A Case Study in Small Business Success:-Transforming a Practice Into a Self-Sustaining Business

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A friend of mine thought I could provide insight through an outside perspective to a successful businessman, Dr. Thomas Fox. Dr. Tom, I now affectionately call him, was already extremely successful in his cosmetic dentistry practice. Yet he was frustrated with the inability to breakthrough and create a business that would generate cash flow whether he was at the office, or skiing in Aspen for a month.

The Doctor’s Pain:


As we worked on the foundational systems in his business, Dr. Tom began to make the successful transition from a “practice” to a self-sustaining business, until a serious challenge crept up for him. Dr. Tom was becoming increasingly distracted with how he was going to bring in enough business to support the growing administrative staff and new doctors he was hiring. Seeing that he was finally ready to eradicate all forms of non-productive marketing for his business, I attempted to help set his mind at ease by starting with an easy example.

Dr. Tom had been running an ad in the local newspaper for the last three months. It was a simple ad that offered prospects a $260 Dental Wellness Screening, for just $75. He was running this small display ad every Thursday in the Living Section at the cost of $290 for each ad run. After three months the ad had pulled a dismal five prospects into the clinic.

As successful as Dr. Tom had been in running his “practice,” he recognized that he was entering an entirely new world. Dr. Tom recognized that he needed to make the successful shift from working IN his business, to working ”’on”’ his business — and he wanted to make that shift as quickly as possible. (One of the first books we recommend to all our clients is, The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber. This accelerated Dr. Tom’s understanding of this concept.)

At the very beginning of our coaching relationship we had determined that Dr. Tom had some beneficial natural abilities and a driving passion when it came to marketing. So we knew from the start that this would be one the ways for him to make working on his business enjoyable, fulfilling and profitable.

And now the time had come to put that to use.

The Solution

Since the original ad was pretty small there was no room for pictures, logos or even the business name (which currently devoured one-third of the ad space.) I wanted to keep the ad the same size so that Dr. Tom could really grasp the concept of low cost and eliminate all doubt in his mind as to what really made the difference in high impact marketing. Being a graduate of our Small Business, BIG Profits Course, Dr. Tom wrote the rough drafts himself. After a little coaching and a number of revisions later, we had a new ad to run.

The new ad

It was with some serious trepidation that Dr. Tom agreed to run the final draft that said: