Who better to explain the Spot On Business Planning process than our dental business clients? We hope you enjoy reading their experiences of working with us. If you would like to speak to them in person, all have said they would be happy to provide further information. Please click on their logos to be taken to their websites.
We hit our targets after the first year, in fact we exceeded them.Chris Leech, Clear Dentistry, Bishops Waltham
What issues were your practice facing that led to you to seek help? We were concerned that our management setup did not have our fixed and variable costs under control and there was a lack of understanding of how to run an efficient a practice in terms of it being an efficient business. We were looking for a retraining program or a redesign of our management setup.
How did you hear about Spot On Business Planning? We attended a day session at the BDA headquarters and were impressed with the logic and proposed methods of implementation that were presented.
What were your impressions of the process you underwent with Spot On Business Planning? Extremely thorough and precise. All aspects are analysed and the presentation is also very clear and easy to understand.
Did it get results? What were they? We hit our targets after the first year, in fact we exceeded them.
What were the specific strategies or analysis that SOBP determined that made a real difference? After our initial assessment it was recommended that we needed to look to overhaul our management setup, this was our first strategy. SOBP has been undertaking a training program with our new manager to ensure they are able to understand and provide what is expected of them. Looking at our associate model and pricing strategies were also key parts of our restructuring.
What do you like about working with Spot On Business Planning? The detailed assessment of things that I want to know about but struggle to have the time to prepare all myself. They are approachable and effective.
Would you recommend our services? Absolutely.
Since working with Spot On Business Planning my profits have increased and the business has become much more streamlined,Chig Amin, Epsom Dental Centre
Q. What were the issues facing your practice that led you to seek help?
A. I felt that although the practice was doing well, I didn’t have my finger on the pulse on what elements were doing well and which could be improved. My financial data was at least a few months old before I was able to review it, so I needed help with getting that remedied.
Q. How did you hear about Spot On Business Planning?
A. At a marketing conference. Andy McDougall gave a talk and described how Spot On Business Planning could help and it seemed to tick all the boxes.
Q. What were your impressions of the process you underwent with SOBP?
A. I was impressed at the level of detail and the exactness that SOBP work to. Every element of my dental practice was scrutinised and evaluated to see where improvements could be made.
Q. Did it get results? What were they?
A. Yes, since working with Spot On Business Planning my profits have increased and the business has become much more streamlined.
Q. What were the three specific strategies or analysis that SOBP determined that made a real difference?
- Looking at pricing
- Incentivising associates
- Marketing ROI
Q. What do you like about working with SOBP?
A. They are a friendly, efficient and approachable bunch of people who are experts in their field.
Q. Would you recommend our services? A. Yes, certainly!
Deciding to work with Spot On Business Planning has been, without doubt, the best business decision we have made during 20 years of owning our own practice,Chris French, Clarendon House Dental Centre, Leamington, Warwickshire
We have worked with Spot On Business Planning since 2011 and right from the start we were impressed with their experienced team and the systems and strategies they use.
Initially, the goals and projections that Andy McDougall set for us seemed unrealistic and unachievable but we committed fully to the process and began to meet and exceed those targets year on year.
In the early stages, Spot On Business Planning were always on hand to guide us through the changes we were making but nowadays as we don’t need such close support, I have a Zoom video conference with Andy every month. This involves commentary and feedback about the monthly figures. We can both see the same spreadsheets on the screen at the same time so it’s a useful way of catching up without needing to travel to a meeting. I look forward to these meetings for the reassurance they give me.
I have found that having Spot On Business Planning on board has taken away a lot of the stress associated with running a practice because I feel more in control and well supported. SOBP has an excellent extended family of other professionals including financial advisers, accountants and tax planners who have helped us through changes, including incorporation, and will help us restructure further in the future as we plan our exit.
Deciding to work with Spot On Business Planning has been, without doubt, the best business decision we have made during 20 years of owning our own practice. I would not hesitate to recommend Andy and the team at Spot On Business Planning to anyone looking to get to grips with their business and their profit.
Spot On Business Planning really care about what they do and the people they work with - they are fab and I’m really grateful for their supportUchenna Okoye, London Smiling and the official dentist of Channel 4’s 10 Years Younger
We had a lack of understanding of the financial aspects of our business and planning for the future and decided we really had to do something! A conversation with fellow dentist Andrew Chandrapal from Bourne End Dental led us to Andy McDougall at Spot On Business Planning.
Andy carried out a free analysis of my dental practice and looked at the last 3 years of our financial accounts, which he analysed and then explained the strengths and weaknesses he read in our numbers.
