Heading into Q2: what’s the name of the game?

chris barrow dental business coach discusses selling your business

This month, Chris Barrow discusses the lessons learned from Q1 and how dental business owners should be prepared for Q2.

The first quarter of 2024 was all about financial analysis (hence my three-part series for Dentistry Webinars that you can still access).

By the end of March, many of my clients and others across the dental landscape were accepting the reality that, with increased overheads and payroll costs, they were going to have to think about ‘the three Ps’:

  • Prices – the need to implement significant increases
  • Productivity – the need to ask more from their fee-earners
  • Profit – in the absence of the first two, the inevitability of reduced profit margins.

There has been a lot of tough love emanating from my emails and Zoom calls.

My prediction is that the second quarter of the year will be about ‘the three Rs’:

  • Recruitment – the challenge of attracting new salaried and self-employed team members
  • Retention – keeping the people you already have
  • Remuneration – dealing firmly and fairly with pay demands as the new living wage locks in.


Recruitment is no longer an advertising activity, but now a social media and networking activity.

I advise my clients to follow these steps when looking for new team members:

  • Email/newsletter to all patients
  • Post on your own social media channels
  • Ask family, friends, team, and colleagues to share on their social media channels
  • Create a ‘careers with’ page on your website
  • Don’t forget LinkedIn!
  • Gumtree and Indeed
  • Visiting dental reps
  • Your lab and other main suppliers
  • Keep your eyes open on the high street for people who deliver a happy customer service experience (recruit the barista!)
  • Local jobs forums
  • Local free or paid for print media (free press)
  • Create an ‘about us’ recruitment video for your website, sharing all the reasons you are a desired employer (include testimonials from your team).


People are leaving practices for better dental pay and also leaving dentistry for better pay and conditions outside.

All of the research shows that people stay in their jobs when:

  • They feel genuinely appreciated
  • They feel as if they are paid well
  • They can see a career pathway ahead of them if they are hungry for personal growth
  • They are having fun!

We spend a lot of our lives at work and, as Isadore Sharpe (Four Seasons Hotels) said, ‘If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day as long as you live’.

There’s a standard to aspire to.


As stated, living wage has raised the bar for all positions within dentistry. That, and the current economic cycle, could be said to be changing remuneration significantly for the first time in decades.

That, of course, takes us in a complete circle to ‘the three Ps’.

There is no avoiding paying your team well if you want a happy and secure business.

As we move towards the summer, it will be interesting to see how dental practice owners ‘mind their Ps and Rs’.

Catch up on previous Dental Business Coach columns:

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