It’s two days before Christmas.
I don’t know about you, but every year Christmas seems to be “eroded” in the community.
One of my family traditions was for my daughter and son to have their photos taken with the Santa in our local suburban David Jones department store.
Both of my children had been photographed with Santa either together, separately, or with the whole family, for every year of their life on earth.
Sadly, three years ago, David Jones, and another retailer Myer, decided to centralise their Santa to a city store location only.
And so, our twenty-one year long tradition was brought to a sad ending, because of a decision made by someone who thought they knew better.
Was having suburban placed Santas really that much of a costly exercise for David Jones and Myer?
The removal of Santa from our local stores certainly put an end to what was for us a very meaningful family tradition.
There would not have been many twenty-one and eighteen year olds who could have said that they had a David Jones Santa photo of themselves for every year of their lives on Earth?
What’s this got to do with Dentistry?
Every day, someone who thinks they know better makes a decision with wider sweeping ramifications.
And it’s our choice, as Dental business owners, to stand up to those decisions, or to lie down and accept them.
Sometimes they are decisions that have no rhyme or reason to them.
But they are decisions that someone thought was going to be “acceptable” at the time.
Some of these decisions in your Dental Business may be law.
Other decisions may simply be at best “speculative culture”.
Down here we were told for years and years that you couldn’t charge your patients in advance and bill them up front before they had their dental procedures done.
In the same way that hotels, airlines, and concert promoters can’t bill their clients and collect money in advance for things that are yet to happen?
After all, you do all that work with impressions and prosthetic work but someone tells you you’re not “allowed” to charge the patient until you’ve permanently glued the crown into their mouth?
Give me a break….
I learned from a concreter nearly thirty years ago that if I did not pay him in advance under his terms for the driveway that I needed, that I was simply not ever going to get a driveway from him.
Best driveway ever was installed, by him, on my property.
What decisions in your business life are you making to simply go with the flow because someone else “said so”?
My mother, bless her soul, was a left leaning voter.
So, when bulk billing was introduced into medicine in Australia in the 1970’s by a socialist government, my mother sought out a doctor for our family who would not charge us, but billed the government.
And I thought that this was “standard behaviour”.
I thought that this was how all doctors were now going to be billing their patients.
And it wasn’t until 1983 when I met a doctor from the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney who told me that his patients paid him upfront, and then it was up to them to go and claim back their benefit.
He told me that that was simply how he did it.
And what he was telling me was that he had a relationship to treat his patients first and foremost, without letting a third party tell him the way that they thought he should be doing business.
And it was still working fine for him.
There will always be people out there willing to do business with you on your terms, provided your terms are reasonable, to them.
And if you are serving up a product of excellence, then those people will happily pay you for that service.
It’s up to you to work out where that “line in the sand” is for you, in your world.
There will always be people out there trying to sweep you away from the position that you want to take.
You can, and you should, hold your ground, and not submit.
To all my readers, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Be safe, and be thoughtful and kind to each other.
After all, you never know what’s going on in other people’s worlds…
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