The process I have been undergoing since 2016 with SOBP is excellent, very comprehensive and thorough. One of the first exercises we did was to input all the costings of products and materials and this gave me a real insight to my running costs – and that made a huge difference.
The whole process means I now understand the financial implications of the decisions I make, for example equipment purchases, as well as any aspects of dentistry that we take for granted, such as the implications of discounts.
I now have a much better understanding of the impact of the numbers when making planning decisions and this means I can be more strategic.
What I really like about working with SOBP is their attention to detail and their passion. They really care about what they do and the people they work with. I would absolutely recommend their services.
It’s all about the quarters and halves’ is Andy’s classic phrase and it’s absolutely trueJon Swarbrigg, Farsley Dental Practice, Leeds
We started working with Andy McDougall and the Spot On Business Planning team in the summer of 2016 following a recommendation from Tony Gedge at the Marketing Pirates of Dentistry.
For us, the reasons for seeking out the services of Spot On Business Planning were to do with restructuring, working with our practice manager, Vicki, and preparing our exit strategy.
I took over as principal back in the late 90s and in the early days what you earned is what you kept. With the increasing costs of overheads, such as CQC, extra staffing costs, associate pay at 50:50 etc, I found that I was working extra hours and we seemed to be busy but our profit margins were going down. I could see that we needed to manage things differently and look forward financially, rather than at the year that had just passed.
Like most principals I was guilty of doing everything and never delegating. As such, my team had no real idea of the costs of running a dental practice: all they saw was the money coming in. Through working Andy, as well as working more closely with Vicki, I soon learned that success has to be a team effort. If your team understand the implications they are more likely to buy into your plans.
By being more open and sharing financial information, my team now understands why the targets are set as they are and what they need to do to cover our costs. The more you share, the more you build trust. They also understand that profit is not a dirty word.
We used to discount at will and would run special offers without understanding the implications. ‘It’s all about the quarters and halves’ is Andy’s classic phrase and it’s absolutely true. The staff get a set wage and the overhead costs don’t change but the owner gets paid last, so it’s effectively your money you’re giving away.
The data gathering required at the beginning of the process with Spot On Business Planning can be difficult. I delegated this task to my team and as such we progressed quickly. Our culture of sharing information meant this hasn’t been a problem for us. I see the different parts of my team as mini profit centres – and they do too, so they understand that the targets we set are realistic and necessary.
What do I most like about working with Spot In Business Planning? It’s the detail – I do like detail! It feels good to be in control and not be retrospective when it comes to our numbers. Back in the 90s you could turn a profit without much difficulty; now you have to be much more mindful. The important cog in the wheel is knowing your numbers. This is what I say to people when I recommend Spot On Business Planning.
“The support given to me by Andy and Anne-Marie has been invaluable. Often as a business owner one can feel very alone, so the help of such knowledgeable advisers has been very helpful.”Mark Willings, Horbury Dental Care & Implant Clinic, Wakefield
We were having a problem with cash flow and struggling to control our finances on a monthly basis with no accurate forecasting available to us. We tried to manage our accounting in-house using Sage and aided by our financial accountant. Unfortunately, however the data was not sufficiently sensitive on a daily basis. Therefore, we were finding it was not until 3 months later we could see results from a particular month but by then it was too late to change anything. In short, I felt we had a real lack of financial control.
I’d heard about Andy McDougall from two colleagues who both used Spot On Business Planning in their dental practices. They recommended I contact Andy, so it was very much word of mouth.
My impressions of the Spot On Business Planning process were very good right from the start. The approach is very thorough and methodical. It takes a short time to understand the importance of “order and sequence”. Once this concept is grasped fully, then the process makes perfect sense and it was amazing how quickly Andy and Anne-Marie could get right to the core of our business to understand the challenges we were facing.
Naturally, recommendations and suggestions to help us quickly followed. This process, whilst painful at times, is now yielding results from which not only the finances but also the business structure and personnel are all benefiting.
Has the process achieved results? Yes: • A restructuring of the business to have personnel in correct positions to achieve agreed objectives.
• Re-writing of job descriptions to accompany new roles.
• Proper performance measurement leading to performance management for all staff. This has been very positively accepted by all staff who now understand their contribution to making the machine work efficiently and effectively.
• And monthly management accounts using carefully planned forecasts to compare business performance means we have much tighter control on business finances.
What were the three specific strategies or analysis that SOBP determined that made a real difference?
(i) Business restructuring.
(ii) Initial analysis carried out by SOBP on our 5 year plan proved that it was not financially justifiable. This has made us completely rethink our strategy… a major change in direction but one we have made with confidence! The background to this is I sold one practice because Andy’s advice was that I was going to lose more by not being at my other practice than I could make up developing the new one. Andy’s models proved that the financial goals and strategy I was pursuing did not stack up and we needed to completely change the business model. So, I sold to concentrate all my efforts on the existing business.
