I began my dental career as an associate in Salt Lake City, Utah. In May, 1979, I opened the doors of my “own practice” in Kelso, WA. I was excited at the prospects of building my own business and set out to develop my own brand in the local community. you can imagine the feelings of doubt I felt when exactly one year later Mt. St. Helens erupted, devastating the local economy. Fortunately, because I was new and my practice was in a growth phase, my glass was just filling up at the time. So in spite of the local economy my “glass half-full attitude” along with my proactive marketing approach paid big dividends.
By consistent viral marketing, effective external marketing and community involvement, I developed a strong brand for a highly recognized business in the community. Over the years, I learned how to hire and train team members who literally became “dental team rock stars” and enabled me to concentrate my energy on the important tasks of doing quality dentistry and brand building.
Due to the competitive advantage my staff and I created, my business not only weathered the ups and downs of the local economy but also flourished. I am fascinated with the business aspects of dental practice. I believe the business models that create successful companies world wide are the same ones that successful dentist entrepreneurs use.
As I recently completed my MBA degree, those beliefs were confirmed. In my study of successful businesses, I often find pearls that can be applied to the business of dentistry. I am convinced that today’s dentist can no longer count on their clinical skills alone to be successful but must improve their skills as executives to better meet the needs of their patients and achieve personal, professional and financial fulfillment.
-Dr. Brad Larsen, Dental Practice Management Consultant