it comes at a steep price. 

People lose their momentum. Don’t get me wrong. As a financial planner who has spent decades coaching private practitioners to incredible success, I want you to take time to celebrate your accomplishments and enjoy the season. I expect my clients to spend time with their loved ones. However, they have significant work to do beforehand. In fact, the most successful people set their new year in motion long before January 1. 

In essence, the work starts now, getting ready to be ready. It’s the mantra of every great entrepreneur. Before going full throttle, ensure that your business is in order. This starts by answering a few pertinent questions. First, do you know what makes you stand out from other practices? If there are three other dentists on your street, then what exactly draws patients to you? I don’t believe in cut-throat competition; I teach differentiation. There’s room for everyone, but everyone needs to bring something relevant. If you don’t know exactly what differentiates you yet, it’s OK—you’re in good hands. We’ll go over a few more questions specifically designed to get the wheels of your business mind in motion. 

Are you ready to be ready?   

Is your practice a can-do organization? Or do you avoid challenges at all costs and play it safe? Have you learned to welcome the growth that results from resolving challenges? Your attitude about your capabilities in the face of adversity sets the tone for everyone on your team. Demonstrate your willingness to find solutions, and your team will grasp how to learn them right alongside you. 

Related articles

Approach New Year's goals like a marathon
Year-end plan using "think, plan, do"

Speaking of your team, is everyone on board with your vision? When your employees see the target clearly, they’ll aim for it. What’s the main target? Generally speaking, it should be centered on satisfaction. When your patients and employees are routinely satisfied with the outcome of their work, momentum is inevitable. Once they become used to satisfying experiences, they’ll seek them out again and again and perpetual satisfaction becomes the name of the game. 

Perhaps you already find yourself in this enviable position. You’ve got everyone in the right place, doing what they do best, and your patients have spread word of your business. You can’t buy that kind of leverage! So now what? This isn’t luck. It’s building a business on purpose.   

But if you’re still in the process of getting your business up to speed, don’t fret. Anxiety slows the whole thing down, and there’s no justification for worry. Simply bear in mind that slow is smooth. It’s OK to go slowly at first. Go too fast down a bumpy road and the bumps become more pronounced. Sit comfortably in your slow pace, seeking smoothness, trusting that whatever challenges arise are within your capabilities. After all, you’re in the driver’s seat, adept at managing both the speed and direction of your business. The smoother you feel in your ride, the faster you can go. 

Do you get the feeling that success is about more than making money? It’s about acuity, skills, and savoir faire. It’s about adding value wherever and whenever possible and delivering satisfaction to every person involved in your business, including you! When you steadily focus on what you want for people rather than what you want from them, everything shifts. You become the leader others follow. 

As the new year approaches, a few important questions remain. In many ways, they’ll be easier to address than the culture-related items, which can only be established over time. These next issues can be taken care of between you and your advisory team. 

For you and your advisors 

Have you examined all advantageous tax deductions for the year? Now could be the best time to make a significant capital investment to reap the benefits afforded by a Section 79 deduction. Opportunities provide another vehicle with which to shelter any capital gains you’ve accrued this year. Lastly, due to the recent volatility of the stock market, your investment portfolio might be ripe for tax-loss harvesting.     

Protecting your investments should remain a top priority, particularly as you reassess your stability for the coming year. Have you updated your wills and trusts? Take the time to buttress your assets, specifically from creditors and predators whose sole purpose seems to be to separate you from your money. While we’re at it, let me emphasize the importance of a prenuptial agreement should you anticipate getting married during the coming year. 

Legal matters may appear complicated, but there’s no reason to feel overwhelmed. There are numerous resources to make the process convenient and painless. The key is to work with an expert. Taking the time to sit down with your trusted financial advisor is of paramount importance. Don’t skip this crucial step. They’ll guide you seamlessly through territory that may or may not be familiar to you. For instance, when it comes to insurance, they’ll make sure you’re up to date with the proper policies, including disability, overhead, and pension protection. Perhaps you have an adjustable-rate mortgage that’s about to reset. They’ll help implement a strategy before interest rates reach their maximum. 

If you already have all your paperwork and legal matters in order, congratulations! You’re among the few. It still behooves you, as an independent practitioner, to seek guidance from an expert. I hold firm in my belief that there’s plenty of room for private practices to thrive amid the national DSO growth. However, a certain degree of acumen and ingenuity are required to level the playing field. Understanding the scope of the broader market will go a long way to ensuring your permanent place within it. 

As you gather with friends and family this season, be sure to include your strategists in the merrymaking. It’s as much fun for them to help you thrive as it is for you to enjoy the fruits of your success. There’s no reason to slow your progress, and certainly no reason to come to a dead stop during the holidays. True success isn’t exhausting; it’s exhilarating, and the eagerness you have for it will determine how fast you launch yourself into the coming new year. 

Author's note: The questions posed in this article are best discussed with an experienced advisor. If you’re in search of a financial expert, contact us at (973) 422-9140 or email [email protected]. My staff and I would be more than happy to assist you as you seek new ways to improve your business.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the December 2022 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

Sponsored Recommendations

Clinical Study: OraCare Reduced Probing Depths 4450% Better than Brushing Alone

Good oral hygiene is essential to preserving gum health. In this study the improvements seen were statistically superior at reducing pocket depth than brushing alone (control ...

Clincial Study: OraCare Proven to Improve Gingival Health by 604% in just a 6 Week Period

A new clinical study reveals how OraCare showed improvement in the whole mouth as bleeding, plaque reduction, interproximal sites, and probing depths were all evaluated. All areas...

Chlorine Dioxide Efficacy Against Pathogens and How it Compares to Chlorhexidine

Explore our library of studies to learn about the historical application of chlorine dioxide, efficacy against pathogens, how it compares to chlorhexidine and more.

Enhancing Your Practice Growth with Chairside Milling

When practice growth and predictability matter...Get more output with less input discover chairside milling.