(iii) Monthly management accounts with Andy’s detailed interpretation.
One of the things I most like about working with Spot On Business Planning is having the confidence of knowing that I am making the right decisions for the right reasons. This comes from talking through problems and possible solutions. The ability then to analyse the implications of various options on the financial performance of the business by using the forecasting models that SOBP have built. This has meant that decisions have been taken with an insight as to the outcome without a ‘hit and hope’ attitude!
On a personal level I have found the support given to me by both Andy and Anne-Marie has been invaluable. Often as a business owner one can feel very alone and so the help of such knowledgeable advisers has been very helpful.
Would I recommend SOBP? Yes, unhesitatingly.
Many professional friends and colleagues are now part of SOBP - all the feedback is the same as ours - excellent!”Andrew Chandrapal, Bourne End Dental, Bucks
Working in a partnership has many advantages, however, we all saw the financials in different ways. We saw a course advertised at the British Dental Association that was conducted by Spot On Business Planning that really made sense in terms of how a business should be viewed and run - by looking at the small details that make up the bigger picture.
We immediately sought a meeting and it went forwards from there. It now appears that many professional friends and colleagues are part of SOBP - all the feedback is the same as ours - excellent!
As with any process, it takes work and you need your team behind you or indeed obtain a team that does! It also means looking at yourself and your business with a very detailed and practical viewpoint so you are able be pragmatic and self reflect on what works and what does not.
Be prepared to take your accounting to the smallest level and only then do you have an accurate indicator of the true performance of your business. Once the hard work is done it is a case of maintaining things and keeping things going. The information obtained is frankly staggering and you learn a huge amount about your business. My view is that it has been indispensable.
The process was demanding but extremely rewarding. Looking back on it we would not have had anything like the type of analytical and recordable growth that we had. It was also a real education as none of this is explained or illustrated as a self employed trader or business owner.
We have now achieved year on year growth and whilst we have split our time as managing partners between clinical and management it has affected our work balance to a much more efficient level.
The three specific strategies or analysis that SOBP determined that made a real difference were comparing year on year trends, analysing trends with labs and materials compared with turnover, and profit by clinician.
What I most like about working with SOBP is their personalised approach to our business and its needs, continual commentary and individual/group trends every financial quarter.
I would most definitely recommend their services - if you are interested in getting the most out of your business, running it with efficiency whilst maintaining quality and don’t know where to start, then start with SOBP.
If you find anything in here that resonates with your situation even a little I would recommend you get Andy and Spot On involved in your practice.”Richard Howarth, Smile Style, Stafford
I thought I was quite good with the practice numbers, we had a few KPIs and as the practice was growing from just me to an associate-led model supported by dental therapists, we were certainly grossing more.
The bit that was giving me some concern was what was left in the bank at the end of each month. We had ok months and better months but what was mine? Precisely how much was HMRC going to need? Should I spend some of the cash on new kit or would I need it for a rainy day? And what would be the effect of hiring an extra nurse, receptionist or another associate?
The problem was my simple KPIs at the time could not answer these questions, the maths was so much easier when it was just me. I did make those decisions and maybe it was my gritty determination or consistent hard work but most turned out ok in the end most of the time.
I have found that for me when I have needed help I seem to meet the advisors I require at that time. My belief is that I probably have been seeking them out consciously and subconsciously and it is not just a coincidence and that was the case with Andy. I was introduced to him at a dental meeting. I am glad I met Andy that day.
I had an accountant but as I now understand he is just a commentator, reporting on how Smile Style has done and usually shocking me with the tax I need to save. Andy introduced me to management accounting; a way of planning forward, setting goals and steering the practice through the turbulent waters with purpose rather than being at the mercy of the tide and wind.
It was a long process of firstly modelling the practice by gathering data about our numbers. A tricky process for Andy and especially Anne-Marie as Smile Style is unique and runs a therapy model around wellness. I am sure you could say that about your practice too because ultimately our practices resemble us, their leaders and each one is different.
This took the best part of 8 months and was a painful, hard process, checking and rechecking the figures, looking at the model and the fine tuning it until we had Smile Style distilled down to a few spreadsheets.
For the first time we could look at the future, change growth percentages, discuss how we were going to achieve the growth. I had choices; increase fees, more productivity, add another associate, be strategic with the fee increases not just a blanket 5%. We had a tool to keep a handle on expenses, materials labs, associates and team salaries.
With a few clicks or a chat to Andy and Anne-Marie we could have models to decide the wages rises and the effect that would have. What would happen if I reduced my clinical time to 2 days or add more therapy hours? I could now make informed decisions based on the models versus gut feeling.
