Advice for the next generation of businesswomen

Anushika Brogan shares why businesswomen need experience, commitment and balance in order to be successful.

Anushika Brogan shares why businesswomen need experience, commitment and balance in order to be successful.

Many of the practice owners today, who manage multiple practices, tend to be in their 30s and above. This age group represents a generation that primarily began their careers in dentistry by working within the NHS. However, a significant shift is occurring in the industry. Recent dental graduates are increasingly showing a desire to transition to private practice within a year or two of qualifying.

This transition has important implications for dentists’ career development and quality. The five years of clinical practice within the NHS play a pivotal role in shaping a dentist’s skills and expertise. This environment provides a high patient volume, exposing dentists to a diverse range of cases and allowing them to learn from their mistakes and failures.

It is also important to have that critical experience as a practice manager. It is crucial because it involves more than just managing the practice’s administrative aspects. Practice owners also are hugely responsible for their patients. If you can’t do everything clinically as a dentist, it can put you at a disadvantage when addressing issues like patient complaints or problems with associates’ work.

In my role as the clinical director, I understand the significance of being able to step in and provide direct care when needed. Alternatively, you may need to hire someone with the required clinical expertise. The fundamental principle here is that you always have a duty of care to your patients. Without a robust clinical foundation, you risk financial setbacks and damage to your professional reputation if issues arise.

Hard work, sweat, grit

My career didn’t happen overnight; it was a result of dedication and perseverance. It demanded countless hours of commitment, often requiring me to put in 60-70-hour workweeks. Succeeding involves a lot of hard work, sweat and grit.

You also need to be prepared to make sacrifices. This includes giving up your personal time, which, in turn, affects your family, who make their own sacrifices in support of your journey. You have to think to yourself: is it worth it?

Prioritise your responsibilities

Especially for women, it’s crucial to be prepared for the judgments that can come with being a working mother. Building a strong support system is essential. Early in my career, I made two key decisions that helped me balance my roles as a mother and a business owner: I hired a personal assistant (PA) and a nanny/housekeeper.

For me, these two roles were vital for maintaining both my family and career responsibilities. I understood that while household chores needed to be taken care of, I wanted to utilise my cognitive skills and focus on my professional work. Delegating tasks like laundry and cleaning to someone else allowed me to be fully present as a mother to my children. This has been a fundamental priority for me because my children require my time and attention more than they need me to handle their daily chores.

Embracing this mindset is key to achieving balance. For example, I enjoy doing the school run when I can, but I’m perfectly fine with my husband taking on that responsibility most of the time. What truly matters is that our children feel loved and cared for, and we’ve learned to share the load effectively. Managing these responsibilities as a team is a practical way to maintain that balance.

Catch up on Anushika’s first Balancing Life in Dentistry column:

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