Fall In Love With Your Practice Again

I’m currently on holiday in Lanzarote so I was inspired to share this dispatch with you from the archive. Enjoy!…

Last week I returned from a 10-day holiday in Scotland. We had two different locations on our trip and there happened to be an OSA member practice in each of the two towns. I did nothing more than drive by but it’s amazing what you can tell from a simple drive-by when you are paying attention. Let me take you on a little road trip today and extract a couple of lessons for you to consider.

The first practice I passed have been Gold members for a couple of years and just recently dropped out. I know very little about them and apart from a fast-track call with them when they joined, I hadn’t heard a peep from them in two years. No success reports. No questions asked on any masterclass call or staff training call. No questions submitted via email. They never engaged with other members. They never came to an OSA conference. They never sent staff to a Staff Training Workshop. Now, we do have members like this who don’t engage much but who are busily implementing many of my strategies in their practice under their own steam. I remember Mastermind Member Shockat Patel coming up to me at one of the early OSA conferences to introduce himself and reassure me that although he was a ‘quiet member’ and wasn’t submitting questions or success reports that he was in fact implementing lots behind the scenes and seeing great success. The next year he entered and won the OSA Practice of the Year contest.

So, I was curious about this practice that had just dropped out. I saw their practice a few years ago when they joined, when I was on a similar holiday in Scotland. Had they transformed their practice? Had they achieved great success through their own efforts? Well, first impressions were not good. To the passer-by they had not changed a single thing. Same exterior in need of painting, same dated and slightly faded signage, same clutter in the windows. I was truly disappointed for them. Now maybe they have changed their internal processes and have increased dispense values and so on, but to the outside world (i.e., their potential customers) they are doing nothing special. And it’s so simple too. A lick of paint in a better colour. Investing in better signage and a better logo. Decluttering the practice. Making the most of your windows (and getting rid of all the crap stickers that tell the world you accept Visa and Mastercard and No Smoking etc. All pointless and all they do is hurt, not help your brand.) Get a nice A-board. Maybe push the boat out and get a few planters for outside the practice. Create some kerb-appeal in other words.

It’s difficult when you have been faithfully showing up at your own practice every day for ten years because you become blind. You don’t see what is in front of your face. That’s why it’s vital to learn how to look at every aspect of your practice through your patient’s eyes. You must consciously do a walk-around with fresh eyes and find the things that need improved. Most of this is very easy to correct but you must be able to see it first. Do this walk-around exercise today and make a list of actions that you can take in the next week to make improvements.

Fall in love with your practice again. Remember how excited you were on the day you opened or became the owner? You can get that energy back every time you choose to refocus on your practice like this. The problem is, most of us didn’t have a clue about being a smart business owner on the day we opened, but now we know what to do. You simply need to implement what you now know.

The other practice I drove past has been a member for many years and I smiled as I drove past. They had the best-looking shop on the street. Building painted a cheery and bright blue. A fantastic Theo window display. It looked like a happy, successful, thriving business that is passionate about its work. I know this member from OSA conferences, and they have seen significant growth with OSA strategies.

The secret ingredient of our best performing members is always ACTION!

Unfortunately, your practice will not transform through osmosis. You must act. And you’re entirely capable of doing these things that will make a huge difference to your practice and life. I believe in you!