If this was the only service Spot On provided for a busy dentist running an ever-increasing complex practice, it would be worth every penny. The systems they have helped me set up have been invaluable and yes we have grown, adding significant value to my EBITDA.
This is not just the service I have received. As any principal knows, when it is running smoothly you are waiting for the next calamity whether it’s a key person’s notice on your desk, client complaint, associates taking their foot of the gas, sickness/injury. To be honest nothing surprises me, I think I have seen it all in my 25 years as a principal. Andy has always made time to listen to me in a crisis. The vast majority of the time in verbalising my worries I have found a solution but I have also been able to feed on Andy’s vast experience and knowledge.
If you find anything in here that resonates with your situation even a little I would recommend you get Andy and Spot On involved in your practice. We get taught to do the practical side of dentistry but to be able to deliver our best we need help to run our dental practices so we can fully express our skills for the benefit of our clients, our team and ourselves.
Thank you Andy and all your team at Spot On.
“Andy, Anne-Marie and the rest of the team are always available to help with any problems or deliver solutions. They genuinely care about our business,”Kate Pritchard, Goldsworth Road Dental, Woking
We have been with Spot On Business Planning since 2011. I attended a business planning course Andy was running with the BDA and I spoke to him afterwards to ask him to come into our business.
I was doing the level 7 course with the Institute of Leadership and Management at the time. At that point we had no current figures and no ability to forecast or plan strategically. Andy goes through a very logical process and this appeals to the way my mind works. We looked at absolutely everything – and eventually overhauled everything too!
I became a partner in 2006 and the practice had been running for a considerable number of years before that. It was being badly managed. We would know what our tax bill was going to be two weeks before we got it and would have to scramble around to find the money. There was quite often not enough to pay it.
We are now able to plan, forecast and adjust to change as required. This is a stark contrast to our life before Spot On Business Planning where our finance administrator would come to us at the end of each month to ask which bills we could pay!
Time and motion analysis allows us to analyse our productivity and profitability. We now have a very detailed understanding of our business and have increased our business turnover year on year.
The specific strategies that SOBP determined that have made a real difference are the operational management that has helped us reduce our staff costs, and improving our ability to plan for future increases with a full understanding of our increased costs from the management accounts as well as cost analysis for each treatment item.
We used to have three practices and we sold two of them streamlining and overhauling the way we did everything. We restructured our team and recruited a practice manager from outside, who had good computer and HR skills but no dental experience. With help from SOBP I spent the first year setting up the systems with her and getting everything right from the outset, starting a process that meant we could measure everything in real time.
We have a very good working relationship. Andy, Anne-Marie and the rest of the team are always available to help with any problems or deliver solutions. They genuinely care about our business.
Their face-to-face meetings and regular Zoom conference calls are a very efficient and time-friendly way of keeping our business on track.
I would – and have - recommended Spot On Business Planning to others. What I would say to anyone is, “If you think you know your practice, get them to come and test it!”
“Andy’s speciality is monitoring how your practice performs in “real time” rather than historically at the end of the financial year when the time to alter your course has come and gone.”Matthew Clare, Lincoln Orthodontics
I engaged Andy several years ago to optimise my orthodontic practice. Everyone at the practice was working very hard but I was aware that the harder I worked, the less time I had to organise and monitor the practice’s progression on an economic level.
The danger is that you set off down an inappropriate or suboptimal route and never find out your mistake until too much time has passed. Andy can provide this because his speciality is monitoring how your practice performs in “real time” rather than historically at the end of the financial year when the time to alter your course has come and gone.
With Andy’s help we have continually set, monitored and exceeded our goals on a rolling basis that allows us to react much faster to potential fluctuations in operational efficiency. Although this sounds complicated, Andy explains it very simply in non-accounting language with infinite patience!
Andy brings big business techniques to the dental industry at a personal level that allows you to still concentrate on what you do best, whilst also optimising the financial performance of your practice.
“I can safely say that not only has the whole process been a most satisfying one but that the costs of Spot On have been covered many times by the increase in profits.”Andrew Prynne, 740 Dental, Bournemouth
We are a large, mainly private practice with five dentists and five hygienists/therapists. We began working with Andy about five years ago at which time we were little more than a group of independent dentists, leaderless and directionless running a practice that we thought was efficient and in good shape. We were very wrong…
Spot On’s strengths lie in the range of skills that their team have that enables them to understand every aspect of a dental business. The team is extremely friendly and has integrated seamlessly into our dental practice
Over the last few years, Andy has got to understand who we are, our strengths and weaknesses, has fully analysed our systems, procedures, team and our personal financial goals.
