Nathan Poole FCCA
Nathan Poole FCCA

When times are tough, it’s important to take a 360 view of the business, analysing all the different ways you can keep money coming in and limit money going out.

Firstly, it’s important to bolster your cash levels. When we talk about cash we mean money in the bank current account. Cash provides you with the best buffer to weather a storm. Incentivise quicker collections from patients where possible (e.g. discounts for upfront payments etc.). Or enable your patients to use finance to get payments upfront.

Make sure you have working capital

You might need to borrow funds for a cash buffer, don’t leave it too late. Every business needs working capital to ensure its smooth functioning.

Managing your expenses can be critical in the short term. Regularly review your monthly profit and loss. Where are you spending money? Are you getting value for that money? What are the trends? What are your targets? Conducting reviews ensures that all decisions are made knowing the full impact on your profit and loss (P&L). This is what business owners should do normally but becomes more important when the economy is fluctuating.

Tax incentives

It’s worth prioritising your equipment spend. There are good tax incentives for businesses to invest in equipment right now, but make sure that spend will start paying for itself in the short term. Avoid investing in equipment that is either not needed yet or will be a slow return on investment.

Other steps you can take are:

  • Make sure you maintain you level of service to existing patients and offer attractive terms to those who need it

  • Reinforce the importance of regular dental attendance on all channels

  • Focus on converting new patients, making sure you communicate the value of what you do

  • Make sure your supplies of materials are being handled well to minimise disruption – it is better to hold more stock or make a smaller margin than not to be able to perform a treatment


Finally, focus on how you can bring positive engagement to the team. Make sure you do not get sucked into the negativity peddled by the news outlets. Be the lighthouse to your team during this storm. Be consistent and have high expectations of the practice and team performance, regardless of what people think is happening out there. Make sure you personally are listening to the positive voices out there, not the doom and gloom.