‘I don’t want the practice to become about me, that’s not a saleable business!’

Every so often, I will speak to a practice owner, and they are pretty clear that they do not want to put their face or name to the practice for strict business reasons.

However, once I get probing, it’s clear that the plan for the practice owner is to scale the business with minimal reliance on their own patient base.

Do you run a business?

There are various definitions of a business floating around.

An actual business is one that can operate without dependency on its owner. Richard Fertig says to ask yourself: ‘If I decided to step away from my business for a day…or a week…or even a month, with little to no involvement, what would happen?’

I expect the answer would reveal if you have a business that entirely or mainly depends on you, or one that can run reasonably well without you.

McDonald’s is a business example that most business coaches love turning to. It is an organisation that is a true example of a business and doesn’t need an owner-operator.

I was surprised to hear from people at my Instagram workshops that they believe hiding behind their practice name is the best place to be. Surely, we wouldn’t hear much about Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and Richard Branson if that was the case.

Brand versus icon

As humans, we have a deep desire to learn more about the people behind the brand and people in general. This is evident in the connections people make with owner-operated restaurants or large organisations such as Tesla. Customers of Tesla may show interest in what Elon Musk has to say. His personal brand and Tesla overlap.

Suppose you trust Elon Musk, and associate his vision and brand with high performance, quality, forward-thinking and intuitive design; in that case, you will associate some of this to any project Mr Musk launches.

Richard Branson is a timeless example of this; we know that when Virgin launches a new brand, there is a level of quality we can expect. More than 40 Virgin companies operate in 35 countries and employ over 60,000 people. I am confident that Richard Branson’s personal brand has something to do with its success.

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