From this he has stripped the business down and supervised a complete rebuild into a thriving, happy practice staffed by a team who have a full understanding of who we are, where we are going and who work hard, safe in the knowledge that the better they work as a team, the better the business and, thereby, the better they are rewarded.
I can safely say that not only has the whole process been a most satisfying one but that the costs of Spot On have been covered many times by the increase in profits. I cannot commend Andy and his whole team highly enough.
“The biggest single difference SOBP has made to my business over the last five years is profit!”Matt Lamb, Glendair Dental Practice, Derbyshire
The biggest single difference SOBP has made to my business over the last five years is profit, which has massively increased. Using their services is a no brainer – they do exactly what it says on the tin. There are lots of consultants in the industry but with Andy and his team you don’t get any bulls**t.
The three specific strategies or analysis that SOBP has determined that have made a real difference are:
- Understanding the cost base, meaning money is not wasted
- Critical evaluation of profitability of clinicians to enable evidence-based discussions
- Targeted marketing to attract the correct patients to the practice
“We have added over £50K to our net profit simply by applying sound business principles of evaluation and cost control.”Chris Smirthwaite, The Smile Centre Liskeard
Working with Andy at Spot On Business Planning has taken our practice to new levels of profitability, that I wouldn’t have thought possible 18 months ago. We have added over £50K to our net profit simply by applying sound business principles of evaluation and cost control.
We now have a robust rolling three year financial plan that links to marketing and sales activity and look set to continue the upward trend for the foreseeable future. Andy’s direct ‘say it as it is’ style hasn’t always been comfortable to live with but I have no doubt that he works tirelessly to make my business succeed to the benefit of both my clients and my team. His integrity is unquestionable and his vast business experience invaluable.
“Working with Andy and Spot on Business Planning has enabled me to significantly improve practice profitability by increasing productivity and reducing overheads.”Kevin Parr, One20 Dental, Liverpool
Working with Andy and Spot on Business Planning has enabled me to significantly improve practice profitability by increasing productivity and reducing overheads. Andy differs from other dental consultants; he is hands-on and focuses on what is needed in each individual practice.
His background as a management accountant enables him to thoroughly analyse the business, gain control of the finances and bring about change to the most important element-the bottom line.
“I cannot advocate SOBP enough, it changes your life!”Bev Harston, Glendair Dental Practice, Alfreton
I was working six days a week, going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark (I described myself as a pit pony) doing the same things day in and day out and expecting the results to be better, in fact they got worse. I now know that that is the definition of a busy fool. Why did I expect things to change when I carried on doing the same things in the same old way?
I cannot advocate SOBP enough, it changes your life! You learn so much about running a business, which is never taught in dental school, as well as skills that are transferable into other businesses too. It makes you focused on the delivery of a business plan. SOBP enhances and brings the team together. They focus on the key areas and it changes your business - I am proof! No other consultant offers a business plan, accompanied by monthly financials, which translate to KPIs for the team, which in turn drives the business and gives us focus and direction. This helps you understand marketing in order for you to be able execute the business plan. We also received advice on how to manage our people. If you do it to the letter, it transforms your business and life!
We have gone from broke to not knowing what to do with our cash! One of our first meetings with Andy was with our bank manager because we couldn’t pay that particular month’s wages. I will never forget feeling vulnerable and embarrassed. We could have quite easily gone bust. Thank God we found him, followed his plan of action and now we are hugely profitable. Andy undertakes every financial exercise that exists within your business and you begin to see patterns emerging. I very quickly learnt to stop saying “I think”. Everything has to be evidenced, just like your dentistry. It wasn’t a single exercise; I can only describe our practice as a sieve, lots of little holes that all needed plugging. One by one we sorted out the problems and we began to see the figures changing. It’s like turning an oil tanker around – slowly, slowly.
Everything made a difference. We learnt to be more efficient with stock (after I had realised my overdraft was equivalent to my stock cupboard!). We learnt to improve our marketing, our reporting, we improved our appointment book utilisation, we checked our pricing was correct and profitable. We distributed the work more efficiently; we increased sundry sales and made the most of our new patients. Our company structure was even sorted too.
Another huge thing that SOBP is good at is putting you in contact with the right people to help you and your business. I am now surrounded by professionals who I trust, who help me make a difference to my business and who are as passionate as I am
“Figures speak the truth. Andy is able to analyse your business and build it to a highly profitable and highly performing one.”Norman Kendal, Kiln Lane Dental Practice St. Helens
Figures speak the truth. Andy is able to analyse your business and build it to a highly profitable and highly performing one. He and his team cover all aspects of performance in a practice and can transform the operation of it beyond measure. All practices would find this invaluable and I highly recommend him.
