Over the past couple of weeks we have been solidifying our clients’ positions with our Stabilise/Protect/Regenerate strategy. Although there is no panacea, a proactive approach has taken the sting out of the situation for most. With things ‘settled’ it has allowed us time to support our wider network and share our learnings.
Without wishing to be too critical, I was shocked by the lack of support people had been receiving from their accountants, my first thought being, “What have they been doing?” After I paused I realised this was harsh; a better question would be, “Why have they not been doing what they could have been doing?” This crisis has exposed some of the cultural and procedural issues that pervade through the accountancy industry, only this time it’s at a clear and immediate cost to clients.
We had a call the other day from a dental practice owner who was apologetic for disturbing us because he assumed, as accountants, we’d be equally as disrupted as all dental practices and too busy to talk. We’re not. We’ve been fully digitised and with remote working abilities for almost 10 years now, and combined with Agile we have no loss in momentum at all.
We have a team that’s deployed full time on the task of sifting through government Corona support announcements in detail to help clients minimise the financial damage of lockdown. We’re open for business, fully up and running, and totally effective. In fact we have taken on more new clients in the past three weeks than in the previous quarter.
Business owners are understandably spooked, but as I explained in my last piece, and contrary to first instincts, you don’t need to cancel all your marketing efforts or borrow money to survive shutdown as a dental practice owner. This is crisis management 101. Stay calm. Look at the facts.
In the absence of someone to provide this support bad things can happen. I do fear for unfortunate dental practice owners lumbered with advisers conspicuous by their absence; maybe they’re not sure how to manage their team working from home. How they will perform in this new world no one knows. Mix this doubtful performance with the fear and panic among practice owners and you have a recipe for irreversible, life changing decisions over the coming months that could see people going out of business unnecessarily.
I’m sorry if I seem negative, I just believe that business owners deserve agile financial and commercial support at a time like this. Support that goes beyond billable hours and reactive accountancy, and instead meets a higher human standard. We’re in this for the long haul with our clients. We will figure it out together and come out on top collectively.
I’m deeply impressed by the dedication and commitment of my team over the past few weeks. We’ve come up with innovative new services tailor-made to get dental practice owners through this storm and serve them into the future.
We were already conceptualising the new financial landscape of UK dentistry from the perspective of independent practice owners. Things have accelerated somewhat, but that’s OK. We were prepared. If you need us, you know where we are.