In our Ask SCORE column, George Obst, certified SCORE mentor and retired CEO and Founding Partner of Dental Services Group, addresses how to create a market-driven organization.
- December 2014
Q. The pace of change in our industry is accelerating. How do I keep up?
A. As the external environment changes your thinking and strategies need to change as well. For many of us that means acquiring new skills. You need to engage change proactively, making the necessary business changes to maintain a competitive advantage and you need to anticipate how your customer expectations are changing so you are not caught “flat footed.”
Ram Charan, a noted management consultant and author, has identified seven interrelated learnable skills that separate the performers from non-performers....
- August 2014
The R&E Tax Credit rewards companies investing resources in the development or improvement of its products, processes and techniques. If you qualify, you could receive a credit of $25,000 to $50,000 per year depending on your situation.
- June 2014
Over 40% of lab owners plan to retire within the next decade. With retirement on the horizon for so many, selling a laboratory is going to become an increasingly competitive situation. In this buyer’s market, operating a well-run, profitable lab, maximizing its value and standing out from your peers is going to be essential if your exit strategy is to sell your laboratory. Here are some key features buyers are looking at when considering a laboratory acquisition:
* Solid client base. Statistically, even if all goes smoothly, a buyer can lose 10 to 20% of your accounts so he’s going...
SEO ensures that your target audience has the ability to quickly find your laboratory’s website through a search engine; it’s what gets your website found and helps build traffic to your site.
- October 2013
Christian Saurman, Vice President, New England Orthodontic Laboratory (NEO), Wilmington, MA, has implemented tools on his website to make case submission simple.
This Fall I’m heading to the great state of Arizona for a couple of months and I’m hoping to meet some laboratory owners while I’m there. I’m also hoping I can make some stops during the drive out (the last week of October) and possibly the first week of January on the drive back.
Our route takes us through Harrisburg, PA, then along the Pennsylvania Turnpike and over to I-70 and down to I-40. We’ll be going through Columbus, OH; Indianapolis; St. Louis and Springfield, MO; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, OK; then across to Amarillo, TX; Albuquerque, NM; and into Flagstaff,...
It's time to get involved in social media: it's free, it's easy, and more and more of your competitors are doing it.
- March 2013
For years, Laboratory Co-Owner Marc Daichman has been sponsoring continuing education events for dentists at least once a week. He finds it to be the best, fastest and easiest way to connect with clients and build his business.
- February 2012
7 Marketing Strategies to Boost Your Business: Share Your Faster, Smarter, Better Marketing Tips Here!
Problem: I'd like to boost my laboratory's name recognition in my local community. What are some low-cost public relations strategies?
Strategy: Public relations initiatives are a valuable way to promote your company without having to spend big bucks. They can enhance your credibility and help build your name recognition within your community and amongst potential clients. Here are some ideas to get your lab name out there and keep it visible:
• Call your local paper's health editor and offer to answer any questions he may have or send a letter to the editor offering your...
3 Faster, Smarter, Better Customer Service Strategies to Boost Your Business: What Are Your Secrets For Excellent Customer Service?
In this economy, working faster, smarter, better is the key to riding out the storm. Here are 3 easy-to-implement tips that can lead to a leaner, meaner, more efficient laboratory operation.
Problem: I want to find a concrete way to reward customers who have remained loyal to us and haven't been lured away by lower prices in this economy.
Strategy: Consider a loyalty rewards program; many laboratories have programs that award dentist-clients cash, credit or even travel credits equal to 2-5% of their total volume. In 2009, Doug Egts, Owner of Esthetic Dental Creations in Rawson, OH, was spurred...
- November 2011
Loyalty rewards programs are an effective way to maintain strong relationships with your top clients, encourage their repeat business, optimize cross-selling opportunities and regulate cash flow.
- October 2011
Now more than ever, laboratory owners are stepping into the role of educator to their clients.
Read More 13 minute read
- September 2011
Bob Maccario, MBA, looks at this new trenâfocused on how a patientâs oral health impacts his overall healthâand how you can tap into it by educating your dentist-clients about its practice-building potential.
- July 2011
Sponsoring continuing education programs can have a significant impact on client retention and acquisition, customer engagement, cross selling and business growth.
- June 2011
Four laboratories share their strategies for showing current and prospective clients alike they are much more than just a crown in a box.
Read More 5 minute read
In just four years, Michaelangelo Dental Studio, Tujunga, CA, has grown from a staff of two to 10 and sales have increased 425%. Find out how.
- April 2011
From testimonials from your dentist-clients to study clubs and Chambers of Commerce, LMT Live! âs 2000 program in Chicago highlights six ways to reel in the referrals that can lead to new accounts. Also: how to create an effective marketing message.
Many laboratories are deeply discounting their prices due to the challenging economy. Robert Maccario, MBAâa business manager for dentistsâexplains why this is exactly the wrong approach.
Laboratory owners are using a variety of innovative strategiesâfrom digital business cards to dentists on staffâto effectively market their laboratoryâs services and technical know-how.
Thanks to television shows like Extreme Makeover, The Swan and A Makeover Story, consumers are more aware than ever about ways they can enhance their appearances, including the esthetic possibilities of their smiles.
Read More 9 minute read
When youâre faced with a client who canât be satisfied and wonât recognize when youâve extended yourself, you have to consider whether or not he is a good âfitâ for your business.
George Obst details how creating a culture of listening uncovers your dentist-clients' unmet needs and gives you a leg up in meeting their expectations.
Want to boost sales, market share and profits even if dentistry is in a temporary no-growth or downward mode? Put your clients in charge of running your laboratory by consistently seeking their feedback and making changes to improve operations and service based on what you hear.
This customer-driven business concept is detailed in The Customer-Driven Company: Moving from Talk to Action, by Richard Whiteley, and I saw it work firsthand during...
Confronted with daily reports of a declining economy and mired in the unpredictability of what it means for their businesses, itâs not surprising that some laboratory owners are postponing plans
Some laboratory owners are hesitant to add print advertising to their marketing mix because of the cost. However, with research, planning and patience, you can use this marketing strategy to tap into your target market and identify numerous qualified