Jerry Jones Direct - The Business of Dentistry, Marketing & More!
Jerry Jones Direct - The Business of Dentistry, Marketing & More!
The inside truth about the Dental business, marketing and success
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The Business Anarchist's Guide to The Business of Dentistry - Why Businesses Fail

10/28/2015 12:22:18 PM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 261

Why Businesses (Insert NAME of ANY Business) FAIL

Businesses mostly all fail for the same reason. In this article however, Ill discuss a business that is near and dear to my heart: dental offices.

Dental offices fail for only ONE reason: lack of leadership. But wait, Jerry! you say What about [insert yours or anothers excuse here]?

You name the problem and I can trace it back to the office being led by someone who just doesnt want to or doesnt know how to lead. Leadership isnt for everyone or is it a skill easily mastered.

Its like writing copy. It only gets better with application, testing, measuring results and plowing forward. You cant get a Masters or Ph.D. in Leadership by attending classes, either. You develop that skill after years and years of toe-to-toe, nose-to-nose, real-world tests, while reading every single book on leadership you can find.

This might be a hard pill to swallow. For most, it is. For me, it was. I mean, wouldnt it be cool to have a business that didnt require a leader to set examples, the tone, and discipline when required and, as important, rally the troops when they need to be rallied?

I would love a business like that. Thing is, if they exist today, they wont tomorrow. And, Im afraid, without true, unabashed, unapologetic leadership, everything eventually withers and dies. I hate to think that might be the fate of our country if we dont change direction and do a major gutter cleaning in DC - removing every incumbent in the city. None are required to keep it going. Not one single incumbent is immune to being returned to their respective states. And they all should be.

But, enough on politics (Im not intolerant of a particular party Im just intolerant to elected officials who believe their opinion is more important than those who sent em there to do a job!).

So, no matter what the perceived problem for failure might beit all boils down to lack of effective leadership.

Lack of new patients? Leadership problem. Doc cant get out of his own way to empower his team to generate referrals (or ask for them), or, he cant make a decision to HIRE someone whos an expert in this field to get it done. Delegation is a challenge for most doctors. Leaders master the art of delegation (and follow-up).

Bad or no cash flow? Leadership problem. Doc cant control his personal or business spending so that hes taking more money out of the business than he should. Doc cant hold staff accountable to collect funds the practice is due whether from insurance or patients.

Terrible staff? Leadership problem. Doc cant stomach firing someone to free up their future. Hes too involved in personal lives of team members. He failed at hiring a real office manager to handle this for him. (The most successful docs either ONLY manage their practice and dont pick up an instrument, or, they have hired a real professional to manage their business. It cant be any other way!)

Ugly office? Leadership problem. Docs not paying attention to whats going on around him or not listening to his team tell him how ugly the place really is. And, hes spending too much in other areas and not enough on the image of the office.

Bad online reviews? Leadership problem. Doc treats his staff and patients like garbage or second class citizens, or, he allows his staff to. Or, hes rough, bad at injections or has a terrible bed/chairside manner. He cant get out of his own way and listen to criticism to fix it.

Lack of a true dental office manager? Leadership problem. See Terrible Staff.

Having to close the doors? Leadership problem. See Bad or no cash flow.

For nearly 20 years, Ive worked with dentists from all over the US, Canada and Australia. In big towns and small. Women and men. Young dentists and some that couldn't retire even if they wanted to.

And, what Ive noted in every single encounter was simply this: Unless and until the doctor developed effective leadership skills and empowered his employees to guide the business, failure was imminent the writing was already on the wall. He or she would eventually close the doors.

If you have a problem in your practice and you want it solved, the first person to check with stares back at you every day. Once you realize it IS your problem and its a leadership problem, you can move to quickly fix it. But, it all starts with you.

Until then, youre going to be one miserable dentist.

About The Author… Jerry A. Jones is the CEO of Jerry Jones Direct (JJD), an almost two-decade old marketing and advertising firm whose clients include Dentists and Financial Services Advisors in the US, Canada, Australia and England. He’s a widely-published author of several books and thought leader writing opinion papers and articles for a variety of publications. Jerry also publishes five different newsletters and two magazines every month, leads dental mastermind sessions, and creates marketing and advertising campaigns for his private client Financial Advisors, Dentists and ClearPath Society® Members. He is also the Founder & CEO of Wellness Springs Dental® in Salem, Oregon, which includes an incredible group of four Doctors and an amazing team. Wellness Springs Dental® will be offering national dental office franchises in 2016. More information at or


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