Last weekend I was chatting with the owner of a bookshop who, because of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown and isolation orders, was basically forced to close his business and wait and not re-open until these orders were lifted.
A period of some four months.
During that time his staff were not working but paid by government subsidy.
The impact of the lockdown and travel restriction laws upon his business were devastating.
How many people out there could go from income to ZERO INCOME and still survive?
It would be tough…
The good news is that lockdown in NSW is now ending and the people of NSW are allowed to return to “shopping” and other parts of normal life.
It has been a very trying and stressful time.
Owners of businesses that are deemed as non-essential and are forced to close during pandemic times of restriction have really taken a financial hit.
During the first wave of the pandemic in early 2020, dental surgeries were also forced to close as regulators struggled with the methods of spread of the COVID-19 virus, and whether or not aerosols used in the provision of dental treatment would increase the rate of spread of the virus in the community.
Thankfully this has not proven to be a valid concern, and the dental industry as providers of health benefits to the community have been permitted to practice under less onerous restrictions.
But with restrictions none the less….
Which brings me to my next concern…
How’s your balance sheet?
It’s been said that fifty-nine percent of Americans are only one pay cheque away from homelessness.
And the Federal Reserve reports that thirty-nine percent of Americans don’t have enough money on hand to cover a $400 emergency.
In fact, most people out there worldwide are skating on very thin ice when it comes to putting food on their table and a roof over their heads.
Recently I engaged a fencer at my farm who literally used to email me his bill for his work for the week, and then phone me and ask me to transfer the funds to him immediately that afternoon…. this behaviour later changed when he started invoicing me daily and still was calling me [straight after sending the invoice] to transfer the funds to his account….
A couple of years ago…
A couple of years ago I was talking with two dentist friends who were similar in age to me, and the question came up as to what sort of cash reserves each of us were holding in our superannuation retirement savings.
And the thought was between us that it would be advisable to have access to at least a year’s supply of cash, to avoid having to sell off growth assets during a down market or a dip market.
Which brings me to my point….
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, stock markets across the world went into a freefall wiping trillions of dollars of value from people’s portfolios. [the market since rebounded from this freefall and recovered its losses]. Many investors sold as the market fell, and then lost assets as the market then rebounded.
Those investors who held out and weathered the financial storm because they had access to cash reserves and did not need to sell assets were obviously rewarded for their foresight.
Were they lucky or were they cautiously prepared?
Farmers always know that there are four seasons to a calendar year, and that there will always be winters, and to reap your harvest in springtime you need to plant before those winter hit.
You need to prepare. You just can’t party all year round like there’s no tomorrow.
So how do you prepare yourself for financial downturns?
Dan Kennedy said this:
“Building a ‘financial fortress’ these days is a difficult and complex process. But it starts with the disciplines of living below your means, saving, and investing. Far too many people with the ability to earn large incomes never keep and accumulate any of it.”
And never a truer word was spoken.
Owning a dental practice is a gift.
The income and profit that come from owning a dental practice allow those owners to choose where they live, where they send their children to school, where they retire to, when they retire, and what they do in their retirement.
But it all comes from having a plan.
And without a plan, you end up becoming part of somebody else’s plan.
The tragedies of failing to plan are borne out when I see dentists continue working on way past the age that they should have retired themselves. Or I see them selling up their family home and “downsizing” to a smaller home in another community…
Whatever you do, draw up a plan.
And make saving part of that plan.
You never know what’s around the corner….
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The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple to build complete Customer Service system in itself that I developed that allowed me to create an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb. If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org