We saw 50% growth over a three year period! The proof is in the numbers!Niki and Gary Rowland, Perfect 32 Dental Practice, Beverley, Yorkshire
Spot On Business Planning was instrumental in the crucial business planning that led to the growth and success of our dental practice. My husband and I set up Perfect 32 in 2006 with little understanding of financial management and management accountancy. It was always an area of work that gave us sleepless nights.
I attended one of Andy’s courses back in 2007 and I thought ’This guy could change our lives’ and he has! Andy, Vikki and their team are highly experienced, professional and above all friendly and supportive. They not only held our hands and steered us through the financial management aspects of business but also taught us to implement strategies that boosted profits and saved expenditure. Their systems are tried and tested and had a hugely positive impact on our practice. We saw 50% growth over a three year period! What more can I say? The proof is in the numbers!
"Stop pondering and start acting. We have had double-digit growth year on year for every year we have worked with Andy."Khalid Master and Thomas Sarpong, Bank View Smile Studios, Blackburn, Lancashire
Khalid and Thomas bought Bank View Smile Studios in Blackburn after being associates in Accrington for 10 years.
Although they had accumulated around 7,400 hours of undergraduate clinical training each during 5 years at dental school, the sum total of their previous business training was a 1-hour lecture each in their final year. This predominantly centred on finding a good location and fitting a large outdoor NHS sign in a prominent position - neither of which were going to be of any help to them, as they wanted to run a state-of-the-art private practice in a lovely Georgian building dating from 1868 but set back from the main road.
“With very little practice management training and even less financial knowhow, Thomas and I needed to find a specialist collaborator to help us run our new business professionally and profitably,” said Khalid.
“We had invested hundreds, if not thousands of hours to make ourselves the best dentists that we could be clinically, so we knew our dentistry very well but we were novices when it came to business management.”
“So, rather than trying to use some kind of Jedi force to find our way to our destination, we both felt we needed some expert help and that is precisely why the search began for our Business Master.”
Khalid and Thomas first found out about Andy and Spot On Business Planning through an email flyer from the BDA. They trusted that proper due diligence had been done by the BDA and felt the course was ideally suited to dentists and new dental practice owners. Khalid and his practice manager enrolled on the course in Leeds a few months after the practice had been purchased and were both so impressed they signed up as full members – which they still are 8 years on.
They say they would have no hesitation at all in recommending Spot On Business Planning and Andy in particular – and have already done so dozens of times to friends, colleagues and even perfect strangers they meet on courses!
What were your impressions of Spot On Business Planning?
“Khalid and I were very impressed with the process we underwent with Spot On Business Planning. It was logical, methodical, well presented and understandable. Everything made sense and when it came to implementation, we received assistance throughout the process,” said Thomas.
“We certainly got results and almost instantaneously, as the impact of those were felt within the first quarter.”
“Every single analysis or strategy has resulted in achieving a real and positive difference. If we had to single out three such strategies, they would be stock control, tactical pricing and profit by clinician; however, monthly management accounts with bespoke KPI analysis, gap closing strategy, and a calendarised 36 month strategy plan would come a close second,” said Khalid.
“What we like about working with Spot On Business Planning is the industry-specific expertise, collaborative approach and the ability to act pro-actively due to monthly management reports rather than looking back retrospectively through annual tax accounts and wondering when the wheels fell off and why,” said Thomas.
Khalid finishes by saying: “The one piece of advice I would give to a prospective member would be to STOP pondering and START acting. Business management and financial planning should NOT just be considered when the problems are self-evident.
“Do not try to re-invent the wheel by attempting to ‘work it all out’ for yourself. Get help from industry experts who have been there, done that, bought the T-shirt and then bought the T-shirt printing company! Be pro-active and educate yourself on these matters just as you do with clinical matters (as soon as you are an associate, let alone partner or principal) because these are as, if not more important than the other and it is NEVER too early to start.”
Would Fulham dentist Ayzaaz Akram recommend our services? Ideally notAyzaaz Akram, Pure Smiles, Fulham
Ayzaaz Akram from Pure Smiles in Fulham does not recommend our services and would rather we didn’t spread the word about Spot On Business Planning. What he’d really like is for our whole team to work solely for him and his business!
Several people had mentioned Andy McDougall and Spot On Business Planning very positively to Dr Akram and his brother and business partner, Shiraz. Having worked with other dental business coaches in the past, they decided to speak to us and find out what makes us different.
During the initial stages, Dr Akram was a little skeptical. Previous coaches had concentrated solely on the top line figures and Andy’s approach was different.
“It is a very different, thorough, measured and planned out approach,” explains Dr Akram.
