fbpx

Dentists Who Invest

Podcast Episode

Full Transcript

James: 

Welcome back to the Dentists who invest podcast. Today, I’m joined by Nikki Rowland returning face, but it’s been way, way, way too long since we had you on, isn’t it, nicki? How have you been?

Nicki: 

Yeah, I’ve been great. Thanks, James. Super do per busy, but that’s the way I like it which is a good thing.

James: 

Busy is a good thing because it means it’s a good thing. Yeah, to a degree, to a degree because we don’t want to just be busy for the sake of it as well. That’s what I learned as I went through life. I felt like I was busy, but was it always productive? Something to watch out for it. Particularly with flipping really driven people, particularly who really, really want to do stuff, we have to make sure it’s the correct opportunities. Anyway, I’m going on a tangent here Tell us what you’ve been up to, nikki.

Nicki: 

Okay, oh gosh. As well as running the training Academy, I’ve just launched a national oral health campaign to tackle the dire state of children’s oral health, called the magic dentist. So we’ll come on to that later, but yeah, something, a big message that I’d like to share with people moving forward.

James: 

That is awesome. Looking forwards to learn about that. What was it going to say? So yeah, the aim of the game today is to talk about CSR. Nicki, and I actually just learned what CSR meant from you like 10 minutes ago. I’m not, I’m not going to, I’m not going to say, I’m not going to repeat the acronym and act like I’m some sort of authority on, because I’ve literally just learned what it is. It took me so that’s that’s the first time I’ve learned that in my 31 years on the surface. So I don’t know about CSR is common knowledge or not but you’ll explain in more detail than me. You’ll do a much better job than me, I’m sure.

Nicki: 

Yeah, it’s. It’s becoming a lot more commonplace and it’s it’s all about adopting a corporate social responsibility model and it’s one of the things that really big businesses have done for many, many years and it’s been adopted in the dental world by some big players. But it’s something that you know, the grassroots level within dental practice, we can do, and it’s it’s one thing that I’ve learned that drives organic business growth without draining your financial resources in your practice.

James: 

Very, very, very cool. So just to be clear CSR corporate social responsibility and how we can use this to help the practice people and also it’s a consideration commercially as well.

Nicki: 

It works both ways, james. It’s about building rapport with your community and, you know, building the trusting relationships by giving. You know giving back it’s a paying it forward model but, as I’ve learned running my own practice, it has a huge return. The payback is massive and I think, while the coffers are empty for a lot of practices, you know, marketing’s not an option at the moment because it’s so costly, and I did a lot of that in the early days of having my own practice. I obviously didn’t understand I was, it was something I was learning as I was going and spent a lot of marketing on, you know, the usual stuff like newspapers, magazines, leaflet drops, even on the back of parking tickets in our city centre, and if we broke even we were lucky and it was a lot of energy that really generated few rewards. I mean, I know social media has come on massively since then. However, I still think there’s other stronger, more powerful methods that you can tap into your community to organically grow your business, and that’s what CSR is all about.

James: 

Well, you’ve got to give the get, don’t you really?

Nicki: 

I really do. I think paying it forward, that’s the prosody, isn’t it?

James: 

Leveraging? That’s the prosody, you know, which is pretty much the fundamental of how social media works. I suppose that business model, if you want to call that. I mean, apart from anything else, it’s just fun to do that stuff. That’s the coolest part about it. That is the coolest part. It is like really fun to make content and help people and create things and anything comes off the back of it and that’s awesome too.

Nicki: 

Absolutely. There’s so many things you can do and it doesn’t have to be charitable. It could be supporting a national campaign, I think the two main ones that we have in our world a national small month and mouth cancer action month and we used to utilize those campaigns massively to really deliver our CSR model to our local community. So things like going into schools and delivering oral health workshops it’s all part of the national curriculum is oral health education now, and teachers are really struggling to deliver the content at the right level and to the children in a very engaging way. So we used to do that. Go and take a little goodie bag, we all sorts of things, including a practice brochure, and within a couple of years I would say 60% of the families in this particular school that we’re focusing on were actually patients in the practice. And I think if you get a little person coming home and saying I’ve just had so much fun with dentists I mean you don’t hear that very often, but you know a parent’s going to want to take a child to the place that they want to go to and then the whole family follows and the organic growth is huge. So for me it really worked. The other thing that we used to do was support mouth cancer action month every November. So there’s an opportunity coming up for your listeners and we used to just use one of our surgeries the 12, a 12 hour period rotate our clinicians to screen non patients, because obviously our patients were already getting screened. But we used to put editorials out in the local paper. We used to reach out to the radio. Our local radio stations get the message out there to say we’re screening patients for free. Today. They will get all the education in and around screening themselves as well. And again, when you get that people coming into the business and you’re building rapport and trust with them, they want to come as patients. Then and again, the organic growth after after doing that was massive. And when you’re doing something for free, that’s potentially a life saving measure, more so than ever post COVID and with the lack of access, people see the value of what you’re doing. Again, it’s a giving back method that it has significant payback long term because it drives that organic footfall in your business.

