“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Beuller
Without a crystal ball, it is very difficult to foresee the future.
The changing times, and the passing of time, make life very interesting.
And make business, and the doing of business, just as interesting.
Indeed, without that crystal ball, it is very difficult to foresee the future.
Who’d have thought?
Who’d have thought that the Sydney Olympic Games of 2000 would have an adverse effect on dentistry?
The quietest times that I have known in dentistry were the weeks during and the months following, the Olympic Games held in Sydney.
It seemed that half of Sydney’s population went to the Games. And did nothing else.
And the other half of Sydney’s population went away on vacation.
Either way, both lots of people overspent, and so subsequent months after the Games were particularly quiet, dental wise. Nobody seemed to have a spare dollar for anything.
And dentistry, as we know, is truly an optional spend.
If people can put it off, they’ll put it off. And off. And off.
Nearby to me, a few years ago now, two local dentists sold up from one suburb and relocated, in a start up practice, in another suburb.
With no real reason why.
It just seemed odd?
As their original practice was well established, and they were the Go-To practice in that suburb.
And where they set up, well, it was like…..why?
Seems what happened was, they had relocated with the expectation that a big name Medical Practice was going to be opening up in the rooms next door to where these docs were starting their late in life new Dental Office.
But the Medical practice never came. In fact, in what must be twenty years now, no Medical Practice ever did come to that location.
You’d wonder whether these docs would have done the same thing over, given their chance to, if they could turn back time.
Who’d have thought?
When Newcastle NSW experienced an earthquake in 1989, I had friends working in Dental Offices as associate dentists up there.
And with buildings being damaged, destroyed and condemned up there, they thought that the locals would put dentistry on hold, while they attended to other more pressing things.
To the contrary, my friends, who worked in different Offices, were both surprisingly busier after the earthquake than they were before, and with new patients to their offices.
A lot of those new patients had been patients of Dental Offices that had to relocate due to building damage.
And although my friends pointed out to these new patients that their previous dentist had only really just relocated around the corner from where they had originally been, the patients told my friends that that change of address, in itself, was enough reason, or opportunity, for them to find a new dentist.
Isn’t that interesting….
Sometimes you can be lucky, and sometimes not.
But who’d have thought…..
Years ago, one of my patients, my new patients, let me know, that he was in charge of a government department for Mental Health in Western Sydney.
One day, he told me, that under his command, he was in charge of ensuring a group of men, with mental health and brain injury issues, and their assimilation back into “regular” society.
It seemed that these poor souls, along with their social issues, were having a devil of a time receiving quality dental care, because primarily, the public health system was letting them down. The local Federal Government funded Hospital had no real protocol for managing these men, and their special needs.
So my patient asked me if I was interested in taking on the care of these men, who lived at various homes and addresses around where my Dental Office was.
I told him I would, provided that his department was willing to pay the same fees for these men as I charged for my regular patients.
And so what began was a very happy longer-term relationship that resulted in a win-win-win.
Primarily, the winners were the patients.
Because of their flexible availability, these men were able to attend our office literally a t the drop of a hat.
And because of the places where they had “come from”, these men had significant dental needs and requirements.
So whenever we had a last minute vacancy arise, we’d call up one of these homes and they’d send down whoever we asked for.
The best *WIN* in each instance was the WIN for each patient.
Because suddenly, through us, they had value, or worth.
And we treated them like real people, and that was something in life they had rarely felt.
And they felt important, because, for some of them, it was the first time in their lives, that anyone had really wanted them around.
And we loved being a part of their pleasure.
It made us, at my Office, feel good inside, that we were able to “make a difference” for these guys.
Sadly, as is often the way when third parties are involved in dental transactions, situations changed.
Budget restrictions from above, in State funding, saw this particular treatment curtailed.
But it was good, financially, while it lasted.
But it was better, much better, emotionally, particularly for me, in the way it made me feel that I was truly making a difference.
But who’d have thought?
Who’d have thought that something like that was possible, in the provision of dentistry?
And once it started, who’d have thought that it would ever end?
Nobody knows the future.
Nobody knows what’s around the corner.
For your town.
For your town demographics.
For your business demographics.
So rest assured, there will be change.
That’s a given.
Be prepared for it.
Though you may not know when, or in what form, it will appear.
And when it does, when change does come knocking, you’d better be ready to welcome it.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
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
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