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There isn’t a single right way.

If you plan to extend, renovate or refurbish your practice or move into new premises, may I suggest you read what I’m going to tell you before you talk to anyone about your project.

If you don’t take sufficient time to define precisely what you want and how you want to position your practice, you’ll get a myriad of suggestions, some good, some bad, some irrelevant, but you’ll have nothing to judge them by. You’ll end up comparing chalk with cheese and probably making a decision based purely on price. You could be lucky, but my experience would suggest that, far from saving money, you’ll end up paying more for something that doesn’t really meet your aspirations.

You don’t need me to tell you that every company you talk to about your project will have its own ideas. Ultimately you have to decide those you like best. Keep in mind however that rarely is there a single right solution. One idea may be as good as another. So what you need, to make the final decision making process straightforward, is a set of guidelines that will provide direction for the project and criteria by which you can evaluate recommendations.

So here are the basics. If you’d like a little more flesh on the bone, or have a query, do call me on 01278 641074 or email me at

  1. Be clear about, and write down your objectives, but think beyond the project being an end in itself. Consider what you want the investment to achieve for you in relation to the overall growth of your practice

  2. Share your thinking with people whose views you respect and trust. This sounds obvious but the process may involve taking some criticism. Accept that this is beneficial if it is constructive

  3. Know what you want, but leave (well briefed) experts to achieve it for you. If you feel unsure about delegating then you have probably chosen the wrong people. In no circumstances believe yourself capable of project management

  4. Be certain that your designer understands the meaning and the importance of orchestrating the patient journey

  5. Dentistry can be (OK is) a stressful job. Plan your project when you can take time to stand back and relax. If you rush your plans because you are under pressure, chances are you’ll end up creating even more pressure

  6. If you don’t understand something and/or something just feels wrong…query it!! Delegate…yes. But be diligent and be satisfied that each phase of the project is completed to your satisfaction before moving on to the next stage. Keep in mind the fact that having all the pieces of the jigsaw doesn’t necessarily mean you get the best picture

In future articles I’ll be covering a number of specific issues that I think you will find helpful if you are planning to develop your practice

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