10 Years 10 Business Tips – 1 – Plan the business backwards

I’m now privileged and humbled to have been in business for 10 years. April 5th 2019 sees 10 years since I set my company up.

This series of blog posts gives you my top 10 tips to surviving in business… This isn’t necessarily how you should do it, but it is how I did it!

Plan the business backwards

Sounds weird right?

But this is exactly what I did.

When I set the company I worked out what I wanted/needed to earn in a year.

I then worked out what all my costs for the year would be.

I then calculated how much retained profit I would want to make each year.

Earnings + costs + retained profit = necessary sales

I then knew what my sales needs to be in a year.

I then looked at the number of days that I wanted to deliver my service each week, how many hours in each day I wanted to do this, what I wanted to do for each client and therefore worked out how many clients I could deliver extreme quality to in a year.

I deliberately use the term ‘deliver my service’, because that’s not the same as number of days worked. I planned in time to work ON my business from the word go, so from the outset I was only ever delivering my service 4 days per week and working ON the business 1 day per week. The calculations were therefore done on 4 days, not 5.

Necessary sales/clients I can cope with = revenue per client

So now I know how much I need to charge each client.


I then began researching how much marketing agencies were charging and whether my expected fee per client would fit.

It didn’t!

However, because (being the eternal geek) I had all of this in a spreadsheet, I simply manipulated the variables until it came to a reasonable amount to charge each client.

The spreadsheet allowed me to manipulate what I wanted to earn, the costs, the number of days per week I was delivering the service and the number of clients I had.

By manipulating these variables I came up with a plan.


I then replicated my spreadsheet for the next 5 years, I planned in growth of the number of clients and growth in costs.

Then, and only then was my business ready to get started!

Oh yes, I did all of this prior to taking on my first client!

I’d very much like to hear your thoughts on this process, please do let me know in the comments below.

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About Mark Oborn

Mark is the only person in Digital Dental Marketing to have a Masters Degree in Business (MBA) majoring in marketing & creativity plus have run a dental laboratory for 14 years and been working in dentistry for 23 years as a dental technician. He's also a Master Practitioner of the communication modelling system, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) as well as being a Master Practitioner of Hypnosis and a Master NLP Coach. Mark understands business, dentistry and communication making him the logical choice to help with your digital dental marketing.

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