Victoria Dental

Progression and boundaries key to success

Full-time business owner, part-time dental surgeon, student, renovator and entrepreneur, Hadleigh Reid is a busy man.

A Wanganui dental practice was Hadleigh’s first business venture, and one that he has owned for the past seven years. After graduating at the end of 2001, Hadleigh worked for Russell Poff & Associates for a few years before buying the business off him and renaming it Victoria Dental.

Currently employing 16, Hadleigh says he has discovered that managing staff is not easy and a skill that has to be learnt. “I was probably a bit naive when I purchased the business but have learnt along the way, with help from a part time two-and-a-half year Practice Management course, which is almost complete.”

Currently located on Victoria Avenue, hence the name, Hadleigh is taking the big step of moving the business to larger premises, a heritage listed building (the old Cosmopolitan Club) in the CBD, which he purchased as an investment building a year ago.

Hadleigh says the new building has more space and will be laid out in a way that will more efficiently meet the requirements of his busy dental practice. “Our current building stretches over two floors with surgeries in different places, therefore requiring three different reception areas. Our new building has more than enough space and everything will be contained on the first floor, including seven surgeries.

“The improved layout will ensure better flow, encouraging better efficiencies, effectiveness and communications.”

And if he didn’t sound busy enough, Hadleigh adds that he has created a new cafe and function centre on the ground floor of the building, both of which he is initially running himself.

With so many things on the go, Hadleigh says he identified early on that if he did not put boundaries in place he would burn out and nothing would be done well. “I work as a dentist Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, while Mondays are spent on business admin and Fridays I work on overseeing the renovation project, but am available to help out at the surgery if needed.”

Hadleigh says the success of the practice is in that they continue to be very progressive. “Having a range of practitioners in the practice means we are able to service all members in a family in the same place. Being in a dental chair is not how people want to spend their time so we want them to feel that it is not a bad experience. We work hard to have a connection with patients and to communicate with them to help them get want they want.”

Hadleigh uses Markhams Wanganui principal, Warwyck Dewe for advice when making big financial decisions such as buying new equipment, taking out a bank loan to do up the surgery, and the purchase of the heritage building.

“Markhams are nice people to work with, do a good job and are trustworthy. The financial aspect of a business is very important so it is vital to have people who are professional, honest and trustworthy. With Markhams we get the right advice at the right time.”

Published Spring 2011.

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