James: 

Awesome. So that’s how it can be useful for principals. But you know what the interesting thing about this podcast is? We get a real diaspora of dentists who listen and I’m interested to know is there anything that the associates can do as well on this front, because obviously it’s such a powerful effect that we’re leveraging the effect of reciprocity?

Nicki: 

Absolutely, james, and I think very much. This is a model that can really be driven by the associates in the practice. Often, principal dentists are so busy with the business aspect of the practice they don’t always have the time or the inclination to drive other things that will then eventually really bring business back to the associates. So I would definitely recommend that any associate hygiene therapist, any clinician, picks up with this idea and rolls with it and gets involved in doing these kind of things, because it is reciprocal and it comes back to you in abundance because you get so many patients coming through that will then come and sit in your chair, not just the principal’s chair. So why not drive this model in a practice that you’re an associate in?

James: 

Love it. Okay, and how would that process look? So I get that we’ve talked about going out to schools, etc. Is there any other ideas that we have along those lines or any ways that you think dentists leverage this effectively?

Nicki: 

Absolutely. I mean, I used to run fundays which sort of doubled up as an open day. So one of the things I’m doing at the moment with the magic dentist is, over the summer we’re trying to reach out to as many children as possible while schools are closed, running fundays to educate them within the campaign about their oral health. And what I’m doing is I’m matching DCPs with magicians from the magic circle and actually bringing the magic dentist book to life to educate children in good oral health. But also their parents will be there and learning at the same time so they can help consolidate the child’s learning and support them to look after their teeth at home. And you know this is so important right now, while access to dental services is so poor. If we can reach out within our communities and deliver some big workshops like this, it’s going to really not just build that relationship within the community, but it’s also going to create something whereby you can actually have quite a big PR machine running behind the scenes here to draw attention to your business. So it’s not just paying back from an altruistic point of view. There is big payback in the PR and the media attention that you can. You can actually drive towards anything like this, when you’re giving back to the community and I’m very happy because I do it all the time, james, if there’s anybody listening today who wants to do anything in and around a CSR model, I’d be very, very happy to help them.

James: 

That’s awesome. Thank you for that. Okay, cool. So, yes, csr, maybe us, dennis, definitely don’t do enough of it. I get that we’ve come out from the kids angle, which is wonderful, right. What about beyond that? Maybe we’re going to care homes, those sorts of things. Is that something that you’ve seen, dennis?

Nicki: 

Oh my gosh. Yes, and you see it all the time. Dcp is going to care homes, you know, actually triaging and treating homeless people. There’s a lot of that going on, particularly post COVID and with the poverty crisis at the moment, and anybody, any DCP, can actually get involved in that. And again, going back to your question about associates, an associate could find a local charity that goes and, you know, looks after the homeless. Whether they could go to a local food bank and say, look, is there any room for some dental provision here? And then off the back of that they can drive that PR back to the practice and build the football. That way there’s so many opportunities. And again, PR is free marketing and I have got an amazing PR lady and perhaps you should interview her, James, if anybody wants help with PR because, again, free marketing. Once you build your PR contacts with local radio, TV, newspapers, they will then come to you when there’s a current affair in and around oral health and they will come back to you time and time again. And that is what happens with me on the radio. I get involved in local radio a lot because I’m now well known in the community, so they come to me to do newspaper reviews but interviews in and around oral health issues. So it’s the payback is huge, is just getting those wheels in motion and a lot of people don’t know where to start. So very happy to help. And obviously I’ve got my PR lady Fiona, who used to be a reporter for BBC and a journalist for BBC, so she is there very willing to help any dental practice who wants to roll out a CSR and strong PR model in the practice.

James: 

I almost made a terrible joke then, but I restrained myself. I almost said it isn’t Fiona Bruce.

Nicki: 

by any chance it’s not Fiona Bruce, she’s still on.

James: 

TV, so that wouldn’t quite work. Anyway, anyway so, yeah, back to what we were saying. Yes, so obviously, in the spirit of CSR, yes, we’ve got. We’ve got your new venture, which you were talking about earlier. Tell us more about that.

