In his seminal book on entrepreneurship, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber famously urges owners of small enterprises to work ‘on’ the business rather than ‘in’ it. The point Gerber is making is that if any business is to have real long-term growth potential, then it is vital that the owner should focus his or her energies on understanding how the business works, what makes it successful and then doing everything possible to nurture and build on those positive foundations.
Unfortunately what usually happens, as Gerber points out, is that too many small business owners tend to put all of their efforts into being the ‘hands’ that provide the actual service or product – the plumber fixing broken taps, the baker making wedding cakes, the car mechanic fitting new brake pads – and dare I say it the dentist fixing damaged smiles.
It is pretty obvious why this should be so. In our case we have trained for five years, and often more, to be expert craftsmen in the art and science of technical dentistry. By and large, dentists enjoy the nitty-gritty of clinical dentistry, the satisfaction of a well-placed composite, a crown that fits perfectly, a well-executed extraction or root canal treatment.