This month, The Eco Dentist questions your purpose and whether it is more than maximising profits.

What sort of dental practice do you want to create and build?

Yes, you want to provide great dentistry for your patients, and what else?

And you want to offer a great service? Definitely a yes, and, in the process, hopefully, you’ll create job security for your employees, allowing them to house, feed, clothe themselves, make valuable contributions to society, etc.

How about profit? Well, yes, and according to some economists, maximising profits is the only purpose of business.

But in the 21st century, surely, we need a more enlightened purpose. Yes, profit is essential to pay the bills, fuel growth and pay for capital. But it’s not the sole reason why you would want to open your own dental practice.

What is your purpose?

Making profit your purpose is no longer a sufficient basis on which to look at opening any present-day business, including a dental practice.

So, what is your purpose? How can you deliver excellent dentistry with excellent customer service and stand out over all the other dental practices?

At my practice, our purpose is to promote wellbeing:

It works well. Everyone knows where they stand because our purpose creates shared values from which we all operate.

All decisions consider the well-being of all stakeholders. This includes the environment, so we don’t make money at any price. Generating long-term value for the business is far more important than focusing on short-term profits.


So, a contemporary purpose-driven practice will benefit all stakeholders, including owners/shareholders, employees, patients, and, importantly, the environment.

Being purpose-driven means your practice will treat people with dignity and respect. Be mindful of your business’s impacts on the environment.

Furthermore, your shared values will hold you all together. There is mutual respect between employers and employees. And your purpose aligns everyone in your practice around a joint mission.

Finally, it gives everyone a reason to look toward the goals of your practice as a whole rather than their own personal goals.

What are the benefits of running a purpose-driven, environmentally conscious business?

With 77% of consumers stating they have a stronger emotional connection to purpose-driven companies over traditional companies and 66% who would switch from a product they typically buy to a new product from a purpose-driven company, it makes good business sense.

Also, employees of purpose-driven businesses are more likely to be more productive, happier and more creative than those at more conventional ones. With the added bonus that they are three times more likely to stay in your employment over businesses that aren’t purpose orientated.

And, we all know how hard and expensive it is to recruit and train new staff.

So, it’s not a matter of purpose versus profit. Purpose is profitable. Purpose is forward-looking, and it’s not a fleeting fad.

Ok, so back to you:

  • What moves you?

  • How can you positively impact communities and make a difference?

  • How can you mitigate your impact on the planet?

So, now define what your purpose is. Go create and then build social and environmental value to your practice, and the financial rewards will soon follow.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Bernard Tyson, a CEO of a healthcare company.

‘Companies of the future can no longer think that they can just exist… We are a part of a greater society, and a greater society is a part of us. The trend of when and how we engage in the bigger societal issues will continue to be a part of the future of leadership.’

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