How to Run a Sustainable Dental Practice

Running a successful business is hard enough, running a sustainable and successful business would be much harder right? We all want to serve higher purposes, but we just don’t have the resources, the time, the equipment or the team to support such practices. But what if it doesn’t take all that to be more conscious.  What if I told you just small changes on your end could have greater positive impact on the world, and within your practice? 

Running a dental practice is no easy business. So at times, even when you truly want to make the world a healthier place, you believe you don’t have the right tools in your arsenal. However, it doesn’t require as much time, and definitely not as much money as generally assumed to give back to the community. Following are a list of all the considerations you would need to think through before taking that first step towards a sustainable dental practice:

Redefine Your Stake Holders

Who are your current stakeholders? Your patients? Your staff members?  Your partners? What if you added the community to the mix? And even the planet as a whole? Does that add too much pressure? But think of these as just two additional questions that you’d need to ask at every major or small meeting? 

Does your decision impact the community? Is it harmful for the planet? Say you are going to purchase supplies, will disposing of those supplies make it a little more difficult for the fish to survive in the sea? Or make it harder for the birds to breathe? What are the alternatives? Can I afford them? If not, what can I do to cut down the usage of these harmful materials in the next five years or two years? What do I need to do today to make my workspace more environment friendly in the long run?

It doesn’t sound as difficult anymore does it? You don’t have to make major changes instantly. Just being a little more aware of your decisions can help make the small changes have a big impact in the long run. And all this begins with one simple step of redefining your stakeholders. 

Have a Mission

Every business, no matter big or small, needs a mission to thrive in the long run. Everyone needs to know what they are walking towards, and by just adding sustainability to the mix, you automatically become more conscious of your efforts to make the planet a greener place. Conscious capitalism consists of four tenets. Primarily, it focuses on the movement that an organization can have a higher purpose; a purpose that has a transcendent quality to it, that really calls us to serve something beyond our own individual interests and that can be kind of perpetually served. 

The second is the involvement of community and the planet as a part of the stakeholder mix as previously mentioned. Third is about conscious leadership, including qualities like systems-level intelligence, emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence. Finally, the last tenant is the conscious culture.

Having a Conscious Culture

A thriving culture is the sign of a healthy business growth, however, in many cases, businesses let the culture develop organically based on their core values, mission and principles. However, if you invest some time and effort in to create an enriching and meaningful workplace, you automatically take everyone on board with you. 

Having a culture that thrives on empathy, passion and fulfilment offers a well-rounded approach to your practice and life in general. 

Team Loyalty

Have you ever asked yourself what you wake up and go to work every day for? Where are you headed? What is your purpose to life? Is this all your life is going to be about? We all seek contentment and fulfilment, and a life without a greater purpose hardly enables you to find it. And that’s not just you, it is almost everyone involved in your practice. And many a times employees leave not only because they aren’t being paid well or aren’t happy with the practice, they leave because they can’t seem to find a purpose to their life. They don’t find fulfilment.

Having a sustainable business practice will help increase loyalty and retention among team members.

The Patient Equation

What if someone told you about a dentist who plants a tree for every three visits a patient makes? So that’s no added cost or effort on your end. You have to go to a dentist anyway, why not go to someone that would, in a small way, make an impact on the environment? Sounds good doesn’t it? Having a sustainable dental practice will not only attract patients who believe in similar initiatives, but will also help increase loyalty and retention among existing patients.

Take the First Step

The first step is always the most difficult. We all get a little hesitant before doing something that requires us to step out of the way a little. However, it is the first step that leads us to our goals and fulfilment. The first step to giving back to the community would be to initially understand what causes you believe in the most? It would be easier for you to follow through in the long run if you would truly be passionate about the cause that you follow. 

Take smaller steps, rather than revamping your entire practice, make smaller, achievable goals. Say you want to use environment-friendly products or look for ways to use renewable energy, then make a plan of incorporating a little more energy-efficiency each year. Also always invite your team members in for suggestions and inputs. Having everyone on board will make them feel responsible and accountable.

The Resource Centre

Following are a few important resources for you to check out regarding sustainable business practices:

  • B Corporation: The Certified B Corporation is an organization that associates itself with businesses who meet ‘highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” You can check out more at https://bcorporation.net/
  • Conscious Capitalism: Conscious Capitalism is a network of entrepreneurs and business leaders who are ‘dedicated to growth through conscious leadership.’ It is a great platform for finding other conscious business owners and interacting with them to find better ways to give back to the planet. You can find more information at https://www.consciouscapitalism.org
  • Firms of Endearment: This is a great, resourceful book that highlights stories of how some of the most profitable companies do business with passion and purpose. 

P.S. Whenever you’re ready …. here are 4 ways I can help you grow your dental practice:

  1. Grab a free chapter from my book “Retention – How to Plug the #1 Profit Leak in Your Dental Practice”

The book is the definitive guide to patient retention and how to use internal marketing to grow your practice – Click Here

2. Join the Savvy Dentist community and connect with dentists who are scaling their practice too

It’s our Facebook group where clever dentists learn to become commercially smart so that they have more patients, more profit and less stress. – Click Here

3. Attend a Practice Max Intensive live event

Our 2 day immersive events provide access to the latest entrepreneurial thinking and actionable strategies to drive your practice forward. You’ll leave with a game plan to take your results to the next level. If you’d like to join us, just send me a message with the word “Event and I’ll get you all the details!  – Click here

4. Work with me and my team privately

If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures …. just send me a message with the word “Private”… tell me a little about your practice and what you would like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details! – Click here

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