I sell swimsuits.
Like you, I have spent the months of the lockdown contemplating lessons from the past and considering the future. One of the biggest questions we can ask ourselves is “what do I do and why do I do it?”. The “what”, I can sum up as, “I give swimming lessons and also sell swimsuits”.
Everything comes and goes in cycles. Jacket, trouser and hem lengths, lapel widths, hair styles and jewellery, all evolve. Even in dentistry, treatment fashions can change. Variations of dogma in periodontology, restorative and orthodontics mean that treatment modalities fluctuate.
Business has trends. Time was, every business guru had the mantra, “Diversification is the name of the game”. A short time later, after an unforeseen and sudden shock, they rebranded themselves as thought leaders and led the chanting, “Concentrate on your core business”.
For fifteen years, NHS practices have been seen as a good investment with fixed contracts producing a guaranteed gross income. Scarcity of contracts plus the value of the NHS brand means that practice prices have increased significantly. Of course, the amount of money the purchaser has to borrow has risen as well. Private practices have followed the trend at a distance.
For a while all has gone swimmingly. Now there has been another profound shock, but shocks are part of the cycles of business life.
Warren Buffet, the 89 year old head of Berkshire Hathaway is known as a cautious investor, where possible he takes a long view of everything. As one of the wealthiest men on the planet he has earned respect. My favourite of his sayings is, “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked”.
There are far too many dentists skinny dipping in their business life.
You now understand my “what”. I hope my why is obvious.