Several years ago I met with a dentist who was taking over a practice in a small town of 20,000 residents. He was struggling to build a client base and had two presenting questions. First, what could he do to build his customer base? Second, should he stay in the current shopping mall location with high visibility along with high cost?
My advice at the time was to stay in the mall. Even though the rent was high, the visibility would help build walk-in traffic. Second, I advised that he work several evenings a week to offer extended hour appointments to folks with day jobs. Both steps worked. I asked if he wanted to expand his business by hiring a part time dentist to help manage the growing business. He did not.
Now, he needs to decide if he should renew his office lease. This time my advice is different. He now has a short waiting list for new patients and has built a solid reputation for competence and integrity. Renewing the lease in the mall will cost around $2,500 a month more than renting an office suite in another location. Given the build-up of his business, paying a premium price for location when you can’t take more patients is a waste of money. At this time, the better choice is to save money by moving.
Time and circumstances will alter a decision about when to move a business. The prophet Joel wrote “Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears.” (Joel 3:10, NIV) However, a hundred years later Isaiah wrote: “They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.” (Isaiah 2:4, NIV) As scripture demonstrates, it requires different action at different times to make the right decision.
When you face major decisions, take the time to evaluate the situation. Determine what has changed and if those changes dictate a different choice. Then, make the decision that will grow your business.
Steve Marr, Your Christian Business Coach