“We thought we already had a great practice and were expanding our business, however we were without an in-house manager and were finding it difficult to recruit the right people to join our team, retain them and train them. Our knowledge of the business financials was lacking and we did not have a deep understanding of the business. We wanted to get on top of this, improve our profit and have a clear plan for our growth.
“We systematically worked through the business finances to understand what we needed to do to move forward. With actual hands-on support from an experienced external team we learned how to deal with the real issues we face on a day-to-day basis in all the areas of running a modern dental practice.”
Did Andy’s approach get results? What were they?
“The patient and meticulous analysis of the costs of the business allowed us to see exactly where the business was not profitable and how we could address this with good planning. We now produce useful monthly management accounts that actually show us how we are progressing. We are better at recruitment and retention of staff and our team is beginning to fire on all cylinders.”
What specific strategies or analysis made a real difference?
“Guidance and support in recruitment and induction processes have really helped. The in-depth analysis of our figures and the detail with which this was performed really allowed a clear picture of the situation, without this the future planning would simply have been guesswork and we would have continued to focus on the gross numbers, possibly without realising any more actual profit. Everything is analysed, measured and understood with clear targets set before moving forward.”
What do you most like about working with Spot On Business Planning?
“The attention to detail reassures me a great deal - knowing exactly where you are allows you to look forward to your goals with greater confidence. We have yet to come to a situation or issue that one of their team cannot advise us on.”
"I was promised our profits would double every three years - Andy has over delivered."Mark Skimming, Dentistry on the Square, Glasgow
I have been working with Andy and the team at Spot On Business Planning for around three years now. So many accountants and dental business coaches merely scratch the surface but their approach is totally different.
Andy gave us the usual promise of doubling our net profits every three years. This was way beyond my expectations at the time but Andy has over delivered. It’s only when you get that insight into your business that you believe this promise is achievable.
The process is very efficient. With other coaches and accountants it’s meeting after meeting after meeting and most of that time is spent getting to understand the dental industry. Andy and Anne-Marie know the industry inside out. They do need lots of information to ensure they completely understand what’s going on but they make the process very simple.
I wanted to get real financial insights to help our practice grow and I wanted to make sure that the business wasn’t completely reliant on me, that if something happened the business and staff were secure.
I was referred to Spot On Business Planning by the Marketing Pirates of Dentistry and I also spoke to one of their existing clients, 740 in Bournemouth. All seemed very impressive so I made the call.
Growth and control were the two main issues I wanted to address and I now have really tight control over the business. Our last call was amazing actually – it was as if Andy was seeing into the future. Their video analysis and feedback is fantastic. We analysed the projections and there are so little variables, it was great and very reassuring to see.
The three specific strategies that Spot On Business Planning determined that made a real difference were looking at our pricing structure to see what was costing and making us money and then making the essential tweaks. Second was sorting our associates’ contracts and finally, putting a three-year business plan in place.
I would certainly recommended Spot On Business Planning and have already done so to friends and colleagues.
"Andy's aim was to double profits in three years. We almost did that in year 1!"John Fleming, Hob Hey Dental Centre, Warrington
John Fleming’s Hob Hey Dental Centre in Warrington was flat lining and although he knew some of the reasons why, he couldn’t work out how to approach fixing them.
Dr Fleming had attended one of Andy McDougall’s BDA Business Essentials courses in 2012 so he knew a little about Spot On Business Planning but it was a recommendation by his Practice Plan rep that brought him to our first meeting.
“I had been running my dental practice as an expense sharing partner since 2002 until I took over the business and incorporated in 2013 and I ran it on my own with two associates working for me. It felt that I was working more and more hours but seeing no return,” said Dr Fleming.
“Andy said from the outset ‘if you do everything we say, this will work’ and I made a commitment to do exactly that.”
“Andy managed to identify the problems in the business in no time at all. It was reassuring that he felt things could be improved and he developed a clear strategic plan as to how we could achieve the objectives.
“I feel fully supported by them and nothing is too much trouble”
“Spot On Business Planning feel like partners in my business. Every decision you make in running your business can have an effect on the numbers and SOBP are there to understand your numbers inside and out. The amount I have learnt from them in the last 18 months is unbelievable.
“The first stage of the process was information gathering. It was intense and laborious but completely essential to give Andy and his team as much information about the business as possible and it really challenged me to what I thought my business was about. This was the most labour intensive part of the process I felt but I decided to do it well and do it quickly so that we could move forward.
“Once I knew where I was, I certainly knew where I wanted to be and the following stages of the plan helped ensure that. Very quickly a plan was coming together and I was keen to implement it in my business so that we could begin to see the rewards for our hard work.
