The Dental Practice Accelerator programme is up and running for winner Hannan Saleem and his practice – now, the crucial work of building a roadmap for growth begins in earnest.
The Dental Practice Accelerator programme – powered by sponsorship from Align Technology – is now well underway, with winner Hannan Saleem and his practice London Dental Centre, firmly on their journey to becoming a million-pound practice.
And with the introductions made, the next steps are to focus on the outcomes needed to take this business to the next level. Dentistry caught up with Hannan and his four mentors – Sameer Patel, Justin Leigh, Sandeep Kumar and Shaz Memon – to discover how that process is unfolding.
Hannan’s key priorities revolve around building the practice brand, asserting a culture of clinical excellence, and bringing the team on board with the new vision. His specific goals include:
- Doubling the number of team members
- Doubling turnover
- Refocusing on clinical excellence.
For Shaz, founder of Digimax Dental and pioneering charity Wells on Wheels, the first order of the day is clear. Hannan’s job is firstly to embrace his role as leader.
‘I think Hannan needs to learn how to be CEO of a business,’ explained Shaz.
‘He’s doing everything himself right now. Whether it’s dental practice or any other kind of business, you first need to master the arts of time management and delegation.
‘All early business owners – including me – try and do everything ourselves. So first, we need to work on ourselves. We need to take ourselves out of the business so we can work on the business. I think if we can get Hannan doing that, he’s going to exceed a million in turnover without an issue.’
Fortunately, after taking the time to look in more detail at Hannan’s setup, Shaz is also clear on the potential within the business.
‘We’ve got a lot to leverage,’ he said.
‘[The practice] already ranks really well on Google: it’s got great glowing reviews, and Hannan’s motivation to make the practice do really well is high with it being a family business. So we’ve got a lot to work on. I think 10% improvements in all areas would have a significant impact on the bottom line.’
Vision and goals
For Sameer Patel, the principal of award-winning E11even dental, Hannan is already well on his way to being a great leader.
‘He’s hungry,’ said Sameer. ‘He is committed, and I love that.’
For Sameer, the next step is to bring that commitment to the rest of the team so everyone moves forward together.
That collective action needs to have clear outcomes to work towards, so Hanaan and the mentors have now begun the work of setting goals in earnest.
Justin Leigh, managing director of Focus4growth, has been pivotal in that process. His experience as a business coach is helping the group get a grip on the bigger picture and prioritise.
He says: ‘We’ve helped Hannan unpack everything that he was thinking about the business and get down to three key priorities, which are really what’s going to make the big changes.
‘One is around the practice and the brand. The second is around clinical excellence. And the third is around mobilising the team engaging the team and helping them to understand where the is practice going – what the vision is, and how they’re going to get there together.’
As the person responsible for driving the plan forwards, it’s essential that Hannan has a firm grasp on what specific actions are needed to realise his vision. The Dental Practice Accelerator mentors’ outside perspective is already powering that process.
He says: ‘This is exactly what we needed to reset, establish some ground rules and agree on how we’re going to how we’re going to grow the practice from here on. We’ve discussed some action items, so that we can clarify and prioritise the tasks ahead, and we’re using that to create a timeline of growing the practice and seeing where we can go.’
And there are clear goals in place too that should have a profound effect – but feel achievable too.
He explains: ‘In the next 12 months, I want to first double the number of team members. That would bring us to near to 100% occupancy at our dental practice, which hand in hand will also double the turnover. Those are my two primary goals, I believe.
‘Thirdly, it’s to promote clinical excellence at the practice and ensure we’re offering that. We want to move out of that ‘NHS mixed dentistry’ mindset into private dentistry, and I think we should stop focusing on single tooth dentistry – we should be more catered towards full oral healthcare.’
He’s looking at bringing in a hygienist – ‘something we’ve experimented with in the past’, but without much success at making the workflow efficient. But Hannan realises that trying again will free up dentists’ time to focus on more complex treatment and reduce waiting times for patients, so it’s a big priority.
At the same time, increasing the profile of the business is high on the list. The practice, London Dental Centre, began life in 2010. It is now a fully private practice in the centre of London, offering everything from Invisalign to implants out of its two surgeries – though just one was in use at the start of Hanaan’s journey.
Refining the brand and giving patients a seamless journey from social media through to the website and then visiting the practice should bring Hannan closer to his dream of maximising the potential of the practice and in doing so, help his parents to retirement.
So what does success in the Dental Practice Accelerator look like for Hannan? When will he know he’s realised the practice’s potential?
On this, he’s very clear: ‘I envision success at our practice as an environment where patients feel at home, our staff feel comfortable, and everyone’s having fun while delivering high quality clinical care.
‘I want to create the aura that not only are these clinicians going to take really good care of you and offer you the best clinical care they can, but they also have the personal touch so patients can really enjoy their patient journey at our practice.’
Catch up on previous Dental Practice Accelerator articles:
- Dental Practice Accelerator – ‘a diamond in the rough’
- Shaz Memon becomes Dental Practice Accelerator mentor.
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