Recently, I was talking to industry veteran George Obst about my startup years and our conversation got me thinking about how the priorities of a small business owner shift as the business matures.
In the beginning, it was all about having enough customers to pay the bills while at the same time making sure our products—the magazine and then LAB DAY—met the needs of the market so we could be sure we’d keep being able to pay those bills. Those were the years of 100-hour workweeks.
Once we established our market presence, we continued to build market share and market value. Four...
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.
In our Ask SCORE column, George Obst, certified SCORE mentor and retired CEO and Founding Partner of Dental Services Group, draws upon his 30 years of experience to address questions about building successful and profitable laboratories.
How can I effectively solve recurring problems? In any type of business, unresolved problems can fester, leading to poor quality and service, and may ultimately lead to the failure of the business. To effectively solve a recurring issue, you need to identify and fix its underlying cause—not just the symptom.
To get to the root of the problem, a simple and...
A few months ago, my son turned me on to two television reality shows that I feel have merit for anyone who runs a small business or aspires to: The Profit, on CNBC, showcasing the multi-talented Marcus Lemonis, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Camping World; and Fox’s Kitchen Nightmares, starring restaurateur, Chef Gordon Ramsay. Unfortunately, Ramsay retired this series at the end of 2014. Fortunately, there are 123 episodes you can watch on YouTube.
Say what you will about reality TV; these shows are like business school by proxy.
Without knowing any particular market, Lemonis attempts to...
- 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....
- April 2011
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...
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Dental Services Group's annual meeting is well-regarded for its open environment and sense of camaraderie among the laboratories. With the theme, Gateway to the Future, this year's event emphasized management and leadership, new technology and custom
We're in scary economic times and there's no doubt fewer patients are opting for expensive oral restorations, like cosmetic options and implants. While patients continue to take care of their oral health, removable restorations are less expensive alternatives and "drill and fill" is a substitute for crowns.
How a laboratory responds to these tough economic times determines not only its present survival but also its future success. When business is down, proactive laboratories reduce expenses, improve cash flow and boost sales. Here are 10 tips for doing just that:
Take an in-depth evaluation...