“No man is an island” (John Donne 1572-1631)

In both our professional and private lives, is well to remember that infamous line that appears in John Donne’s Meditation XVII, 1624, “No man is an island.” Indeed, the connotations that spring from these words ultimately convey the nature of human existence with regards to friendship and community – nobody can survive in isolation.

Dental Professionals should note this concept when undertaking the development of a successful practice. Yes, the practice needs a good leader, someone with outstanding skills and commitment to dentistry, someone who knows how to provide patients with the optimum levels of care, but these are not the only factors paramount with regards to developing and maintaining a successful practice. Other aspects must too be considered and, quite frankly, creating a successful dental practice, cannot be done alone.

Dental Practices are, fundamentally, businesses. Therefore, like a business, there are many different aspects required to keep a dental practice afloat. For example, accountants, insurance brokers and solicitors are all important when it comes to keeping things ship shape.

Additionally, advice from other Dental Professionals is invaluable. After all, a practitioner from a surgery just down the road may have experienced a similar problem to another professionals just a few months before hand. Their knowledge and direct experience would undoubtedly be of benefit when looking for an adequate solution.

When students arrive at University, often they joke about the need to make friends with those who will one day be in positions of power. Seeking out those who seem as if they are headed for a particular path, and keeping in touch with them, is discussed over drinks. “So we have a barrister and a doctor, all we need now is an accountant and a politician and we’ll be set!” Although an amusing prospect, planning how possible future problems could be solved is not such a bad idea; in short it is called networking.

Dental Professionals must, but with slightly more sincerity than students – network. If a professional can build up a list of contacts, then if and when the worst happens, they will be prepared. On hand will be their network of support to provide logical, helpful, trustworthy advice immediately. Working in conjunction with like- minded professionals who all specialise in a specific area can be no bad thing.

A crisis for a Dental Professional with a strong, well developed backing network will seem less of such than for a Dental Professional with no contact with those who can help.

Fundamentally, what is needed is a long list of services that can be contacted at the drop of a hat, relied upon and in turn used for general enquiries and knowledge building. Luckily for the dental industry, the Association of Specialist Providers to Dentists (ASPD) is just that.

The ASPD puts Dental Professionals in touch with various service providers, who are in turn all ASPD members. In order to become an ASPD member the service provider must prove that it’s service meets the needs of today’s dental profession, and so furthermore, members understand the dental industry and have experience of helping dentists overcome obstacles to success. Members can what’s more, work together to provide a comprehensive solution.
The Association of Specialist Providers to Dentists include solicitors, accountants, banks, financial advisors, valuers and sales agents, insurance brokers, leasing and finance specialists; a wide ranging, comprehensive network of just the professionals the busy dentist is looking for.

We as people are not destined to be alone. Human nature reveals that connections and communication with others benefit us in terms of mood and what’s more, sometimes even health. As Donne quite clearly implies, isolation is not good for the soul.

Isolation is neither good for the business. Developing and maintaining a dental practice cannot be done alone and help, even in its simplest form support, is always required. It could be said in fact that creating a network of support in business is equally as important as creating strong ties in our private lives.
Without help from specialists slightly outside of the field of dentistry, tasks fundamental to successful business management would not be implemented and completed. Consequently, the business could in no way achieve the expected results.

Relationships and connections are the foundations upon which we live; from direct family, to extended family, to community, to society and so on. It is only with this ‘back-up’ that we are able to build on our existing achievements and implement strategies for greater success. Make connections and see results.

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