In 2007, Becker Dental Lab was doing well, but the business was about $170,000 in debt, including delivery cars, an equipment loan from a supplier, a business renovation loan, credit cards and a line of credit. Ken and his two brothers, Dan and Ryan, all worked at the lab—owned by their parents—and planned to buy it from them in two years, so they wanted the business in top financial shape.
Ken, who oversees the lab's finances, set out to eliminate that debt and the stress that went along with it. Using strategies endorsed by financial gurus John Cummutta and Dave Ramsey, Ken put large purchases on hold, made some other minor internal cost-cutting measures and then itemized and prioritized what they owed. He then got his brothers to agree to reserve about 10% of the lab's income—by reducing their own salaries and using excess cash generated from higher-than-expected revenues—to pay off the debts in order of priority. It took discipline, but within two years, everything...
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Shawn Holmes, a ceramist at Becker Dental Lab in Herculaneum, MO, had been going to physical therapy in an attempt to relieve lower back pain and discomfort, which was only exacerbated by long hours at the bench. So when a co-worker made a novel suggestion—sit on a stability ball during the workday instead of a regular chair—he decided to give it a shot. After three weeks of alternately sitting in his chair and on the ball—which allowed his core muscles to acclimate to the new sitting position—he now uses the exercise ball all day. "It relieved my lower back pain and the fatigue in my upper back, shoulders and neck," says Holmes. "I'm also not as tired at the end of the day as I was when I sat in a chair."
Unlike most chairs which keep your body in a single, static position, stability balls promote what's called "active sitting." The ball's unstable surface forces your body to constantly adjust its position to stay balanced. This helps engage and strengthen the...
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LMT Communications delivers the business strategies, information, dental laboratory news and education that dental laboratory decision-makers need to succeed. Through LMT Magazine and our LAB DAY shows, LMT works to advance excellence in dental technology, enhance the products, services and communication of dental technicians, and give dental laboratory owners and managers the tools they need to flourish. Learn More »