**Scaling and expansion to multiple locations or larger practices – PART 3**

This is the final part in an ongoing series. The previous part can be found here: https://practiceownership.com.au/scaling-and-expansion-to-multiple-locations-or-larger-practices-part-2/

5. Make decisions that honour your long term goals.
Scaling to a larger multi location business requires many different skills as we have already discussed but perhaps the most important factor is to make decisions for the short term, that support your long term aim.

If you truly are passionate about the long term viability of your business, you need to understand what your business is ultimately going to look like and how it will function. Then, you need to take decisions today that may not be great in the short term, but will let you succeed in the long term.

Let me give you two examples from my own experiences.

As many of you know, I did quite a bit of wisdom teeth surgery. Complex procedures, and I billed well. Just below $2000 per hour I would run at for this procedure alone in my personal billings. We marketed for it and built a great reputation across quite a few practices. I could have monopolized all the wisdom teeth procedures across my practices myself. Not only would my business earn large profits, I would also also make $800 per hour as my 40% cut. This would have been great for the short term. But what would the long term effects have been?

Firstly, I attract dentists that want to come and work for the group because of the mentoring they would get in the surgical side of things. I’ve literally had associates come to us because of this. Most recently a gentleman relocating from a Melbourne with 4 years of experience who will start with us next year.

Secondly, by teaching my associates how to do these procedures and mentoring them intensively, it has meant that I can honour my long term vision and completely exit the business. I haven’t seen patients for two years now. Aug 2017. If I had have hogged all the wisdom teeth (like many other owners do with profitable procedures), it would have meant I was tied to the practices with a clinical commitment of many hours a week. Instead, I have associates that can do the procedures to a very high standard and I don’t need to worry about revenue walking out the door. Our practices reputation is also enhanced by doing complex procedures that other practices need to send externally.

The other example is my graduate programme and commitment to hiring graduates many years ago.

There was a time when you could put out a job ad for an experienced dentist and receive 30 applicants in a few days. Nowadays, if you’re after 3-5 years of Australian experience, even in major cities, it’s difficult to find in 3 good applicants in a week.

I anticipated everything was cyclical and knew that for the success of a multi-practitioner group of multiple locations in the long term, I needed to ensure I was not constrained by the supplier of dental labour. I needed to be able to hire when I wanted to expand or as the surgeries got busier. Enter our graduate programme. I started hiring graduates enmasse many years ago when it wasn’t super cool to do so. I provided the support and mentoring within our group for it to succeed and for the reputation of our surgeries to grow.

I was vindicated when the overseas pathway all but closed for dentists entering Australia.

Now, there are not only larger corps struggling with vacancies, many smaller clinics, who have refused to hire graduates are experiencing difficulties hiring.

Years ago, in short term it would have been easy to just hire experienced people when they were readily available but we decided to only hire experienced if we were replacing an outgoing experienced dentist. Whenever our practices were growing organically, we decided to invest in a graduate.

Thank you again for reading and please, if you have enjoyed this article, share, like or comment below! Opinions welcome!