“There were some unexpected hurdles along the way but at each stage I had Andy, Anne-Marie and the team behind me helping to ensure we move in the right direction. They helped to get the team on board by introducing a bonus scheme too.
For Dr Fleming, the three specific strategies that Spot On Business Planning determined that made a real difference were getting the prices right, paying the associates correctly and keeping control of expenditures like labs and materials.
“They are quite simply the best thing to happen to my business”
“You could say we have achieved the objectives that Andy set out but I cannot foresee a time that they will not be a part of my business. They respond to emails quickly and are always on hand to have a web chat.
“They are quite simply the best thing to happen to my business and I look forward to working with them as the business evolves in the years to come. I am far more relaxed and feel rewarded for the hard work I put in and I feel more confident about my business than ever.”
"Knowing my numbers means that I can ensure every business decision is driving my business in the right direction"Carol Somerville Roberts, Evolve Dentistry, Portishead
Carol Somerville Roberts set up Evolve Dentistry in Portishead from nothing, so she has invested emotionally, personally and financially in the business. She had heard people telling her to get on top of her management accounts but thought this meant her tax accounts. After a friend recommended Andy McDougall at Spot On Business Panning she decided to speak to someone in the know.
“I realise now that there is a big difference [between management and tax accounts] and by really knowing my numbers means that I can ensure that every business decision is driving the business in the right direction. By working with Andy and his team, my business started to turn around from a flat business to one that is in profit,” says Dr Somerville Roberts.
What were your impressions of the process you underwent with SOBP?
“It’s very thorough and you need to be prepared to put the time and effort in to achieve the results. We reduced our stock levels by 50% and now have a very tight stock control system. We know exactly how much each procedure we carry out costs the business and the impact of any price change that may have. I know exactly who is profitable in the practice and who is not and what changes need to be made to improve.
“I know where my business needs to go in the next 12 months and this is reviewed and benchmarked on a monthly basis and adjusted accordingly. If I want to make a change to the structure of the business, I can model the impact of the proposed change. This is all with the help and support from SOBP.”
Did it get results? What were they?
“Yes, the business was not in great shape when I started working with Andy but with his help we are now doing well and I have confidence in the future.”
The three specific strategies determined by Spot On Business Planning that have made a real difference are:
- Helping with the incorporation of the business was key as this was a big decision and needed to be handled correctly.
- We have an amazing spreadsheet that we can feed our KPIs into so that we can really measure how we are doing and this in turn feeds into individual spreadsheets for each clinician to discuss with them.
- We also have an excellent stock control system that allows detailed analysis of our material spend and if this is changing.
“Running your own business is hard work. Andy takes all the emotion out of making decisions so that they are based on sound business reasons. He will not tell you what to do but he will demonstrate the impact of your decision in the numbers. It’s very powerful. I would recommend his services without hesitation.”
Two years on and we are seeing great increases in our profitability.Jas Sandhu, High Street Dental, East Grinstead
I heard about Spot OnBusiness Planning from Tony Gedge at the Marketing Pirates of Dentistry.The biggest issue I was facing was that the increased turnover within my practice was not reflected in its profits. With the aid of Spot OnBusiness Planning, it became apparent that this was because of a likewise increase in outgoings to my associates.
The most effective strategies implemented by Spot OnBusiness Planning have been their ongoing analysis of the practice income and outgoings, effectively translating the importance of their work to my team, and their advice regarding paying my associates.
I particularly like Andy and Anne-Marie’s approachability, together with all of their support team. They have been incredibly supportive throughout our time together.Two years on and we are seeing great increases in our profitability.
My impressions were (and still are) that Spot OnBusiness Planning were very thorough in their analysis of my practice finances.
I would recommend them without hesitation. In fact I have to several - and counting - of my colleagues.
What did you like most about the course?
Clear, concise presentation - huge topic
The explanation was very clear and very motivational speaker.
Great overview of leadership
Gave an insight into leadership, which we in the dental practice don’t have much experience!!
Informal style, enthusiasm of speaker
Materials given were clearly explained and thought provoking
The presenter made it very interesting and easy to understand
A lot of information to take back to practice to use practically
Really good; well structured course, lots of useful information. Delivery very good
What did you like most about the course?
Great speaker, made a difficult topic easy to understand, good humour!
I realise now that I don’t know anything about accounting
Andy is great. Information given is very important
Materials linked to dental practice
Very well structured and informative course
Making the financial jargon easily understood
Reliable information, well presented and difficult to get elsewhere
Motivating to implement change
Great speaker, lots we can do
Andy’s presentation was excellent. I didn’t have much expectation from this course but Andy exceeded it by turning it into such an interesting lecture!