Twenty years ago, a close friend of mine launched a start-up company with a great software product and a superior business model. Simply put, his product was innovative and in demand, and he built his business on four important tenets:
1. Build “raving fan clients” based upon unparalleled customer service.
2. Provide superior team training.
3. Have fun every day!!
4. Share the wealth, because profit will follow steps 1, 2, and 3.
In time, however, his success led to the leveraged buy-out of his company by a venture capitalist group – which failed to embrace his proven business model. In fact, the new (off-site) CEO decided the company should relocate to downtown Atlanta where internships could be established with students from Georgia Tech, thus reducing expenses for both payroll and benefits.
This move ignored the fact that the company’s existing, highly-trained and ultra-dedicated work force, would now be subjected to a stressful, daily round-trip commute of three hours or more! Indeed, within twelve weeks, more than half the firm’s experienced employees left (part of the plan to save money), and the unparalleled customer service, upon which the business was based, disappeared.
The ultimate irony, however, was that, after establishing the student internships, the Tech students, upon graduation, took their experience elsewhere for a better opportunity!! Thus this once ultra-successful business, lost its greatest asset – its experienced workforce which shared the company’s vision – and became a revolving door training students with little desire or motivation to remain with the company! In short, it destroyed its very foundation for success!
As small business owners, dentists certainly recognize that salary, taxes, and benefits comprise the greatest portion of overhead. Having said that, however, most agree that we are only as good as our team! Investing in our teammates to provide our patients with “unparalleled customer service,” is just smart business!
“Success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have.”