2004 – 2006. It was time to get serious
I didn’t know what “scale” meant back then. I’m not sure it was even a thing in 2004. Scale is basically how you sell and deliver on a much bigger, uh, scale. Take your product and arrange your business to deliver it to a massive audience, without weakening the results that you’ve been getting with the smaller audience.
New Patients Inc needed to scale. I didn’t know this at the time and I certainly didn’t know how to pull it off. After all, I was basically the creative side of the operation. I needed someone with business acumen.
I had a partner at the time to take care of the business side and oversee expansion. But after a time it became obvious that he and I weren’t on the same page with the whole “vision” thing. He was a very smart guy but we just had different goals and a few years later would eventually go our separate ways.
I was the sales department and that was a problem
That had to change if we were to really grow. It wasn’t that I couldn’t bring in new clients, because I brought in a lot of them over the years. But I had enough on my plate. It was a classic case of me being the bottleneck to our expansion.
And that’s where Mark came into the picture.
Who’s Mark? That would be Mark Dilatush, my future partner
I first met Mark at a dental meeting (where else?). I think the meeting was an AACD event. It was being held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. He was working for Sally McKenzie as a dental practice management consultant. Sally was one of the top management consultants in dentistry. Still is. I had known and admired her for years.
Somehow Mark and I ended up at a bar (shocking, I know), where we proceeded to hit it off. It was as if I’d found my long lost little brother. Over the course of several gin and tonics we ended up solving all the problems in dentistry (in our minds anyway).
At some point I told him that if he ever found himself in a position of needing a job to please call me first. A few months later he called me. He said he was looking for a situation where he could build and scale a company and benefit from the expansion.
He loved working with Sally but they apparently had differing goals, so they parted company.
I hired him right away
He took over the Advisor (sales) position and, long story short, he tripled company revenues in about two years. Outstanding!
While he was doing that, he recruited some very top notch people and trained them on how to sell our products and services. In short order we had an actual sales department.
It became obvious to me that his business building expertise was just what NPI needed. No, he didn’t have an MBA, but he had what I called a “street MBA.” Born from experience, rather than from books.
That’s why I made him my partner.
2011 – 2013. Things really took off
We proceeded to build out operations, customer service, and to expand our product and service offerings. We started to statistically track what worked and what didn’t. In fact, we got rather maniacal about it. We commissioned a prestigious business school to run a study for us. The purpose was to find out what the dental consumer really thinks about dentistry. We certainly found out! We’ve been using that invaluable data to guide our client’s offerings ever since.
We already had a brilliant Art Director who had been with us since 2003. Then we added a crack web programmer and SEO specialist along with Campaign Managers to run the Client Services. We added a video editor and more support staff.
They are all still with us to this day. Clients love our team because our team takes care of them. We rarely have customer service leaks.