Don't impose limits on your potential for growth," said Keith McFarland, author of The Breakthrough Company: How Everyday Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results and Bounce: The Art of Turning Tough Times into Triumph.
Speaking at the NADL's January Vision 21 meeting in Las Vegas, McFarland shared crisp aphorisms describing breakthrough performers: "It's not what you make but what you make of it. It's not how you're wired, it's how you wire your organization. Don't build a company that depends on you for its success. Make your company a place where ordinary people can do extraordinary things."
As a leader, he says, laboratory owners need to absorb staff anxieties when times are tough. Creative problem solving cannot take place when energy is focused on the anxieties of the issues you face.
In times of great change, such as the one we're experiencing in dental technology now, there is fear about what's going to happen and what will happen if we don't adapt. The only way to corral that anxiety is to create an action plan.
The importance of having an action plan was also emphasized by Peter Christman, CEO and Founder of The Christman Group, a company that helps other companies create succession plans. Christman told attendees that creating an exit strategy is a plan all business leaders need to have whether they are nearing retirement or not. "It's smart business to have a contingency plan in place should anything call you away from the demands of the business," he said.
Whatever the winds of change prompt each of us to do, Christman urged attendees, while in good health, to: have a written expression of future and personal goals and objectives; and have an estate planner, tax attorney, financial advisor and key family members involved in your succession plan.
Have a Good Website As for business goals and objectives, one clear goal for all businesses should be a strong company website, said speaker Terry Fine, AMG Creative's Vice President of Sales and Marketing. During his presentation, Marketing in Today's Environment, Fine's detailed recommendations for creating a really good site served as a helpful checklist for attendees, most of whom do have a site for their laboratory.
Included on his checklist: using a font size large enough for older eyes; steering clear of using all capital letters and excessive punctuation; employing methods for search engine optimization; and looking into a pay-per-click ad campaign--you can run ads that show up on Google searches for other laboratories. Fine noted that research has shown that only 18% of the population trusts advertising messages but most people trust recommendations from their peers, which is why social media--or interactive business communities--are quickly becoming relevant and key business forums.
Thanks in part to the 15 manufacturers that co-sponsored this well-attended and well-received meeting, attendees also had the opportunity to be updated on Health Care Reform and Tax Implications on Small Business Owners, presented by Jose Valiente, CPA, Tax Principal at the accounting firm of Larson Allen, LLP; hear the entrepreneurial experiences of D4D Technologies visionary, Basil Haymann; get brief technical updates from meeting sponsors; and enjoy a panel discussion on Successful Laboratory Business Models, featuring Stuart Steinbock, Whip Mix, Derek Luksch, O'Brien Dental Laboratory, Greg Thayer, CDT, Thayer Dental Laboratory, and Larry Weiss, Keller Dental Laboratory.