Nicki: 

Okay. So I saw a huge opportunity. I wrote a book the Magic Dentist which my daughter’s illustrated brilliantly, I have to say last year and we published it on Amazon. However, post COVID and particularly the beginning of this year, we started to see a lot of press about lack of access, dental deserts, children on waiting lists to have GAs, to have full clearances and teeth removed in hospital, and even this morning there was a big, there was big coverage on BBC TV about children now having to wait over a year to have teeth extracted in in hospitals and and the impact on their education across that waiting period because they have so much time off school because they’re in pain or they’ve got a temperature or something related to that, that oral health issue. So it’s Covid really compounded all the problems that we’re seeing. So I think there’s a huge opportunity to really make a difference and, as I said to you earlier, James, I’m not a political person, but we can see what is happening that the government clearly have their own agenda and are around oral health, that passing the onus back to teachers to teach oral health on the national curriculum, and teachers don’t know where to start. I’ve been taking the magic dentist into schools, by the way, I’m matching DCPs with magicians from the magic circle to bring the magic dentist to life and bring the book to life. And even teachers are saying to me we’ve learned so much today in these sessions and they’re the ones teaching the children. We need to get the message correct, we need to be delivered at the right level in a highly engaging and entertaining way, and this is really working. I mean, the children was in a very large primary school in Hull last week and I took a magician in with me and just one of the little things we’ve got a little white magic rabbit. In the book Every magician’s got a white rabbit and he actually put a white balloon in a box and pulled out a real life white rabbit. The children will be beside themselves. It was like how has he done that? And we bring all the book to life. It’s got some very simple dental terminology in it but it’s all explained in a glossary at the back of the book. So it is a child’s toolkit because it’s all written in line with the Department of Health delivering better oral health toolkits, version four. So it is a child’s little Bible as to how to look after their teeth, but it’s also an educational tool as well. So that’s the bit we’re bringing to life and at the moment, what I’m my massive aspiration is to be able to gift one of those books to every child that we come across, so they have that toolkit to take home with them.

James: 

Awesome stuff. I love it so much. And how can Dennis get involved with you, Nikki?

Nicki: 

Oh gosh, there’s so many people, I’m guessing you need.

James: 

Dennis, right, I’m presuming that that would be helpful. Oh, yes, yeah.

Nicki: 

Yeah, I need DCPs. I mean anybody in the dental team can get involved. I’m looking for more magicians who want to join. You know our little pool of magicians across the country that we can tap into. I’m looking for schools who want to get involved and, again, sponsors, investors, because at the moment I’m self funding and it’s only the sales of the book that are really fueling the campaign, because I put all that money back into the machine to keep driving the campaign forwards. But there’s so much that needs to be done really quickly. Just for example, next month I’m going to the Isle of Arran, which is just a little island just off the West coast of Scotland. They’ve had no dental provision for three years. There’s 500 children on the island who have had. You know, a lot of them have never had access to a dentist and the only dental practice on the island is being reopened by a dental couple and they’ve asked me to take the magic dentist over there so we can actually reach out to, and optimize our reach to, as many children as possible over the summer holidays. So that’s really exciting. But again, to get me from A to B, to get a magician there, to get everything set up, it costs money. So I’m looking for people to really support this campaign and really get it into fruition so we can roll it out across the UK and actually make a significant difference as an industry to the direst state of children’s oral health that we’re seeing. And there’s some amazing initiatives out there, james, but the trends are getting worse. So there’s so much more that needs to be done and I think as an industry we have to take back that control.

James: 

Awesome, awesome stuff. How are Dennis Best getting in touch with you, Nikki?

Nicki: 

Very happy for them to have my telephone number. Email address I don’t know if you want me to do it now, I’ll feel free to strike those out.

James: 

Yeah, that’s cool.

Nicki: 

Okay, my telephone number is 077523347 and my email is info at pmp-consultingcouk. And that’s papa, mama, papa, hyphen consulting.

James: 

Great stuff, Nikki. Thank you so much for explaining that all clearly and what have been really wonderful cause you’re pursuing and a wonderful movement to propel that. That’s really cool. Anything else you want to chuck on top of that, Nikki?

Nicki: 

No, I just think any help, anybody wants to drive a really strong CSR model in the practice and wants to really tap into the powers of PR, as I say, please reach out to me. I can really, really help to direct you and direct to the right people who can really help too.

James: 

Top stuff Nikki, thank you so much for coming on Dennis Moonverse podcast. We’ll speak again very soon.

Nicki: 

All the best, thank you so much for having me, James. I really appreciate it.

James: 

You’re welcome. All the best with your amazing cause, and I can’t wait to support you.

Nicki: 

Thank you so much.